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The B1G Roast: Now I Am Become Death, the Destroyer of College Basketball

The Big Ten is providing a dialogue between diverging attitudes concerning methods toward the attainment of liberation.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Michigan State
No, Drew! Do NOT make this post entirely about the Bhagavad Gita. You don’t even understand it!
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

This conference is trash. I’ve been saying it for, quite literally, months. The numbers back it up, Minnesota is the best defensive team in the conference for instance and the B1G is behind the ACC, Big East and Big XII by considerable margins, and the eye test backs it up. Watch any game tonight and you’ll want to shove hot pokers into your eyes until they come out the back of your skull.

Last week finally broke me. I’m the furthest thing from a real journalist that is allowed to write things on the internet, but I can’t in good conscience continue to watch B1G hoops for fear of losing my mind. The Badgers are a joyless bore, Northwestern is going to break their fans’ hearts at the worst (best?) possible moment, Indiana should fire everyone, Rutgers is...well you know, Purdue lost to Nebraska a month ago, Maryland has always been terrible despite what their record indicates, and I’m getting queasy just typing this.

College athletes are not paid, and I do feel bad speaking ill of unpaid dudes a decade my junior, but WHY IS THE BIG TEN SO TERRIFYINGLY AWFUL THIS YEAR?!?! Am I overreacting? Probably...but this normally well-adjusted and articulate columnist has had it! With that said, there will be no strength’s section this week. Except for maybe [shudders] Minnesota who lost five games in a row and seemed destined to miss the Tournament and has now won seven (!?!?!) games in a row, albeit against the Big Ten so you can’t put too much stock into that. Every team is comprised of weaknesses, jokes and limited basketball talk only.

Ugh, this is the worst. Let’s just get down to business. Stats are from KenPom and sadness is from me.

Illinois Fighting Illini

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 62nd; AdjO: 113th; AdjD: 42nd

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Northwestern 66-50; (W) at Nebraska 73-57

Biggest weakness: This is what I’m talking about when I talk about the Big Ten this year.

Also, the Illini won BOTH of their games last week and nothing in the world makes sense anymore.

OMG and now Illinois thinks they are on the bubble and have instantly gone back to being insufferable prigs.

Maybe they’ll keep Groce around for a little while longer...

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

Indiana Hoosiers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 49th; AdjO: 33rd; AdjD: 95th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Iowa 96-90 OT; (W) vs. Northwestern 63-62

Biggest weakness: At least there is still Purdue to roast online.

Awwwwwwwwwwww, look at these crazy kids getting married! Congrats Collin Hartman!

This week’s schedule: Tonight at No. 12 Purdue; Saturday at Ohio State

Iowa Hawkeyes

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 72nd; AdjO: 116th; AdjD: 65th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Indiana 96-90 OT; (W) at Maryland 83-69

Biggest weakness: My main man Nicholas Baer is back in business, dunking and terrorizing picnics!

This is quite possibly the most intimidating and disrespectful thing I’ve seen on a basketball court and I once saw Charles Oakley play live.

This week’s schedule: Thursday at No. 21 Wisconsin; Sunday vs. Penn State

Maryland Terrapins

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 71st; AdjO: 46th; AdjD: 126th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Indiana 96-90 OT; (W) at Maryland 83-69

Biggest weakness: Welp! Straight from the Maryland grad’s mouth.

[while looking and pointing at flaming trash can that is rolling off a cliff] HE A TERP!

This week’s schedule: Thursday at No. 21 Wisconsin; Sunday vs. Penn State

Michigan Wolverines

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 27th; AdjO: 8th; AdjD: 92nd

Previous week’s results: (W) at Rutgers 68-64; (W) vs. No. 12 Purdue 82-70

Biggest weakness: Michigan Men are happy. This displeases me greatly.

Every B1G fanbase is full of delusional maniacs.

I think at the beginning of each year all of the conference’s coaches’ names should be put in a hat and then each AD picks a name out of said hat and that’s your coach for the year! Can you imagine the kind of outrage would be garnered when Tom Crean coached at Indi...ohhhhhhh no.

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

Michigan State Spartans

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 50th; AdjO: 71st; AdjD: 39th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. Nebraska 88-72; (W) vs. No. 21 Wisconsin 84-74

Biggest weakness: Well this was a really swell move by Tom Izzo.

Has Jim Delany seen this highlight yet? MSU might get a postseason ban imposed on them for having fun and doing something cool on the court in a Big Ten game.

This week’s schedule: Wednesday at Illinois; Saturday at Maryland

Minnesota Golden Gophers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 30th; AdjO: 85th; AdjD: 13th

Previous week’s results: (W) at Maryland 89-75; (W) vs. Penn State 81-71

Biggest weakness: When all the teams in the conference are equally bad, this is the logical outcome: free basketball.

Coach Pitino doing an excellent job channeling his inner Nelly Furtado and flying like a bird.

(There is still a scenario where Minnesota wins the conference btw. If that happens on the court at the Kohl Center, while I’m living in Minnesota, I don’t know if I’ll ever go outside again.)

This week’s schedule: Thursday vs. Nebraska; Sunday at No. 21 Wisconsin

Nebraska Cornhuskers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 93rd; AdjO: 150th; AdjD: 63rd

Previous week’s results: (L) at Michigan State 88-72; (L) vs. Illinois



This week’s schedule: Thursday at Minnesota; Sunday vs. Michigan

Northwestern Wildcats

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 36th; AdjO: 62nd; AdjD: 29th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Illinois 66-50; (L) at Indiana 63-62

Biggest weakness: I mean...he’s not wrong.

#GetWild indeed, nerds.

When NU misses the Tournament it’ll be amazingly sad. Especially since they aren’t cheering for upsets. SMDH.

This week’s schedule: Wednesday vs. Michigan; Sunday vs. No. 12 Purdue

Ohio State Buckeyes

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 64th; AdjO: 52nd; AdjD: 85th

Previous week’s results: (W) vs. No. 21 Wisconsin 83-73

Biggest weakness: Oh shut up, Marquette. Nobody likes you.

This is what happened in their game this week. I have no other thoughts on it.

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

Penn State Nittany Lions

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 81st; AdjO: 160th; AdjD: 43rd

Previous week’s results: (L) vs. No. 12 Purdue 74-70 OT; (L) at Minnesota 81-71

Biggest weakness: The Nittany Lions can’t close anybody out this year, but their freshmen are good. Tony Carr is gonna be a problem for the next couple of years and the rest of the conference better pay attention. That’s the thing about the’s bad now, but the future seems really bright! PSU, Iowa, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State, the list goes on and on. They all have really good freshmen and most of them should stick around for a few years to develop rivalries and make me hate them.

See, there’s some actual basketball talk in this column sometimes! More importantly:

This week’s schedule: Tonight vs. Ohio State; Sunday at Iowa

Purdue Boilermakers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 12th; AdjO: 22nd; AdjD: 15th

Previous week’s results: (W) at Penn State 74-70 OT; (L) at Michigan 82-70

Biggest weakness: This set off a firestorm of reaction from the Purdue blogosphere.

[takes a look at both team’s last games]


This week’s schedule: Tonight vs. Indiana; Sunday at Northwestern

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 125th; AdjO: 240th; AdjD: 59th

Previous week’s results: (L) vs. Michigan 68-64

Biggest weakness: Summer House was terrible this week because Stephen was only on for, like, one third of the show. He still brought the heat though.

Next week’s episode looks like it’s going to pop off. Everyone is finally fighting with everyone else and it’s grand.

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

Wisconsin Badgers

KenPom rank: AdjEm: 21st; AdjO: 34th; AdjD: 16th

Previous week’s results: (L) at Ohio State 83-73; (L) at Michigan State 84-74

Biggest weakness: I don’t know how I didn’t think of this before, but this is the perfect name for the “What? How? Stat Line of the Week.”

I mean, this is truly a fair question.

Look, I’m as disappointed as the next guy about how the Badgers’ season has gone so far HOWEVAH now is not the time for being down in the dumps. Wisconsin needs to win one of their two games this week to clinch another top-4 finish in the conference and the coveted (??) double-bye in the B1G Tournament. These are the final two home games in the careers of Bronson Koenig, Nigel Hayes, Zak Showalter and Vitto Brown and they should be sent off well. Say what you will about, well, all of them but these four seniors have poured themselves into the program and were major contributors to the two best teams in school history. We as fans need to buy in now more than ever because if the Badgers start making a couple of jump shots and shoot over 60% from the free throw line and remember how to play lock down defense and develop a reliable big man off the bench and OH I’M STARTING TO GET WORKED UP AGAIN!

I’m sorry, everyone, I’m sorry. Let’s go and beat dumb Iowa and even dumber Minnesota and end the regular season on a high note. Next week we’ll have a season recap/B1G Tournament preview edition. It’ll probably be terrible.

This week’s schedule: Thursday vs. Iowa; Sunday vs. Minnesota

Hmmm, this one really makes you think.

The Oscars sure were crazy on Sunday!