Good afternoon! Here’s what’s left to sort out in the final weekend of Big Ten conference play for the 2021-22 season:
Big Ten Tournament Scenarios
There are a lot.
Can we leave it there?
Entering the final weekend, 128 seeding scenarios remain for the @B1GMBBall tournament. pic.twitter.com/STGilpjS6D— Kevin Pauga (@KevinPauga) March 4, 2022
- wisconsin badgers (15-4)
- Illinois Fighting Illini (14-5)
This is the easiest one outside the 9- and 12-seeds, which are locked up by two equally shitty teams.
- wisconsin wins OR Illinois loses (75%): badgers
- Illinois wins AND wisconsin loses (25%): Illini
2 and 3 Seeds
- Purdue Boilermakers (13-6)
Here we just add the past two teams and the Boilermakers.
- Illinois wins AND wisconsin loses (25%): badgers 2, Purdue 3
- wisconsin wins and either Illinois wins or Purdue loses (50%): Illinois 2, Purdue 3
- Illinois loses AND Purdue wins (25%): Purdue 2, Illinois 3
4, 5, and 6 Seeds
- Iowa Hawkeyes (12-7)
- Ohio State Buckeyes (12-7)
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (11-8)
We live in a world where Rutgers could still get a double-bye. We have all woefully, horribly, truly fucked this up.
Well, not Northwestern. Even trash-ass Northwestern can beat this fraudulent Rutgers team.
In any scenario in which Rutgers (11-8) loses, they wind up as the 6-seed; in any scenario in which Iowa wins, they wind up as the 4-seed. Rutgers owns either the H2H or the “record vs. top teams” tiebreak on both Michigan and MSU. Clear?
- Iowa wins and Ohio State wins: Iowa 4, OSU 5, Rutgers 6
- Iowa wins, Ohio State loses, Rutgers wins: Iowa 4, Rutgers 5, OSU 6
- Iowa loses, Ohio State wins, Rutgers loses: OSU 4, Iowa 5, Rutgers 6
- Iowa loses and Ohio State and Rutgers win: OSU 4, Rutgers 5, Iowa 6
I think that’s it. Enough thinking about this bullshit.
7 and 8 Seeds
- Michigan Wolverines (10-9)
- Michigan State Spartans (10-9)
I’ll let you all fight over which of these teams has been more disappointing this year. These letdowns split their season series, meaning if they have the same result in their weekend games, it’ll be Sparty, who managed to beat wisconsin. Michigan was 0-3 against wisconsin and Illinois, so they need to gain a game on MSU.
- Indiana Hoosiers (9-10)
10 and 11 Seed
- Maryland Terrapins (7-12)
- Penn State Nittany Lions (7-12)
Maryland beat Penn State head-to-head in their only meeting, meaning the Nittany Lions need to win and have the Terrapins lose. Otherwise, it’s the Terps’ bye.
13 and 14 Seeds
- Minnesota Golden Gophers (4-15)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-16)
It’s honestly stunning to me that Fred Hoiberg and the Huskers have dug deep and found a way to get within striking distance of “not technically dead last.” AND they have the tiebreak on Minnesota! Kudos to them.
Unfortunately for Nebraska, they need to win at wisconsin AND see Minnesota lose at Northwestern, which isn’t happening.
- In Bracket Matrix, the badgers and the last 2-seed, and Purdue is the first 3-seed. Feels like wisconsin slips to a 3 at worst, and Purdue needs to win the conference to get up to the 2. But if Illinois wins the conference, could all three of these teams be on a 3-line?
- Still couldn’t tell you what it is Ohio State does.
- What’s Iowa’s signature win this season? I don’t think many Iowa fans are advocating for a 5-seed, but even a 6-seed...but are we that impressed they won a roadie in an arena where Nebraska has won a game? They’re still an inconsistent 7-seed in my book. (That’s some A+ rivalry revenge by the Huskers, btw...beating the Buckeyes and devaluing Iowa’s road win.)
- Michigan State’s late-season swoon ought to cost them—throw ‘em on an 8-9 line and let’s agree to move on with our lives.
- What a wonderful clusterfuck Michigan, Indiana, and Rutgers have become. Ranking them in order of who I think will make it:
- Rutgers (hosts Penn State, is impenetrable at the RAC)
- Michigan (at Ohio State but a decent resume?)
- Indiana (at Purdue, no chance, right?)
Hell, you tell me:
This poll is closed
This poll is closed
This poll is closed
Big Ten Basketball Weekend Schedule
Sorry, I realize this is late getting out and that the one men’s game today already tipped off—midterm grading is what it is. Enjoy.
Women’s Basketball Tournament
 Ohio State vs.  Indiana
2:30pm | BTN | Semifinal
Well hello, Indiana! Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger were enough again for the Hoosiers, who held Maryland to ZERO OF TWLEVE from three. This was a gassed, frantic game, with only 6 players for IU and 7 for Maryland seeing any appreciable minutes. Disappointing season for the Terps, but a real shot at redemption here for the Hoosiers in the BTT.
They’ll meet Ohio State, the only club who really didn’t get tested in the quarters—the Buckeyes grabbed a 22-8 lead in the first frame and never looked back. Taylor Mikesell had 18 on 4/8 from deep for the Buckeyes, while Jacy Sheldon finished all nine of here chances at the line for 18 points in total.
 Iowa vs.  Nebraska
5pm | BTN | Semifinal
Another phenomenal Caitlin Clark effort was enough to overcome a stingy Northwestern defense designed to scramble opposing offenses—Clark was 5/8 from deep and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Monika Czinano set up down low and battered an undersized Wildcat frontcourt to the tune of 21 on 9/12 shooting.
It’s the WNIT for Veronica Burton and the Wildcats, who shot just 28.4% from the field, a recurring problem under Joe McKeown’s tenure.
Nebraska, on the other hand, held on in a wild one with Michigan, shooting 47% from deep and overcoming 17 turnovers to hold of Naz Hillmon & Co., who were cold from long range and couldn’t make the most of another hot night from Hillmon (18 points and 12 boards).
Nobody led by more than 7 in the second half, and Nebraska only took the lead for good with a Sam Haiby conversion with 1:30 to go.
Men’s Basketball — Saturday
Indiana at #8 Purdue
Saturday, 1pm | ESPN | Purdue -10 | O/U 141.5
Men’s Basketball — Sunday
Penn State at Rutgers
11am | BTN
Michigan at #23 Ohio State
11:30am | FOX
Nebraska at #10 wisconsin
1pm | BTN
Maryland at Michigan State
3:30pm | CBS
#24 Iowa at #20 Illinois
6:30pm | FS1
Minnesota at Northwestern
6:30pm | BTN
Here’s your thread for the weekend’s games. Check out our previews of the conference tournaments happening today, too: