[Rich Barnes – USA Today]
Michigan 64 - Wisconsin 68
Illinois 68 - Purdue 91
Indiana 78 - Penn State 75
Ohio State 67 - Nebraska 66
Maryland 84 - Iowa 76
Penn State 52 - Purdue 77
Nebraska 64 - Rutgers 65
Illinois 57 - Michigan 66
Michigan State 75 - Indiana 82
Wisconsin 78 - Minnesota 76 (OT)
Northwestern 74 - Ohio State 72
T-1. Maryland (5-1)
T-1. Wisconsin (5-1)
T-3. Northwestern (5-2)
T-3. Purdue (5-2)
T-5. Indiana (4-3)
T-5. Michigan State (4-3)
T-7. Iowa (3-4)
T-7. Michigan (3-4)
T-7. Minnesota (3-4)
T-7. Nebraska (3-4)
T-7. Penn State (3-4)
T-12. Ohio State (2-5)
T-12. Illinois (2-5)
14. Rutgers (1-6)
Northwestern is Actually Good
With Rutgers now permanently affixed to the last-place spot in the conference, it’s easy to forget that Northwestern used to be that bad – and that they were that bad for a really long time. Everybody knows that Northwestern hasn’t ever made it to the NCAA Tournament, but it’s hard to overstate exactly how overmatched the Wildcats were for most of their history. They were Rutgers before Rutgers somehow got a bid to the Big Ten and became Rutgers. They aren’t that anymore.
Right now, Northwestern is 5-2 in Big Ten play despite having already played five conference games on the road. They’re a half-game out of first place. They’re 16-4 overall, and their worst loss came on the road to Michigan State. Right now, 77 of the 78 mock brackets in the Bracket Matrix have NU in the NCAA Tournament – and many of them fall into the 7-10 seed range, a fairly comfortable position. Kenpom projects the Wildcats to finish 23-8 (12-6 in the Big Ten), which would certainly lock them into a spot in March Madness for the first time. At the risk of jinxing things, Northwestern should feel pretty good about their chances.
This past weekend, Northwestern won in Columbus for the first time since the 70’s, and it didn’t even feel like a surprise. Kenpom had favored them – slightly – to win; Ohio State is one of the worst non-Rutgers teams in the Big Ten; Northwestern has been having their best season ever. Still, it was surreal to watch the Wildcats, who were led by scoring two-guard Scottie Lindsey, emerge with a win over Thad Matta on the road – especially because of some excruciating losses NU had suffered to the Buckeyes in recent years. They benefited from 11 missed OSU free throws and won by two in a tightly-contested game.
Right now, Northwestern’s in the top half of the conference in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Some outstanding rim protection (and three-point defense, which is largely random) anchors their defense, which ranks in the top ten of eFG% allowed by opponents. With Dererk Pardon back from injury, they have the size in the frontcourt to give most teams a lot of problems up front. With the emergence of Lindsey and Vic Law as perimeter scoring threats, NU has enough firepower outside to complement Bryant McIntosh (who’s regressed some this season). This isn’t a typical Northwestern team, to say the least. Barring an unexpected implosion, they’ll be a tough out for someone in the tournament come March.
[More after the JUMP]
Friday, January 20, 2017
Michigan 0, Michigan State 3
UM 0 MSU 1 PPG 03:03 Assists: Ebbing & Hirose
State moves the puck off the boards to the area behind the net. It’s a good idea, as it’s the start of moving the puck from low to high and stressing the defense.
State does just that, threading the puck back up to the point. Cutler Martin’s in good position to pressure the point and the Michigan PK handles the vertical stretch as well as can be expected.
The shot to the front of the net is somehow threaded through traffic, and the outcome (a stopped shot with a tantalizing rebound to the side) is to be expected. Perhaps most concerning is that the netfront skater got into position without so much as a stick check, simply gliding from his space behind the net to the area right in front of Lafontaine.
De Jong notices that there’s a State skater in front of the crease after the puck’s been deflected, and now he’s between a rock and a hard place: there are two guys to defend, one of which has the puck and has decided to shoot. De Jong is too far away to impede the shot, and Lafontaine’s not stopping this without making a highlight-reel save given the dearth of time between the rebound and shot.
[After THE JUMP: GIF as metaphor and a sneaky good shootout goal]
This podcast is presented by UGP & Moe's and their latest venture, the Bo Store, and frankly would not be happening without them; Rishi and Ryan and their people have been huge MGoBlog supporters from the start.
Our other sponsors are also key in the expanding empire: thanks to Homesure Lending, Ann Arbor Elder Law, the Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown, who graciously gave us their Michigan Room to record this episode, the University of Michigan Alumni Association, Deo Bookkeeping, Michigan Law Grad, Defensive Drivers Group, and Peak Wealth Management.
starts at 1:00
Free Teske: He's a little bit of a lost puppy but he's big and solves a big problem with two point defense. Wilson is fun. Irvin and Walton taking on more of the offense. Indiana, MSU and Ohio State games loom large for any chance at the tournament.
Inside the Crooked Blue Line with Steve Lorenz
starts at 26:01
We run through Michigan’s remaining targets, including a Massachusetts athlete outta nowhere whose name Don Brown has known for a long time, and Ace can barely pronounce. Is the class heading for a disappointing finish or can Michigan send in…The Closer?
starts at 53:19
After the most depressing Michigan-FYS weekend in history it’s macro time: it’s gotta be over now, or else the masses aren’t renewing their tickets.
- “Human Performance”—Parquet Courts
- “Midnight on the Earth”—St. Paul and the Broken Bons
- “Across 110th Street”
THE USUAL LINKS
Best food in Ann Arbor (by category)
----------------BEST DRUNK FOOD------------------
Seth: Genesis of this topic is I just finally had BTB and oh my Gawwd..
BisB: I was there when BTB went in. So many drunk decisions.
Seth: In my day there was an Italian restaurant there that we thought was a front for the mafia. If you actually went in you got wet noodles and ketchup. I think I am the only person I know who was dumb enough to go in there.
Brian: BTB is good, don't get me wrong, but it doesn't strike me as an Oh My God kind of place.
|The strip with Coach & Four and Spots and Pizza Bob’s etc. was missing its best part when I was in school.|
BiSB: Imagine yourself as 21 and HAMMERED
Seth: They do everything that a burrito should do, and it doesn't fall apart on you or have any bad bits of chicken like you get at Chipotle etc.
Brian: I'm impressed that their cheese tastes like something.
Adam: Their cheese is honestly the reason I keep going back. a steak quesadilla is steak that tastes like steak and like a pound of cheese. so dang good.
Ace: BTB is wildly overrated. I stopped going in college because 1/3 of the time they’d somehow manage to serve you a room-temp burrito. It’s good when you get the timing right, though.
BiSB: I suppose things may have changed since I stopped going to BTB, which was...
/checks watch...twelve years ago.
Ace: My perception may also be affected by BTB opening when I was in high school and we had open campus lunch. Long-term ODing may have been a factor.
Seth: So if not BTB where should one go for drunk food?
Ace: NYPD was a go-to for me. Right area, pizza by the slice.
Seth: That's not even drunk food. That's good pizza.
Ace: What is good pizza if not drunk food?
Seth: Surviving thirty-six hours straight at the Daily food.
Adam: Most of my drunk food came from the place I was already at. Ashley's stilton fries were an undergrad highlight.
Brian: Tomukun. It's right next to campus and purveys enormous bowls of electrolyte-laden broth. It appears everyone already knows this because whenever I walk by it late at night it's packed to the gills.
Ace: That opened after I graduated. We’d do Blimpy Burger as hangover food because of the absurdly high grease content.
Brian: We're so out of our depth here.
Brian: All livin' in their North Quad watching four televisions at the same time.
Anyway, moving on and changing some of the categories:
[after the JUMP: dinner, bbq, lunch, Asian, alcohol, overrated deli, hipster Big Ten trophies]
According to Inside The Huddle's Michael Spath, the NCAA has denied Jeremy Clark's petition for a sixth year of eligibility:
According to a source, Jeremy Clark has been denied a sixth year of eligibility. Has signed an agent and will pursue his NFL options.
— Michael Spath (@MichaelSpathITH) January 23, 2017
Clark started seven games at cornerback in 2015 and three in 2016 before tearing his ACL against Penn State. The former three-star safety recruit was a critical component to the last couple secondaries, battling Channing Stribling to a relatively even draw for playing time until the injury.
Without Clark, Michigan will be very inexperienced at cornerback in 2017. Redshirt junior Brandon Watson, who's seen scattered snaps at nickel, is the only upperclassman at the position. Sophomore Lavert Hill and David Long are the favorites to earn starting spots; they'll compete with redshirt sophomore Keith Washington and freshmen Ambry Thomas and Benjamin St-Juste. Unless Michigan picks up another corner in the 2017 class—it looks like they'll get one more—that is the entire group of scholarship corners for next season.
Herbert's commitment video lives on, at least.
Scout's Corey Bender reports that four-star FL OT Kai-Leon Herbert has decommitted from Michigan:
— Corey Bender (@Corey_Bender) January 22, 2017
Since committing to Michigan in July, Herbert has taken multiple visits to both Miami (YTM) and Florida; he took an official to Miami this weekend and will OV to Florida next weekend. His recruitment should come down to one of those two in-state schools. Herbert's departure probably ends any (very outside) chance M had with teammate and four-star OG TJ Slaton.
Herbert's decommitment leaves Michigan with 26 commits in the 2017 class and five on the offensive line. Four of those linemen—Chuck Filiaga, JaRaymond Hall, Joel Honigford, and Andrew Stueber—could potentially play tackle, and M may need one of them to step into the lineup as soon as this upcoming season. Michigan continues to pursue three-star VA OT Mekhi Becton, whose Crystal Ball is trending in the direction of Virginia Tech. The rest of the linemen on the board are long-shots at best, so if the coaches aren't content with five OL in the class, some new names could emerge.