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Big Ten Bracketology: Is Rutgers safe yet?

Did the Knights’ home rout of #9 Maryland do anything for their NCAA Tournament seeding? And did it hurt the Terrapins? We have your Big Ten bracketology plus NIT seeding for Minnesota and Purdue...

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Even if you expected Rutgers to beat Maryland at home (as our ZuzuRU did)...

...those were some style points there (including the fouling right down to the very end). Rutgers basketball is...well, it’s kind of here, even if we’re not actually sure it can win a game outside the Garden State.

And that means—as you’ll see!—some of the most-up-to-date projections are still not putting the Knights on the right side of the cut line, and others have them on that bubbly kind of spot that’ll surely pop as bid thieves in the mid-majors and high-majors force questions like whether Rutgers or Furman, for example, deserve an at-large spot in the Dance.

Big Ten Bracketology

B1G Talking Points

  • I get the wee sneaky feeling the USA Today bracketology is going to be echoed by Lunardi as the week wears on—that means Maryland and Michigan State both sharing a three-seed. Also, UC Irvine will be a tough out for whoever draws them. That’s some fun late-night basketball viewing—the Anteaters have some damn trees on that team.
  • If you want to see what the effect of losing winnable games to conference rivals at home? Look at Jerry Palm’s ratings for Penn State and Iowa on 2/28, then look at them today. From a mid-major to a P5 team that can go toe-to-toe with you, Hawkeyes...oof.
  • I have no idea how Ohio State are a pretty consensus-y 5-seed, and I won’t respond to the question.
  • wisconsin-Northern Iowa only looks like a first-round matchup you would watch if you remember that the badgers were supposed to play Virginia this time last week.
  • Palm, at least, appears to be over Michigan’s bullshit, as do the esteemed Bracket Matrix voters—Juwan Howard’s bunch took the biggest tumble from last week to this week.
  • One of those last five teams is gonna show out in the Big Ten Tournament and move onto a 4- or 5-line, and I cannot for the life of me even begin to guess who it will be. Your thoughts?


Which 5- or 6-seed is MOST LIKELY to jump at least one spot after the Big Ten Tournament?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Penn State
    (96 votes)
  • 18%
    Ohio State
    (124 votes)
  • 16%
    (107 votes)
  • 35%
    (235 votes)
  • 14%
    (97 votes)
659 votes total Vote Now
  • It feels mean to not include Illinois in that mixture, but (1) fuck ‘em, and (2) I would enjoy the hell outta an Illinois-UCLA first-round matchup, if Palm trending the Illini toward a 6-line is true. Underwood and Cronin just screaming their fucking heads off would be great television.
  • What is Indiana’s signature victory away from home? Is it the football game with UConn in Madison Square Garden? Is that what I’m supposed to take away from this team? Home wins over Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State...but, I there anything to suggest this is a team that should be in the Dance? Yet 134/136 bracketologists think so.
  • Same criticism for Rutgers, only people actually realize that maybe Rutgers isn’t an NCAA Tournament team. USA Today only bumped them into the First Four [SPOILER: ya ain’t sticking on the right side of that bubble this year], and Palm kept them out entirely. It appears people have finally actually watched Rutgers and realized, uh...
  • I’ll be curious to see if Purdue starts moving up again with this upset of Iowa in Iowa City. Then again, it’s the second time the Boilers have just trucked the Hawkeyes, so maybe Evan Boudreaux just knows how to win when surrounded by 15,000 other pasty white accountants.


Who makes it off the bubble?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Indiana, Rutgers, and Purdue
    (112 votes)
  • 39%
    Indiana and Rutgers
    (392 votes)
  • 6%
    Indiana and Purdue
    (61 votes)
  • 18%
    Purdue and Rutgers
    (177 votes)
  • 8%
    Just Indiana
    (82 votes)
  • 10%
    Just Purdue
    (102 votes)
  • 5%
    None of them
    (55 votes)
981 votes total Vote Now
  • Congrats on a first-round NIT road game, Minnesota. We’ll miss you, Little Richard.

Here, to remind you, are all the Big Ten games, previews, roundups, and other assorted goods happening at Off Tackle Empire this week!

Check them out, and let us know your thoughts on the conference’s NCAA Tournament chances in the comments!