clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:


The Big Ten is a heaping pile of mediocrity this year.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Penn State
This picture pleases me.
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

I feel like I open these posts the same way every week. No one knows what is going to happen each week in this trash heap of a conference and, to be perfectly honest, it’s kind of awesome. Minnesota is ranked coming into the week? Well they are going to lose twice, including once to Penn State! Iowa beats Purdue? Sure, but then they are going to lose by 400 points to Northwestern!

The only constant so far has been Rutgers’ sustained...what’s the opposite of excellence? Well whatever it is, Rutgers’ sustained inadequacy has been my constant throughout this season. It is important to have a constant or else you might never make it back to your timeline. Remember how disappointing the end of Lost was? I wish the Smoke Monster had just killed everyone and saved me the time.

Anyways, I’ve lost my train of thought. Let’s investigate the B1G with advanced stats and memes!

Illinois Fighting Illini

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 65th; AdjO: 69th; AdjD: 81st

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Michigan 85-69; (L) at Maryland 62-56

Biggest strength: Maverick Morgan lead the team in scoring both games. Six players scored in double figures against Michigan. I went and played trivia at Omni Brewing in Maple Grove, MN last Wednesday and my team came in third!

I like to drink beer and answer trivia questions here.

We were pretty excited and we were even more excited when we realized that our friend Justin knew the answer to one of the questions to be “Honey Boo Boo.” He was probably the MVP. Almost had twice as many rebounds as Michigan

Biggest weakness: Got out-rebounded by Maryland. Perhaps rebounding the ball is important? D.J. Williams announced before the Michigan game that he was taking a “temporary leave” from the Illini for personal reasons. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, because I would like to speculate wildly about his absence. Like, maybe he’s actually an undercover cop, who is deep undercover, and got called in before the game coming up on Saturday against Michigan to give an update on Moritz Wagner’s devious plot? Maybe. Lastly, Illinois ‘crootin has been unremarkable recently.

This week’s schedule: Tonight at No. 16 Purdue; Saturday at Michigan

Indiana Hoosiers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 26th; AdjO: 12th; AdjD: 84th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Maryland 75-72; (W) vs. Rutgers 76-57

Biggest strength: This silly dunk that made it look like OG Anunoby was levitating.

Anunoby had seven steals against Rutgers, which is a little like stealing candy from a baby that doesn’t have any arms and is also blind, but is still seven steals in one game nonetheless. Pounded the armless, blind baby Rutgers like they were supposed to, but as you’ll notice below the famously rational and well-balanced IU fans took that win easy.

Biggest weakness: This was after the first few minutes of the game against Rutgers, and how I’d like to think everyone feels after watching an Indiana basketball game.

Lost to Maryland, which was their fourth loss in five games, in College Park. James Blackmon was 0-for-8 from three versus Rutgers. Missed an alley-oop at the buzzer against Rutgers that made Tom Crean angry. If you’re going to least score. Always applicable for an IU game and a Migos concert.

This week’s schedule: Wednesday at Penn State; Saturday vs. Michigan State

Iowa Hawkeyes

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 86th; AdjO: 65th; AdjD: 140th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Purdue 83-78; (L) at Northwestern 89-54

Biggest strength: Peter Jok “To The Hand” poured in 29 points against Purdue and had eight assists and six rebounds to boot. Nicholas Baer, who as we’ve already established is over 50% actual bear, had this nice block on Purdue Colossus.

He was probably just paying Purdue back for this vicious attack on his midsection.

Biggest weakness: If you want to have a good laugh, take a look at the final 10 minutes of their game against Northwestern. NU outscored the Hawkeyes 25-4 to cap off a 35-point dismantling that is NSFW. Also this play happened versus Purdue.

This week’s schedule: Thursday vs. Maryland

Maryland Terrapins

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 46th; AdjO: 84th; AdjD: 37th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Indiana 75-72; (W) at Illinois 62-56

Biggest strength: The Terps are ranked in the AP Top-25 for the first time since the season’s first poll. They are also a really young team.

There were a number of contenders for the weekly “What? How? Stat Line of the Week” but I think the sheer number of minutes that Justin Jackson played on Saturday give him the crown. Jackson’s line: 25 minutes, 0 points, 0-for-4 shooting, four rebounds, two fouls. GUUUUHHHHHHHHH.

Biggest weakness: “The rest of the B1G is cannibalizing themselves and look like a CBI bracket? That’s none of my business.”

The Terps are sitting in the catbird’s seat right now and are favored to win their next two games. This means they’ll probably lose both and Melo Trimble will fall into the Springfield Mystery Spot.

This week’s schedule: Thursday at Iowa

Michigan Wolverines

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 47th; AdjO: 16th; AdjD: 185th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Illinois 85-69; (W) vs. Nebraska 91-85

Biggest strength: Moritz Wagner’s powers seem to be growing with each passing week and the crooked media is only helping his cause. Against Nebraska, Wagner dropped 23 points and hauled in six boards. I don’t know what else I need to do, but if my nationally renowned and critically acclaimed weekly joke college basketball column isn’t getting anything done...I’m not sure what will.

Biggest weakness: Michigan ranks 350th (out of 351 teams FYI) in defensive three point percentage. Losing to the Illini is bad, BUT!


This week’s schedule: Tonight at No. 9 Wisconsin; Saturday vs. Illinois

Michigan State Spartans

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 44th; AdjO: 89th; AdjD: 28th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Minnesota 65-47; (L) vs. Ohio State 72-67

Biggest strength: Started the annual “Humbling of Minnesota’s Basketball Team.” It came a little bit later than normal this year, but like death, taxes, and Jon Rothstein blocking me on Twitter for making fun of his repeated tweets, it always comes. Miles Bridges is a star and fun to watch. He had 24 points against aOsu and a game-high 16 against Minnesota.

Biggest weakness: Road games.

I’m making a special exception here and will be handing out a second “What? How? Stat Line of the Week” award. Kenny Goins played 21 minutes, had zero points, missed his only two point attempt and his only free throw, had a turnover, a foul, a steal and three rebounds. PUUUUUUUKE!

This week’s schedule: Saturday at Indiana

Minnesota Golden Gophers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 38th; AdjO: 138th; AdjD: 7th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Michigan State 65-47; (L) at Penn State 52-50

Biggest strength: Can we talk about candy hearts for a second? I don’t get the excitement about them and I think they’re terrible. They are chalky, hard, and you have to read them before you eat them. Literally the worst candy (non-coconut having division) in the world. My wife has already bought four bags of them and placed them throughout the house and I’m thinking about moving again.

Biggest weakness: Most everything was a weakness for the Gophers this week.

Also, Penn State not only beat them in basketball, but the Nittany Lions are the new no. 1 team in college hockey. If you take hockey away from Minnesota, this place just becomes North Dakota without the severe meth problem. They only scored 18 points in the second half against Penn State and got out-rebounded in both contests. Like candy hearts, Minnesota sucks.

This week’s schedule: Saturday vs. No. 9 Wisconsin

Nebraska Cornhuskers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 84th; AdjO: 129th; AdjD: 70th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Michigan 91-85

Biggest strength:

Yeah, well, you blew it! Tai Webster had 28 points and nine boards.

Biggest weakness: I’ve really gotten into the NBA the last two seasons and I recommend that you do as well. For almost a decade I only paid passing attention to pro hoops, mainly because the Sixers were bad, I lived in Wisconsin/Chicago, and they were never on TV. But now, the Sixers are a team on the rise, Joel “The Process” Embiid is the best thing going on Instagram, and I can’t get enough Giannis highlights or Westbrook triple-doubles or Karl-Anthony Towns being a point guard in a center’s body or the Warriors playing the Cavs or...well, you get the point. The NBA is really fun.

This week’s schedule: Wednesday vs. Ohio State; Saturday at Rutgers

Northwestern Wildcats

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 33rd; AdjO: 39th; AdjD: 42nd

Previous week’s results: (W) at Rutgers 69-60; (W) vs. Iowa 89-54

Biggest strength: Bryant McIntosh had 20 points and 10 assists in their dominating performance against Iowa. Vic Law had 23 points and eight rebounds against Armless Baby U. Did you know that Charlie Hall, a NU walk-on, is the son of Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Because I didn’t until I read this article! Read the article if only for Elaine from Seinfeld shouting out BTN2GO.

Is this the year Northwestern goes dancing? Elaine thinks so!

Biggest weakness: Do people even watch the NFL in Chicago, where Northwestern is the B1G team of note?

This week’s schedule: Sunday at Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 58th AdjO: 77th; AdjD: 60th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Wisconsin 89-66; (W) vs. Michigan State 72-67


JaQuan Lyle dropped 22 on Michigan State’s dome.

Biggest weakness: Getting savaged online by the Badgers basketball account.

This week’s schedule: Wednesday at Nebraska; Sunday vs. Northwestern

Penn State Nittany Lions

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 80th; AdjO: 193rd; AdjD: 31st

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Minnesota 52-50

Biggest strength: How old is Shep Garner?

Biggest weakness: Since my wife is pregnant (sorry for bragging about having sex again) she has to eat all of her burgers well-done. That is the only time I’ll be ok with someone ordering a burger well-done. I’ve worked at a bar for a decade and I don’t judge people based off of their drink order, drink what you like IMO, but if you order your burger well-done you can expect a healthy dose of side-eyes from me the rest of the night. Might as well order a hockey puck tbqh.

This week’s schedule: Wednesday vs. Indiana; Saturday at No. 19 Purdue

Purdue Boilermakers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 19th; AdjO: 26th; AdjD: 23rd

Previous week’s results: (L) at Iowa 83-78

Biggest strength:

Incorrect. You can lose to anyone in the B1G this year and still win the conference!

Biggest weakness: Losing to Iowa got you like

This week’s schedule: Tonight vs. Illinois; Saturday vs. Penn State

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 137th; AdjO: 247th; AdjD: 62nd

Previous week’s results: (L) vs. Northwestern 69-60; (L) vs. Indiana 76-57

Biggest strength: It was another banner week for our girl Alexis on The Bachelor. Because there was no rose ceremony last week due to the whole “Liz Situation” we join the girls this week getting ready for said ceremony. Alexis, who we hadn’t heard from for the first 20 minutes of the episode, of course gets a rose and as her name is called she smiles and mutters “move bitches” while moving two other girls aside to get her rose from Nick. She’s a dang legend.

Her other highlights include making out with Nick on a giant picture of him, laughing at one girl for knocking over a giant ring during some sort of relay race and saying “17 girls. One pool party. One Nick. Let’s see what happens” like she’s just the Ron Howard narrator of the whole show.

Our girl, in the pink on the right, straight loving life and aquatic mammals.

The one girl, who is 24 and has a nanny, has to be some sort of paid actress because no one on the planet actually acts like her. The Backstreet Boys were also on this episode and so was Carl Lewis. I wish he had sang for them.

Biggest weakness: An unprecedented third winner of the “What? How? Stat Line of the Week!” Nigel Johnson played 18 minutes, went 0-for-3 for zero points, had two rebounds and three turnovers. You do not get a rose from me, Nigel. Sorry for the actual basketball stuff in the Rutgers section! Nick from The Bachelor brags about having sex even more than me. All he could do at the beginning of the episode was tell everyone how he banged the one chick he had just sent home. We get it, man. You’ve had more sex than even the Young Pope.

This week’s schedule: Saturday vs. Nebraska

Wisconsin Badgers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 9th; AdjO: 17th; AdjD: 19th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Ohio State 89-66

Biggest strength: An absolute bludgeoning of a hapless Ohio State team was the only entertainment for the Badgers this week. Looks like they were having fun on the bench though.

<3 you forever, Nigel! Watching the Packers ruin the seasons for the Giants AND the Cowboys has warmed the cockles of my dark, Eagles fan heart. The state of Wisconsin has been so good to me over the years.

Biggest weakness: Vitto Brown and Alex Illikainen, who are usually in this section, both had nice games against the Buckeyes. Zak Showalter almost fouled out in 13 minutes of playing time like he was trying out for the duck hunting team. See because he was searching for fow...*Mike turns off my internet*

This week’s schedule: Tonight vs. Michigan; Saturday at Minnesota