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Off Tackle Open Threads: February 11th Basketball

Who Needs the Super Bowl? We have Northwestern!

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Northwestern
Look at all them Super Snacks!
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


Michigan State Spartans 88, Illinois Fighting Illini 80

BoilerUp89: There were multiple points in this game that I was convinced Illinois had things under control, but Sparty kept making runs. Tyson Walker may be Michigan State’s best player, but Malik Hall is the most important guy. When Hall is going (22 points in this one), Michigan State is a much better team.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 78, Wisconsin Badgers 56

BoilerUp89: Rutgers has been a completely different team since Jeremiah Williams started playing and it’s no coincidence that they’ve won all three games he’s played in. Rutgers shooting 58.8% from three didn’t hurt in this one either. For the Badgers, they are in a major skid having lost four in a row. They seem to have forgotten how to shoot the basketball with extremely pedestrian shooting numbers from everywhere on the court during this stretch.

Ohio State Buckeyes 79, Maryland Terrapins 75 (2OT)

BoilerUp89: Holtmann must have seen that 50% of OffTackleEmpire readers think he’s the next Big Ten coach to be fired. The Buckeyes were able to pull this one out at home thanks to the scoring of Bruce Thornton and Roddy Gayle Jr.’s ability to get to the free throw line.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 79, Michigan Wolverines 59

BoilerUp89: This one got so out of hand that Nebraska fans were cheering for Michigan’s Tschetter whenever he did something good. I’m sure there is more to the story there, but that would never happen in a close game. Nebraska moves to 7-0 in Big Ten play at home. With this loss and the Purdue win, Michigan becomes the first Big Ten team eliminated from winning a share of the Big Ten regular season championship.

Purdue Boilermakers 79, Indiana Hoosiers 59

BoilerUp89: The Boilermakers completed the season sweep of Indiana. It was a fun time for those in Mackey Arena. They got free chicken sandwiches (Indiana missed two free throws on the same trip to the line), witnessed Zach Edey’s first career three pointer, and got to see Myles Colvin get some run.


#86 Penn State Nittany Lions (12-11, 6-6) at #38 Northwestern Wildcats (16-7, 7-5) (-8.5), Noon, BTN

BoilerUp89: Mike Rhoades has very quietly put together a potential Big Ten coach of the year season, but Penn State will need to find shooting to keep up with Northwestern’s three point barrage.

misdreavus79: The last time these two teams met, Penn State squandered a 10-point lead as they went cold as ice, and stuck to the bad ISO habits that have led to so many defeats in the past. Can the roles reverse?

The Lions’ newfound range could help in keeping up with what is sure to be a three point assault from the Wildcats. That might mean making some tough decisions, as Rhoads had to do on Thursday against Iowa.

As much as I like Kanye Clary, both for sticking around and for the progress he’s made this season, he has a tendency to hog the ball a bit too much when he’s on the floor. Not too coincidentally, Iowa built a 7-point lead when he was spelling Ace Baldwin, and Penn State, on the other side, quickly turned that deficit into a 9-point lead of their own the minute Kanye sat. He wouldn’t see the court again until the last minutes of the game.

If Clary can get with the program and share the ball the way they team has been for the past three games, Penn State might leave their patented scoring droughts behind them once and for all.

#84 Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-7. 6-5) at #60 Iowa Hawkeyes (13-10, 5-7) (-6.5), 2 pm, BTN

BoilerUp89: Can Minnesota make a serious run at finishing .500 in B1G play? Out of their road games this is the easiest one remaining, but the Gophers already lost to Iowa 77-86 at home. In that game Iowa’s Ben Krikke could not be stopped. Let’s see if Ben Johnson can make adjustments for game 2.

362 to 1 Update: It’s been over a month since we saw Chicago State join the 10 ineligible programs in the eliminated teams section for this season and take us to 351 in our countdown. Since then there has been no movement towards eliminating additional teams. That should change in the next week to week and a half as there are ten conferences that do not allow all their members to participate in their conference tournament. Next season the Big Ten will join these cowards and Michigan may no longer be one of the final 200 teams in the running to win a national title.

Prior to the start of these ten conference tournaments, we will see somewhere between 17 and 26 additional teams eliminated. The fact that there is a range may seem odd, but all ten ineligible teams in the NCAA Division 1 transition period are in conferences that don’t invite everyone to their tournament. More importantly all except one (UC San Diego) of these ten teams are allowed to participate in their conference tournaments if they finish above the cutline in their conference standings.

The point is that it’s February 11 and 351 teams still have an opportunity to play their way to a national championship. Even 0-22 Mississippi Valley State and 0-26 Detroit Mercy. Another reason college basketball is awesome. More updates to come, but not until we are down to 350.

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