Big Ten Basketball: Sunday Open Thread. Spartans beat Mchigan. Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers are all playing today.

Illinois Fighting Illini 79, Wisconsin Badgers 69

MaximumSam: Illinois finally got into the wins column, and the Badgers finally got into the losses column, and for a day the world made sense. Wisconsin was competitive even without Tyler Wahl as Chucky Hepburn and Steven Crowl both went to 20. That couldn’t be overcome by Coleman Hawkins, who inexplicably went 6-9 from three, or Terrence Shannon, who came back from witness protection to drop 24 and 8. Illinois seemed to be moving the ball a lot better in their first game since Skyy Clark shot himself to the sky, so we’ll see if that stays the case.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 81, Minnesota Gophers 79 (OT)

MaximumSam: Oh, so close to a Big Ten win for the Gophers. They were also ahead by rule after half-time, but were just a basket away in extra time. Unfortunately, that’s the one that counts, so the Gophers still play a 0-fer (HEYO!) in the Big Ten game.

Michigan State Spartans 59, Michigan Wolverines 53

MaximumSam: It wasn’t quite the bang we were hoping for and nobody got into a fistfight, so as a game it was a disappointment. Both teams brought their mason hats as MSU went 6-19 from 3 and Michigan 3-20. Michigan’s problems were well known – everyone not named Dickinson, Howard or Bufkin combined for ten points. Sparty survived a scare for Malik Hall, who was limping after seemingly aggravating his foot injury. He returned and Sparty held on to an ugly victory.

I also want to scold the referees. The obsession with following rules rather than managing the game meant we had to watch the umpires for twenty minutes as they huddled around a monitor to see if there was 0.1 seconds left on the clock and the Spartans two completely meaningless free throws. It was a waste of everyone’s time, pissed off teams, but maybe some degenerate players were happy. You might as well prepare for Vegas getting its own replay button to make sure the calls were right.

#65 Northwestern Wildcats (11-3, 2-1) at #27 Indiana Hoosiers (10-4, 1-2), 11 p.m., FS1

MaximumSam: An interesting game in Bloomington. Prior to the season, we would have readily referred to this as a Hoosier win. Now that Indiana is looking a bit skinny and Northwestern is looking fierce on defense, the game requires more brains. The Hoosiers have received good news as Race Thompson could potentially return to the team at some point. It won’t be today, however, so Indiana will have to grind it out and take a few shots to beat a game of Wildcat Squad. Torvik goes Hoosiers, 66-60.

#68 Iowa Hawkeyes (9-6, 1-3) at #11 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (11-4, 3-1), 11 p.m. BTN

MaximumSam: Iowa forced out of their funk against the Hoosiers. Now they go to the RAC and they face possibly the best team in the B1G and quite possibly the best defense. Rutgers games are typically a war between Rutgers body-checking teams into the boards versus Rutgers inability to get shots. We’ll see how Iowa handles that, although their shooting problems don’t bode well. Torvik passes Rutgers, 75-64.

#10 Ohio State Buckeyes (10-4, 2-1) at #71 Maryland Terrapins (10-5, 1-3), 12 p.m., ESPN

MaximumSam: The Buckeyes travel to Maryland, where they were beaten by fifteen last season. They’re probably also without Zed Key, who left against Purdue with a shoulder injury. That means Felix Okpara is likely to get his first start, which also means the Bucks will start three freshmen, which isn’t great. Maryland has been in a ruckus itself, largely because they can’t fire directly from the outside. Donald Carey showed some signs of getting out of his funk in his last game. He and Donta Scott make the majority of their three attempts but only shoot 27%, which is a percentage usually reserved for your backup centers. Torvik goes Buckeyes, 72-68.

#8 Purdue Boilermakers (14-1, 3-1) at #44 Penn State Nittany Lions (11-4, 2-2), 5 p.m. BTN

MaximumSam: Small Ball versus Big Ball comes to a head in this game. PSU plays a guy over 6’8” and that’s the rather ineffective newcomer Kebba Njie. He’ll draft mega-center Zach Edey, and I’m wondering if PSU won’t just go all-in on the bit and roll out five shooters against Purdue instead of trying to pretend he’s guarding Edey. Torvik selects Purdue, 68-65.