In the meantime, though, here’s a hopefully-not-too-early rundown of what the Big Smart Brains like Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm are saying about various Big Ten teams’ chances at dancing, come March. Are there maybe better people I could use? Sure! But am I using the most readily available, nationally published data because I’m lazy as hell? You bet.
B1G Talking Points
- Two #1 seeds? It’s unlikely—with Duke and Virginia above them, I doubt Michigan State and Michigan could pull the double. But if you have a couple teams around 3 and 4 in the Big Ten Tournament championship? Dare to dream, is all I’m saying.
- I’m actually super-intrigued by the Michigan matchup with the Bucknell Bison of the Patriot League. My Holy Cross fandom has me good and fearful of what the Cheatin’ Ass Bison can do—they could grind one out with the Wolverines.
- The Maryland Terrapins are out-performing their NET rankings, while Purdue is wayyy underperforming it. Can the Boilermakers climb with a road win or two?
- In Bracket Matrix, the middle of the conference—Purdue, Iowa, wisconsin, Nebraska—are literally one after the other in the rankings. That’s how fluid and stacked this conference situation is.
- Indiana has now lost 5 straight Big Ten games. I compiled these stats right as they were completing a loss to my Northwestern Wildcats; now...thank goodness Archie Miller knows his way around Dayton.
- I honestly hadn’t even considered Northwestern to be an NIT team. Selfishly, I’m very excited for something—anything—to care about in March. Keep it up, ‘Cats.
- With that, I am prepared to ratchet up my calls for Northwestern to begin leapfrogging Minnesota (and maybe Ohio State?) in a few brackets. Compare their profiles. Minnesota’s got...a win over wisconsin and a win over Nebraska. Nah. Not convinced.