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Off Tackle Open Threads: January 4th Basketball

Can Ben Johnson move off the hot seat?

NCAA Basketball: McNeese State at Michigan
Call Him Sky Cheddar
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

Ohio State Buckeyes 76, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 72

MaximumSam: Ohio State narrowly avoided getting stuffed into a toilet in the second half after seeing their 17 point lead dwindle to 1. Rutgers was looking competent offensively, which is always a scary prospect. Fortunately, Bruce Thornton led the Buckeyes with 24 points with 7 assists and got them out of a jam.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 86, Indiana Hoosiers 70

MaximumSam: Not only were the Huskers favored, they laid a butt whooping on the Hoosiers. Keisei the Blade led the way with 28 and Nebraska led by as many as 22. Xavier Johnson returned for Indiana, but only played 14 minutes and laid a goose egg. Indiana isn’t going to win many games if they don’t play defense.

Previews

#101 Penn State Nittany Lions (7-6, 1-1) at #11 Michigan State Spartans (8-5, 0-2) (-13.5), 6 pm, Peacock

MaximumSam: With the latest foibles by Maryland and Indiana, Penn State is no longer bringing up the rear of the Big Ten, at least according to Torvik. They sit at 101st, while Indiana is 104th and Maryland 112th. They are turning teams over (9th in the country) and Kanye Clary as emerged as a real player. So, you know, good luck on the road against Michigan State. Torvik goes Sparty, 79-64.

#83 Minnesota Golden Gophers (10-3, 1-1) at #66 Michigan Wolverines (6-7, 1-1) (-6.5), 8 pm, Peacock

MaximumSam: Speaking of dumpsters, Minnesota is moving towards the middle of the pack of the B1G. They’ve been pretty good at putting the ball through the basket, with an effective field goal percentage that ranks 16th in the country. They head to Ann Arbor to face the all gas no brakes Wolverines, who also are pretty good at putting the ball in the basket but who play little to no defense. Torvik goes Wolverines, 80-74.

362 to 1 Update: 351

With their loss yesterday to Oklahoma State, Chicago State fell to 7-14 against Division 1 programs. They have nine more games remaining on their schedule, but only six of those are against Division 1 teams. That makes it impossible for the Cougars to achieve a .500 record against D1 teams this season. As the only remaining Independent basketball program, Chicago State does not have a conference tournament to fall back on. We are operating on the rather safe assumption that teams will not get an at-large bid to the tournament without at least a .500 record. With the Cougars falling short of that mark, we salute them on being the best team in Chicago, but their first March Madness appearance will have to wait at least another year. 351 teams remain.