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B1G Bracketology, Week Previews

Can Michigan and Michigan State avoid Dayton or the NIT?

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports


I've also started including Bracket Matrix's average seed for teams, just to give you a better idea of how things shake out.

Ratings/Bracketology (2/13) BM Avg. Joe Lunardi (2/13) Jerry Palm (2/13) Busting Brackets (2/13)
Team KP Sag. RPI # Reg. Opponent # Reg. Opponent # Reg. Opponent
Purdue 11 12 18 4.69 4 W Princeton 4 S Valparaiso 5 S UNC-Wilmington
wisconsin 15 13 24 4.46 5 MW Seton Hall/Arkansas 5 E Boise State 5 MW Nevada
Maryland 35 34 23 6.03 6 E Clemson/Marquette 6 S Georgia Tech/Wake Forest 6 W Illinois State/Marquette
Northwestern 30 30 34 7.71 7 W Kansas State 7 MW TCU 7 MW Miami
Minnesota 37 37 21 7.71 8 S Miami 7 S Kansas State 7 S Kansas State
Michigan St 54 44 41 9.92 10 E Iowa State 10 W SMU 9 S Dayton
Michigan 31 29 61 10.58 11 S Notre Dame 10 E Xavier 11 MW Notre Dame
Indiana 49 32 87 10.88 - - First Four Out - - - - - Next Four Out
Ohio State 61 57 59
Iowa 71 70 105
Illinois 75 72 66
Nebraska 89 88 83
Penn State 80 75 65
rutger 136 131 146

Given that I was wrong and it turns out the Selection Committee appropriately left out wisconsin (though might still have been wrong about Purdue), we can see four distinct tiers of the B1G shaking out: the best, Maryland, the comfortable (dear god I'm writing that about Northwestern), and the bubble. I'm not sure what to do with that, but I'd like it if Maryland could decide whether they were adequate or just fraudulent.

N-I-T! N-I-T!

The three letters usually most dear to any Northwestern fan's heart may not include the Purple this year. But the fine folks over at NYC Buckets still have a few Big Ten teams in there for our enjoyment!

Indiana: 1 seed vs. Colorado

Ohio State: 3 seed vs. Memphis

Penn State: 5 seed vs. Mississippi

Illinois: 6 seed vs. Providence

Iowa: 7 seed vs. Clemson

The NIT also is implementing a few experimental rule changes this year, which is potentially interesting and something to watch out for:

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved experimental rules that will reset team fouls to zero at the end of 10-minute segments of each half in the upcoming 2017 NIT postseason tournament.

The panel also approved experimental rules that will reset the shot clock to 20 seconds instead of 30 seconds at times when the ball is inbounded in the front court during games in the NIT.

In the experimental rule regarding resetting the team fouls, the one-and-one free throw bonus will not occur. Instead, teams will shoot two free throws in the following examples:

• Each team is limited to a team total of four personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls) during each 10-minute segment of each half.
• The first 10-minute segment of each half will begin when the ball becomes live to begin the half and will end when the game clock reads 10:00. The second segment will begin when the game clock reads 9:59 and ends when the half ends.
• When a team has reached the four-foul limitation, all subsequent personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls) will be penalized by two free throw attempts.
• Each team’s foul total will reset to zero when any 10-minute segment has ended.
• The rules regarding penalties for fouls in the act of shooting, flagrant fouls or technical fouls will not be affected by this experimental rule and will always result in two free throws unless the rules specifically say otherwise.
• In any overtime period, when a team has reached a total of three personal and technical fouls (excluding administrative technical fouls), all subsequent personal and technical fouls will be penalized by two free throw attempts.

If the Big Ten Tournament started today...

Also, did you know that ESPN runs the Ivy League Digital Network? I didn’t. There’s your fun fact for the day.



rutger (13-13, 2-11) at #16 Purdue (20-5, 9-3)

6pm || BTN

I'd say avert your eyes, but rutger has found a pulse on the road. That said, ain't no way Shaquille Doorson and CJ Gettys are getting it done inside against Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan. Just ain't happening.

More intriguing are the battles on the outside: Can Steve Pikiell's defensively-apt club lock down Dakota Mathias and Vince Edwards? Freeing up Corey Sanders and Deshawn Freeman will keep rutger around in Mackey Arena a little longer than expected. I don't think it lasts much longer than halftime, but that's why they play 'em, right? There have been enough moral victories for the Scarlet Knights in 2017--they are liable to grab a scalp at some point.

Ohio State (15-11, 5-8) at Michigan State (15-10, 7-5)

8pm || ESPN

I'm getting really sick of Michigan State in the postseason. Go Buckeyes.

Penn State (14-12, 6-7) at Nebraska (10-14, 4-8)

8pm || BTN

Penn State's getting NIT love now, and Aaron Yorke admitted in our Monday morning recaps that he's starting to entertain some bubblicious thoughts. Getting a minor break of serve on the road would be huge for the Lions' hopes in the year of a weak bubble.

For Nebraska, it's about righting the ship now that Ed Morrow is back full time. Can an inside-outside combination of Morrow and Tai Webster do enough damage against a young Penn State club that's learning and becoming more dangerous on the fly?


#23 Maryland (21-4, 9-3) at Northwestern (19-6, 8-4)

6pm || BTN

Want to know if it's really The Year? (It's not.) Tune in to this one on Wednesday night. Scottie Lindsey will still be out (mono) for the 'Cats, but apparently that's not even enough to keep Northwestern down now.

Dererk Pardon against Michael Cekovsky inside intrigues me in this one. Pardon made his presence felt against Ethan Happ, especially keeping his fouls to a minimum, but the Wildcats' insistence on double-teaming Happ might have made some difference in his performance. As Northwestern will really be focused on locking down Melo Trimble and the Terrapins' dangerous shooters, will Pardon make the same impact inside?

That said, tune in to see what will likely be billed as Melo vs. Bryant McIntosh. I'll be down to my nail beds by then, but if the history of this series is any indication, it'll go down to the wire.

Indiana (15-11, 5-8) at Minnesota (18-7, 6-6)

8pm || BTN

This is a game Minnesota has to hold serve in. A 9-9 conference record will probably put the Gophers squarely on the bubble, leaving the strength of their wins over Purdue and UT-Arlington to speak to the Gophers’ ability.

As for Indiana, Robert Johnson has gone two straight games without scoring in double figures, and James Blackmon's return to the lineup has not propelled the Hoosiers in quite the way they'd hoped. Thomas Bryant can't keep throwing folks around inside (he struggled against Michigan), and his matchup with Reggie Lynch and Jordan Murphy on the glass should be a good one. Tom Crean's seat will be red-hot if he can't pull games like this out.

#11 wisconsin (21-4, 10-2) at Michigan (16-9, 6-6)

6pm || ESPN

Things get tricky now for the Wolverines, who—along with their in-state rivals—are one of the Last Four Byes avoiding a Tuesday date in Dayton. This is their penultimate home game, as they travel to Minnesota and rutger before returning home to play Purdue, then heading to Northwestern and Nebrasketball. There are wins to be had there, but going on the road to get them and only seeing ranked teams on the home schedule is tough.

I'm curious to hear what wisconsin fans think about Greg Gard and his performance this season. Obviously a 10-2 clip in conference is nothing to sneeze at, but this isn't the Bo Ball of old, and Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes looked like they hit a wall against Northwestern, while doubling Ethan Happ and catching up to wisconsin's ball rotation seemed to work. Can Gard coach his way out of this mini-rut?

Here's your open thread to chat bracketology and Big Ten basketball for the week. Go nuts, usual rules.