Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Get Gamm - Week Five
Buckeye Nation and Phats are picking some games with me, games that are near and dear to their hearts. Some big games on tap this week in a conference that is still lacking respect from the pundits but one that is quietly racking up impressive credentials...

@ Wisconsin - Huge game for both. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging big time and needs to get the ship righted or the NIT starts to look like the March destination. Purdue is starting to roll and has earned one of the rare wins in the Kohl of late. Home court means something, but talent beats home court in this one. Purdue by 10.

BuckeyeNation says ... Wisconsin

Phats says ... Boilers starting to play really good basketball as of late, and started off this tough stretch of road games with a nice win at the Barn. Winning at Wisconsin is never easy, and the task got even harder since we'll be facing a mad Badger team that might start need to looking at games as must wins. Boilers will play their typical tough defense, and a healthy Kramer, and Hummel back in the starting five will mean a victory for Purdue. PURDUE over Wisconsin

@ Ohio State - Ohio State is on a tumble since winning in Ann Arbor. Michigan finally ended a streak with a nice win over Northwestern. Two teams that are young and evenly matched. In those cases, look to the home court edge. Ohio State gets the W by 8.

BuckeyeNation says ... The rivalry continues in this rematch of a game that the Buckeyes stole in Ann Arbor a little over a week ago. The Wolverines are coming off a big win at home against Northwestern, who likely was still celebrating their huge win at conference leader MSU in East Lansing. The Buckeyes have dropped their last two, and are in desperate need of a win at home. Both teams are young, but the Buckeyes are down a few players in their rotation, which MSU exploited brilliantly. As in their first meeting, the Buckeyes' formula for success is to contain UM on the perimeter, and dominate them underneath. UM's formula will be to knock down 3s with unbridled impunity, and hope OSU panics as a result. The crowd should be rocking the Schott on Wednesday, because, after all, this is OSU-Michigan. Look for the Buckeyes to rebound with a much-needed victory. Ohio State 67 - Michigan 60

Phats says ... Ohio State

Indiana @ Northwestern - Two teams in a bit of a role reversal. Northwestern gets a win to make it three of the last four.

BuckeyeNation says ... Northwestern
Phats says ... Northwestern

Michigan State @ Iowa - Carver Hawkeye is never all that kind to MSU (see 36 points last year) but the Spartans are really playing well on the road and seemed to find a renewed purpose after a shaky start at Ohio State. This is a chance to start a nice four game run before the meat of the schedule really kicks in. State wins by 15.

BuckeyeNation says ... Michigan State
Phats says ... Michigan State

Illinois @ Minnesota (Tiebreaker) - The game of the week in the Big Ten. Minnesota has already lost at The Barn twice and needs to win out at home to hope to stay in the title mix. Illinois is playing as well as anyone, including Michigan State. This should be a fantastic game. It is tough to pick against Illinois right now, but I think the Gophers are ripe for a big win, especially at home. Minnesota 64 - Illinois 61.

BuckeyeNation says ... This is truly a "pick 'em" game. Illinois get the slight edge on being the better team, but Tubby has Minnesota believing in themselves this season, plus they enjoy a tremendous home court advantage in "the Barn," although the Big 10 co-favorites this year have both come out with a victory in the Twin Cities. The Gophers have looked shaky during the past week or so, and were lucky to come out with a win at Bloomington on Sunday. Illinois, on the other hand has hit its stride and Bruce Weber has the Illini contending for the Big 10 title and primed for a bid to the Big Dance after last season's bad dream. Nevertheless, it is tough to win on the road in the Big 10. This one will go down to the wire with the Gophers hitting a ridiculous shot at the buzzer to win it. Minnesota 71 - Illinois 69

Phats says ... This is a tough one, Illinois seems to be playing really well, and Minnesota seems to be going on a downward trend, if this game were at Illinois it'd be a no brainer, but the Barn is a very tough place to play. I will take Minnesota in a close game. MINNESOTA 66 illinois 64

@ Purdue - The second of two big tests for the Wolverines. Purdue lost once at home, though, and won't lose at Mackey again this year. Purdue by 12.

BuckeyeNation says ... Purdue

Phats says ... The one home game in a 5 game stretch for the Boilers, and it's a scary one, mostly because you never know which Michigan team you're going to get. They are definitely dangerous, but the Boilermakers are playing really well right now, and I see them keeping that winning streak going, and keeping the pressure on MSU. PURDUE over michigan

Ohio State @ Indiana - Might the Hoosiers finally get a win in league play? It will happen at some point. Why not this one? IU in an upset.

BuckeyeNation says ... Who would've ever thunk it? The Indiana Hoosiers being a doormat IN HOOPS and the closest thing to a "gimme" in the Big 10 this season. Probably the last time that happened was during an era when peach baskets and the two-handed set shot were all the rage in hoops. Although the Hoosiers are decimated on their roster as a result of departures and NCAA probation, Tom Crean has gotten them to put a scare into a few Big 10 teams at Assembly Hall. The Buckeyes have a young, thin rotation due to injuries and an unforeseen transfer. Moreover, OSU will need to bring their "A game" because Indiana will lay down for no one at home. From a talent standpoint, this should be a win for OSU, and I believe Thad Matta will have his guys ready to gut out another much-needed win on the road. Ohio State 65 - Indiana 61.

Phats says ... Ohio State

Wisconsin @ Northwestern - If Wisconsin loses to Purdue at home, I think it could get really ugly. Northwestern is playing well and gets this W.

BuckeyeNation says ... Wisconsin
Phats says ... Wisconsin

Penn State
@ Michigan State - The white hot Nittany Lions get a week off to prepare for Michigan State. I think we might see more of that zone that stymied the Spartans late in State College. However, sorry to say for the fans of the Nits, NO WAY Michigan State loses at home again this year. MSU by 10.

BuckeyeNation says ... Michigan State
Phats says ... Michigan State

Iowa @ Illinois - Illinois gets a big home win over Iowa.

BuckeyeNation says ... Illinois
Phats says ... Illinois

Monday, January 26, 2009

Bouncing around the Big Ten...
A wild week in the Big Ten last week. Upsets, blowouts, the end of some sizable streaks in East Lansing. You name it, it happened. Here's a quick team-by-team and the slate for this week's games. Phats was the big winner last week. Since Buckeye Nation won the first week, I'll note below the games for you two to focus on. Send me your picks by tomorrow afternoon...

Illinois: A solid week for the Illini. Taking care of business at home and in style, with two big wins over Ohio State and Wisconsin. Huge road game on Thursday at Minnesota looms, followed by a visit from pesky Iowa. Stock: Rising.

Indiana: The young Hoosiers almost got that elusive conference win on Sunday and continue to scrap. It won't be long before an upset happens and it won't be long after that until we see the Hoosiers really start to put the program back together. Stock: Falling.

Iowa: A mixed bag last week. Big, overtime win over Wisconsin followed by about 32-35 minutes of domination over Penn State before gassing and sputtering to a tough road loss. Iowa is one of those hot and cold teams that will deal some damaging blows this season. Stock: Even

Michigan: The Wolverines finally snapped the losing streak with a nice win over previously white hot Northwestern. That sets up a huge week with road contests at Ohio State and Purdue. This week will go a long way in U-M's battle for an NCAA berth. Stock: Even - pending this week's action.

Michigan State: The Spartans were stunned at home and saw a bevy of streaks go by the way side. For more details, see my new MSU blog. The telling moment was how MSU overcame the benching of Lucas and Walton, the continued illness of Morgan and a slow start at OSU to get a huge win, start 4-0 on the road for the first time in school history and set up what could be a great stretch of wins. Stock: Back on the rise.

Minnesota: A rough home loss to Purdue followed by a near monumental upset at the hands of Indiana on the road. Tubby Smith can't be too pleased right now. One huge game on the schedule this week. A must win if Minnesota wants to stay in the title chase. Stock: Falling but with a chance to smooth out and rise.

Northwestern: Perhaps the biggest program win ever in East Lansing on Wednesday, followed by a rather ho-hum effort in Ann Arbor. The Wildcats have two very legitimate chances to get Ws this week, and that would go a long, long way to helping NU squeeze into the postseason. Stock: Even but teetering on the edge...

Ohio State: A rough week for the scarlet and gray. A bad loss at Illinois followed up by a blown lead and loss at home to Michigan State. The Buckeyes are young and inexperienced and that is the difference thus far. Two good chances to get back on track ahead this week. Stock: falling.

Penn State: My team of the week for last week. A big home win over Michigan followed by a gritty comeback victory over Iowa. Penn State has a week to prep for an enormous game in East Lansing as it looks to continue its three game win streak. Stock: Skyrocketing.

Purdue: Don't look now but the Boilermakers are right back where everyone had them pegged at the start of the season - right in the Big Ten mix. The trip to Wisconsin will be critical, and Purdue can't look past Michigan either. Stock: Rising

Wisconsin: This might be the worst stretch in recent memory for the Badgers. UW has lost three straight and with Purdue and Northwestern on the slate this week, it doesn't get any easier. A win in both would totally right the ship, even one is critical to save the season. Stock: Falling, fast...

This week's schedule:

Purdue @ Wisconsin (Phats commentary)

Michigan @ Ohio State (Buckeye Nation commentary)
Indiana @ Northwestern

Michigan State @ Iowa (Gamm commentary)
Illinois @ Minnesota (Tiebreaker) (Gamm, Phats, BN commentary)

Michigan @ Purdue (Phats commentary
Ohio State @ Indiana (Buckeye Nation commentary)
Wisconsin @ Northwestern

Penn State @ Michigan State (Gamm commentary
Iowa @ Illinois

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quick look at the Big Ten...
Gonna be a quick one today. Life is so busy I don't have near enough time to write like I want to. Some upsets and near upsets around the Big Ten last week. Purdue escapes NU and then NU takes it out on Minnesota who pulled off a miracle comeback win at Wisconsin mid week. Penn State finally wins at Indiana. Michigan State shakes off two pesky opponents to stake a two game lead in the conference and is off to its best start since 1978 (in league play). Check out the Big Ten recap.

This week looks to be no different. Sorry Buckeye Nation. You went 9-1 to take the prize but I don't have time to get commentary. I'll owe you one!

Here are the games this week (my picks in bold):

Ohio State @ Illinois
Michigan @ Penn State

Northwestern @ Michigan State
Wisconsin @ Iowa

Purdue @ Minnesota 62-59 (Tiebreaker)

@ Illinois
Iowa @ Penn State
Northwestern @ Michigan

@ Indiana
Michigan State @ Ohio State

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Get Gamm - Basketball Style
Mayo won the honor to pick with me this week, so let's get down to business. Only one unbeaten remains in what is shaping up to be a far more competitive, deeper league than first thought.

Indiana at Ohio State
- Gamm says: Ohio State has too much for an Indiana team that won't be down long. OSU wins.

- Mayo170 says: Indiana in an upset.

Michigan State at
Penn State
- Gamm says: MSU has to be thinking revenge after the foul infested, upset loss in Happy Valley last year. Penn State is better this year, makes it a game, but falls short to a team on a mission. MSU 70 - Penn State 60.

- Mayo170 says: MSU has proven they are truly a better team than either of their losses. Penn State should not be much of a threat to knock down the class of the Big Ten right now. MSU wins 68 – 55.

Michigan at Illinois
- Gamm says: Michigan jumped on Illinois a little more than a week ago, but has to face the Orange Krush for this one. I like how the Illini are playing and the home court. Illinois 71 - Michigan 63.

- Mayo170 says: As good a road test as Michigan could use right now. Illinois is a pretty good team right now, and their only loss in conference is to Michigan on the road. Illinois gets a bit of revenge with a 71 – 60 win.

Purdue at Northwestern
- Gamm says: Purdue is rounding back into form and crushes NU.

- Mayo170 says: Purdue.

Minnesota at Wisconsin
- Gamm says: Minnesota is showing Kentucky fans what it so badly wanted to - and did - run out of Lexington. Not many teams win in Madison, but the Gophers will come close. Wisconsin 63 - Minnesota 60.

- Mayo170 says: What a great matchup this is going to be. Minnesota is rolling this year and Wisconsin is perennially a tough team in a tough place to play. I like the Gophers here in a tight one 74 – 71.

Illinois at Michigan State
- Gamm says: On MoPete day, MSU prevails.
- Mayo170 says: Michigan State wins.

Penn State at Indiana
- Gamm says: Penn State gets back on track with a rare win at IU.
- Mayo170 says: Indiana.

Ohio State at Michigan
- Gamm says: Michigan might just be for real this year. Big wins over Duke and UCLA plus a strong Big Ten start say so. OSU is trying to find itself. Michigan 68 - Ohio State 64.

- Mayo170 says: Ohio State is a young team that I mentioned before I know nothing about. They are playing fairly well although I don’t know if they can stop a Michigan team that is putting together a nice season. Both teams appear to me to be solid middle-pack teams, with UM being a little higher on the ladder right now. Michigan wins 67 – 64.

Iowa at Purdue
- Gamm says: Purdue keeps rolling.

- Mayo170 says: Purdue

Minnesota at Northwestern
- Gamm says: NU is going to pick more than one team off this year and catches Minny napping.

- Mayo170 says: Minnesota.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Around the court...
We're now well into basketball season in the Big Ten and some interesting things are happening. For starters, the league is a lot deeper than anyone - including me - thought it would be. It's really not a shock that some upsets are occurring on the road - they always do - but for Purdue to be 1-2 and already having faced a must-win (Sunday vs. Wisconsin)? Hang on, it will be a wild ride.

Get Gamm Football Recap
For the first time in ages, I won my own contest. Well, technically St. Louis Spartan - my roommate from college - tied me. But no one beat me, so no one gets to go shopping this time around! Thanks to all who played and made it a challenge.

Get Gamm Basketball Update
Mayo170 won the tiebreaker for last week and gets to pick with me this week. Mayo, games to give commentary on are in BOLD below.

Indiana @ Ohio State

Michigan State @ Penn State
Michigan @ Illinois

Purdue @ Northwestern
Minnesota @ Wisconsin

Illinois @ Michigan State
Penn State @ Indiana
Ohio State @ Michigan (tiebreaker)

Iowa @ Purdue
Minnesota @ Northwestern

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year!
Back from my trip to the Capital One Bowl. Great time, even if the result for my Spartans wasn't optimum. It was, however, a right next step. PSU and OSU crushed MSU early in the season and the logical next step was to go toe-to-toe with a big boy. Who knows, if State converts early field position into TDs instead of FGs, maybe the upset happens. Either way, great memories for the entire family due to the endless autographs and photo opps that we got.

For those interested, I made some press over the holiday's too. The first was as a result of a search for the biggest Spartans fanatics. If I can find the email I sent the writer as to why I was one they should select, I'll post that here!

Biggest fan story in LSJ

A little pre-bowl game photo opp

Get Gamm Hoops style got started last week. I went 9-1 and the closest to me was 7-3. So here are the games for this week. Gotta beat me to write about the top games of the week! My picks in bold.

Ohio State @ Michigan State
Purdue @ Penn State

Michigan @ Indiana
Northwestern @ Wisconsin

@ Iowa

Houston Baptist @ Ohio State

Kansas @ Michigan State
Indiana @ Illinois

Iowa @ Michigan
Wisconsin @ Purdue (Tiebreaker) 63-61
Penn State @ Minnesota