Thursday, December 21, 2006

Get Gamm – Week One Basketball Previews
It’s finally that time – time for the best game in town – college basketball. More specifically, Big Ten Conference basketball. Everything prior to this is a prolonged warm-up. Some cupcakes, some toughies – all in the name of prepping for two months of hard-nosed, physically tough, emotionally draining basketball. But, if you were still looking for the bowl picks, go here.

Each week through Big Ten play, we’ll pick all the conference games. Five of the games will get some analysis by myself and whomever “Gets Gamm” for the week prior. Picks are due by tip of the first game. So, without further ado…

Schedule:
Jan. 2 – Indiana at Ohio State
Jan. 3 – Northwestern at Penn State
Jan. 3 – Illinois at Michigan
Jan. 3 – Purdue at Minnesota
Jan. 4 – Michigan State at Iowa
Jan. 6 – Penn State at Purdue
Jan. 6 – Ohio State at Illinois
Jan. 6 – Michigan at Northwestern
Jan. 6 – Minnesota at Wisconsin
Jan. 7 – Michigan State at Indiana (Tiebreaker)

Indiana at Ohio State
A classic battle to kick things off for the 2007 Big Ten slate. Indiana has been a bit of a head-scratcher so far but its losses have come to a very good Butler team, Duke and Kentucky. Kelvin Sampson is slowly getting his system into place and there is plenty of talent on his squad to win this game. However, the Ohio State freshmen have been even better than advertised thus far (in my opinion) and the Buckeyes are arguably more battle tested having played North Carolina and Florida – two legit national title contenders – on the road. If the two met again later in the season, in Bloomington, it might be another story. Ohio State 72 – Indiana 61

Penn State 65 – Northwestern 60

Illinois at Michigan
After a rather soft pre-conference slate, this will be Michigan’s third game with a big-time opponent in less than two weeks. This isn’t the dominant Illinois team of recent memory but it is still a very good squad that is more battle tested than the Wolverines. That said, the home court edge in the Big Ten is huge. Always has been, always will be. This is a solid Michigan team with its sights set on a return to the NCAA Tournament. The best way to get going down that road is a solid start in conference play against a potential contender. In what might be the best game of the week, Michigan sends an early message. Michigan 69 – Illinois 67

Purdue 74 – Minnesota 63

Michigan State at Iowa
These teams are surprising for their own reasons. Michigan State has battled backcourt injuries to a very good 13-2 start. Iowa has struggled to find itself after losing the heart and soul (Brunner and Hoerner) from last year. The Hawkeyes beat in-state rival Iowa State handily but got blown out by Drake and lost to Northern Iowa in addition to Alabama and Villanova, among others. If Michigan State is healthy, this could be a key road win for the young Spartans. Carver-Hawkeye is no picnic for anyone. This will be a down to the wire battle. Michigan State 67 – Iowa 63

Purdue 71 – Penn State 64

Ohio State at Illinois
Merry Christmas Illinois – your gift is that you get to start out at Michigan and then play Ohio State a few days later. The only thing worse would have been starting out with Wisconsin and OSU. Nonetheless, the Illini are battle tested and have more than enough athleticism to hang with Ohio State. Let’s not forget that the Buckeyes are a young team, playing several freshman throughout each game. But let’s also not forget that OSU has played in tough environments (at UNC and Florida). Winning on the road is tough and Illinois comes in with its backs against the wall. In an instant classic… Illinois 78 – Ohio State 77 in OT.

Michigan 63 – Northwestern 56

Wisconsin 81 – Minnesota 60

Michigan State at Indiana
Someone running the scheduler at the Big Ten offices doesn’t like Illinois or Michigan State. The Illini start out with two tough ones, but the Spartans get two tough ones on the road. This one may grind into more of a football game with two Heathcote-taught coaches pacing the sidelines. Points will be at a premium when these teams meet due to the toughness on defense and the glass of both teams. Michigan State could certainly steal one in Bloomington but hasn’t had a ton of success at Indiana over the years and to win two straight on the road against good teams is virtually impossible in this league. Indiana gets to .500 with a home opening victory. Indiana 65 – Michigan State 60

5 comments:

Phatsdawg said...

OHIO STATE 75 indiana 57

NORTHWESTERN 55 penn state 53

ILLINOIS 66 michigan 63

PURDUE 68 minnesota 53

MICHIGAN STATE 77 iowa 70

PURDUE 80 penn state 57

OHIO STATE 70 illinois 67

MICHIGAN 55 northwestern 53

WISCONSIN 77 minnesota 57

MICHIGAN STATE 68 indiana 67

A.G. said...

Dan's picks: Indiana 65 at OHIO STATE 72
Penn State 64 at NORTHWESTERN 66
Illinois 72 at MICHIGAN 74
PURDUE 70 at Minnesota 65
MICHIGAN STATE 68 at Iowa 66
Penn State 60 at PURDUE 69
Ohio State 63 at ILLINOIS 66--Mild upset
Michigan 57 at NORTHWESTERN 60--Another mild upset
Minnesota 60 at WISCONSIN 76
**Michigan State 76 at INDIANA 80

Buckeye Nation said...

Indiana 66 at Ohio State 80
Northwestern 62 at Penn State 77
Illinois 69 at Michigan 71
Purdue 73 at Minnesota 75
Michigan State 66 at Iowa 70
Penn State 64 at Purdue 73
Ohio State 71 at Illinois 68
Michigan 62 at Northwestern 61
Minnesota 60 at Wisconsin 90
Michigan State 66 at Indiana 72(Tiebreaker)

PUFan said...

Indiana at OHIO STATE

Northwestern at PENN STATE
ILLINOIS at Michigan
PURDUE at Minnesota

MICHIGAN STATE at Iowa

Penn State at PURDUE
OHIO STATE at Illinois
Michigan at NORTHWESTERN
Minnesota at WISCONSIN

Michigan State 52, INDIANA 59

A.G. said...

Scores so far:

OSU over IU 74-67
PSU hammers NU 83-57
M over ILL 71-61
Minny shocks Purdue 65-59