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Big Ten Conference Tournament Preview: Picking every game and a Big Ten Champion

Publish Date: 03/07/2023
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
December 8, 2021: Indiana Hoosiers forward Trayce Jackson-Davis 23 during the NCAA, College League, USA Basketball game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. /CSM Madison United States of America - ZUMAc04_ 20211208_zaf_c04_171 Copyright: xDarrenxLeex

Tourney time

The Big Ten has intrigue all over the place, as ten teams still have a shot at reaching March Madness with a few tournament wins.

Purdue is the unquestioned top team in the Big ten. Still, they did play a more manageable conference schedule than teams like Indiana, and the Hoosiers beat Purdue twice, including a decisive win at Mackey arena a little over a week ago. Check out the best betting sites for betting on the Big Ten Conference Tournament.

Teams like Nebraska and Penn State are playing well and could massively disrupt the bracket.

First round

#12 Wisconsin vs #13 Ohio State (March 8, 6:30 pm)

It is absurd that these two programs would match up in a first-round game as such low seeds. However, it has been disappointing for both the Badgers and Buckeyes this year. Although Wisconsin won the earlier matchup at home, the Buckeyes had some impressive wins during the final weeks. Expect revenge and the candle to go out at Madison.

Ohio State wins

#11 Nebraska vs #14 Minnesota (March 8, 9:00 pm)

The Golden Gophers lost two Big Ten games to Nebraska and won only two of their Big Ten games. However, they played decently at the end of the season on both the offensive and defensive sides. Nebraska has been playing better and won six of eight games down the stretch. They will be flying into the second round.

Nebraska wins

Second round

#8 Michigan vs #9 Rutgers (March 9, 12:00 pm)

The Wolverines don’t dance without doing the work in this tournament. In one of the season’s most impressive defensive performances, they won at Rutgers a few weeks back. They’ll be able to knock off a Scarlets Knight team that’s not playing their best down the stretch if that defense is there again. Rutgers will be dancing in the NIT after this loss.

Michigan wins

#5 Iowa vs #13 Ohio State (March 9, 2:30 pm)

Although losing the season finale to Nebraska was a huge disappointment, the Hawkeyes have been hot offensively and should be able to get back on track against a Buckeyes team that they beat less than a month before. While Iowa attempts to improve its seed, Ohio State isn’t in a position to make a deep run.

Iowa wins

#7 Illinois vs Penn State (March 9, 6:30 pm).

Although the Nittany Lions won both matchups by double digits, it is difficult to defeat a team three times in a single season. The Illinois team has lost many important games this season, and will be defeated again by Penn State, which won five of it’s final six regular season games.

Penn State wins

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#6 Maryland vs #11 Nebraska (March 9, 9:00 pm).

In overtime, the Cornhuskers won this matchup just a few weeks back. Maryland lost some games on the road to close the season, but they have the potential to make a deep run. They won’t let up in their first game. We expect better offense from Terrapins than what we saw last week. But, the Cornhuskers are playing at a much higher level than they have been and Maryland is a different team on the road, I pick the upset in this one.

Nebraska wins

Quarterfinals

#1 Purdue vs #8 Michigan (March 10, 12:00 pm).

This season Purdue has been a bit inconsistent. They beat these Wolverines in Ann Arbor by 5 points back in January and have lost many games since then. However, Michigan has not yet won a close game against top-level competition. I like a desperate Wolverines team to pull the upset here. They have Dickinson, who is one of the few players in the Big Ten that can match up with Edey and Bufkin, and Howard will dominate the Boilermakers’ backcourt. This win should be enough to get Michigan into the tournament.

Michigan wins

#4 Michigan State vs #5 Iowa (March 10, 2:30 pm)

The Spartans were still reeling from the disappointing loss against Iowa two weeks ago. They lost that big lead on the road. Both teams have been shooting the ball well over the last few weeks, so this matchup should be one to watch in the tournament. Iowa will get this behind a big game by Murray.

Iowa wins

#2 Northwestern vs #10 Penn State (March 10, 6:30 pm)

The Wildcats will be dancing for the second time in their program’s history, but they find themselves up against a Nittany Lions team that beat them just over a week ago at home. This win will help Penn State build a stronger resume.

Penn State wins

#3 Indiana vs #11 Nebraska, March 10, 9:00 pm

The magical run for Nebraska ends here as Trayce Jackson Davis will be to much for the Cornhuskers. Still a great bounce-back season for Nebraska.

Indiana wins

Semi-Finals

#5 Iowa vs #8 Michigan

These two teams make for an exciting matchup, and it will come down to Iowa needing to get hot from deep. Michigan has its own shooters, and whichever team gets hot wins. I think the better shot is to go for a Michigan team with a massive inside advantage with Dickinson.

Michigan wins

#3 Indiana vs #10 Penn State

The Hoosiers and Nittany Lions played once this season, and the Nittany Lions dominated 85-66. The Hoosiers’ turnaround started right after that game. The Hoosiers will need a big game from Jalen Hood Schifino. Schifino has been shaky and inconsistent at times this season. I think he comes through in a big way to lead the Hoosiers to the Big Ten Championship game.

Indiana wins

Big Ten Championship Game

#3 Indiana vs #8 Michigan

The Hoosiers won the previous two matchups beating the Wolverines in Michigan by one point and just this past weekend in overtime at Assembly Hall. Expect another tight game. Trayce Jackson Davis will have to come up huge, and I expect that to happen as, in my opinion, Davis has been the top player in the Big ten this season.

Indiana wins

 

 

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