Tuesday, March 8, 2016

NCAA Men's Basketball: Big Ten Tournament Preview

The Big 10 tournament will be one of the more interesting conference tournament this week featuring teams likely to make it to the final four or further. The first games that start tomorrow will feature some teams that don't have much of a chance going forward but this kicks off an interesting tournament.

The first game of the tomorrow will be between Minnesota Golden Gophers versus the Illinois Fight Illini. Illinois beat Minnesota twice in the regular season and I think they'll win again tomorrow. The winner will face the Iowa Hawkeye and most likely be knocked out by the 20th ranked team in the league.

The second game tomorrow has the Nebraska Cornhuskers facing the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Rutgers lost twice to Nebraska in the regular season so like the first game, I choose the Cornhuskers to move on. They have to face the Wisconsin Badgers who have suffered after loosing some good players and losing the championship game last year but they should claim a victory in the first game against whoever they play. 

The next day features some bubble teams like Michigan Wolverines versus the Northwester Wildcats and the Penn State Nittany Lions versus the Ohio State Buckeyes. I pick Ohio State and Michigan to advance. 

Wisconsin advancing in the bottom bracket will bring them to face the eighteenth ranked Maryland Terrapins. Right above them, Michigan State, ranked second in the league, will face Ohio State or Penn State and most likely move on. I am going to go with Wisconsin versus Michigan State and have the Spartans come out on top. 

In the top bracket, the Iowa Hawkeyes could face the Purdue Boilermakers and the winner, I'm picking Iowa, will take on Indiana Hoosiers. I would like to see Indiana go on but I'm getting really risky with my picks here and taking Iowa to face Michigan State. The Spartans are the best team in the conference and they will be the ones to win.

Sometimes in these tournaments, a team with a likely chance to get into the NCAA tournament won't perform well in the conference tournament and that may make for some surprising outcomes. I really enjoy the unpredictability of the whole thing!

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