The NBA trade deadline has already been pretty crazy, right? Anthony Davis is on the block, but might not get moved, Tobias Harris was traded to my Philadelphia Sixers in the hopes that they can play only six guys the rest of the season and still make the NBA Finals, the Milwaukee Bucks even made a move sending ::checks notes:: Thon Maker to Detroit for Stanley Johnson (who I think is a nice bench piece for Milwaukee!).
Joel Embiid on the trade deadline: "Hopefully I don't get traded." #sixers— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) February 6, 2019
The NBA sure is a fun league to follow! Players, good players, get moved around a bunch and there are also times like when Pacers fans chanted at Brandon Ingram that LeBron was going to trade him. Oof, that’s brutal. Anyways, I hope your favorite team makes a good trade today/tomorrow and also isn’t the Knicks because that would just be sad.
The fact that Bill Simmons doesn’t like the trade for the Sixers makes me like it even more.
Perfection pic.twitter.com/8mgIBsRAij— Michigan basketball is my safe place (@BryanGibberman) February 6, 2019
Hold on ... this is Mike Scott’s nickname for real?!?!?
THAT IS AMAZING! I bet he displays all of his Dundies in his locker.
OK, now that we got the NBA talk out of the way, we should note that this week is a #VengeanceTour both for, and against, the Wisconsin Badgers. UW travels to snowy, frigid Minneapolis to exact their pound of flesh from the Gophers. Expect sophomore guard Brad Davison to do something tonight you would really, really hate if he played for another team but will instead LOVE to pieces.
After that, the Badgers continue their road trip in Ann Arbor where the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines are still probably licking their wounds from their loss in Madison. Stay sharp, Wisconsin, is all I’m saying. I wouldn’t put it past Jon Teske to try and set up an elaborate trip wire system in the visiting locker room. He just seems like the type.
All KenPom rankings are as of Feb. 6, 2019
Minnesota Golden Gophers
KenPom.com rankings: 51st overall; 54th offense, 77th defense
Notable wins: Washington (No. 33 KenPom, neutral site), Nebraska (No. 27 KenPom), at Wisconsin (No. 11 KenPom), Iowa (No. 23 KenPom)
Hilarious losses: At Boston College (No. 123 KenPom), at Illinois (No. 68 KenPom)
Record: 16-6 overall, 6-5 Big Ten
Biggest strengths: Here are some fun facts from the truly awful first matchup in the Border Battle: Wisconsin scored 14 points in the first half; Davison scored four points all game; the team shot 7-of-17 from the free throw line; Dupree McBrayer scored 14 points for the Gophers (since that game he has scored more than that once, and it was 15 points); Ethan Happ attempted a three-pointer (!!!!!!) and the team as a whole shot 22.7 percent from distance—their worst shooting night this year in conference.
OK, maybe those weren’t exactly “fun” but I think they are important to revisit. I’m willing to bet none of those things happen again and most likely all of them improve in favor of the Badgers. It is worth noting that Jordan Murphy fouled out in Madison and played poorly due to the foul trouble. I doubt that will happen again, too.
Jesus Christ, coach. Get a better door.
It’s coming through the door ❄️ pic.twitter.com/W06rN5atsP— Richard Pitino (@CoachPitinoMN) January 30, 2019
Biggest weaknesses: “The Barn.” It is smelly and old and actually like a barn you’d find on a smelly, old farm. They redid the floor for this season because apparently players were tired of stepping over manure during practice, but it still looks smelly and old on TV just shinier now. I will be in attendance at “The Barn” tonight, and I will keep everyone abreast of the smelly oldness of the arena. Also, the floor is raised. That is dumb and I hate it more than words can express. I hope Davison flies off it after a loose ball and cross body blocks Goldy into the fourth row.
I have no idea what/why this is, but I love it dearly.
When do they play Wisconsin?: Wednesday, 8 p.m. CT, BTN; Williams Arena (Minneapolis, Minn.)
KenPom.com rankings: Sixth overall; 36th offense, 2nd defense
Notable wins: At Villanova (No. 18 KenPom), North Carolina (No. 7 KenPom), Purdue (No. 10 KenPom), Indiana twice (No. 44 KenPom), Ohio State (No. 32 KenPom)
Hilarious losses: None, but they did already lose to Wisconsin and Wishes They Were Wisconsin.
Record: 21-2 overall, 10-2 Big Ten
Biggest strengths: They escaped the Thunder Dome that is the RAC (this year) last night when they beat Rutgers by 11 and took over sole possession of first place in the conference because ::starts snickering under breath:: MSU lost to ::uncontrollably laughing now:: Illinois!!!!!
They also beat aOSU last week which, well, it’s really not even close to being the same thing as in football but a rivalry is a rivalry I suppose. There was almost a fight too!
Jan. 29, 2019: Jordan Poole tries to fight the entire state of Ohio. pic.twitter.com/rszIZJzvjK— Brandon Koretz (@BrandonKoretz) January 30, 2019
IMO let them all punch each other. The rest of us wouldn’t mind.
Since being held to zero (0) points against Wisconsin five games ago, Ignas Brazdeikis has averaged 18.2 points per game. Let’s see if he can score more than me in the rematch.
Biggest weaknesses: Actually, Michigan, these are good jokes.
Michigan is a still a team that has very few identifiable weaknesses that I can’t help but think is a clown-fraud, overrated paper tiger. I guess we’ll find out on Saturday at ::checks below for tip-off time:: UGHHHHHHHH.
When do they play Wisconsin?: Saturday, 11 a.m. CT, FOX; Crisler Center (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
KenPom.com rankings: 11th overall, 26th offense, 6th defense
Notable wins: Oklahoma (No. 40 KenPom), N.C. State (No. 41 KenPom), at Iowa (No. 23 KenPom), Michigan (No. 6 KenPom), at Nebraska (No. 27 KenPom), Maryland (No. 20 KenPom)
Hilarious losses: At Western Kentucky (No. 118 KenPom) (((This loss just continues to get more mystifying!)))
Record: 16-6 overall, 8-3 Big Ten
Biggest strengths: As noted above, the Badgers couldn’t buy a three-pointer last time out against the Gophers. For the conference season, the Badgers are shooting 40.7 percent from distance, good for first in the B1G, and I’d imagine they will be closer to that number than the 22.7 percent. They should also try and hit a minimum of half of their free throws. A tall order for this team, I know, but I can dream right?
If the threes aren’t falling? KEEP SHOOTING THEM PLEASE, TEAM! Shooters shoot and all that.
This is the kind of intensity and commitment the Badgers need to bring against Minnesota and Michigan this week.
I’m not gonna sit here and act like I wouldn’t drink chunky milk #dairyboy— Beau Allen (@Beau_Allen) February 4, 2019
Biggest weaknesses: Trick question Minnesota, you don’t have an All-American on your roster.
One question: Does your All-American make hustle plays like this? pic.twitter.com/JDyGY5xuf3— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) February 2, 2019
I’ll be at the game tonight so hopefully the team doesn’t feel like it needs to impress me. Anybody else going?
When do they play these schools from Canada Jr.?: Tonight and Saturday. It is cold.
BONUS ROAST OF IOWA (and Penn State, but I feel bad for them) BECAUSE FUCK IOWA, THAT’S WHY!