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What the hell are you doing, NCAA Tournament Committee?

Plus, previews of the weekend’s Big Ten games.

These people are idiots. Look, fuck wisconsin. I’m always on board with that. But neither wisconsin nor Purdue making the top 16 teams in the NCAA seeding?! You’ve got to be kidding me.

The badgers will absolutely be the worst 3-seed in the tournament and will possibly crash out to a 6-seed, but my goodness, this is not a good harbinger of things to come for the conference. Just a big ol’ mass of 7-seeds, huh?

Look, the conference is as weak as it’s been in a long time. I don’t think anyone here at OTE would argue that fact. But For the 7th-ranked team in the damn nation to be left out of the top 16 seeds in the country is a goddamn joke. So much for the incorporation of other metrics into this year’s seedings.

For reference:

wisconsin 12 11 18 14
Purdue 11 12 19 9
WVU 4 2 32 3
Florida 6 9 8 5
UCLA 18 14 20 12
Duke 14 10 16 7
Butler 23 23 7 23


As I sat down with a cup of coffee in my University of North Texas mug (you know, that one...) after the girlfriend fiance (holy crap) went for a run, I realized—we never cobbled together a preview/open thread. While I know y’all aren’t heartbroken over hearing me remind you why Northwestern will not go into wisconsin and get the win (they won’t), I still feel a sense of duty.

Whether you’re pourin’ some out for Mike Ilitch or still digging out on the East Coast, there’s a little something for everyone this weekend. Well, unless you’re a Nebraska or Purdue fan.

Minnesota (17-7, 5-6 B1G) at rutger (13-12, 2-10)

11am || ESPNU

As I write this, Heroic CJ Gettys is already 3/6 from the field with 10 points. You can tell me that Reggie Lynch and Jordan Murphy are athletic as hell all you want. There’s still no substitution for good, old-fashioned American beef.

(Also Lynch already has two fouls and something tells me that Bakary Konate will not be stopping the bulk of Gettys. Corey Sanders should try actually scoring, too. Update: He just scored.)

Also Jordan Murphy just put CJ Gettys on a motherfucking poster. Holy shit.

Get out of the Protected Area, CJ.

Penn State (13-12, 5-7) at Illinois (14-11, 4-8)

1pm || BTN || Ill -4.5

Something tells me you don’t want to watch this game, even if you’re a Penn State or Illinois fan.

Then again, say you do. Penn State’s a bit of a mixed bag right now, relatively speaking, having just lost to rutger and followed it up with its first win in 27 years over Maryland. Illinois, similarly, continues to muddle through Big Ten play. Michael Finke played well off the bench against Northwestern, which was kind of nice for Illinois.

Anyone know what rung on the ladder Illinois is at right now? Maybe John Groce could bring a fire truck into the Jake from State Farm Center and put a cupcake up in the basket at the top.

Ohio State (15-10, 5-7) at Not-For-Long #21 Maryland (20-4, 8-3)

3pm || ESPN || MD -7.0

I don’t have anything witty to say here. Per our own DJ Carver:

Ugh, yikes. Jaquan Lyle out tomorrow due to family emergency. Sister gave birth and isn't doing well at all. Bates-Diop also not making trip because his 16 year old brother collapsed in his bball practice due to apparent heart attack

That’s scary as hell. Our thoughts and prayers with Lyle, KBD, and the Ohio State basketball family.

Iowa (14-11, 6-6) at Michigan State (14-10, 6-5)

5pm but actually 5:25pm because there’s no way OSU-MD is over in a crisp 2 hours seriously stop doing this || BTN || MSU -6.0

The vitals say it all, don’t they?

Also...could Fran McCaffery pull off an escape act this year and parlay this into an NIT bid? The Hawkeyes are playing good ball and just got Peter Jok back. Some refereeing at Minnesota aside, Iowa’s a scary team to see on the 5 or 6 line come the Big Ten Tournament.

Michigan (15-9, 5-6) at Indiana (15-10, 5-7)

12pm || CBS

The Hoosiers have fallen all the way to Joe Lunardi's Last Four In, meaning this one at home is as close to must-win (as loathe as I am to use that term) as it gets. Meanwhile, Michigan's coming off an absolute mollywhopping of Michigan State, and if they can get some looks against a suspect Hoosier defense, this could ring the death knell for IU's Tourney dreams.

Northwestern (18-6, 7-4) at #7 wisconsin (21-3, 10-1)

5:30pm || BTN

I've said enough nice things about wisconsin for one day. Fuck this. I'm going to watch this game like the fool I am and when it's 21-9 at the under-4 because Northwestern has shot the ball like shit and Nigel Hayes has preened his way to a couple threes on 3/9 shooting, I'm going to pull the rest of my hair out.

It's not The Year. It's never The Year.

And go buy a shirt if you really think it is.

Feel free to chat Big Ten hoops! Usual rules apply. Should either of wisconsin or Purdue have been in the Top 16?