Recaps, Big Ten Tournament Projections, Bracketology: Holy shit, this conference is good.
The futility of Nebraska-Maryland, a Purdue haiku, and MICHIGAN NEWS?!?!?
Oh my word, did a lot of basketball happen this week.
We also have someone who, now, wants to recap Michigan basketball! I don’t get it either—it’s not time for the NCAA Tournament yet, so what’s he doing here?
Recaps, followed by the BTT if things ended today, followed by NCAA Tournament projections and things.
#5 Illinois Fighting Illini 73, Northwestern Wildcats 66
MNW: Eat just an absolute buffet of dicks, Thump.
This time Northwestern’s problem was getting punched in the mouth early rather than late, with the ‘Cats digging a 25-7 hole as the Illini brought defensive intensity with Trent Frazier and found Adam Miller and Andre Curbelo to cut holes in the Northwestern 3-2 zone defense. Kofi Cockburn grabbed a routine double-double and kept the ‘Cats in foul trouble. It was sunrise, sunset.
But for as ready as I am to see Northwestern move on from Chris Collins (though, I mean, fire him or don’t, it’s not my money and I think he’s an OK human being so what the fuck do I really care), it is inarguable that this team continues to fight for him. Chase Audige is growing into being a takeover player, Pete Nance showed his usual flashes like a sexxxy little skyhook, and Ryan Young is my favorite lumbering, overmatched Big Ten center since Luka Mirkovic.
But Ayo Dosunmu is really, really, really, really fucking good at Big Ten basketball. He should be the Big Ten and maybe get a look for national player of the year.
Maryland Terrapins 64, Nebraska Cornhuskers 50 [Tuesday]
Maryland 79, Nebraska 71 [Wednesday]
DJ: Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala are absolutely on fire right now. Wiggins really the past 5 games is everything Maryland fans have hoped he would be coming in.
Jesse: If you need a recap, mine is “There was a statewide power shortage here in Texas resulting in no heat, water, and fairly cold temps for three days. Somewhere in there, Nebraska—on behest of the Big Ten who believes it gives a shit about it’s student athletes when really it’s just trying to protect itself as rich, pretentious institutions without moral bearings whatsoever—played its 6th and 7th game in 11 days over a back-to-back on the road.
It went about as well for a team doing so coming off a 29 day stretch in which almost every player got COVID, couldn’t practice at season strength, and was already beat up pretty bad. You’ll forgive me if I sound repetitive but this sham of a season—and really conference leadership—is getting old.
Also, I bring up the Texas thing because I didn’t even get to watch which is fine because this is all super dumb.
DJ: You didn’t miss anything last night except your worst three point shooter going lights out in the first half to keep it sorta interesting.
Jesse: I’ve actually been kinda impressed at how much they run on adrenaline early in games over this stretch... The problem is that they literally just can’t play more than a half of basketball. I still don’t know how they almost beat Illinois and actually beat Penn State.
Purdue Boilermakers 75, Michigan State Spartans 65
BoilerBettor: A breakdown of the Purdue-Sparty game in the form of haiku:
Williams on the block,
Williams on the block again,
Feed the big man. Win.
Green Akers: Whoever could have predicted this MSU team wouldn’t have an answer for a capable big, what a totally unforeseen development, and then Izzo basically threatened to Crean a bunch of guys so I guess we’re just saying the quiet part out loud now, cool cool cool coolcoolcoolcoolcoolcool.
Indiana Hoosiers 82, Minnesota Golden Gophers 72
Candystripes: Indiana managed to get out to a lead at some point, and they didn’t give it up in the end, even though they totally could have.
But the real positive for Indiana’s future is right here:
Anthony Leal, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Khristian Lander all getting in extra work after Indiana's 82-72 win over Minnesota. TJD out there rebounding for a freshman after a 20 & 10 performance. #iubb pic.twitter.com/Roa7rUPMmH— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) February 18, 2021
#3 Michigan Wolverines 71, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 64
RockyMtnBlue: The last 12 minutes was intensely irritating to watch. I respect Rutgers for playing like junkyard dogs on meth amphetamines, but I don’t have to enjoy it when they’re playing against my team. I’ll take the win.
#4 Ohio State Buckeyes 92, Penn State Nittany Lions 82
Every time the Lions crawled back in this one—with Seth Lundy turning in another efficient performance as the first man off the bench, going 4/7 from deep—the Buckeyes had the answer. I still don’t get how Ohio State is hanging around, though last night I had to appreciate the Buckeyes’ length—E.J. Liddell, Kyle Young, Musa Jallow off the bench...somehow this group is getting it done.
But I don’t give a shit about either of these teams—are you interested in writing about Ohio State or Penn State basketball? Drop me a line at minnesotawildcat at gmail dot com, and feel free to try your hand at recaps and previews, just like RockyMtnBlue is!
#11 Iowa Hawkeyes 77, #21 Wisconsin Badgers 62
Stew: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD EVENING! A hearty Fuck wisconsin to all you fine folks.
Big Ten Tournament Projected Seedings
Only real moves here: Purdue up to the 5, wisconsin down to the 6 with the Iowa win last night; Maryland and Minnesota both at 6-9 in the Big Ten but the Terps will take that tiebreaker with a 2-0 record—the only team to win in the Barn.
Big Ten Bracketology
Whether you’re looking at Kenpom, Sagarin, or the NCAA’s NET ratings, the Big Ten has the #3, #4, #5, and #6-ranked teams.
That is just positively fucking ridiculous.
- Not much to change at the top: Michigan and Ohio State remain the last two non-Gonzaga, non-Baylor teams. They play on Sunday. Bitchin.
- BoilerFan69 or whatever their name is (rightfully) corrected me that Illinois and Iowa will remain stuck in Baylor and Gonzaga’s brackets, respectively, to keep them out of the 1-seeded Big Ten teams’ regions.
- Palm clearly took more away from wisconsin’s loss to Iowa than Lunardi did—the badgers fell to a 7-seed and could start getting stuck with friskier mid-majors or P6 squads.
- I want to see Purdue and Trevion Williams take on Loyola-Chicago Ramblers and Cameron Krutwig. That’d be fantastic.
- Having watched an unhealthy amount of Colorado vs. Oregon last night, please give me neither an Indiana-Colorado First Four matchup nor an Indiana-Rutgers matchup in the First Round.
- Lotta weariness with the Gophers—we’ll see if their higher Bracket Matrix rating is inertial or if they’ve worn out their welcome when they test their Barn Advantage against #5 Illinois.
- Somehow, the Terps have made it!
I’m exhausted. Talk about things below, if you want. Schedule for the weekend—and maybe the return of a mid-season feature...?—later today. Maybe. Who knows. I meet with a student at 9, a priest at 10, get my taxes done at 12; I think the rabbi and duck show up after.