beat Clemson last night, FWIW.
Hoops Opponent Watch: Definitely a New Year Edition
Should old B-Dub bowls be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old TFLs be forgot,
in days of auld lang syne?
It's a brand new year full of not last year. Let's enjoy it.
RPI Effect Only Teams:
UMass-Lowell (2-12) picked up their first win over a D1 team. South Carolina State (4-9) played South Carolina close but lost. Houston Baptist (3-11)… don’t ask. are below the 300 mark to KenPom, and Coppin State (4-10) lost by only 2 points to Towson, but remains in a really really sketchy part of Baltimore. Long Beach State (4-10) were actually just down two points with five minutes left to Missouri, but couldn’t close the deal. Holy Cross (6-8) lost a very patriotic week, dropping games to Boston and American. Charlotte (9-4) downed North Carolina A&T.
Big Sorts of Teams:
#9 Iowa State (14-0, 2-0 Big 12)
This week: Beat Texas Tech (73-62); Beat #7 Baylor (87-72)
Iowa State is now the second-best team on Michigan’s non-conference schedule, both in the polls and on KenPom. The Cyclones dismembered Baylor at the Hilton Center. They led the entire second half, pulling away late. Point Guard DeAndre Kane had a monster game, going for 30 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds.
This was the start of an absolutely brutal stretch for ISU. They play Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Kansas twice, and Oklahoma twice in the next thirty days. The Big 12 is pretty good this year.
Florida State (10-4, 1-1 ACC)
This week: Lost to Virginia (62-50), Beat Clemson (56-41)
FSU dropped from 24th to 39th in KenPom on the heels of a home loss to Virginia. They shot only 30.8% from the field and had 16 turnovers to only 8 assists. Weirdly, they only got 14 shots out of their front court, making only 5. Maybe they forgot that being really tall helps, or they thought they had an unfair disadvantage being so very very tall.
#16 Dook (12-3, 1-1 ACC)
This week: Lost to Notre Dame (79-77); Beat Georgia Tech (79-57)
|This guy > Jabari Parker|
The Blue Devils lost to Tom Crean Memorial Disappointing-NCAA-Tournament-Run Award Winner Mike Brey and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 79-77. Jabari Parker scored only 7 points on 2-10 shooting. He was outscored by ND freshman Steve Vasturia. Do you have enough canned goods? You should probably purchase more canned goods.
Duke did manage to squeak by ACC palate-cleanser Georgia Tech by 22 points.
#1 Arizona (16-0, 3-0 PAC 12)
This week: Beat Washington State (60-25(!)); Beat Washington (71-62), beat UCLA (79-75)
Washington State isn’t very good. They’re basically Northwestern, but farther west and not as good academically. And sure, they have the offensive efficiency of a cat chasing a laser pointer dot. But they held the #1 team in the country to 28 points in the first half… and still trailed by 21 points. Only one Cougar had more than one make from the field; Junior Longrus scored his team-high six points on 2-for-6 shooting. Amazingly, no one on either team made more than three shots or had more than three assists all night, and the game featured only one player in double-digits (Caleb Tarczewski had 11). For the PAC-12, this game was very B1G.
Stanford (9-4, 0-1 PAC 12)
This week: Lost to Cal (69-62)
Stanford fell out of the KenPom top 50 after a 7-point home loss to rival Cal. This isn’t a huge problem for Michigan given Michigan’s win over Minnesota and the continued improvements of Iowa State. Still, Stanford being good would be good.
[Jump for the Big Ten]
In Which I Rank the B1G Based on KenPom’s Rankings
1) Ohio State (15-1, 2-1 B1G)
This week: Beat Nebraska (83-54); Lost to Michigan State (72-68 OT)
Thing: If you didn’t watch the Michigan State/Ohio State game on Tuesday, you missed… something. I still don’t know what. But definitely something. Michigan State had a 17 point lead with 7 minutes left in an ugly game, when suddenly they tried to run out the clock and all hell broke loose. Ohio State tied the game only to lose in overtime. The teams combined for 38 turnovers. The game was exciting, but it was not good.
Post-script to the first Thing: This is the second time Ohio State has used their gritty grit to mind-f*ck an opponent into completely choking a game away. They did the same thing to Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago, when they were down 10 with a minute left.
Other Thing: Ohio State really struggles to generate any organic offense in the half-court. Almost everything was transition, scramble, or offensive rebounding. After four years, Michigan State figured out that Craft was looking to drive baseline and dish, and once they took that away he was largely neutralized (9 points on 8 shots, 6 assists, 4 TOs). It doesn’t help that the Buckeyes are shot selection-challenged, especially freshman Marc Loving.
Thing They Are Like: Michigan State football. Really good defensively, good enough offensively, really freeking annoying.
2) Wisconsin (16-0, 3-0 B1G)
This week: Beat Northwestern (76-49); Beat Iowa (75-71); Beat Illinois (95-70)
Thing: Wisconsin beat Iowa, but much of that was because of Iowa. They trailed for most of the game, including an 11-point halftime deficit, and their leading scorer Sam Dekker went only 2-12 from the field. And yet Iowa managed to blow that lead despite committing only two second-half turnovers. That takes a special kind of something.
Other thing: Wisconsin scored 95 points in a game. Sure, 2014 is awesome, but it apparently comes with some weird-ass side effects
Thing They Are Like: A Rascal scooter retrofit with nitrous oxide boosters.
3) Michigan State (14-1, 3-0) (Up 1 Spot)
Thus Far: Beat Indiana (73-56); Beat Ohio State (72-68)
Thing: Strange week for MSU. They beat up on Indiana (that’s good), but then got word that Adreian Payne would probably miss the OSU game with a foot sprain (that’s bad), but Payne played and Michigan State jumped out to a 17 point lead on OSU (that’s good), but they blew that lead in hilarious fashion (that’s bad), but they won in overtime (that’s good), but the overtime contained potassium benzoate.
Other thing: For a guy with a sprained foot AND plantar fasciitis, Adreian Payne was a monster on Tuesday. It was obvious he was in pain (he was running like a toddler with a full diaper half the time), but he still played 32 minutes and scored 18 points on 14 shots, including a couple of crucial putbacks. Still, one wonders how long he will physically be able to tolerate this beating. Foot injuries tend to spawn additional injuries, especially with big men.
Thing They Are Like: That car you had in college that was beat to hell and was held together by duct tape. It’s ugly and crap falls off of it from time to time, but hell if you didn’t manage to beat other cars off the line (even if those cars were minivans who didn’t know you were racing).
4) Iowa (12-2) (Down 1 spot)
This week: Lost to Wisconsin (75-71)
Thing: Don’t make Fran McCaffery angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Wait, I lied. I like that a lot.
Other Thing: Talk about blowing a golden opportunity. They had Wisconsin down double-digits at the half at the Kohl Center. They were up 2 points when McCaffrey reached critical mass (see: above). The four points gave Wisconsin a 2-point lead. And iowa was down 8 at the next TV timeout. Some coaches go ballistic because they want to make a point or work the refs or motivate their players. Some go ballistic because they just physically do not have the strength to hold their shit together. McCaffrey is the latter.
Other Other Thing: The Incredible Vanishing Melsahn Basabe continues to be a thing. Against Iowa’s top-100 opponents (Xavier, Villanova, Notre Dame, Iowa State and Wisconsin), Basabe is averaging 1.8 ppg. This is a guy who averaged 11 ppg as a freshman. Weird.
Thing They Are Like: Dennis Rodman. We used to like you when you were the scrappy little guy, but now… dude, chill.
5) Michigan (11-4, 3-0 B1G)
Thus Far: Beat Minnesota (63-60); Beat Northwestern (74-51); Beat Nebraska (71-70)
Thing: Life without Mitch McGary is actually okay so far, for a few reasons: Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford have stepped up in his absence, Nik Stauskas is approaching elite offensive status, but most importantly, TWO. THOUSAND. FOURTEEN.
Thing They Are Like: A phoenix, rising from the ashes of 2013 to throw a lob to GRIII.
6) Minnesota (13-3)
Thus Far: Lost to Michigan (63-60); Beat Purdue (82-79); Beat Penn State (68-65)
Thing: Three point wins over Purdue and Penn State are not particularly inspiring, especially with the Purdue win coming at home. Then again, they led Purdue for the last 30 minutes and led by 12 at the under-four timeout before suffering a touch of the tracheal squeezies. They also trailed by five at halftime in Happy Valley, but sometimes Happy Valley is a really tough place to play (hashtag “warning signs that 2013 would contain many travails”).
Other Thing: Your leading scorers in their game against Purdue were:
· Hollins – 18
· Johnson – 18
· Hollins – 17
· Johnson – 12
This means nothing. But it is neat.
Other Other Thing: Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins are both around 33% three-point shooters. They went 1-for-11 from deep against Michigan. At home. In a game Michigan desperately needed and won by 4. Thank you, random number generator.
Thing They Are Like: The Jan Brady of the Big Ten.
7) Illinois (12-2) (Up 1 spot)
Thing: Lo, BiSB spoketh, and KenPom respondedeth. A week after I declared Illinois to be better than Indiana in direct violation of the “never go up against KenPom when death is on the line” rule, for once Capistrano came to the swallows. Illinois is now a full 14 spots ahead. They even appeared in the Top 25, but presumably they will disappear following their drubbing at the hands of Wisconsin.
|Ken Griffey Jr. is going to end your season, Illinois|
Other Thing: Not that anyone was really expecting them to compete for a Big Ten title this year, but their game against Wisconsin should put any such whispers to bed. They went down 33-12 while giving up 50 points at Wisconsin.
Thing They Are Like: Generic sports underdog who lose in the end but learn a valuable lesson along the way. We’ll go with Little Big League this week.
8) Indiana (10-5, 0-2 B1G) (Down 1 spot)
This week: Lost to Michigan State (73-56)
Thing: Hot damn does this team turn the ball over a lot. They are averaging 16.3 turnovers per game. That is 347th out of 351 teams (Or 5th out of 351 teams. You know, the bad one of those). For reference, Michigan is averaging 9.2 turnovers per game. Indiana has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.73. And the kicker (other than any Indiana player trying to pick up a basketball)? Indiana has played the 324thtoughest set of opponent defenses to accumulate those numbers.
Other Thing: Indiana is currently behind Indiana State to KenPom.
Thing They Are Like: An unmanned fire hose hooked up to a basketball hydrant. Throws basketballs all over the place, most of them not where they were intended to go.
HENRI LINE OF ENNUI
9) Purdue (10-5, 0-2 B1G) (Up 1 spot)
This week: Lost to Minnesota (82-79)
Thing: Against all odds, Purdue is actually a threat to climb above that there otter. Competitive games against OSU and Minnesota have this team trending upward and away from the mountainside. They’re coming up against a stretch of games against Nebraska, Illinois, Penn State, and Northwestern. Win three of those, and gosh darnit I pledge I’ll remove you from the basement.
Thing They Are Like:
10) Nebraska (8-5) (Up 1 spot)
This week: Lost to OSU (84-53); Lost to Michigan (71-70)
Thing: They have TVs in their toilets. I saw their toilet TVs on my TV. This seems strange to me.
Thing they are like: A Goomba in Mario Bros. When you get caught up worries about all of the other tough opponents like the hammer throwing guys or the angry sun, every now and then you would run into a Goomba and kill yourself. This was infuriating because, c’mon, it’s a Goomba.
11) Penn State (9-7, 0-3 B1G) (down 2 spots)
This week: Lost to Illinois (75-55); Lost to Minnesota (68-65)
Thing: DJ Newbill: if Fran McCaffrey was younger and 73 times more athletic:
Thing They Are Like: The Blues Brothers Rhythm and Blues Revue; yeah, there’s a bunch of guys, but it’s pretty much the two guys and one of them keeps getting in trouble in Illinois.
Thing They Are Like:
HENRISSIMO THE LINE OF DOUBLE-SECRET ENNUI
12) Northwestern (7-6)
This week: Lost to Wisconsin (76-49); Lost to Michigan (74-51)
Thing: Northwestern’s play has forced us to create a new level.
Thing They Are Like:
If Today Was Late March:
Wisconsin (#1), Ohio State (#1/2), Michigan State (#1/2), Iowa (#6)
Illinois (10) Minnesota (#12)
Northwestern Memorial Wrong Side of the Bubble Award
Rutgers Memorial What's a Bubble Award
Penn State, Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern
Usual drill; your preferred winner in italics. Boo big guys. Root especially hard against Wisconsin, as they have the easiest conference schedule of all the contenders. Not sure yet whether to root for Iowa or Ohio State, but probably Ohio State because Michigan is more likely to compete with Iowa for placement/seeding but probably Iowa because Ohio State. Root for Minnesota because we beat them in their barn which is actually called ‘The Barn’ but is not really a barn.
Happened already remember
Nothing to see here
Indiana @ Penn State, 12:00, BTN
Minnesota @ Michigan State, 2:15, BTN
Nebraska @ Purdue, 12:00, BTN
Iowa @ Ohio State, 1:30, CBS
Illinois @ Northwestern, 7:30, BTN
Wisconsin @ Indiana, 7:00, ESPN
Penn State @ Michigan, 8:00, BTN
Michigan State @ Northwestern, 7:00, BTN
Purdue @ Illinois, 9:00, BTN
they "...beat Arizona 76-72."
It was, like existantial. Like a vision quest. Because in truth, one's true opponent is always one's self.
I guess in a more objective sense they beat UCLA 79-75.
...excellent write-up as always mister.
I would show you a bigger one, but I don't think my work would appreciate me GISing "Biggest Ass Picture."
"...but the overtime contained potassium benzoate."
Can I go now?
(I got the reference. Just completing the shtick)
Without looking... truth serum, maybe?
is "truth serum"
Arizona beat Arizona? I think you mean UCLA.
The Blues Revue was one night only, the 2 important guys were late (to be saved by Cab Calloway) did one song, and left the band to keep playing which the crowd loved, after taking a lot of money.
So I guess what I'm saying is: Lane Kiffin is the Blues Brothers?
Also, that GIF sets up too perfectly for an Orange Whip
I need more context on the jackass picture, it's amazing.
Apparently, it's a real thing. My uncle had been accepted to the Naval Academy. They had a seniors versus teachers game. He fell off his donkey, hurt his back, and failed his physical. He ended up going to GMI (General Motors Institute), which was also a real thing at one time.
Only now it's no longer affiliated with General Motors and is called "Kettering University". Still has a high focus on engineering and co-ops for students, only co-ops are no longer all through GM.
GM's new CEO and first woman CEO in the Big Three is a GMI alum.
Disagree that there's no rooting interest on Sunday. We already beat Nebraska so we want them to beat Purdue. Ditto Northwestern over Illinois. And we root for Iowa -- they are playing Ohio, after all -- at least at this point in the season.
We have another date with Nebraska, so theoretically we could lose that and then there would be reason for us to root against them. Northwestern, we do already own the tiebreaker now, but not Nebraska yet.
Funny that 16 turnovers by Indiana is almost last in the nation. In 1991, in the Fab 5's first game, they had 34 turnovers and still managed a 100-74 victory over U-D. Imagine getting 100 points in a 40 minute game where you had 34 turnovers! That U-M team averaged 18 turnovers a game and still were the national runners-up. Basketball sure has changed.
Iowa State going to falter...but they keep on winning. Might have to consider them the TRUTH.
May be the most lingering craptastic injury a person can have. I do not know how you can jump with that. I had it for two years after a bad pair of shoes. Some people inject steroids into the foot, but if Payne has a bad case, expect his production to steadily decrease. It can take years of offloading to improve that...