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Big Ten Tournament Preview, Podcast, Picks, and Day 1 Open Thread

All the #B1GTourney content you can handle.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Mykal McEldowney/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Well, it’s here.

Big Ten Tournament time!

We also have a complete accounting of how much work each team has to do to get to the post-postseason. Yes, even Penn State and Northwestern.

Check out the bracketology chatter, too, as well as us marveling at how we got to this point.

So, writers, we’ve got a few questions for you:

Which Thursday matchup are you looking forward to most?

Beez: Indiana-Michigan has the most at stake, IMO, with both teams arguably (no, I’m not going to argue with you so please don’t post a 500 word comment about how absurd it is to suggest these teams are on the bubble) in need of a win to ensure a slot in the NCAAT.

I think the MSU-Maryland game is the most interesting. For years we’ve had to hear about March Izzo and, well, it’s March and boy does he have a lot of work to do. Can he get past the Fighting (former) Turdges? Let’s see!

HWAHSQB: MSU-Maryland is the game most likely to get really stoopid, so obviously, that’s the one I most want to see.

Kind of...: IF Nebraska gets by Northwestern, then I really want to watch their game with Iowa. Both teams are willing to let it fly, and true track meets are pretty rare in this conference. Plus, they were two of the hotter teams in the conference down the stretch, and Hoiberg and Fran could revisit they Cy-Hawk days with fairly high stakes. [If not, Michigan/Indiana.]

MNW: I’m excited for Northwestern-Nebraska in the morbid “The ‘Cats have played well, so how can they fuck it up?” kind of sense.

Failing that, though, beez has it right—there are stakes in the Michigan-Indiana game, so let’s get butt-naked and wrestle first thing tomorrow morning.

misdreavus79: Penn State vs Ohio State, of course!

Buffkomodo: Maryland vs Michigan State because the Indiana/Michigan game will be a slaughterfest and Michigan will win by 20.

Jesse: Nebraska is winning the BTT so every one of their games will be must-see. (disclaimer: you can’t hold this against me when Nebraska loses to Northwestern)

Which Wednesday team goes farthest?

Beez: Nebraska. No explanation, sorry.

HWAHSQB: Yes, a very hot Nebraska team might make some noise. PSU might also, but I’m going with the Cornhuskers.

Kind of...: Given OSU’s recent form, I think Penn State has a legit shot to make the quarters. Also feasible for Nebraska to as well (see above).

MNW: I don’t have any of them actually escaping Thursday, but Penn State over Ohio State is a very defensible pick if one of the Nits’ shooters gets hot and John Harrar does annoyingly John Harrar things on the inside.


misdeavus79: My team, of course! The thing with Nebraska is that Northwestern has already bashed their faces in twice, and while it’s hard to win three times against the same team, and while Nebraska finished the season red hot, I still can’t get over the fact that Northwestern is the one team that will run with Nebraska all they long (the other, of course, is Iowa), and in that type of scenario, I’m not sure they can keep up. And, as I mentioned in the parenthetical, if the Huskers do get past Northwestern, then then get the good version of Northwestern in a more accurate, more fast-paced team.

Minnesota already beat Penn State at home, and according to my calculations, the Gophers haven’t actually lost to Penn State on a neutral court yet, so it’s possible Minnesota beats Penn State on Wednesday. But of the two, I’d give Penn State a better chance at beating Ohio State.

Buffkomodo: The team I wouldn’t want to play is Nebrasketball. They’ve got good Nebrasketball going right now so let’s go with them.


Who's the highest non-Rutgers seed to fall first?

Beez: I think Wisconsin is the obvious choice. I think they’re a GREAT team to win any single game against any single team, but I really can’t think of too many teams more ill-equipped to play multiple days in a row than Wisconsin. The starters have to log so many minutes per game that I’m just thankful the NCAAT gives a day off between. Plus Purdue is very good and will be tough to beat a 3rd time, if Wisconsin with a gimpy Davis can even get by MSU or whoever they’ll probably lose to.

HWAHSQB: Wisconsin is the obvious choice, but I really want them to win because they are much better equipped to beat Purdue than Illinois is, but Illinois matches up better with Wisconsin. So I’m going to go with iowa, because they are iowa.

Kind of...: I was assuming the question meant teams with double byes, but @HWAHSQB plays by his own rules. Yeah, it’s Wisconsin. Hepburn’s bank shot against Purdue might be the defining moment of the season...and UW’s last win of the year.

MNW: It did mean teams with double-byes, but HWAHSQB is a maverick and I realize I can’t hold him down. He’s like a caged peacock, yearning to feel the wind on his haunches.

The status of Johnny Davis is what leads me to wisconsin, and Michigan State’s good enough to do it, but Michigan over Illinois feels like more fun and what’s calling me today. So let’s say that.

misdreavus79: Purdue of co—yeah not gonna happen. Since Rutgers is exempt from this exercise, I’ll have to go with Wisconsin. They’re the only other team facing someone they would have actually lost to in Michigan State, and who knows how ready Johnny Davis will be by Friday.

Buffkomodo: Wisconsin seems to weasel out of a lot of shit, including winning outright championships. I think Purdue lays an egg first though.

Jesse: Nebraska plays Iowa on their title tour, so let’s go with Iowa. (is this annoying and non-useful? yes, but it’s been a long season and this is all I got)

Give us your semifinals, finals, and winner—and make sure you join the OTE Big Ten Tournament Pick’em Challenge!

Beez: Sorry, almost all chalk here. Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin Badgers, Purdue in the semis, with Illinois beating Purdue in the final. I don’t think there’s any debate that those two teams are the best equipped to win multiple games in a row and succeed in March, as both can run the “just give it to the gigantic human in the middle for a layup” when shooter’s legs get tired.

HWAHSQB: I’m going with Illinois-iowa and OSU-Michigan State and Illinois beating a state university from Ohio in the final. Why? I don’t know, but it’s B1G so there is bound to be some random stuff happen and my guess is as good as anybody’s. Actually, it’s probably not, but whatever.

Kind of...: Illinois/Rutgers and MSU/Purdue. Purdue over Illinois for the title. Purdue gets 2-seed, Illinois a 3, and UW falls to the 4 line.

MNW: Illinois/Iowa and MSU/Purdue, Purdue beats Illinois for the title. Basically swap “Iowa” for “Rutgers” in Kind of...’s scenario and that’s what I’ll go with.

Of course, now that we’ve all kind of doubted wisconsin, here go the badgers on a run to the final. Because of course they will.

misdreavus79: Nebraska over Illinois, Penn State over Michigan State, then Penn State over Nebraska for the auto bid!

Buffkomodo: Too much math, so give me Iowa. Final answer.

Jesse: Alonzo Verge is tournament MVP so... yeah

Wednesday Schedule

[13] Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. [12] Northwestern Wildcats

5pm | BTN | Northwestern -4 | O/U 144

Like I said above—I’m cautiously excited for this one. Nebraska’s playing well and that almost guarantees it to be better than the two slogs that have been Nebraska-Northwestern in the past, right?

I really, really, really would love to see Northwestern impose themselves inside with Pete Nance and Ryan Young. Come on, ‘Cats. Go out winners.

Jesse: Jokes aside, the problem here is that Northwestern has proven they can hit shots against Nebraska. It’s annoying, and not altogether great. I do think that Alonzo Verge has gone into another gear as he is realizing the end of his career is near, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Bryce McGowens do some ‘chip on his shoulder’ magic throughout this entire tournament. I think a hot Nebraska can play with Northwestern but I’ve only been disappointed when I get hope over like, the last always with this team. I will cautiously pick Nebraska with Derrick Walker dropping a 15 / 11 double double, but we will see.


pick your N

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    sleek and purple
    (13 votes)
  • 61%
    chunky and red
    (21 votes)
34 votes total Vote Now

[14] Minnesota Gophers vs. [11] Penn State Nittany Lions

7:30pm | BTN | PSU -3.5 | O/U 125.5

misdreavus79: Penn State, theoretically, still has something left in the tank. But Minnesota did beat the Lions at home earlier this season, and this game is away from Bryce Jordan. Penn State will try to do what it did in that aforementioned home game, but if the Gophers can speed up the Lions the way they did in the first meeting, that may be curtains for Penn State.


this is a game

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    (8 votes)
  • 80%
    (32 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now

Here’s your open thread for the evening’s basketball. Give us your winners in the comments!

AND ONE MORE THING! The Big Ten Name of the Year tournament will coincide with the BTT. We have a couple of play-in games to settle before a full slate of 8 matchups tomorrow!


Who gets the 15 seed?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Alfonso Plummer
    (12 votes)
  • 69%
    Myles Dread
    (27 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now


Who gets the 16 seed?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Zed Key
    (24 votes)
  • 35%
    Joey Brunk
    (13 votes)
37 votes total Vote Now