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Finally. It’s almost over. (B1G Basketball Weekend Open Thread, BTT Projected Bracket.)

Please kill me; I am going to Iowa City. But it’s an exciting matchup for Penn State and Nebraska! Also, have you wondered how the Big Ten Tournament bracket could shake out? Check it out here.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Have you wondered what the Big Ten Tournament seedings would look like if the season ended today? What they’ll look like after this weekend? We preview the weekend, toss you the hypothetical BTT bracket, and speculate wildly below.

First, a look at the BTT bracket if things ended today:

You’re a moron, MNW. Explain yourself.

First, this is only if the season ended today. It does not take this weekend’s results into account.

Second, here are the scenarios at each seed. I’ve bolded what I find most likely:

1. Michigan State is the front-runner. Ohio State can hop here if they win and the Spartans lose.
2. OSU with a win, Purdue if they win and OSU loses.
3. Same thing, Purdue unless they win and OSU loses.
4. With a win or a Michigan loss, Nebrasketball. Dear God.
5. Michigan, unless they win and Nebraska loses.
6. With a win, Indiana, who holds the breaker on Penn State.
7. Penn State, unless they win and Indiana loses.
8. Somehow, I’m told, Maryland is locked in here. Good enough for me.
9. wisconsin, by virtue of their win over Purdue breaking any potential H2H with NU.
10. Northwestern. See above.

This is where it gets dumb. So. The Gophers split with Iowa, beat Illinois, and beat rutger. One of Illinois and rutger will, like Minnesota after a loss at Purdue, be 4-14. If Iowa beats Northwestern, the Gophers will have a 2-1 record in any three-way tie. Iowa, Illinois, and rutger all went 1-1 against one another. If the three-way tie is MN/IA/RU, Minnesota would win at 2-1 over the others’ 1-2. If it’s MN/IA/IL, Minnesota and Iowa are 2-1 and head to a “best win” tiebreaker. For Iowa, that’s wisconsin. For Minnesota, that’s...Iowa. Or rutger. Or Illinois.

If Iowa loses to Northwestern (lol), they fall out of the 12 slot, and tiebreakers are much simpler. If Illinois wins, rutger is 13 and Iowa is 14. If rutger wins, Iowa is 13 and Illinois is 14, with the Knights rising to 12.

Get all that? Here’s where I think we’ll be at on Monday. You can tell me in the comments why I’m wrong:
11. Minnesota, unless Iowa and Illinois win. Then it’s Iowa, by virtue of a win over wisconsin.
12. With a win over Northwestern and an Illinois win over rutger, Iowa.
13. With the win, Illinois slots here after the breakers are done.
14. Who else?


All times, naturally, GTZ. Madison Square Garden was a stupid idea.

#16 Ohio State Buckeyes (23-7, 14-3) at Indiana Hoosiers (16-13, 9-8)

Friday | 7pm | FS1
OSU -2.5 | O/U 139.5


OSU: Probably, we’re thinking 5-seed.
Indiana: Per Candystripes, NIT. As of Monday, an NIT 6-seed at Washington.

I’ve convinced myself that the Buckeyes are basically just a better analogue of the Hoosiers in 2017-18, and I’m not sure you can talk me out of this spicy taek.

Is Keita Bates-Diop the Big Ten Player of the Year for sure? Leading the conference in points, leading the conference in win shares, leading the Ohio State resurgence... Hard not to, for me. Vince Edwards has a case, I guess.

Pick: Ohio State, 72-68.



This poll is closed

  • 77%
    (17 votes)
  • 22%
    (5 votes)
22 votes total Vote Now

#17 Michigan Wolverines (23-7, 12-5) at Maryland Terrapins (19-11, 8-9)

Saturday | 11am | ESPN
line TBD | O/U TBD


Michigan: Graham’s lazy, we’re thinking 7-seed would be best.
Maryland: DJ just keeps yelling “fire Turge.” As of Monday, an NIT 2-seed vs. Belmont.

I’m deeply uncomfortable with how Michigan has, more or less, “done it with defense” (15th in AdjD) this season. I don’t like it one bit. The last time Michigan was inside the Top 50 in Kenpom AdjD, it was 2013 and they had the most efficient offense in the country.

The Terps, it appears, are just back in that gray area between “burn it down” and “well, maybe one more year for Turgeon.” I’m very here for that.

Moritz Wagner and the Wolverines’ length will keep Kevin Huerter from continuing to do annoying-as-shit Kevin Huerter things, and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rakhman is low-key one of the best players in the Big Ten this year. God, I am sick of John Beilein-era Michigan.

Pick: Michigan, 68-61.


Eye-blinding yellow, or eye-blinding flag?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    (35 votes)
  • 42%
    (26 votes)
61 votes total Vote Now

#2 Michigan State Spartans (27-3, 15-2) at wisconsin badgers (14-16, 7-10)

Sunday | 12pm | CBS
line TBD | O/U TBD


MSU: Cheating Apologist Polack says a 2, bracketologists agree.
wisconsin: Winning the NCAA Tournament, apparently.

Brad Davison is leading the conference in fouls with 97, and that still feels low.

But I don’t know, guys. Do you think Andy Van Vliet has finally turned a corner and become a real Big Te—hahaha I’m sorry, I did my best, but I haven’t had my 10th cocktail of the day yet. (I know; I’m slacking.) Cassius Winston will run circles around the badger guards, and wisconsin has no answer for the length of Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson, Jr.

It’s really just a damn shame that Michigan State will have this cloud hanging over it for the rest of the 2017-18 season, though. At least we’ll have the hot takes of “everyone’s doing it,” or “it’s just $470” to keep us warm through the rest of the winter.

(It doesn’t matter, and it’s almost certainly more than just that, but that’s not going to stop you from sticking your head in the sand, Michigan State fan. It won’t stop us from continuing to call you on that shit, either. Stew put it well: Izzo is both a great and a dirty coach. We can have it both ways just fine.)

Pick: Michigan State, 68-57.


Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    (84 votes)
  • 32%
    (40 votes)
124 votes total Vote Now

Illinois Fighting Illini (13-17, 3-14) at rutger Scarlet Knights (13-17, 3-14)

Sunday | 2pm | BTN
line TBD | O/U TBD




Side note, actual shoutout to the Scarlet Knights’ defensive strides in 2017-18. Being 17th in AdjD is no joke, and Steve Pikiell—if he can get one or two shooters—will have a potential NIT team someday. I’m impressed with how he’s gotten defensive buy-in from Corey Sanders and Deshawn Freeman (#4 and #5, respectively, in Defensive Win Shares)’s just a shame Sanders has attempted 349 2pt FGs, second-most in the Big Ten (behind, holy shit, Ethan Happ’s 405), and but only made 42% of those.

I will not write about whatever the fuck is happening in Champaign, and you can’t make me.

Pick: Pain.


Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    (22 votes)
  • 12%
    (15 votes)
  • 58%
    No one
    (68 votes)
  • 10%
    (12 votes)
117 votes total Vote Now

Minnesota Golden Gophers (15-15, 4-13) at #9 Purdue Boilermakers (25-5, 14-3)

Sunday | 3pm | FS1
line TBD | O/U TBD


Purdue: Boilerman thinks 2, most people agree.

Jordan Murphy is in the Top 10 for the nation’s Malone Award, which goes to the best power forward in the country. Unfortunately, Jordan Murphy is one person, while Ethan Happ, Isaac Haas, Vincent Edwards (assuming he’s healthy), and Carsen Edwards are three. [Edit: Happ, Edwards, and Edwards still makes three, but I guess it is a point of contention as to whether or not all three play for Purdue. Sounds like some bullshit to me.]

This being the swan song for Dakota Mathias, I expect the gunner to drop at least 20 on Minnesota. (It is also the swan song, however improbably, for Nate Mason, who received a ‘lovely’ profile from the Pioneer Press which adorably elided his suspension in 2016.)

Just leave some identifiable features for the coroner, Purdue.

Pick: Purdue, 90-68.


How much does Purdue win by?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    (23 votes)
  • 30%
    (37 votes)
  • 24%
    (30 votes)
  • 26%
    Fire Matt Painter
    (32 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now

Penn State Nittany Lions (19-11, 9-8) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (21-9, 12-5)

Sunday | 4:15pm | FS1
line TBD | O/U TBD


PSU: Aaron thinks a BTT run is needed, bracketology says First Eight Out, NIT thinks 2 vs. Northeastern.
Nebraska: Jesse says win over PSU and one BTT win, bracketology says First Out, NIT thinks 3 vs. Old Dominion.


That’s something I can’t believe I’m saying, nor can I believe that the Huskers could actually get a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament in a year I earnestly thought would be Tim Miles’ last in Lincoln. How quickly things change.

This is a fun matchup of two teams that play at a relatively quick pace (for the Big Ten) but are still good, good defensive teams (both Top 50 in AdjD). I don’t think the Huskers have an answer for the length of Mike Watkins, but it’ll be fun to watch Glynn Watson and James Palmer, Jr. try to gun with Shep Garner and Tony Carr.

Then again, there’s PBA Magic to consider. Will Scott Frost give the boys a halftime pep talk? Will fans stay in their seats past the 4:00 mark in the second half? WE’LL FIND OUT.

Pick: Penn State, 78-75.


An actual, serious poll: Who wins?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Penn State
    (70 votes)
  • 59%
    (103 votes)
173 votes total Vote Now

Northwestern Wildcats (15-15, 6-11) at Iowa Hawkeyes (12-18, 3-14)

Sunday | 6:30pm | BTN
line TBD | O/U TBD


NU: Once again, I am required to note that Big Apple Buckets thinks Northwestern is a “Strong CBI/CIT Contender,” which, fuck my life.

Kill me.

I am willingly driving to this game, likely the day after a big snowstorm makes the US-52/US-63 corridor nigh impassable.

I make bad life decisions, and you and I both know that, but you will still make fun of me.

Pick: I read a good book and the ‘Cats can’t stop a thing. Iowa, 78-69.


In a battle of inept defense vs. inept offense...

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    The ‘Cats finally remember how to score
    (28 votes)
  • 16%
    The Hawks finally learn how to defend
    (18 votes)
  • 57%
    /Benny Hill theme
    (62 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now

Talk about the games here. I’ll be outdoors most of the day Saturday, drinking lots and lots of beer at the Beer Dabbler while it snows 6-10” all around me. My Saturday will be better than yours. My Sunday will not.

Behave yourselves, go ‘Cats.