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Off Tackle Open Threads: January 7th Basketball

Sparty Heads to Northwestern

NCAA Basketball: Indiana State at Michigan State
It’s Sunday and mom made mashed potatoes and gravy
Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Recaps

Iowa Hawkeyes 86, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 77

MaximumSam: Iowa jumped early and Rutgers was never able to make a game of it. Mawot Mag scored 24, but Cliff Omoruyi was nearly invisible. Iowa had a rounded effort and shot 50% from deep, and this one was never in doubt. Fran Level: Calm.

Wisconsin Badgers 88, Nebraska Cornhuskers 72

MaximumSam: Another laugher, Wisconsin had 51 at half and was never threatened. Who are these guys? Connor Essegian even joined the party, dropping 12 on 4-7 from three. Wisconsin is first in the B1G and perhaps the biggest threat to the Purdue hegemony.

Indiana Hoosiers 71, Ohio State Buckeyes 65

MaximumSam: We talked about Indiana’s struggles guarding the three coming into the game. Of course, three point shots are still rather difficult to make consistently, even in an open gym. Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle combined to go 0-12 from deep, seemingly all on one possession in the second half. That ruined all their efforts on the offensive glass and gave Indiana a big win to get their season back on track.

Previews

Michigan Wolverines (6-8, 1-2) at Penn State Nittany Lions (7-7, 1-2) (+4.5), 11 am, BTN

MaximumSam: These two teams are coming off rough losses and can see their season slipping away. Of course, no one expected much out of Penn State, so no big deal there. Michigan didn’t have high expectations, but they probably didn’t expect to lose to Long Beach State or McNeese State or Minnesota. I’ve also seen some internet rumors that Dug McDaniel may be ineligible to play due to academics. No idea if they are accurate, and honestly I didn’t realize they still expected student athletes to do schoolwork. Torvik goes Michigan, barely, 80-79.

Maryland Terrapins (9-5, 1-2) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-3, 2-1) (-1.5), 4:30 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Is Minnesota halfway decent? When they got horsewhipped by San Francisco we thought not, but San Francisco has been pretty solid and the Gophs’ other losses were at Ohio State and a blown lead against Mizzou. The jury is still out, but with as poor as the Big Ten has been, there is an opportunity for the Gophs to get some sneaky wins. Beating Maryland at home would quality as a Must Win if we want to consider them a decent team. Torvik believes, and goes Gophers, 70-64.

Michigan State Spartans (9-5, 1-2) at Northwestern Wildcats (10-3, 1-1) (+2.5), 6:30 pm, BTN

MaximumSam: Northwestern continues their Early Doom Schedule, having split with Purdue and Illinois and now get the Spartans. Sparty has been looking downright monstrous since their loss to Nebraska on December 10th. Their three point shooting has gone from terrible to excellent, while heir defense has also been nearly impenetrable. The Cats cracked Purdue, so never say never. Torvik goes MSU, 67-63.

FCS National Championship Game

#2 Montana Grizzlies vs. #1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits

1pm | ABC/ESPN+ | SDSU -14.5 | O/U 48.5 (Frisco, TX)

MNW here. Briefly hijacking hooptyshoots because I forgot to make a thread. That line seems...ominous...but this beats watching the Vikings get piss-pounded by the Lions.

I'd take the Griz to cover because Montana seems to find a way in the FCS Playoffs, but your mileage may vary.