Day Two of our tournament preview potluck (if you missed day one, find it here) takes us to the Lower East Side, where Katz’s Deli is serving up Pastrami on Rye. Made from brine-cured brisket, spiced, smoked, and sliced for sandwiches, pastrami has been a big part of the New York deli scene since 1887, when a Lithuanian immigrant named Sussman Volk began selling pastrami at his butcher shop. New York media staple The Village Voice names Katz’s as the place to get pastrami in the Big Apple, and given that the deli has been open since 1888, I figure that they’ve probably gotten their recipe pretty much fine-tuned by this point. (Please take any and all restaurant related fights to the comments section; thank you.)
Now that the regular season has wrapped up, it’s time to find out just who has fine-tuned their squad to make a deep postseason run, starting with winning the Big Ten Tournament. That leads me nicely into today’s question:
While anyone could win the Big Ten Tournament, there’s a very good chance that only three teams actually qualify as “likely to win the 2018 Big Ten Tournament.” Of course, we’re not exactly known for our rational or even good predictions around here, so who wins the BTT and how do they get to the top?
WSR: A random draw of putting three teams into a hat, then throwing away the one that said “Illinois” leads me to believe that Purdue will win the B1G Tourney. They’ve got a decent enough backcourt, some decent bigs, and a coach that whines enough to get calls to slip by in a close game. If Vince Edwards is ready to go, they’ve got just as good a shot as any of the other real contenders.
Graham: Michigan. Veteran talent, peaking at the right time, a history of a system that does well in the postseason pressure cooker.
BRT: I think Purdue gets their shit back together. My impression of MSU is that they normally don’t care much about this tournament, so they’ll probably fart out of it earlier than is necessary.
BMan31:. Well, since I’ve jinxed Nebraska enough on the writer’s Slack Channel. Let me just say that I think the pecking order goes Sparty, Purdue, OSU, and everyone else. Whoever doesn’t have to face a team that’s involved in a plane sliding off a runway takes it.
Andrew K: The top seed has won it 8 times and the 2-seed 5 times; all other seeds have won it a combined 4 times. So history tells us the cream rises to the top in this title. As of this response it has yet to be determined who the top two are, but we know it will be some combo of MSU, Purdue, and OSU, so keep your chips on those spots.
JC: Can I choose not Ohio State? I like the story. They’re a good team. They don’t look like a team that can win the BTT. If you made me put my house on a team, I’m probably choosing Sparty because why not? It’s them or Purdue in my mind and I happen to still think Izzo is a better coach than Painter.
Creighton M: Let’s stop pretending Sparty doesn’t have this locked up. They have the best coaching, the best players, the most momentum and also, with several clouds hanging over their heads at the moment, they’re the biggest villain. And every time we identify a clear villain in sports, the villains always win. Congrats on the (possibly soon to be vacated) title, Spartans. You earned it?
MNW: Purdue. They will not lose to Ohio State again, and having...who, Indiana or rutger? as the toughest-looking opponents before the semifinals does very little to make me think they will not be rested and ready for the Big Ten Tournament finals.
Aaron Yorke: With Vincent Edwards back in the starting lineup, I think Purdue is the best team in the Big Ten, so let’s go with the Boilermakers. They’ll take down the rival Hoosiers in the quarterfinals, and then beat Ohio State in the semis to avenge their loss at Mackey earlier in the season. That leaves a finals matchup with Michigan State or Michigan or even Nebraska as the final challenge. Purdue’s got the best combination of three-point shooting and Isaac Haas in the conference, so I’m confident that it’ll get the job done.
Beez: Purdue. Finals are obviously Michigan State-Purdue, which should be a decent game. Izzo knows he’s got a 1-seed if he makes the finals, so that’s all he shoots for. Not saying he tanks, but I think he does his usual (my gut tells me Izzo hasn’t cared about the BTT in the past when he didn’t need to, but my gut is also hungry) trick of getting only as far in the BTT as he needs before resting his guys for the NCAAT.
Stew: It’s Michigan State because they’re much, much better than everyone else. My compatriots have noted the relative easy draw Purdue will face, as if the rest of the B1G isn’t also complete garbage. It is. Garbage.
Candystripes: Loathe as I am to give Purdue credit for just about anything, the Boilers have looked as close to a really good team as anyone in the conference has this season. While the rational part of my brain says this is actually MSU’s title to lose, the not-rational part of my brain says that a Nebraska-Purdue final would be kind of interesting (why it says that, I don’t know, given that the regular season meeting was a 12 point Purdue win, but whatever), and it would take some pretty impressive scenarios for most anyone else to hoist the trophy, so I’m picking Purdue by beating IU, OSU, and then Nebraska in the final.
Who wins the Big Ten Tournament?
This poll is closed
An unlikely upset (that I will make clear in the comments)