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Rutgers, Michigan, Indiana: Who’s in?

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Rutgers vs Indiana Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, we’ve slap-fought enough.

Time to move on and see who’s got a puncher’s chance at the NCAA Tournament...

...and it’s possible one of those teams is still Michigan?

B1G Bracketology

B1G Thoughts

  • Purdue’s a two-seed. Cool. Moving on.
  • Win the Big Ten Tournament, and we’re down with Illinois moving up to the two-line as well? What do we think?
  • I keep waiting for it to come at the expense of wisconsin, but it turns out it’s likely at the expense of a Michigan State instead, who continues to tumble down the bracketologists’ projections. I’ll be sure to vomit my entire way through a Michigan State-North Carolina first-round matchup, though.
  • New Mexico State would be a fun little matchup for the badgers—and maybe the Illini? The Aggies have gotten a big boost from our old Nebraska friend Teddy Allen, have a couple big boys inside who take up space, and feature—in addition to Allen—a couple other slashers off the wing who are in the 6’7” range. Consistency is an issue, but it’d be an intriguing matchup.
  • Meanwhile, Ohio State remains a 5-seed, quietly, and remains wedded to Iona in those projections. Please please please let that happen.
  • How is Jim Larranaga still a thing at Miami? Regardless, I have zero interest in an Iowa matchup with Miami or any other power conference also-ran. Like attracts like in those matchups, and...ew.
  • Now...the fun part. What the hell do you do with the remaining four teams?
  • For all the consternation about Michigan, the Wolverines stayed in a good number of projections and remain right on the cusp in Jerry Palm’s estimation. They’ll likely be a little bubble-dependent, but that’s a tough resume to not put in the tournament. How UM can hold up over a jam-packed final week—RU, IL, MSU, Iowa, @OSU—though...I don’t know. My Verdict: OUT.
  • I was stunned to see Indiana staying in both Lunardi and Palm’s projections. Their Kenpom is down to 49, their NET rating is down to 43, and there’s just no “there” there with the Hoosiers. Oh, wait: MD, @MN, RU, @PU. Go 3-1 in that slate, and...My Verdict: First Four.
  • Aaaaaand Rutgers. Rutgers, Rutgers, Rutgers. Jerry Palm can’t get over Lafayette, while Joe Lunardi’s willing to ride the hot hand and toss the Scarlet Knights into the tournament. (Of course, our friends over at The Barking Crow have the Steve Pikiell’s men as an NIT 4-seed, with St. Bonaventure on the docket.) My Verdict: IN.

But what say you, good people of OTE?

Poll

Michigan:

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    In
    (125 votes)
  • 21%
    First Four
    (113 votes)
  • 55%
    Out
    (298 votes)
536 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Indiana:

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    In
    (96 votes)
  • 27%
    First Four
    (141 votes)
  • 54%
    Out
    (279 votes)
516 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Rutgers:

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    In
    (336 votes)
  • 19%
    First Four
    (102 votes)
  • 17%
    Out
    (95 votes)
533 votes total Vote Now

Big Ten Men’s Basketball Schedule

Tuesday, February 22

Michigan State Spartans at #25 Iowa Hawkeyes

6pm | ESPN | Iowa -6 | O/U 153.5

A contender for game of the week—can the Spartans stop the slide against a somewhat surprisingly-ranked Hawkeyes club? If they can, Iowa fan, fear not—you can always fall back on the conspiracy that Tom Izzo complained about the refs and therefore all the calls will go against you.

Or you could take up needlepoint or something more productive.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Northwestern Wildcats

7pm | BTN | NU -11 | O/U 148.5

Over/under on students present at this game: 15.

Wednesday, February 23

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Wolverines

6pm | BTN | Michigan -5 | O/U 135.5

Do we think Juwan Howard could’ve taken Steve Pikiell in a fight if this one came down to it? I give the edge to Pikiell; I’ve seen the way his teams play defense.

Could be an NCAA Tournament elimination game.

#13 wisconsin badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers

8pm | BTN | wisconsin -5 | O/u 135

I’m sure Luke Loewe is going to shoot 80% from the field again, Gophers fans, so nothing to worry about here.

Internal memo to OTE writers: Who’s bailing WSR out of jail after this one? We’ll need to pass the hat again...

Thursday, February 24

Maryland Terrapins at Indiana Hoosiers

6pm | FS1 | IU -6.5 | O/U 135.5

These teams just played last weekend, didn’t they?

DIDN’T THEY?!

#22 Ohio State Buckeyes at #15 Illinois Fighting Illini

8pm | FS1 | Illinois -6 | O/U 140.5

I mean, sure. A chance for Illinois to keep pace with Purdue at the top of the conference, a chance for Ohio State to do something to earn a place in my imagination. I still don’t know that I’ve watched a minute of Buckeyes basketball this year, and I’m fairly confident they already played Northwestern.

Thumpasaurus: I’m just wondering if the shooting problems are going to continue. Kofi is for the most part Kofi and will get a double double. A surprise appearance by Jacob Grandison in East Lansing was the difference between winning and losing by double digits, but Alfonso Plummer has played two entire games without hitting a three, Da’Monte Williams has turned back into a ghost on the offensive end, and Trent Frazier has been ice cold for three weeks with the exception of garbage time against Rutgers and a game-sealing shot against MSU. RJ Melendez will miss the game after an emergency appendectomy, which will at least provide an excuse for how few minutes he’s getting.

Tonight would be a great time for Andre Curbelo to really start clicking in this offense, because suddenly nobody can shoot. As the MSU game proved, we only need one guy to hit shots since Kofi can just get buckets at will. As the Rutgers and Purdue games proved, it’s very possible for all of our shooters to just forget how to shoot the ball for entire games.

Ohio State +210 seems like great value.


Here’s your open thread for the week’s hoops and all your hot bracketology takes. Who’s in from among Rutgers, Indiana, and Michigan? Let us know in the comments.