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Big Ten Basketball Final Weekend Previews, Open Thread

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The regular season conference title is on the line, with three teams primed to earn at least a share of the title with a win.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Minnesota David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Conference titles, shared conference titles, and the Big Ten Tournament 1 seed are all on the line this weekend, with three teams in the running for an outright title, four teams who still have a shared title as a possibility, and three who can be the 1 seed in the ever important ignored Big Ten Tournament (spoiler: If Wisconsin wins, Brad Davison will be playing on the top overall seed for the tournament. I’m sure I’ve jinxed it now, but lol at all of you if it happens). The mediumest of conference seasons in memory is coming to and end, but this should be an exciting and interesting weekend as there’s a lot on the line at the top of the conference and at the edge of the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Saturday Games

(All time EST. Deal with it, you just gotta subtract 1 from everything)

(24) Wisconsin Badgers at Indiana Hoosiers (12 pm - ESPN)

Wisconsin and Indiana start things off with the first of three “if one team wins, they win a share of the conference title” games this weekend. Fans of these two teams know that somehow Wisconsin has won something like 39 of the last 40 matchups. Nonetheless, Indiana is a 2.5-point favorite and desperately needs to win this game to earn a final very good win before selection time. I don’t know where things stand re: Indiana and the bubble, but I’m sure MNWildcat has some thoughts he published earlier this week.

For Wisconsin, it’s all about clinching a share of a conference title after a season that began at 6-6 for them, saw them lose a starter mid-season to transfer and another starter for a game due to mid-season dick punching. This would be the 8th win in a row and would likely lock them in to a 5 seed in the NCAAT.

Poll

If Indiana wins...

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Make the NCAAT regardless of BTT results
    (34 votes)
  • 60%
    Still holding their breath until next Sunday
    (51 votes)
85 votes total Vote Now

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Purdue Boilermakers (2 pm - BTN)

You want to talk about bubbles and season weirdness, take a look at these two teams. Rutgers is looking for just its second road conference win in an otherwise surprisingly good season, and they’ll have to do it at Purdue’s murderdeathkill advantage of a home arena. Purdue is....probably not making the tournament without at least reaching the BTT finals, right? Even if they win this? And word on the internet is Rutgers is somehow flirting with missing the NCAAT, owing largely to that 1-road-win weakness.

For the degenerates among our readership...ESPN.com is showing no line on this game? So I have no betting advice. Edit: Purdue -5.5 according to a better website

Boilerman31: RIP Mat Haarms Hair

Poll

More likely NCAAT scenario

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Rutgers makes NCAAT even with a loss
    (49 votes)
  • 53%
    Purdue misses NCAAT even with a win
    (57 votes)
106 votes total Vote Now

(20) Penn State Nittany Lions at Northwestern Wildcats (4 pm - BTN)

Technically These Are Games Saturday comes to a close for the Big Ten with two perennially terrible conference foes meeting in...what’s this? Penn State is STILL RANKED? And they’re making the NCAAT? How?!? I picked the wrong season to not pay attention, that’s for sure. PSU is a 7-point favorite with an over/under of 140.5 which do the linesetters realize half the teams in this game are Northwestern?

pkloa: Penn State is 1-4 over their last 5 games, but sometimes you just need to play a historically shitty Northwestern to right the ship.

Hypothetical MNWildcat Preview: Northwestern is god awful and will get killed but WOO I TURNED IN MY 700 PAGE THESIS AND I’M ON DAY 3 OF BEING SUPER DRUNK WOO EFF YOU ALL GO CATS.

Actual MNWildcat Preview: Most of the above is true but I'm not on Day 3 of being super drunk :( had Dragon's Milk last night though!

Anyways thanks and good luck on Senior Day to A.J. Turner (a transfer from Boston College) and Pat Spencer (who you may have heard is a lacrosse player and transfer from Dr. Loyola). Sure is a helluva program Chris Collins is building in Evanston.

Lions by 20.

Poll

This is a poll

This poll is closed

  • 100%
    Yes!
    (57 votes)
57 votes total Vote Now

Sunday Games

(Yep, all times are still EST)

(25) Michigan Wolverines at (9) Maryland Terrapins (12 pm - Fox)

Maryland can get at least a share of the title with a win at home against Michigan, in the first of what’s a slate of REALLY good games, and also Nebby v. Minnesota. Maryland is looking for a 2 seed in the NCAAT, I’d imagine, but the more recent and interesting story is whether the Turdg Meltdown will be completed! I won’t look it up, but if memory serves, Maryland was either up 3 games on the conference with 4 to play or up 2 with 3 to play. Either way, they’re at significant risk of not even winning a share of the title, and they need help to get the 1 seed in the BTT. Opposing them is a Michigan team that has been all over the map this season and honestly I have no feel for what that team is, how they’ll fare in the NCAAT, or whether UM fans are happy, mad, or somewhere in between regarding the 2019-20 season so far.

NOTE: I don’t see lines for any of the Sunday games yet. I assume that’s because we shouldn’t be betting on the holiest of days—Big Ten Final Game Day

Poll

Will Maryland totally blow it and not even win a share of the conference title?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    No
    (31 votes)
  • 75%
    God, I sure hope so.
    (97 votes)
128 votes total Vote Now

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Minnesota Golden Gophers (1 pm - BTN)

This is a game that has to be played. It’s the only one of the weekend where neither team is going to make the NCAAT unless they win the Big Ten Tournament. Still, people are fans of these teams, so when you get tired of Fox’s shouting (even if Gus Johnson doesn’t do the game, they’ll be shouting), flip over to Big Ten Network or struggle to get the BTN games to stream when you have a chance!

WhiteSpeedReceiver: We’re going to lose to Nebraska because everything is awful.

BigRedTwice: I’m tired of writing the same thing. Huskers win!!!!

I mean, probably not, but can you blame me?

Poll

Well, can you blame her?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Yes
    (25 votes)
  • 37%
    No
    (28 votes)
  • 28%
    Hey how come WE don’t get a poll about the actual teams/the game?
    (21 votes)
74 votes total Vote Now

(19) Ohio State Buckeyes at (16) Michigan State Spartans (4:30 pm - CBS)

By the time this game starts, Michigan State fans, along with everyone else I guess, will know whether a win earns them a share of the conference title or the outright title. Here’s hoping it’s the former. Or honestly, here’s hoping they lose. MSU is very tough at home, and March used to be Izzo’s month before other schools got even better bagmen, but who among us isn’t rooting for OSU to win and let Wisconsin get the glory of a solo conference title? At the very least, can we PLEASE not have to hear about “hanging the banner” from certain three-letter palindromic OTE username MSU fans?

Both these teams are comfortably in the tournament, and both will be somewhere from 3 to 6 seeds, I’d imagine. Should be a great game, and it’s on CBS, which makes this game feel very March Madness and we should all be excited about that.

Andrew K: Beat Ohio State, get conference title. That simple.

Poll

Did you know these teams combined to go 1-3 against Wisconsin this season?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Lol
    (70 votes)
  • 38%
    How?!? Just...how?
    (43 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

(18) Iowa Hawkeyes at (23) Illinois Fighting Illini (7 pm - BTN)

Illinois is going to need a LOT of help, including wins by Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio State, but as of the publishing of this preview article/open thread, they are the only team in the conference who can win a share of the title beyond the three already mentioned. Iowa remains a VERY good player with what’s technically a team around him, so it’ll be a tough task to win the conference for Illinois even if Wisconsin, MSU, Maryland all use.

These are two more teams who are comfortably in the NCAAT, and without doing any research or asking a single person, I’d imagine both fanbases are between happy and TOTALLY EFFING THRILLED for that to be the case.

Poll

Frantrum Incoming?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Yes, and Iowa’s going to lose because of it
    (55 votes)
  • 47%
    Yes, but it won’t matter
    (50 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now