Big Ten Ballin’: The Return Part 2

WNUR’s Greg Mroz (@wizard_of_mroz) returns with the second edition of his weekly look around the Big Ten.

So here’s the scoop y’all, its ballin’ time again this week, and Im gonna give it to you in the coolest way possible. The other six of the twelve teams this week. I be feeling funny at times, so we going to go with theme of stand up comedians for this week. It’s gonna be hil-ar-i-ous!

Michigan – Louis CK
Louis CK: you thought would be funny, and then he always ends up being funnier than you expect. Michigan was expected to be good, then lost Mitch McGary, and was expected to struggle. Yet until Sunday’s loss at Indiana, Michigan had gone undefeated in conference. Nik Stauskis and Glenn Robinson III have stepped it up, and Caris LeVert has provided an unexpected boost as well. The Wolverines are young but very deep, and once McGary returns, it would be hard pressed to say that anyone is a bigger favorite to win the regular season conference title than the Wolverines.

Minnesota – Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle is hilarious when he’s good. But sometimes he will just flat out surprise you, sometimes not in a good way (remember he took a year off to “find himself”). Minnesota is that exact surprise. Austin and Andre Hollins are a dynamic scoring duo, but Andre is out for the foreseeable future, and this team isn’t consistent. How do you explain wins against #14 Ohio State at the time and against #9 Wisconsin, but losses to Northwestern and Nebraska? The young Pitino is going to have his hands full down the stretch, but the Gophers are headed in the right direction. I don’t think they are getting their own show on Comedy Central.

Nebraska – Larry the Cable Guy
This choice partially stems from the fact that Larry the Cable guy is a notorious Cornhuskers fan, and heck, who doesn’t love to “Git er done!!” After a poor start, Tim Miles squad is “gitting er done” with the help of arguably the conference’s top transfer, Terran Petteway. He’s averaging 18.2 points/game and 5.3 boards per game, which is pretty darn good. This team is starting to get better, but they have not won a game yet away from Pinnacle Bank Arena, so they have to start to be road warriors, and not like the warriors that Mr. The Cable Guy played in “Delta Farce.” Don’t see that movie by the way, it’s a waste of time and brainspace.

Penn State – Rodney Dangerfield
The Nittany Lions get no respect, no respect at all! Well, maybe that’s an overstatement, but they are a team that is much better than their 3-6 conference record indicates. Close losses versus Minnesota, Indiana, and Purdue don’t help the cause (each loss came by 4 points) and they actually were leading Michigan State at the half in their conference opener. Patrick Chambers’ crew is lead by the 1-2 punch of DJ Newbill and Tim Frazier, who are both averaging more than 16 points per game. One of the best backcourts in the conference, but Penn State won’t get more respect until they get a second signature win (their first was at Ohio State last Wednesday).

Purdue – Dane Cook

Purdue's Matt Painter has watched his team struggle to play consistently this season.

Purdue’s Matt Painter has watched his team struggle to play consistently this season.

Dane Cook is annoying and not funny. Purdue is not good, but they should be. AJ Hammons can command a game down low, but Purdue is a bad shooting team, and the brothers Johnson can’t carry the load by themselves at guard. The Boilermakers are in a free fall, losers of four straight, and the schedule doesn’t get easier, with matchups coming up against Minnesota, at Ohio State, and against Indiana. Honestly, I can’t give you any Dane Cook references because I think he is so terrible that I couldn’t waste my life watching him perform.

Illinois – Carlos Mencia
Remember when Carlos Mencia was funny? I do too, but he stole jokes and was racist. In other words, a total fraud. After their 20 point win against Penn State, the Illini were 13-2 and were ranked 23rd in the country. Now, they are 2-7 in conference and are on a seven game losing streak. This team cannot shoot the basketball, in fact according to some sources they had the worst offense in the country during the month of January. They had a valiant comeback attempt in their last game against Iowa, coming back to take the lead after being down 21 points in the first half. The Illini are bad, but they haven’t been in the Mind of Mencia.

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