So, the Super Bowl sure will be dumb this year. The Eagles obviously aren’t in it, the Packers I’m pretty sure just forfeited the rest of the season after beating Dallas and the Patriots are probably going to win and everything is awful except for the fact that Roger Goodell has to hand the Lombardi Trophy over to Tom Brady. But at least my Super Bowl party will be fun since none of my friends cheer for the Patriots or the Falcons!
Atlanta-based rappers:— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) January 22, 2017
Green Bay-based rappers:
Wait a second, this isn’t a football column... is it? Eh, who cares? The three ranked teams in the Big Ten all held serve last week, which is good. The rest of the conference is still a petri dish of subpar basketball, occasional average basketball and losing to Rutgers. Remember when Nebraska was a darkhorse team that could challenge for a double-bye in the conference tournament? Yeah, me neither.
Let’s take a look at the conference that used to be great at basketball but now might be a football conference again via advanced stats and shows on Bravo.
Illinois Fighting Illini
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 72nd; AdjO: 84th; AdjD: 80th
Previous week’s results: (L) at No. 12 Purdue 91-68; (L) at Michigan 66-57
Biggest strength: I’m worried about Illinois, guys. They are bad, have been bad and look like they’ll continue to be bad for the next couple of years. I think we should get a Kickstarter going to buy Malcolm Hill a puppy or a PS4 or something to make him feel better. I’d be really depressed if I were him.
illinois basketball head coach john groce is 11-28 on the road in the big ten— Jim Vainisi (@JimVainisi) January 18, 2017
Uhhhhh, after the game against Michigan you can make that 11-29.
The 91-68 defeat at Purdue is the 12th loss by 20 or more points for #Illini head coach John Groce in his 4.5 years in Champaign— Bret Beherns (@WCIA3Bret) January 18, 2017
That is too many 20+ point losses for a team that used to go to Final Fours.
The talent gap between Illinois and just about every other Big Ten team is staggering. Coaching doesn't help, obviously, but point remains.— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) January 21, 2017
EVEN RUTGERS?!?!?! If that’s the case, maybe it is time to move on from John Groce.
This week’s schedule: Wednesday vs. Iowa; Saturday at Penn State
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 30th; AdjO: 8th; AdjD: 120th
Previous week’s results: (W) at Penn State 78-75; (W) vs. Michigan State 82-75
Biggest strength: James. Blackmon. Junior.
Blackmon has dropped 33 dang points against MSU, matching a career high. The mighty Indiana Hoosiers are now over .500 in conference play before February. CONGRATS HOOSIERS!
Biggest weakness: OG Anunoby suffered a right knee injury that will require season-ending surgery. I will not link to the video, but it did not look good. Here’s hoping for a full recovery so he can continue to dunk from near the free throw line. Juwan Morgan also missed both games last week which lead the Hoosiers to be extremely shorthanded against MSU.
Indiana’s down to 9 available scholarship players today vs. Michigan State — and two available forwards total. Neat! https://t.co/mBq7SvF9ec— CRIMSON QUARRY (@crimsonquarry) January 21, 2017
This week’s schedule: Thursday at Michigan; Sunday at Northwestern
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 90th; AdjO: 64th; AdjD: 148th
Previous week’s results: (L) vs. Maryland 84-76
Biggest strength: Do you think Johnny Manziel will ever play in the NFL again?
No lie.. I was a douche in 2016 I'm just trying to be a good PERSON again#LostInTheSauce— Johnny Manziel (@JManziel2) January 19, 2017
[extremely Future voice] “Too much sauce.” I don’t really think Manziel even wants to play football again. Who wants to get your brain bashed in behind the Browns offensive line when you could be out at the bar...bashing your brain in with beer! Beer is the best. Nicholas Baer had seven points, five boards and four assists off the bench for Iowa. Here is a clip of him entering the game.
Biggest weakness: Peter Jok “Of Seagulls” had an off night and as Jok goes, so go the Hawkeyes. Somehow allowed Jordan Bohannon to shoot 11 three pointers, of which he only made three, and the team shot 25% total from distance. This is pretty much how the Hawkeyes look this season.
horseshit— Go Iowa Awesome (@IowaAwesome) January 20, 2017
SCREAM ABOUT IT FRANNY!
This week’s schedule: Wednesday at Illinois; Saturday vs. Ohio State
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 44th; AdjO: 79th; AdjD: 32nd
Previous week’s results: (W) at Iowa 84-76
Biggest strength: Is this like the magic spray that soccer players have applied whenever they get injured?
I have no idea what they're doing to solve Kevin Huerter's knee injury. Is that windex? pic.twitter.com/irurtTQJZq— Ryan Connors (@RyanConnors_) January 20, 2017
The Terps just keep winning but that has to end soon, right? RIGHT???
Biggest weakness: Melo Trimble should get a red card for this chicanery.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a big part of my childhood and I’d like to thank ESPN for making me hate them now.
This week’s schedule: Tonight vs. Rutgers; Saturday at Minnesota
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 43rd; AdjO: 19th; AdjD: 154th
Previous week’s results: (L) at No. 10 Wisconsin 68-64; (W) vs. Illinois 66-57
Biggest strength: Sometimes you get ethered by the opposing team’s SB Nation Twitter account that is being run by a handsome genius.
Michigan finished 2nd in their basketball game against Wisconsin which is 1 spot better than where they finished in the B1G East in football— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 18, 2017
Also, Harbaugh is taking the football team to Rome this spring. I bet he does something like compare the pizza there to Domino’s. I hate him so much.
Bruce Willis is a Badgers fan, clearly.
MOE WAGNER FOULS OUT! JOHN MCCLANE WINS AGAIN!— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 18, 2017
Biggest weakness: Michigan’s three point defense improved to 346th in the country but it probably shouldn’t count because they played Illinois.
Michigan's three-point defense has been better today, but, again, teams weren't going to continue make more than half their threes.— Drew Hallett (@DrewCHallett) January 21, 2017
I didn’t realize it at the time, but DJ Wilson had an excellent entrant for the “What? How? Stat Line of the Week” against Wisconsin. Wilson played 30 minutes (!!!), had 0 points (!!!!!!!!) on 0-for-4 shooting, five rebounds (not bad), one turnover, three blocks, and fouled out (!!!!!!!!!). Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus.
Star Wars night looked fun though!
This week’s schedule: Thursday vs. Indiana; Sunday at Michigan State
Michigan State Spartans
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 52nd; AdjO: 88th; AdjD: 37th
Previous week’s results: (L) at Indiana 82-75
Biggest strength: Eron Harris had 21 points and Miles Bridges had a double-double. I went to my first birthing class last night and we watched a video. After the video was over our instructor said “I found the blonde woman to be annoying.” AND EVERYONE IN THE CLASS AGREED WITH HER! We had just watched this annoying blonde woman give birth, like literally watched the baby get pooped out of her butt, and we all started hating on her! It was great bonding and maybe I should pay closer attention next time because I can’t remember if the baby is going to come out of my wife’s butt or not.
Biggest weakness: I may have been a bit premature in mentioning that MSU was back earlier. They, uh, are not back and have lost three of their last four games.
Now Sean Spicer is saying MSU beat Indiana today and idk man.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) January 21, 2017
This week’s schedule: Tonight vs. No. 12 Purdue; Sunday vs. Michigan
Minnesota Golden Gophers
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 38th; AdjO: 136th; AdjD: 7th
Previous week’s results: (L) vs. No. 10 Wisconsin 78-76 OT
Pitino on Gophers, for anticipated sellout for Badgers game tomorrow: "I want them to be proud that people want to see them."— Dave Campbell (@DaveCampbellAP) January 20, 2017
I talked to Minnesota fans at the beginning of this season who wanted Richard Pitino fired from the team and then into the sun. Amazing what some wins will do.
Minnesota hasn’t won a game since January 8th. LOLOLOLOLOLOL! Nate Mason had 10 assists and their three point shooting was really good against Wisconsin.
Biggest weakness: Why is there a penguin and a weasel (nailed it) in “The Barnyard?”
If you ever want to trigger Gopher fans just send them pictures of Ethan Happ’s elbows.
Happ is getting away with hooking his defender to get open on the spin move baseline. Refs are supposed to be looking for that!— Marcus R. Fuller (@Marcus_R_Fuller) January 21, 2017
OMG HAPP ISN'T GOOD TO MIDDLE WITHOUT ABILITY TO HOOK? *SHOCKED*— Elite Zubaz (@GoAUpher) January 21, 2017
Badgers are in serious trouble if they ever encounter a ref that knows what an offensive foul is— Adam Miller (@ajm6792) January 21, 2017
[one million crying face emojis]
This week’s schedule: Wednesday at Ohio State; Saturday vs. Maryland
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 87th; AdjO: 138th; AdjD: 68st
Previous week’s results: (L) vs. Ohio State 67-66; (L) at Rutgers 65-64
Nebraska shot 11-of-20 from the free throw line which is downright Badgeresque. Losing by one point to the Buckeyes is brutal, HOWEVAH! Losing by one point to Rutgers is inexcusable and it is now time to seriously consider removing Nebraska from the conference. Is Rutgers terrible? They sure are but at least they bring the coveted New York market, since they are New York’s B1G Team. Maryland brings the DMV area to the table and is in first place in the conference. Nebraska brings...four losses a year in football and a good volleyball team? Get all the way out of here with that nonsense, Nebraska. #NebraskaOut2K17
This week’s schedule: Thursday at Northwestern; Sunday vs. No. 12 Purdue
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 31st; AdjO: 35th; AdjD: 45th
Previous week’s results: (W) at Ohio State 74-72
Biggest strength: It is just Chicago’s year, people.
It’ll be pretty crazy when the Bears win seven games this coming season. Scottie Lindsey had 21 points and Sanjay Lumpkin added 11 rebounds as the Cats beat Ohio State by two.
Biggest weakness: Did you know that NU hadn’t won in Columbus since 1977? I sure didn’t and now I probably will forget an important date like my mother-in-law’s birthday or who won the Royal Rumble in 1998. (It was Stone Cold Steve Austin, duh.)
This week’s schedule: Thursday vs. Nebraska; Sunday vs. Indiana
Ohio State Buckeyes
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 58th; AdjO: 73rd; AdjD: 58th
Previous week’s results: (W) at Nebraska 67-66; (L) vs. Northwestern 74-72
Here's Marc Loving's game-winner at Nebraska. https://t.co/Xds6RBcLx8— Eleven Warriors (@11W) January 19, 2017
That sure is one way to win a game! Jae’Sean Tate had 13 and 14 points in two games last week and Trevor Thompson had nine and 15 boards in those same two games.
Biggest weakness: You know how earlier we made fun of Nebraska’s rough free throw shooting against Ohio State? Well...the Buckeyes shot 43.8% from the charity stripe.
Nobody make free throws, it’s the rules— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) January 19, 2017
The Big Ten is somehow worse at free throws than they are at overall basketball. Don’t ask me how that works, I just report the facts.
This week’s schedule: Wednesday vs. Minnesota; Saturday at Iowa
Penn State Nittany Lions
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 79th; AdjO: 197th; AdjD: 29th
Previous week’s results: (L) vs. Indiana 78-75; (L) at Purdue 77-52
Biggest strength: Tony Carr had 24 points against Indiana. So I applied for the vacant defensive coordinator position at Wisconsin yesterday.
I think I have a pretty good shot at getting it too. If only that was really Paul Chryst’s Twitter handle. He and I would make an excellent team and hopefully he’d let me punch Lane Kiffin after the game against FAU. My personal statement is probably what sealed the deal for Alvarez’s decision.
i am a penn state fan. after this happened i cried blood and vomited. the disrespect was horrible. then i went home and my wife left me. https://t.co/TF7BMcxSox— #NBAVOTE Ron Baker (@bflip33) January 19, 2017
James Blackmon, Jr. is ruining families. Also, Penn State is a hockey school now. [aide whispers in my ear] Well, I’ve just been told that the Nittany Lions got swept by Ohio State over the weekend. Penn State will just have to settle for being the capital of awful accents (Yinz meets Wooder meets Bahston).
This week’s schedule: Tonight at No. 10 Wisconsin; Saturday vs. Illinois
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 12th; AdjO: 21st; AdjD: 18th
Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Illinois 91-68; (W) vs. Penn State 77-52
Biggest strength: Caleb Swanigan had two double-doubles and Isaac Haas had 24 points against Illinois. If Haas ever figures it out and joins Swanigan as a consistent inside force...look out.
Biggest weakness: Wait, how is Spike Albrecht still playing college basketball? Wasn’t that one Final Four he starred in like 15 years ago?
40-year old Spike Albrecht picks up the foul.— Black Shoe Diaries (@BSDtweet) January 21, 2017
This week’s schedule: Tonight at Michigan State; Sunday at Nebraska
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 134th; AdjO: 247th; AdjD: 55th
Previous week’s results: (L) at Indiana 76-57; (W) vs. Nebraska 65-64
Biggest strength: Holy crap they won a conference game. But more importantly, THE BACHELOR WENT TO WISCONSIN THIS WEEK!
They went to a farm and of course Corrine had a problem with being outside and doing something where she couldn’t wear no top and put her boobs in Nick’s face.
I don’t really know who went home, but the episode ended with Corrine and Taylor yelling at each other with Corrine, who is an adult woman with a nanny, saying she runs a multi-million dollar company.
Biggest weakness: We didn’t hear NEARLY enough from Alexis this week. She was the star of the closing credits though.
"My two biggest fears are Nicolas Cage the actor... and aliens." Okay, we have NOT been hearing enough from Alexis #TheBachelor— isabella biedenharn (@isabella324) January 24, 2017
Alexis, please comment on this post if you want to be best friends and watch movies that don’t star Nic Cage or aliens.
This week’s schedule: Tonight at Maryland; Saturday vs. Wisconsin (Madison Square Garden)
KenPom rank: AdjEm: 10th; AdjO: 18th; AdjD: 22nd
Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Michigan 68-64; (W) at Minnesota 78-76 OT
Biggest strength: Even when he has a bit of an off game, Bronson Koenig can still hit clutch shots with the best of them as he did in both games last week. Point guards are important, yo.
Why are Wisconsin and Maryland the two best teams in #B1G right now? Guard play. Bronson Koenig and Melo Trimble two best PGs in the league— Marcus R. Fuller (@Marcus_R_Fuller) January 20, 2017
Nerd: Clutch doesn't exist. It's just statistical anomalies.— Charlie (@CharlieWisco) January 18, 2017
Me: *shows nerd Bronson Koenig*
Me: *stuffs nerd in locker*
Ethan Happ was transcendent versus Minnesota scoring 28 points, hauling in 12 rebounds, dishing out six assists and swatting five shots. I’ve never been turned on by a box score before, but uh, here we are. Happ was named co-player of the week for the conference.
Biggest weakness: Vitto Brown got hurt against Michigan and was a complete non-factor against Minnesota. The bench has been absent from most games recently and there is no way that Wisconsin can continue to play at a high level without any contribution from players 6-10 on the roster. At least the official team Twitter account knows about “Bad and Boujee.”
OMG THEY'VE BEEN READING MY COLUMN ABOUT BAD AND BOUJEE! https://t.co/nD2aSAGKZ5— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 18, 2017
This week’s schedule: Tonight vs. Penn State; Saturday at Rutgers (Madison Square Garden)
Russell Westbrook not starting in the #NBAAllStar game is almost as crazy as not running the ball on the 1 w/ a Super Bowl on the line.— Marshawn Lynch (@MarshawnLynch24) January 20, 2017