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Big Ten Bracketology: Dance Floor Getting Crowded?

Michigan State keeps the dream of a one-seed alive, Ohio State creeps farther north, and Northwestern makes a push to join Maryland and Nebraska.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Northwestern Jim Young-USA TODAY Sports

Is the Big Ten still bad? Yes.

Might that not matter if Nebraska, Maryland, and...maybe Northwestern?...keep winning? We’ll see.

This week in Big Ten Bracketology, the Purdue Boilermakers further tighten their stranglehold on a 1-seed (seriously...they moved up from 1.05 to 1.02 in Bracket Matrix), Michigan State climbs onto a high-3 line while hanging onto the #4 ranking nationally, and even Ohio State gets in the “stock rising” action.

All this is to say: The Big Ten is still bad, and it still should probably only get 4 teams into the NCAA Tournament. But...

(NIT Bracketology hasn’t been updated; we’ll likely just re-add it next week.)


  • Both Michigan State and Ohio State find themselves at the top seed of their respective columns in Bracket Matrix—MSU at the 3, OSU at the 5. Seems a good chance for them to move up if someone falters.
  • The Iowa Hawkeyes nearly ruined all that for Sparty last night though, huh? Losses like that are why it’d be fun to see Fran’s Bunch in the CBI...if they can get there.
  • With their home win over Michigan, my Northwestern Wildcats are gonna get some run in the media as a little dark horse to make the Dance. This is where I tell you: They won’t, especially not with metrics showing them in the 70s in KP/RPI. But you’ll have to hear about it anyways, because the football team won 8 on the trot to close it out, so why couldn’t basketball? (There’d be a nice parallel with a home win over Michigan sparking it, though.)
  • Michigan’s loss to Northwestern might be good for the Wolverines...I’d want to tumble to an 8 or something and avoid Houston or Mizzou in the early rounds.
  • These matchups indicate just how important it is for Ohio State to play its way onto a 4-seed—the jump is from a play-in 11-seed that is still VaTech/UCLA or a 12-seed that is Middle a 13-seed that is East Tennessee. Possibly, to my mind, the biggest marker of “good” vs. “cannon fodder” in the NCAA Tournament, the jump from 12 to 13.
  • No one knows what to do with Maryland or Nebraska. The Terps dropped a vote in Bracket Matrix, but were added to SBN’s “Also Considered.” The Huskers picked up a couple votes in the Matrix but can’t seem to gain national traction.


NOW how many Big Ten teams will make the NCAA Tournament?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    (106 votes)
  • 65%
    (368 votes)
  • 11%
    (62 votes)
  • 4%
    (23 votes)
559 votes total Vote Now