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Big Ten Tournament Wednesday Open Thread: Northwestern-Minnesota, Nebraska-Indiana

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As the Big Ten hits the court in Indianapolis, which double-digit seed could make it all the way to Friday? We preview NU-Minn and UNL-Indiana:

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Northwestern Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Aaaaaaand we’ve done it! Just five short days in Indianapolis and one Big Ten team will (likely double-)punch its ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Here are our previews and info about the wide world of conference tournament season:

Wednesday, March 11

[12] Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. [13] Northwestern Wildcats

5pm | BTN | Minn -8 | O/U 137

Poll

Last-minute poll. Want to change your pick?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Nah, Minnesota will win.
    (17 votes)
  • 26%
    Sure! I think Northwestern could do it! I’ve been drinking since Weber State-Sac State tipped off at 10:30am!
    (6 votes)
23 votes total Vote Now

[11] Indiana Hoosiers vs. [14] Nebraska Cornhuskers

7:25ish | BTN | Indiana -14 | O/U 144

Poll

Same here! Does the last-minute influx of some football...uh...talent?...put the Huskers over the top?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Nah, but it’s a fun story.
    (23 votes)
  • 23%
    Sure! Archie hasn’t hit rock bottom yet...
    (7 votes)
30 votes total Vote Now

I put it to the OTE staff which of these four teams would be the most likely to reach the quarterfinals on Friday, and received only this:

WSR: I don’t think Coronavirus will wipe out any of them.

Then, thankfully, Stew came to the rescue:

Stewmonkey13: Ok, gonna immediately eliminate UNL, as without Cam Mack they’re completely toothless and make it impossible to win games on back-to-back days. Similarly with jNW, they’re just plain not good enough.

So Indiana and Minnesota.

Minnesota has an outstanding talent in Daniel Oturu to carry them, but shooting, and especially free throws already are issues and tired legs in the second game seems likely.

Indiana is a young team, and is still quite talented. Also, they’re actually fighting, and a matchup with a struggling PSU team could prove to be a good path to Friday. While Indiana is still fighting a bit for a NCAA bid, the gophers could be playing for lil Ricky’s job (though Archie ain’t exactly safe, either).

WSR: I think it’s Minnesota, and while it’s homerish as hell we should have beaten Iowa in Minneapolis, we have a starting 5 that’s getting better all the time with Ihnen growing into the 4 role and Oturu being the most underrated player in the country, and we’ve just choked at times this year (as noted by the fact that we’re 29th in Kenpom in spite of having a losing record right now).

Also, beating the ever-loving shit out of Nebraska may be the spark the Gophers needed.

MNW: I’m inclined to go with Indiana because there’s a chance they get some rest against the Huskers, especially if Hoiberg’s gotta dip into his reserve stores of Noah Vedral and Brant Banks. Add to that Penn State scuffling, and it seems like the Hoosiers could get more of a run at this than the alternative.

Of course, maybe they pack it in and get Archie fired. That’d be fun, too!

Poll

Which Wednesday team makes it to Friday?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    #11 Indiana (vs. UNL, vs. PSU)
    (24 votes)
  • 44%
    #12 Minnesota (vs. NU, vs. Iowa)
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    #13 Northwestern (vs. MN, vs. Iowa)
    (0 votes)
  • 4%
    #14 Nebraska (vs. IU, vs. PSU)
    (2 votes)
47 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your open thread for tonight’s games! A schedule for all the day’s action can be found below, too.