The Big 10 proved to be one of the best if not the best conference we have seen all year. The league is so competitive and we have seen some great matchups in the regular season. Things start to get a little more serious now as we head into the postseason. Let’s start with the most desperate teams this weekend, the bubble teams.
Let’s talk about Michigan real quick. The Wolverines are considered a bubble team right now but should be in with one win in this tournament. They are 2-2 since their coach, Juwan Howard got suspended and his return will be in their first-round matchup vs Indiana. It will be interesting to see if this team decides to pick it up a notch now that Howard is officially returning to the court alongside the players and staff. Indiana shouldn’t be an issue for this team either which I think will secure them into the field of 68.
That brings us to another bubble team which is Indiana. They will enter bubble play without the momentum they probably wish they could have back now that they are looking at a potential season ensuing matchup with Michigan. They have lost 7 out of their last 9 and do not look like a tournament team right now. I think they need more than a Michigan run to even have a shot and if we are being realistic that ain’t happening. If they run the table two wins should be enough to send the Hoosiers dancing.
Rutgers is the last team I believe to be on the bubble in this conference and they will be glad to have some big wins on their schedule throughout the year. The problem with this team is they don’t look all too great, they have just won some big games and lost some too. It is kind of a balancing act trying to figure out if this Rutgers team is legit or not. In the first round, they will likely take on Iowa if the favorites win out. A win there should have Rutgers fans resting easier although I think two more wins guarantee them a spot in the tourney.
Purdue and Wisconsin are the stories of the Big 10 right now with both teams losing the number one overall seed in their conference after a meltdown in their final few games. Wisconsin barely lost to Nebraska which ended up being the reason that Illinois got the one seed in the tournament. Looking at Purdue they just have had a meltdown dropping two games down the stretch leading to them losing that top 2 seed in the conference. Losing to Michigan State and the dramatic loss to Wisconsin was not going to help them in any way. While Purdue had looked like a good team at some points in the year they have just struggled to really get to the going in tough stretches. Unfortunately for them, they are about to give face one when they go down the Big 10 tournament and then the actual Big Dance.
While Illinois was able to steal the one seed away I think the potential semi-final matchup between Wisconsin and Purdue is going to much watch basketball this weekend. If Purdue can find a way to pull it off I would crown them the champions of the Big 10. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are going to be able to win. Their offense just revolves too much around Ivey which is just too one-dimensional. Ohio State feels like another team that had a chance coming down the stretch, but they just don’t look like that team this year. Maybe Illinois surprises everyone and finds a way to win, but my money for this tournament is on the Badgers.
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