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Big Ten Bracketology: It’s Four Teams, but Where?

We’ve got all your NCAA Tournament and NIT bracketology round-up here: Come see where Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Maryland, Penn State, and...Indiana?!..are headed.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Purdue vs Michigan Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Well, if you were a fan of any Big Ten teams getting off the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament, that was about as unsatisfying a Big Ten Tournament as you could’ve gotten.

By virtue of their upset victories over the Michigan State Spartans and the Purdue Boilermakers, your Michigan Wolverines receive the Big Ten’s auto-bid to the Big Dance, while the Wolverines’ conquests will no doubt be in line for a pair of Top-16 seeds. Joining them, barring an act of Dog, will be the Ohio State Buckeyes.

With their third-round loss to Michigan and fourth-round loss to Purdue, respectively, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Penn State Nittany Lions find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble looking in at March Madness. It’s likely each would’ve needed another win on top of that loss to solidify their status, especially with good teams like the St. Mary’s Gaels stacking up on the bubble. But, what’s done is done, and all that’s left to do is survey the wreckage as it stands today.

Bracketology: NCAA and NIT

NCAA Observations

  • I’m honestly really, really bummed for both the Huskers and Nittany Lions. I don’t cheer for them by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought they’d put it together at the right time. So close—and now we’ll wonder how much of a reprieve this is for both Pat Chambers and Tim Miles.
  • Michigan State fans should be praying for early tourney exits for the Cincinnati Bearcats and Auburn Tigers—those are the teams immediately ahead of them in the race to squeak onto that last 2-seed line. Is it worth being the 2-seed that faces Kansas, though?
  • On the other side, pretty much get out your Sharpie and pen Purdue onto a 2-slot. That could be a real gift if Purdue draws Xavier as its 1-seed, too. The Boilers will travel well to Nashville, though a Purdue-Seton Hall game might be first-to-60.
  • Look at the range on potential Ohio State matchups: From a date with a good story but not-as-imposing foe in the New Mexico State Aggies to...well, you’re either getting a bubbly team in Arizona State/Alabama, or you’re getting the squad that will probably be the sexiest pick of a 12-seed to make the Sweet Sixteen, the Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers. /gulp

Summit League Update!

I am so here for the third installment of the DAKOTA SHOWDOWN. Both the Mount Rushmore State clubs romped last night, South Dakota State over the North Dakota State Bison and the South Dakota over the Never-Made-the-Tourney-Club Denver.

This would be the third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Jacks, while the ‘Yotes could finally exit the NMtTC—though they only joined D-1 basketball in 2008-09.

At home in Brookings just over a week ago, the Jackrabbits took the last matchup, 76-72, and they carry a 10-game winning streak into Sioux Falls tonight, with their last loss coming to USD back in January. The ‘Yotes, having dropped that game to the Jacks, are 8 for their last 9.

It’s the Matt Mooney and Mike Daum Show tonight in the battle of who can be a whiter kid from the Midwest—but both juniors pour it in, averaging 18.3 for the ‘Yotes and 23.8 for the Jacks, respectively. [Side note: Do you think Tim Miles is upset about missing Daum, from Kimball, NE, or Triston Simpson, from Lincoln?]

They meet tonight! at 8pm, live from the Denny Sanford Premier Center on ESPN2. Tune in—you’ve got the 73rd and 78th-best teams in the country in terms of AdjT, with the ‘Yotes being a more clamp-down defense and the Jacks bringing a high-powered offense. Definitely a Championship Week must-see. I’ll have it open while I’m leading my last review session before midterms. DAKOTA SHOWDOWN!



This poll is closed

  • 64%
    (22 votes)
  • 35%
    (12 votes)
34 votes total Vote Now

NIT Bracketology

  • That’s a rough break for Nebraska, tumbling all the way to a four-seed in the NIT projections. I like them in a matchup with South Carolina, who is essentially an analogue of the Huskers (good D, mediocre O), but a one-game stint at the PBA with Oklahoma State losing is an unfortunate fall from bubbly grace.
  • Remember that the NIT exists to make money off regional games, and then enjoy that Penn State will get a home game with what’s currently Boston College but will likely be an auto-bid who gets upset in their conference tournament. Mississippi State lurks as the two-seed across from the Nittany Lions.
  • Sure, Maryland as a four-seed. Why not. They should roll Temple.
  • Well lookit here, the Hoosiers are skulking around the bottom of the NIT bracket! NYC Buckets seems to think they’ll be bounced with the addition of more auto-bid losers, but if chalk holds relatively fast, could Indiana get an NIT call? Would they take it?
  • Looks at wisconsin and Northwestern /headdesk

Vote in the polls and leave us your thoughts in the comments!


Who dances the longest?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    2-seed Purdue
    (118 votes)
  • 23%
    2/3-seed Michigan State
    (99 votes)
  • 46%
    3-seed Michigan
    (195 votes)
  • 2%
    5-seed Ohio State
    (11 votes)
423 votes total Vote Now


Who gets upset first?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    (57 votes)
  • 19%
    Michigan State
    (82 votes)
  • 14%
    (62 votes)
  • 46%
    Ohio State
    (193 votes)
  • 5%
    (25 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now


Who rolls deepest in the NIT?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    (121 votes)
  • 8%
    (36 votes)
  • 55%
    Penn State
    (246 votes)
  • 8%
    (38 votes)
441 votes total Vote Now