clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Big Ten Bracketology: Updated for January 24

Bubbles everywhere—from Ohio State to Maryland to Northwestern(?!?!)—is anyone besides Purdue safe?

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Northwestern
wisconsin meets its grabby match
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Why do we do this to ourselves? It’s January.

Oh, right. Time to keep spinning that hamster wheel, lest the sweet release of death arrive any sooner.

Big Ten Bracketology

Compiled from the four major rankings systems that I know and care about—NET, Kenpom, Torvik, and Sagarin—and the bracketologists Lunardi and Palm, this is what we have. Don’t like those people? Tough. The purpose of these articles are to give you a place to argue about things and to put shoes on my kid’s mouth or food in her feet. Or something like that.

B1G Thoughts

  • Purdue a pretty consensus #1 seed. Fun. Can’t wait for the loss to Clemson in the second round when they shoot 49 threes and Zach Edey has 10 paint touches. I bet Matt Painter will say something really snarky about me on his radio show.
  • After that...uh...Rutgers?! We’ll see how grapple-ball holds up in the NCAA Tournament. A game with VCU would be particularly unwatchable; a game with USC would be delightful for the agony it causes our own Zuzu.
  • My rule of thumb is that no one who loses to Northwestern at home should make the Dance, but Michigan State appears to be a 6- or 7-seed in the minds of those who matter. BracketMatrix is fading Sparty, though, and those elevated rankings mean they might be looking up at...
  • Illinois? They’re still here? I’m not up on whether the whole team has quit on Brad Underwood or is playing hard for him. Someone update me.
  • The big names appear to hold Indiana in slightly higher regard than the overall Matrix — the Hoosiers could get a cushy showdown with Oral Bob’s House of Learnin’ in the first round, or they could get Arkansas. Seems like a pretty wild swing to me (though fun pace regardless).
  • Sure, Iowa could be an 8-seed. It works, because 8-seeds rarely make the Sweet 16, something Fran McCaffery is rarely never burdened with, either.
  • Note that these projections have not been updated since wisconsin lost to Northwestern last night in Evanston. I’d expect both to be around the 10/11 line next time out, with the ‘Cats maybe sneaking out of Dayton in the projections.
  • They’re joined on that bubble by Maryland, Ohio State, and Penn State. Those are, like Northwestern, all teams that play in the Big Ten conference. Your guess is as good as mine.
  • One team notably not on that bubble is the Michigan Wolverines. This is the part where we point, laugh, and remind you that the official editorial policy of Off Tackle Empire dot com is “fuck Michigan”.
  • Two teams comfortable in their own skin, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Minnesota Golden Gophers, also represent land mines in their own ways. A loss to Nebraska might move the Huskers toward an NIT bid. A loss to Minnesota and you should pack up shop.

You might have thoughts on this article. That’s great. Feel free to share.

Poll

How many Big Ten teams make the NCAA Tournament?

  • 5%
    11
    (9 votes)
  • 14%
    10
    (25 votes)
  • 25%
    9
    (43 votes)
  • 36%
    8
    (63 votes)
  • 18%
    7 or fewer
    (32 votes)
172 votes total Vote Now

The Bubble Polls: Do you think _____ makes the NCAA Tournament?

Poll

Wisconsin

  • 48%
    Yes
    (79 votes)
  • 19%
    First Four
    (31 votes)
  • 32%
    No
    (52 votes)
162 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Ohio State

  • 35%
    Yes
    (56 votes)
  • 23%
    First Four
    (38 votes)
  • 40%
    No
    (65 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Maryland

  • 40%
    Yes
    (65 votes)
  • 20%
    First Four
    (33 votes)
  • 38%
    No
    (62 votes)
160 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Northwestern

  • 44%
    Yes
    (74 votes)
  • 19%
    First Four
    (32 votes)
  • 36%
    No
    (61 votes)
167 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Michigan

  • 24%
    Yes
    (39 votes)
  • 15%
    First Four
    (24 votes)
  • 60%
    No
    (97 votes)
160 votes total Vote Now