Things appear to be stabilizing on the B1G bracketology front as we approach the Big Ten Tournament. It’s incumbent upon Michigan to avoid a bad loss, Michigan State to find one good win somewhere, Northwestern to just accept the inevitability of fate, and Minnesota to just keep on keepin’ on.
|Ratings/Bracketology (2/21)||BM Avg.||Joe Lunardi (2/21)||Jerry Palm (2/19)||SBNation (2/21)|
|Maryland||32||33||17||5.79||6||MW||Middle Tennessee||6||W||Arkansas||6||W||Seton Hall|
|Minnesota||39||38||22||6.89||8||MW||Wichita State||6||MW||TCU/Providence||6||E||Georgia Tech/Providence|
|Michigan||27||27||53||9.73||9||E||VCU||9||W||Iowa State||9||W||Oklahoma State|
|Michigan St||54||44||41||9.94||10||W||South Carolina||10||MW||USC||10||S||St. Mary's|
From the folks at NYC Buckets, we’ve got:
Indiana (2) : vs. Texas A&M
Ohio State (3): vs New Mexico State
Illinois (5): vs. Georgia
Iowa has dropped out, as they’re not projected to finish .500 or better.
#14 Purdue (22-5, 11-3) at Penn State (14-13, 6-8)
5pm || BTN || PU -8.0
This seems like one Purdue should handle comfortably, as Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan can do more than enough damage inside to negate all but the hottest of shooting performances from the Nittany Lions. As the Boilers have risen to a four-seed in the latest rounds of bracketology, they’ll need to continue their streak of dominating wins to keep that up.
In the last meeting between these two teams, the Boilers led by 18 at half, forced 14 Nittany Lion turnovers and 31.3% shooting, and cruised. I expect more of the same tonight, but Pat Chambers’ club has shown the ability to be red-hot or ice-cold at any given time. They’ll have to do it tonight without Nazeer Bostick, who’s out 2-4 weeks with a fractured right hand.
Northwestern (20-7, 9-5) at Illinois (15-12, 5-9)
7pm || BTN || NU -1.5
MNW: The ‘Cats have winnable games left against Indiana and Michigan, but this one is just chock full of significance. This would be the first time ever—EVER—that Northwestern has won 21 games in a season. The first time since 1968 that the ‘Cats had a winning record in the Big Ten.
Please be healthy, Scottie Lindsey, and please be somewhat efficient tonight, Bryant McIntosh. Dererk Pardon needs to continue being a strong inside presence, and Northwestern can’t afford to let Michael Finke get space on the outside to shoot.
Gonna suck to drop this one.
my god. i might actually watch this game. why? because i hate myself.
i'm putting a hundred fucking dollars on northwestern.
i really hope i lose it.
Indiana (15-12, 5-9) at Iowa (14-13, 6-8)
8pm || ESPN || IA -1.0
Stewmonkey13: Tom Crean looking to save his job against an Iowa team that just played one of its worst games of the year. I have no idea what to expect from this game.
Iowa probably should win, but they played like shit against Illinois. Indiana has more talent and experience, but they've looked lost for a month, now. So.../shrug.
Michigan (17-10, 7-7) at rutger (13-15, 2-13)
5:30pm || BTN
Graham: Welllllllll Mich bball. Another year, another bubble. Keeps the fans interested and on the edge of their collective seats, that is for sure. MGo saysssssssssssss: "The loss drops Michigan to 7-7 in Big Ten play and leaves them squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. More to come tomorrow when I'm less of a bitterly sore loser."
So that's that. Lose to the rutger and it's alllllllllll over. Beat Rutgers, avoid massive injuries...And the hope of a 9 seed 10 seed is definitely in play.
Minnesota (20-7, 8-6) at #24 Maryland (22-5, 10-4)
7:30pm || BTN
WhiteSpeedReceiver: I don't feel great about it right now. I get the feeling that Turgeon and Beilein's whimpering may have an impact on the officiating, not that Reggie Lynch needs help.
DJ Carver: Let's hope we don't give up with four minutes to go this time.
MNW: This is the hard-hitting analysis y’all come here for, right? :)
Nebraska (12-14, 6-8) at Michigan State (16-11, 8-6)
6pm || ESPNU
BRT: In his post-game show with the Nebraska radio guys, Coach Tim Miles cited "Major League" in correcting their misapprehension that Nebraska was currently on a winning streak. "You win two games, it's called winning two games. Three is a winning streak." OK, Tim.
The Huskers travel to East Lansing to attempt the big jump up to "streak" status. This is, perhaps, less daunting than it seems. The Huskers stunned MSU there last season, and while the teams' meeting a few weeks ago went badly for Nebraska, this week finds MSU newly short-handed with the season-ending injury to Eron Harris. However, it also finds MSU in the unexpected position of fighting for the tournament for the first time since dinosaurs roamed the earth (or something), and desperate teams can be unpredictable.
I think the Huskers give MSU all they can handle, and maybe even walk out with a close win for the second straight year and a bonafide winning streak.
#16 wisconsin (22-5, 11-3) at Ohio State (15-13, 5-10)
8pm || ESPN
Have the badgers righted the ship? After a nice home win against a ranked Maryland club, wisconsin heads to one of the teams in the Big Ten with the most athleticism to harry Greg Gard’s club. Of course, we have to ask whether the wheels are totally off in Columbus or if there’s still any fight in Thad Matta’s club.
Ethan Happ continues to impress, but Trevor Thompson will provide a good, physical test inside, while Jae’Sean Tate and Nigel Hayes will make for interesting counterparts on the wings. I like the badgers to squeak this one out late, but the bloom could really be off the rose in madison if Ohio State pulls this out.
Here’s your open thread for the week’s games! Usual rules apply.