It’s been eight months since March Madness was ripped away from us, but today we’re back. The backbone of our nation returns. Folks, it’s college basketball season.
I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I’m Jon Rothstein and give you a crazy in-depth breakdown on every team in the Big Ten. I’m gonna wait until I’ve seen them play for at least a couple minutes before I do that. However, I will let you know every Big Ten team in action tomorrow, and where you can find their games.
Northwestern‘s game against Prairie View A&M was cancelled due to the pandemic, so they won’t play until December 2nd. Same with Penn State‘s contest against Drexel.
As for the games we will see:
Noon: McNeese @ Nebraska, Big Ten Network
Simply put, Nebraska was just awful last season, going 2-18 in the conference. Let’s see if they can improve upon that in 2020-21.
2 PM: North Carolina A&T @ #8 Illinois, Big Ten Network
Illinois enters the year ranked in the top ten thanks to two of the best players in the conference returning. Junior guard Ayo Dosunmu (First-team All-Big Ten) & sophomore center Kofi Cockburn (Big Ten freshman of the year) are both insanely talented, and only one of their last names is a side effect of numerous STDs.
2 PM: Illinois State @ #23 Ohio State, ESPN
Ohio State lost three of their top four scorers from a year ago, but they still figure to be a formidable team atop the Big Ten.
2 PM: Old Dominion @ Maryland, no TV (BTN+)
This game not being on TV is a fan/gambler’s nightmare. You can pay for a BTN+ subscription and stream it, or hope that a kind soul tweets out a free link at some point (I’m not liable for any illegal streaming). If you somehow manage to watch the game, you’ll see Maryland’s first attempt at replacing former stars Jalen Smith and Anthony Cowan.
4 PM: North Carolina Central @ #5 Iowa, Big Ten Network
Reigning conference player of the year Luka Garza and the Hawkeyes enter the year as a top-5 team. Let’s see if they can live up to the hype.
4 PM: Bowling Green @ #25 Michigan, ESPN 2
Juwan Howard’s Wolverines have the potential to make some serious noise this season. Michigan will look to Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner to carry the load in 2020-21.
6 PM: Eastern Michigan @ #13 Michigan State, Big Ten Network
The Spartans have huge shoes to fill with the loss of Cassius Winston. But never doubt that Tom Izzo’s squad will be in the mix all season long.
6 PM: Liberty @ Purdue (in Melbourne, Florida), CBS Sports Network
Purdue opens the season in Florida for the “Space Coast challenge” against Liberty.
7 PM: Sacred Heart @ #24 Rutgers, no TV (BTN+)
It is so unbelievably Rutgers that they start the season ranked for the first time in who knows how long, and their game isn’t televised. I’ll be looking for a stream somewhere.
7 PM: Green Bay @ Minnesota, no TV (BTN+)
When I hear “Green Bay at Minnesota,” I instantly think of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers heading to Minneapolis to take on the Vikings. Regardless, this is another one not on TV.
8 PM: Tennessee Tech @ Indiana, BTN
Basketball in Indiana is about as big of a tradition as turkey on Thanksgiving. Trayce Jackson-Davis and the Hoosiers look to give fans a holiday to remember with an opening night win at home.
10 PM: Eastern Illinois @ #7 Wisconsin, BTN
To round out this glorious slate of games, let the defending Big Ten champion Badgers take you into the holiday.
I can’t believe we’re finally back. Gonna try and get in touch with other Big Ten writers and create some content for you guys. Enjoy the action today, and everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving.