Well my promise of insight into each game has gone an entire season of being unfulfilled. Early in the season I blamed it on writing too much about football. Now that we have had nothing but basketball going on I really haven’t stepped up. I guess you can blame that on my limited basketball knowledge. I played (if you could call it that) football so I at least understand most of the game. I am still new to organized basketball so I seem to learn something new all the time.
I should be in Milwaukee right now, but they worked their way out of getting my money. I really wanted to see Valpo play Detroit in the Horizon League Tourney. A call to the athletic department up there let me know that I could not take my camera into the arena. Like any enterprising blogger I then applied for a media credential so that I could take my camera in. That was denied as well. Watching the game on television I see that one photographer is under the basket, and the stands are empty. They really did not want my money at all. I guess they just made my choice on where to spend my weekend very easy.
I will go back to the state I lived in for two years out of college. The grand state of Iowa where the wind always seems to blow. My two years in the state were not very good making the choice to move back to Indiana very easy. I did have some good days in the state though. One of them was in 2004 when the Boilers came to town to play Iowa in football. I had a rare Saturday off so I could attend the game. I got to Iowa City early enough that I was able to watch the basketball scrimmage in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. I was impressed with the stadium when I walked inside. I had only been to a few college arenas at the time, and none of them had the entire bowl below you when you walked in. I had a lot of trouble getting into the scrimmage not knowing anyone on the court so I just moved around getting all the views that I could. I imagine the way Iowa is playing this season I should be able to do something close to this tomorrow.
As I said Iowa has had a tough season. They have been battling Indiana all season for the cellar in the Big Ten. That being said they have been playing much better at home as the season has progressed. Purdue has had a couple opportunities for trap games this season. This is another one. They had a great run to end the season. They are on a seven game winning streak, and a win at Iowa would make it eight going into the Big Ten Tournament. They just had a great week dominating Michigan State in East Lansing, and then winning an emotional game on senior night. Iowa has played very well at home even though the standings don’t show it. They gave Ohio State and Wisconsin all that they could handle here. They took Michigan to overtime, and took down Michigan State easily. It is also senior day in Iowa City so things could get rough. Purdue needs to show up ready to play. The way this team has been playing lately I don’t think that will be a problem. This team has been on a mission lately.
That mission may have been too little too late though for the Big Ten title. They go into the final weekend needing a loss by Ohio State and a win just for a share of the title. The loss for Ohio State is a possibility as Wisconsin comes to town. Wisky is one of two teams that have beaten Ohio State this year. I think the Badgers have a tough task ahead of them in Columbus though. That is not to say that it cannot be done, but it has not been done yet this season.
Looking at my ESPN Passport I see that I have not seen Purdue lose yet this season. I had not really thought of it like that before seeing it. If I couldn’t be at the game I have seen it on television so I feel like I have been to all of them. In the games I attended Purdue went 15-0. Of course they went undefeated at home this season so the 14 games I saw there were a part of that. I also went to the ‘road’ game at Valpo. I put road in quotation marks because the drive for me was over an hour less than the drive to West Lafayette. It was a road game for the team, but can’t really count as a road game for me. As I posted earlier I wanted to go to this game in Iowa because it would be the first of five straight weekends that I will be on the road to see the Boilers play. Hopefully that will be Iowa City, Indy, Chicago, New Orleans, and Houston. Some of those sites could change, but that is a wish list. As long as I am wishing maybe I can watch the games with Kathy Ireland. For some of the younger readers she was a swimsuit model in the 80’s and 90’s.
With gas prices where they are a 240 mile trip by myself really does not make sense. I enjoy watching this team so much though that I don’t really have a problem with it. I guess I will have a couple more road trips ahead of me before this season is over.
Picks of the week: Since my picks for the women were in the tourney preview I only have one section this week. That is good because the women are bringing me down. After two days half of my bracket is done. That is no surprise though the way my picks on the womens side went this season. I seem to be finishing strong with the men. I went 13-1 last week with my lone loss being the Minnesota and Michigan game. For some reason when I pick I still picture the Minny team that was good. I won’t make that mistake this week. Of course they will probably come to play this week when I pick against them. I am 160-36 on the season, and just playing for pride this week. Here are my picks:
- Valpo over Detroit
- Illinois over Indiana
- Michigan State over Michigan
- Penn State over Minnesota
- #1 Ohio State over #10 Wisconsin
- Game of the Week: #6 Purdue 72 – Iowa 61