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Big Ten Bracketology, Weekend Basketball Open Thread

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How can Michigan, Indiana, and Rutgers get off the bubble?

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A week of Big Ten hoops in the books—here’s what you missed:

Some actual NCAA Tournament seeding to consider! Games with big title implications this weekend! Here’s where the conference stands.

B1G Bracketology

Not that any of you care, but I tend to draw on four sources—Lunardi at ESPN, Palm at CBS, SBNation’s Chris Dobbertean at Blogging the Bracket, and Joe Stunardi for NIT bracketology at The Barking Crow. The latter two haven’t updated yet and I have some letters to write this afternoon, so I’ll update as available, but this might be an NIT-less week. Sorry.

B1G Thoughts

  • We all agree that the extent of our Purdue thoughts this week are just to snicker at “Longwood” and move on, yes?
  • Looking like Illinois will tumble below wisconsin when Bracket Matrix catches up to the data from last night, which only feels like a real problem if (1) you think Illinois has a much better chance against the 2-seeds or (2) they fall to a 5-seed and give us the opportunity for an Underwood-Pitino matchup.
  • Speaking of wisconsin
  • I’ll admit that even watching Ohio State last night...I still don’t get it, man. I don’t understand what they’re particularly good at, but Liddell and Branham are elite and maybe I’ll just shut up and enjoy that. They’ve snuck onto a 4-line and should stay there barring some bad loss.
  • If Michigan State can get by Creighton in Lunardi’s bracket? Duke awaits, and ESPN dies in an orgiastic bacchanalia of preview segments.
  • Iowa appears not to be yo-yoing as much as I thought they would! I think Lunardi’s a little bullish on them—to me it would take a hell of a run in the Big Ten Tournament to move Iowa onto a 6-seed, and unless they do that, I think it’s another non-Sweet 16 year in Iowa City.
  • BoilerUp89 had been badgering (train-ing?) our writers to talk about the bubble, as well, so here’s that:

With the season winding down, what do Indiana, Michigan, and Rutgers still have to do to hear their name called on Selection Sunday?

Buffkomodo: Indiana must win 3 games. There are 4 left. Anything else means they’re out. I’m not certain Michigan can salvage the season at this point, so they’re a conference tournament must-win to me. I think the ‘Gers just can’t melt down and go 0-for down the stretch.

MaximumSam: Refrain from punching the other team.

misdreavus79: Win. Michigan just beat Rutgers, so they have a leg up on that one. But each of those teams have enough big games left to put themselves on the right side of the bubble:

  1. Indiana still plays the aforementioned Rutgers, as well as well as Purdue on the road. Sweep the Boilers, go dancing.
  2. Rutgers still plays Wisconsin at home. And given that they’re going to lose to Penn State on senior night, they’re going to want to beat the Badgers before that.
  3. Michigan has nothing but opportunities left in Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State. Win two of those, and you can breathe easier. Win three, and you’re in.

Kind of...: Indiana just beat Maryland. If they win @Minnesota and vs. Rutgers, they’ll be 19-10/10-9. That should be enough even if they lost @Purdue and in their first B1G tournament game. If they finish the regular season 18-12/9-11, they had better win a conference tournament game. They need 19 wins.

Michigan needs three more wins. If they go 2-2 and finish 17-13/11-9, I don’t think that’s enough, especially because that probably gets them the 6 or 7 seed at the B1G tournament, which means a first round loss is to the 10, 11, or 14 seed, which would be a bad loss. 18-12/12-8 would probably be good enough to absorb such a loss, so, yeah, three more wins.

Rutgers is tougher. They need to win at least two of their last three regular season games (fortunately for them, two are at home) AND they simply cannot lost in the first round of the B1G tournament, as they’re looking at the 6 or 7 seed as well. 19-13/12-8 would probably do it, but they shouldn’t feel safe unless they get 20 wins, whether that means a 13-7 conference record OR a semifinal appearance at the B1G tournament.

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

Rutgers:

This poll is closed

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

Big Ten Men’s Basketball Schedule

Friday, February 25

Northwestern Wildcats at Penn State Nittany Lions

6pm | FS1 | Penn State -1.5 | O/U 129

The battle for the last Thursday bye! Both the ‘Cats and the Lions have a game or so on Maryland, so this one will sort out whether Penn State takes it (they’d have a 1.5-game lead and the H2H tiebreak on NU) or it throws it to tiebreaker criteria. Someone in the comments can tell me who wins that—I don’t hate myself enough yet today.

#25 Iowa Hawkeyes at Nebraska Cornhuskers

8pm | FS1 | Iowa -12.5 | O/U 161.5

Iowa’s going to try to hang a 100 on the Huskers, then tell anyone who listens what an accomplishment they’ve done.

I’d hang it next to the Round of 32 banners in Carver-Hawkeye.

Saturday, February 26

#4 Purdue at Michigan State

11am | ESPN | Purdue - | O/U

#13 wisconsin at Rutgers

5pm | BTN | Rutgers -2 | O/U 131.5

Sunday, February 27

#15 Illinois at Michigan

1pm | CBS

#22 Ohio State at Maryland

3pm | CBS

Indiana at Minnesota

5pm | ESPN2

Nebraska at Penn State

6pm | BTN


Here’s your open thread for the day’s basketball. More coaching hot seat rumors and Big Ten fun coming later this weekend!