Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Retro Video of the Week: "True Fuschnick" by Fu-Schnickens

This Sunday will mark the 25th anniversary of the release of F.U. Don't Take It Personal, the debut album from Brooklyn-based rappers Fu-Schnickens.  Taking the stagenames Chip Fu, Moc Fu, and Poc Fu, Fu-Schnickens brought Asian and martial arts influences to hip hop before Wu Tang Clan.  Unlike a lot of other rappers in the early '90s, Fu-Schnickens kept their lyrics pretty clean (and sometimes bordering on silly -- their name was a word they made up), but don't mistake the lack of swearing for a lack of talent.  These guys were great.  

While the group achieved their biggest success a year or so later with their collaboration with Shaq -- "What's Up Doc? (Can We Rock)" -- I discovered F.U. Don't Take It Personal not long after it came out (probably thanks to Yo! MTV Raps) and loved it. I used to listed to this album (on tape, of course) a ton.  I was (and still am) blown away at how fast Chip Fu could rhyme.  Hell, they even rhymed backwards!  The album was co-produced by the group and A Tribe Called Quest, and Pfife Dawg makes a guest appearance on the track "La Schmoove."  I'm going with "True Fuschnick" because it's a great introduction to one of hip hop's forgotten gems.  Chip Fu's first verse is just ridiculous.

Updated Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

And that should just about do it.  I didn't post a Tuesday Top Ten last night because I was too busy watching my beloved Hoosiers' NCAA Tournament hopes get flushed down the toilet with a tough 96-90 overtime loss at Iowa.  IU has now lost five straight, and 7 of 9 since OG Anunoby went down for the season.  While one man doesn't make a team, I underestimated how much OG meant to the Hoosiers, who are palpably missing his energy, defense, and quiet leadership.  I'm not making excuses –- IU is still far too talented of a team to go 2-7 over any stretch of games -- but OG is certainly missed.  At 15-13 overall and 5-10 in league play, the Hoosiers will need a miracle to make the NCAA Tournament at this point.  They will certainly have to improve upon their 15.4 turnovers a game, which ranks tied for 337 (out of 351 Division 1 teams) with teams like Radford (12-16), Longwood (6-21), Northwestern State (10-15), and Oregon State (5-23).  Yes, there are only 14 teams out of 351 that turn the ball over more than the Hoosiers.  Bravo.  I'm moving them from my "Bubble" to "Out."  Needless to say, this season has turned into a major disappointment, given that IU was ranked as high as #3 earlier this season and had legitimate Final Four aspirations.

In the two other games, which I accurately labeled as trap games in yesterday's post, Purdue needed OT to beat Penn State, while Northwestern got shellacked by Illinois in Champaign, 66-50.  I still think Northwestern is safe to make its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, barring a complete collapse over the next couple weeks.

Tonight, Michigan has a trap game at Rutgers, and Minnesota travels to Maryland for what should be a pretty entertaining game.

Next games
Here are tonight's games (all times Eastern):
-Michigan at Rutgers (6:30 p.m.; BTN)
-Minnesota at Maryland (8:30 p.m.; BTN)

Current Standings
Here are the current standings, with the conference record, each team's remaining Big Ten games, and my predictions.  I will try to update these after every day or every couple days of games.

1.  Purdue (12-3):  at Michigan (W); Indiana (W); at Northwestern (L)
2.  Wisconsin (11-3):  at Ohio State (W); at Michigan State (W); Iowa (W); Minnesota (W)
3.  Maryland (10-4):  Minnesota (W); Iowa (W); at Rutgers (W); Michigan State (W)
4.  Northwestern (9-6):  at Indiana (L); Michigan (W); Purdue (W)
5 (tie).  Michigan State (8-6):  Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (L); at Illinois (W); at Maryland (L)
5 (tie).  Minnesota (8-6):  at Maryland (L); Penn State (W); Nebraska (W); at Wisconsin (L)
7.  Michigan (7-7):  at Rutgers (W); Purdue (L); at Northwestern (L); at Nebraska (L)
8.  Iowa (7-8):  at Maryland (L); at Wisconsin (L); Penn State (W)
9.  Nebraska (6-8):  at Michigan State (L); Illinois (W); at Minnesota (L); Michigan (W)
10.  Penn State (6-9):  at Minnesota (L); Ohio State (W); at Iowa (L)
11.  Illinois (6-9):  at Nebraska (L); Michigan State (L); at Rutgers (L)
12 (tie).  Indiana (5-10):  Northwestern (W); at Purdue (L); at Ohio State (W)
12 (tie).  Ohio State (5-10):  Wisconsin (L); at Penn State (L); Indiana (L)
14.  Rutgers (2-13):  Michigan (L); Maryland (L); Illinois (W)

Projected Big Ten Tournament Seeding
Given my predictions and Big Ten tiebreaking rules, here is how the Big Ten Tournament seeds should fall into place (bold means a team has clinched that seed):

1.  Wisconsin (15-3)
2.  Purdue (14-4) (has tiebreaker over Maryland based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
3.  Maryland (14-4)  
4.  Northwestern (11-7)
5.  Michigan State (10-8) (has tiebreaker over Minnesota based on 2-0 head-to-head record)
6.  Minnesota (10-8)
7.  Iowa (8-10) (would have tiebreaker over Michigan and Nebraska based on 2-1 record vs. other two teams, with Nebraska second at 2-2 and Michigan third at 1-2)
8.  Nebraska (8-10)
9.  Michigan (8-10)
10.  Indiana (7-11) (has tiebreaker over PSU based on 2-0 head-to-head record)
11.  Penn State (7-11)
12.  Illinois (6-12) (has tiebreaker over OSU based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
13.  Ohio State (5-13)
14.  Rutgers (3-15)

Big Ten Tournament Schedule
In the past, I have also included far-too-premature predictions for every game of the Big Ten Tournament, but, like the last couple years, I'm not even going to try to do that this year until the seeds are more finalized.  However, here are the dates/times/TV schedule for the Big Ten Tournament (and a link to the bracket), which will be in Washington, DC.  All times are Eastern.

Wednesday March 8 – First Round
(12) vs. (13) (4:30 p.m. ESPN2)
(11) vs. (14) (7 p.m. BTN)

Thursday March 9 – Second Round
(8) vs. (9) (Noon, BTN)
(5) vs. (12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., BTN)
(7) vs. (10) (6:30 p.m., ESPN2)
(6) vs. (11)/(14) (9 p.m., ESPN2)

Friday March 10 – Quarterfinals
(1) vs. (8)/(9) (Noon, ESPN)
(4) vs. (5)/(12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., ESPN)
(2) vs. (7)/(10) (6:30 p.m., BTN)
(3) vs. (6)/(11)/(14) (9 p.m., BTN)

Saturday March 11 – Semifinals
(1)/(8)/(9) vs. (4)/(5)/(12)/(13) (1 p.m., CBS)
(2)/(7)/(10) vs. (3)/(6)/(11)/(14) (3:30 p.m., CBS)

Sunday March 12 – Finals
(1)/(4)/(5)/(8)/(9)/(12)/(13) vs. (2)/(3)/(6)/(7)/(10)/(11)/(14) (3 p.m., CBS)

NCAA Tournament Resumes for All 14 Big Ten Teams
Here is each Big Ten team's NCAA Tournament resume, including each team's RPI (based on ESPN's daily RPI), BPI (based on ESPN's BPI rankings), overall record against D-1 opponents, "good" wins (wins against RPI Top 50 teams or, if none, the team's best win), "bad" losses (losses against teams with an RPI of 101+ or, if none, the team's worst loss).  An * means the game was played on a neutral court, and for the "good" wins and "bad" losses, the team's current RPI is identified.  I have categorized the teams by "In," "Bubble," or "Out," which is my best guess, based on what I know right now, as to whether each team is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, is on the bubble, or is out.  I have also added a record vs. the RPI Top 50 and Top 100.  For the "In" and "Out" teams, I'm putting them in order based on RPI ranking.  For the "Bubble" teams, I am putting them in order based on what I think their likelihood of making the NCAA Tournament is (which may or may not fall in line with the RPI ranking).

In
1.  Purdue
RPI:  15
BPI:  9
Overall record:  23-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  6-3
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  12-4
Good wins:  6 (at Maryland (18), Notre Dame* (24), Wisconsin (25), Northwestern (42), at Michigan State (43), Michigan State (43))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (108))

2.  Maryland
RPI:  18
BPI:  40
Overall record:  22-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-2
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  13-5
Good wins:  3 (at Minnesota (21), Oklahoma State (29), at Northwestern (42))
Bad losses:  None (at Penn State (76))

3.  Minnesota
RPI:  21
BPI:  42
Overall record:  20-7
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  5-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  10-7
Good wins:  5 (at Purdue (15), Arkansas (33), UT Arlington (34), at Northwestern (42), Vanderbilt* (49))
Bad losses:  None (at Ohio State (77))

4.  Wisconsin
RPI:  25
BPI:  16
Overall record:  22-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-4
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  13-5
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (18), at Minnesota (21), Tennessee* (50))
Bad losses:  None (at Michigan (52))

5.  Northwestern
RPI:  42
BPI:  44
Overall record:  20-8
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-8
Good wins:  3 (at Wisconsin (25), Dayton* (27), Wake Forest (40))
Bad losses:  None (Illinois (63), at Illinois (63))

Bubble
6.  Michigan State
RPI:  43
BPI:  52
Overall record:  16-11
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  4-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-10
Good wins:  4 (Minnesota (21), at Minnesota (21), Northwestern (42), Wichita State* (45))
Bad losses:  1 (Northeastern (139))

7.  Michigan
RPI:  52
BPI:  24
Overall record:  17-10
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-7
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  9-9
Good wins:  3 (SMU* (19), Wisconsin (25), Michigan State (43))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (108))

Out
8.  Illinois
RPI:  56
BPI:  69
Overall record:  16-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-7
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  7-12
Good wins:  3 (VCU* (26), Northwestern (42), at Northwestern (42))
Bad losses:  None (at Indiana (98))

9.  Nebraska
RPI:  72
BPI:  96
Overall record:  12-14
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  3 (Purdue (15), at Maryland (18), Dayton* (27))
Bad losses:  3 (at Iowa (108), at Rutgers (145), Gardner-Webb (215))

10.  Penn State
RPI:  76
BPI:  89
Overall record:  14-14
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (18), Minnesota (21), Michigan State* (43))
Bad losses:  3 (George Mason (109), Rutgers (145), Albany (147))

11.  Ohio State
RPI:  77
BPI:  64
Overall record:  15-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-9
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  2 (Minnesota (21), Michigan State (43))
Bad losses:  2 (at Iowa (108), Florida Atlantic (292))

12.  Indiana
RPI:  98
BPI:  29
Overall record:  15-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  3 (Kansas* (1), North Carolina (4), Michigan State (43))
Bad losses:  2 (at Iowa (108), at Fort Wayne (166))

13.  Iowa
RPI:  108
BPI:  91
Overall record:  15-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  2 (Purdue (15), Iowa State (38))
Bad losses:  2 (Memphis* (110), Omaha (175))

14.  Rutgers
RPI:  145
BPI:  142
Overall record:  13-15
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  0-10
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  2-13
Good wins:  None (Nebraska (72))
Bad losses:  2 (Iowa (108), at Iowa (108))

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Updated Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

This weekend, nothing terribly exciting happened in the Big Ten.  Purdue knocked off Michigan State at home, Illinois's NIT chances got a solid boost with a road win at Iowa, Northwestern held on to beat Rutgers at home, Nebraska all but killed any slim hope Ohio State had of going to the NCAA Tournament, Wisconsin took down Maryland in a marquee matchup, and Minnesota beat Michigan in OT.

With its win over Rutgers on Saturday, Northwestern has won 20 games for only the third time in its history.  With one more win, Northwestern will not only set a program record for overall victories, but it will also clinch a first winning record in Big Ten conference play for the 21st time ever and for the first time since the 1967-68 season.  On the other hand, with one more loss, Rutgers will clinch the #14 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Tonight, Pursue has a trap game at Penn State, Northwestern has a trap game at Illinois, and IU travels to Iowa for a must-win road game.

Next games
Here are tonight's games (all times Eastern):
-Purdue at Penn State (6:00 p.m.; BTN)
-Northwestern at Illinois (8:00 p.m.; BTN)
-Indiana at Iowa (9:00 p.m.; ESPN)

Current Standings
Here are the current standings, with the conference record, each team's remaining Big Ten games, and my predictions.  I will try to update these after every day or every couple days of games.

1 (tie).  Wisconsin (11-3):  at Ohio State (W); at Michigan State (W); Iowa (W); Minnesota (W)
1 (tie).  Purdue (11-3):  at Penn State (W); at Michigan (W); Indiana (W); at Northwestern (L)
3.  Maryland (10-4):  Minnesota (W); Iowa (W); at Rutgers (W); Michigan State (W)
4.  Northwestern (9-5):  at Illinois (W); at Indiana (L); Michigan (W); Purdue (W)
5 (tie).  Michigan State (8-6):  Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (L); at Illinois (W); at Maryland (L)
5 (tie).  Minnesota (8-6):  at Maryland (L); Penn State (W); Nebraska (W); at Wisconsin (L)
7.  Michigan (7-7):  at Rutgers (W); Purdue (L); at Northwestern (L); at Nebraska (L)
8 (tie).  Iowa (6-8):  Indiana (L); at Maryland (L); at Wisconsin (L); Penn State (W)
8 (tie).  Penn State (6-8):  Purdue (L); at Minnesota (L); Ohio State (W); at Iowa (L)
8 (tie).  Nebraska (6-8):  at Michigan State (L); Illinois (W); at Minnesota (L); Michigan (W)
11.  Indiana (5-9):  at Iowa (W); Northwestern (W); at Purdue (L); at Ohio State (W)
12.  Illinois (5-9):  Northwestern (L); at Nebraska (L); Michigan State (L); at Rutgers (L)
13.  Ohio State (5-10):  Wisconsin (L); at Penn State (L); Indiana (L)
14.  Rutgers (2-13):  Michigan (L); Maryland (L); Illinois (W)

Projected Big Ten Tournament Seeding
Given my predictions and Big Ten tiebreaking rules, here is how the Big Ten Tournament seeds should fall into place (bold means a team has clinched that seed):

1.  Wisconsin (15-3)
2.  Purdue (14-4) (has tiebreaker over Maryland based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
3.  Maryland (14-4)  
4.  Northwestern (12-6)
5.  Michigan State (10-8) (has tiebreaker over Minnesota based on 2-0 head-to-head record)
6.  Minnesota (10-8)
7.  Michigan (8-10) (both Michigan and Nebraska would have 2-1 record vs. other two teams, with IU third with 0-3 record, but Michigan would have tiebreaker over Nebraska based on better record vs. Wisconsin)
8.  Nebraska (8-10)
9.  Indiana (8-10)
10.  Iowa (7-11) (would have tiebreaker over PSU based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
11.  Penn State (7-11)
12.  Illinois (5-13) (has tiebreaker over OSU based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
13.  Ohio State (5-13)
14.  Rutgers (3-15)

Big Ten Tournament Schedule
In the past, I have also included far-too-premature predictions for every game of the Big Ten Tournament, but, like the last couple years, I'm not even going to try to do that this year until the seeds are more finalized.  However, here are the dates/times/TV schedule for the Big Ten Tournament (and a link to the bracket), which will be in Washington, DC.  All times are Eastern.

Wednesday March 8 – First Round
(12) vs. (13) (4:30 p.m. ESPN2)
(11) vs. (14) (7 p.m. BTN)

Thursday March 9 – Second Round
(8) vs. (9) (Noon, BTN)
(5) vs. (12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., BTN)
(7) vs. (10) (6:30 p.m., ESPN2)
(6) vs. (11)/(14) (9 p.m., ESPN2)

Friday March 10 – Quarterfinals
(1) vs. (8)/(9) (Noon, ESPN)
(4) vs. (5)/(12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., ESPN)
(2) vs. (7)/(10) (6:30 p.m., BTN)
(3) vs. (6)/(11)/(14) (9 p.m., BTN)

Saturday March 11 – Semifinals
(1)/(8)/(9) vs. (4)/(5)/(12)/(13) (1 p.m., CBS)
(2)/(7)/(10) vs. (3)/(6)/(11)/(14) (3:30 p.m., CBS)

Sunday March 12 – Finals
(1)/(4)/(5)/(8)/(9)/(12)/(13) vs. (2)/(3)/(6)/(7)/(10)/(11)/(14) (3 p.m., CBS)

NCAA Tournament Resumes for All 14 Big Ten Teams
Here is each Big Ten team's NCAA Tournament resume, including each team's RPI (based on ESPN's daily RPI), BPI (based on ESPN's BPI rankings), overall record against D-1 opponents, "good" wins (wins against RPI Top 50 teams or, if none, the team's best win), "bad" losses (losses against teams with an RPI of 101+ or, if none, the team's worst loss).  An * means the game was played on a neutral court, and for the "good" wins and "bad" losses, the team's current RPI is identified.  I have categorized the teams by "In," "Bubble," or "Out," which is my best guess, based on what I know right now, as to whether each team is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, is on the bubble, or is out.  I have also added a record vs. the RPI Top 50 and Top 100.  For the "In" and "Out" teams, I'm putting them in order based on RPI ranking.  For the "Bubble" teams, I am putting them in order based on what I think their likelihood of making the NCAA Tournament is (which may or may not fall in line with the RPI ranking).

In
1.  Maryland
RPI:  17
BPI:  40
Overall record:  22-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-2
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  13-5
Good wins:  3 (at Minnesota (22), Oklahoma State (29), at Northwestern (38))
Bad losses:  None (at Penn State (74))

2.  Purdue
RPI:  19
BPI:  9
Overall record:  22-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  6-3
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  11-4
Good wins:  6 (at Maryland (17), Notre Dame* (24), Wisconsin (25), Northwestern (38), at Michigan State (41), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (115))

3.  Minnesota
RPI:  22
BPI:  44
Overall record:  20-7
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  5-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  10-7
Good wins:  5 (at Purdue (19), Arkansas (33), UT Arlington (36), at Northwestern (38), Vanderbilt* (48))
Bad losses:  None (at Ohio State (78))

4.  Wisconsin
RPI:  25
BPI:  16
Overall record:  23-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-4
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  13-5
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (17), at Minnesota (22), Tennessee* (49))
Bad losses:  None (at Michigan (53))

5.  Northwestern
RPI:  38
BPI:  42
Overall record:  20-7
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-7
Good wins:  3 (at Wisconsin (25), Dayton* (27), Wake Forest (37))
Bad losses:  None (Illinois (63))

Bubble
6.  Michigan State
RPI:  41
BPI:  52
Overall record:  16-11
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  4-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-10
Good wins:  4 (Minnesota (22), at Minnesota (22), Northwestern (38), Wichita State* (45))
Bad losses:  1 (Northeastern (141))

7.  Michigan
RPI:  53
BPI:  24
Overall record:  17-10
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-7
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  9-9
Good wins:  3 (SMU* (21), Wisconsin (25), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (115))

8.  Indiana
RPI:  90
BPI:  29
Overall record:  15-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  3 (Kansas* (1), North Carolina (5), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Fort Wayne (166))

Out
9.  Illinois
RPI:  63
BPI:  72
Overall record:  15-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-7
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-12
Good wins:  2 (VCU* (26), at Northwestern (38))
Bad losses:  None (at Indiana (90))

10.  Nebraska
RPI:  70
BPI:  97
Overall record:  12-14
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  3 (at Maryland (17), Purdue (19), Dayton* (27))
Bad losses:  3 (at Iowa (115), at Rutgers (144), Gardner-Webb (217))

11.  Penn State
RPI:  74
BPI:  90
Overall record:  14-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-10
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (17), Minnesota (22), Michigan State* (41))
Bad losses:  3 (George Mason (116), Rutgers (144), Albany (148))

12.  Ohio State
RPI:  78
BPI:  64
Overall record:  15-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-9
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  2 (Minnesota (22), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  2 (at Iowa (115), Florida Atlantic (291))

13.  Iowa
RPI:  115
BPI:  94
Overall record:  14-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-11
Good wins:  2 (Purdue (19), Iowa State (43))
Bad losses:  2 (Memphis* (109), Omaha (176))

14.  Rutgers
RPI:  144
BPI:  141
Overall record:  13-15
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  0-10
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  2-13
Good wins:  None (Nebraska (70))

Bad losses:  2 (Iowa (115), at Iowa (115))

Friday, February 17, 2017

Hair Band Friday - 2/17/17

1.  "Photograph" by Def Leppard


2.  "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" by Quiet Riot


3.  "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" by Night Ranger


4.  "Black And Blue" by Van Halen


5.  "No More Tears" by Ozzy Osbourne


6.  "Sweet Little Sister" by Skid Row


7.  "Everybody Wants Some" by Danger Danger


8.  "Waiting for 22" by Queensr├┐che


9.  "Home Is Where The Heart Is" by FireHouse


10.  "Back Off Brother" by Jackyl

Updated Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

Michigan got a huge win last night for their NCAA Tournament resume, knocking off #11 Wisconsin in Ann Arbor, 64-58.  It's the third win over an RPI Top 50 team for the Wolverines, and especially important given their relatively difficult remaining schedule.  The loss drops the Badgers into a three-way tie for first with Purdue and Maryland.  While I don't think the loss will have any effect on Wisconsin's ability to win the Big Ten title outright, it does shake up my predicted 7-10 seeds for the Big Ten Tournament. Before last night, I had the 7-10 seeds as Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, in that order.  Now, Michigan vaults up to my predicted 7-seed, followed by Iowa, Indiana, and Nebraska at 8, 9, and 10, respectively.

This weekend, there are a couple intriguing matchups, like Michigan State at Purdue on Saturday, and Maryland at Wisconsin and Michigan at Minnesota on Sunday.

Next games
Here are this weekend's games (all times Eastern):
Saturday
-Illinois at Iowa (2:00 p.m.; BTN)
-Michigan State at Purdue (4:00 p.m.; ESPN)
-Rutgers at Northwestern (6:00 p.m.; ESPNU)
-Nebraska at Ohio State (6:00 p.m.; BTN)
Sunday
-Maryland at Wisconsin (1:00 p.m.; CBS)
-Michigan at Minnesota (7:00 p.m.; BTN)

Current Standings
Here are the current standings, with the conference record, each team's remaining Big Ten games, and my predictions.  I will try to update these after every day or every couple days of games.

1 (tie).  Wisconsin (10-3):  Maryland (W); at Ohio State (W); at Michigan State (W); Iowa (W); Minnesota (W)
1 (tie).  Purdue (10-3):  Michigan State (W); at Penn State (W); at Michigan (W); Indiana (W); at Northwestern (L)
1 (tie).  Maryland (10-3):  at Wisconsin (L); Minnesota (W); Iowa (W); at Rutgers (W); Michigan State (W)
4 (tie).  Northwestern (8-5):  Rutgers (W); at Illinois (W); at Indiana (L); Michigan (W); Purdue (W)
4 (tie).  Michigan State (8-5):  at Purdue (L); Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (L); at Illinois (W); at Maryland (L)
6 (tie).  Minnesota (7-6):  Michigan (W); at Maryland (L); Penn State (W); Nebraska (W); at Wisconsin (L)
6 (tie).  Michigan (7-6):  at Minnesota (L); at Rutgers (W); Purdue (L); at Northwestern (L); at Nebraska (L)
8.  Iowa (6-7):  Illinois (W); Indiana (L); at Maryland (L); at Wisconsin (L); Penn State (W)
9.  Penn State (6-8):  Purdue (L); at Minnesota (L); Ohio State (W); at Iowa (L)
10.  Nebraska (5-8):  at Ohio State (L); at Michigan State (L); Illinois (W); at Minnesota (L); Michigan (W)
11 (tie).  Indiana (5-9):  at Iowa (W); Northwestern (W); at Purdue (L); at Ohio State (W)
11 (tie).  Ohio State (5-9):  Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (L); at Penn State (L); Indiana (L)
13.  Illinois (4-9):  at Iowa (L); Northwestern (L); at Nebraska (L); Michigan State (L); at Rutgers (L)
14.  Rutgers (2-12):  at Northwestern (L); Michigan (L); Maryland (L); Illinois (W)

Projected Big Ten Tournament Seeding
Given my predictions and Big Ten tiebreaking rules, here is how the Big Ten Tournament seeds should fall into place (bold means a team has clinched that seed):

1.  Wisconsin (15-3)
2.  Purdue (14-4) (has tiebreaker over Maryland based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
3.  Maryland (14-4)  
4.  Northwestern (12-6)
5.  Michigan State (10-8) (has tiebreaker over Minnesota based on 2-0 head-to-head record)
6.  Minnesota (10-8)
7.  Michigan (8-10) (would have tiebreaker over IU and Iowa based on 2-1 record vs. other two teams, with Iowa next with 1-1 record, and IU third with 1-2 record)
8.  Iowa (8-10)
9.  Indiana (8-10)
10.  Nebraska (7-11) (has tiebreaker over PSU based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
11.  Penn State (7-11)
12.  Ohio State (6-12)
13.  Illinois (4-14)
14.  Rutgers (3-15)

Big Ten Tournament Schedule
In the past, I have also included far-too-premature predictions for every game of the Big Ten Tournament, but, like the last couple years, I'm not even going to try to do that this year until the seeds are more finalized.  However, here are the dates/times/TV schedule for the Big Ten Tournament (and a link to the bracket), which will be in Washington, DC.  All times are Eastern.

Wednesday March 8 – First Round
(12) vs. (13) (4:30 p.m. ESPN2)
(11) vs. (14) (7 p.m. BTN)

Thursday March 9 – Second Round
(8) vs. (9) (Noon, BTN)
(5) vs. (12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., BTN)
(7) vs. (10) (6:30 p.m., ESPN2)
(6) vs. (11)/(14) (9 p.m., ESPN2)

Friday March 10 – Quarterfinals
(1) vs. (8)/(9) (Noon, ESPN)
(4) vs. (5)/(12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., ESPN)
(2) vs. (7)/(10) (6:30 p.m., BTN)
(3) vs. (6)/(11)/(14) (9 p.m., BTN)

Saturday March 11 – Semifinals
(1)/(8)/(9) vs. (4)/(5)/(12)/(13) (1 p.m., CBS)
(2)/(7)/(10) vs. (3)/(6)/(11)/(14) (3:30 p.m., CBS)

Sunday March 12 – Finals
(1)/(4)/(5)/(8)/(9)/(12)/(13) vs. (2)/(3)/(6)/(7)/(10)/(11)/(14) (3 p.m., CBS)

NCAA Tournament Resumes for All 14 Big Ten Teams
Here is each Big Ten team's NCAA Tournament resume, including each team's RPI (based on ESPN's daily RPI), BPI (based on ESPN's BPI rankings), overall record against D-1 opponents, "good" wins (wins against RPI Top 50 teams or, if none, the team's best win), "bad" losses (losses against teams with an RPI of 101+ or, if none, the team's worst loss).  An * means the game was played on a neutral court, and for the "good" wins and "bad" losses, the team's current RPI is identified.  I have categorized the teams by "In," "Bubble," or "Out," which is my best guess, based on what I know right now, as to whether each team is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, is on the bubble, or is out.  I have also added a record vs. the RPI Top 50 and Top 100.  For the "In" and "Out" teams, I'm putting them in order based on RPI ranking.  For the "Bubble" teams, I am putting them in order based on what I think their likelihood of making the NCAA Tournament is (which may or may not fall in line with the RPI ranking).

In
1.  Maryland
RPI:  17
BPI:  39
Overall record:  22-4
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-1
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  13-4
Good wins:  3 (at Minnesota (20), Oklahoma State (28), at Northwestern (39))
Bad losses:  None (Nebraska (80))

2.  Purdue
RPI:  19
BPI:  9
Overall record:  21-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  5-3
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  10-4
Good wins:  5 (at Maryland (17), Notre Dame* (23), Wisconsin (26), Northwestern (39), at Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (103))

3.  Minnesota
RPI:  20
BPI:  44
Overall record:  19-7
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  4-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  9-7
Good wins:  4 (at Purdue (19), Arkansas (34), at Northwestern (39), UT Arlington (43))
Bad losses:  None (at Penn State (75))

4.  Wisconsin
RPI:  26
BPI:  16
Overall record:  21-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-4
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  12-5
Good wins:  2 (at Minnesota (20), Tennessee* (45))
Bad losses:  None (at Michigan (52))

5.  Northwestern
RPI:  39
BPI:  42
Overall record:  19-7
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-7
Good wins:  3 (at Wisconsin (26), Dayton* (29), Wake Forest (37))
Bad losses:  None (Illinois (69))

Bubble
6.  Michigan State
RPI:  41
BPI:  50
Overall record:  16-10
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-9
Good wins:  4 (Minnesota (20), at Minnesota (20), Northwestern (39), Wichita State* (47))
Bad losses:  1 (Northeastern (137))

7.  Michigan
RPI:  52
BPI:  23
Overall record:  17-9
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  10-8
Good wins:  3 (SMU* (21), Wisconsin (26), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (103))

8.  Indiana
RPI:  89
BPI:  30
Overall record:  15-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  3 (Kansas* (2), North Carolina (5), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Fort Wayne (141))

Out
9.  Ohio State
RPI:  63
BPI:  59
Overall record:  15-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-9
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-10
Good wins:  2 (Minnesota (20), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  2 (at Iowa (103), Florida Atlantic (298))

10.  Illinois
RPI:  69
BPI:  72
Overall record:  14-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-7
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-12
Good wins:  2 (VCU* (27), at Northwestern (39))
Bad losses:  None (at Indiana (89))

11.  Penn State
RPI:  75
BPI:  92
Overall record:  14-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-10
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (17), Minnesota (20), Michigan State* (41))
Bad losses:  3 (George Mason (110), Rutgers (146), Albany (147))

12.  Nebraska
RPI:  80
BPI:  99
Overall record:  11-14
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-11
Good wins:  3 (at Maryland (17), Purdue (19), Dayton* (29))
Bad losses:  3 (at Iowa (103), at Rutgers (146), Gardner-Webb (215))

13.  Iowa
RPI:  103
BPI:  93
Overall record:  14-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-10
Good wins:  2 (Purdue (19), Iowa State (46))
Bad losses:  2 (Memphis* (107), Omaha (180))

14.  Rutgers
RPI:  146
BPI:  147
Overall record:  13-14
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  0-9
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  2-12
Good wins:  None (at Penn State (75))

Bad losses:  2 (Iowa (103), at Iowa (103))

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Updated Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

Last night, IU let what would have been a huge road win slip through their fingers, losing at Minnesota, 75-74, on a put-back lay-in with 2.9 seconds left.  The lead changed five times in the last 1:06, but unfortunately for the Hoosiers, it didn't change one more time.  I haven't given up all hope just yet –- as I still believe that this team has the ability to beat anyone they play -- but IU's NCAA Tournament hopes are looking quite bleak at this point, having lost six out of their last seven games.  I'm going to keep the Hoosiers in the "Bubble" category in my NCAA Tournament resume section below as long as they are still on Joe Lunardi's radar (and, as of today, they are still in the "Next Four Out").

In the other game, Maryland won a tough road game at Northwestern, 74-64, behind Melo Trimble's 32 points.

Tonight, conference leader Wisconsin travels to Michigan.  The Wolverines only have 2 wins over the RPI Top 50, so a win tonight would go a long way towards helping their NCAA Tournament resume, especially with their tough remaining schedule.  Four out of Michigan's last five games are on the road, including trips to Minnesota and Northwestern, and their only remaining home game is against Purdue.  IU had the same imbalanced schedule.  Frankly, I don't understand why the Big Ten would ever allow that to happen.

Next games
Here is tonight's game (all times Eastern):
-Wisconsin at Michigan (7:00 p.m.; ESPN)

Current Standings
Here are the current standings, with the conference record, each team's remaining Big Ten games, and my predictions.  I will try to update these after every day or every couple days of games.

1.  Wisconsin (10-2):  at Michigan (W); Maryland (W); at Ohio State (W); at Michigan State (W); Iowa (W); Minnesota (W)
2 (tie).  Purdue (10-3):  Michigan State (W); at Penn State (W); at Michigan (W); Indiana (W); at Northwestern (L)
2 (tie).  Maryland (10-3):  at Wisconsin (L); Minnesota (W); Iowa (W); at Rutgers (W); Michigan State (W)
4 (tie).  Northwestern (8-5):  Rutgers (W); at Illinois (W); at Indiana (L); Michigan (W); Purdue (W)
4 (tie).  Michigan State (8-5):  at Purdue (L); Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (L); at Illinois (W); at Maryland (L)
6.  Minnesota (7-6):  Michigan (W); at Maryland (L); Penn State (W); Nebraska (W); at Wisconsin (L)
7.  Michigan (6-6):  Wisconsin (L); at Minnesota (L); at Rutgers (W); Purdue (L); at Northwestern (L); at Nebraska (L)
8.  Iowa (6-7):  Illinois (W); Indiana (L); at Maryland (L); at Wisconsin (L); Penn State (W)
9.  Penn State (6-8):  Purdue (L); at Minnesota (L); Ohio State (W); at Iowa (L)
10.  Nebraska (5-8):  at Ohio State (L); at Michigan State (L); Illinois (W); at Minnesota (L); Michigan (W)
11 (tie).  Indiana (5-9):  at Iowa (W); Northwestern (W); at Purdue (L); at Ohio State (W)
11 (tie).  Ohio State (5-9):  Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (L); at Penn State (L); Indiana (L)
13.  Illinois (4-9):  at Iowa (L); Northwestern (L); at Nebraska (L); Michigan State (L); at Rutgers (L)
14.  Rutgers (2-12):  at Northwestern (L); Michigan (L); Maryland (L); Illinois (W)

Projected Big Ten Tournament Seeding
Given my predictions and Big Ten tiebreaking rules, here is how the Big Ten Tournament seeds should fall into place (bold means a team has clinched that seed):

1.  Wisconsin (16-2)
2.  Purdue (14-4) (has tiebreaker over Maryland based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
3.  Maryland (14-4)  
4.  Northwestern (12-6)
5.  Michigan State (10-8) (has tiebreaker over Minnesota based on 2-0 head-to-head record)
6.  Minnesota (10-8)
7.  Indiana (8-10) (would have tiebreaker over Iowa based on 1-0 head-to-head record)
8.  Iowa (8-10)
9.  Nebraska (7-11) (Michigan and Nebraska both would have 2-1 records against the other two teams, while PSU would have an 0-2 record.  Nebraska would have the tiebreaker over Michigan based on better record vs. Purdue)
10.  Michigan (7-11)
11.  Penn State (7-11)
12.  Ohio State (6-12)
13.  Illinois (4-14)
14.  Rutgers (3-15)

Big Ten Tournament Schedule
In the past, I have also included far-too-premature predictions for every game of the Big Ten Tournament, but, like the last couple years, I'm not even going to try to do that this year until the seeds are more finalized.  However, here are the dates/times/TV schedule for the Big Ten Tournament (and a link to the bracket), which will be in Washington, DC.  All times are Eastern.

Wednesday March 8 – First Round
(12) vs. (13) (4:30 p.m. ESPN2)
(11) vs. (14) (7 p.m. BTN)

Thursday March 9 – Second Round
(8) vs. (9) (Noon, BTN)
(5) vs. (12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., BTN)
(7) vs. (10) (6:30 p.m., ESPN2)
(6) vs. (11)/(14) (9 p.m., ESPN2)

Friday March 10 – Quarterfinals
(1) vs. (8)/(9) (Noon, ESPN)
(4) vs. (5)/(12)/(13) (2:30 p.m., ESPN)
(2) vs. (7)/(10) (6:30 p.m., BTN)
(3) vs. (6)/(11)/(14) (9 p.m., BTN)

Saturday March 11 – Semifinals
(1)/(8)/(9) vs. (4)/(5)/(12)/(13) (1 p.m., CBS)
(2)/(7)/(10) vs. (3)/(6)/(11)/(14) (3:30 p.m., CBS)

Sunday March 12 – Finals
(1)/(4)/(5)/(8)/(9)/(12)/(13) vs. (2)/(3)/(6)/(7)/(10)/(11)/(14) (3 p.m., CBS)

NCAA Tournament Resumes for All 14 Big Ten Teams
Here is each Big Ten team's NCAA Tournament resume, including each team's RPI (based on ESPN's daily RPI), BPI (based on ESPN's BPI rankings), overall record against D-1 opponents, "good" wins (wins against RPI Top 50 teams or, if none, the team's best win), "bad" losses (losses against teams with an RPI of 101+ or, if none, the team's worst loss).  An * means the game was played on a neutral court, and for the "good" wins and "bad" losses, the team's current RPI is identified.  I have categorized the teams by "In," "Bubble," or "Out," which is my best guess, based on what I know right now, as to whether each team is a lock for the NCAA Tournament, is on the bubble, or is out.  I have also added a record vs. the RPI Top 50 and Top 100.  For the "In" and "Out" teams, I'm putting them in order based on RPI ranking.  For the "Bubble" teams, I am putting them in order based on what I think their likelihood of making the NCAA Tournament is (which may or may not fall in line with the RPI ranking).

In
1.  Purdue
RPI:  17
BPI:  9
Overall record:  21-5
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  5-3
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  10-4
Good wins:  5 (at Maryland (19), Notre Dame* (24), Wisconsin (25), Northwestern (40), at Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (104))

2.  Maryland
RPI:  19
BPI:  39
Overall record:  22-4
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-1
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  13-4
Good wins:  3 (at Minnesota (21), Oklahoma State (28), at Northwestern (40))
Bad losses:  None (Nebraska (81))

3.  Minnesota
RPI:  21
BPI:  44
Overall record:  19-7
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  4-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  9-7
Good wins:  4 (at Purdue (17), Arkansas (35), at Northwestern (40), UT Arlington (42))
Bad losses:  None (at Penn State (75))

4.  Wisconsin
RPI:  25
BPI:  15
Overall record:  21-4
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-4
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  12-4
Good wins:  2 (at Minnesota (21), Tennessee* (43))
Bad losses:  None (Northwestern (40))

5.  Northwestern
RPI:  40
BPI:  42
Overall record:  19-7
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-7
Good wins:  3 (at Wisconsin (25), Dayton* (30), Wake Forest (36))
Bad losses:  None (Illinois (69))

Bubble
6.  Michigan State
RPI:  41
BPI:  49
Overall record:  16-10
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  8-9
Good wins:  4 (Minnesota (21), at Minnesota (21), Northwestern (40), Wichita State* (47))
Bad losses:  1 (Northeastern (134))

7.  Michigan
RPI:  55
BPI:  24
Overall record:  16-9
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-6
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  9-8
Good wins:  2 (SMU* (23), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Iowa (104))

8.  Indiana
RPI:  88
BPI:  30
Overall record:  15-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-11
Good wins:  3 (Kansas* (2), North Carolina (5), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  1 (at Fort Wayne (146))

Out
9.  Ohio State
RPI:  63
BPI:  59
Overall record:  15-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-9
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-10
Good wins:  2 (Minnesota (21), Michigan State (41))
Bad losses:  2 (at Iowa (104), Florida Atlantic (298))

10.  Illinois
RPI:  69
BPI:  73
Overall record:  14-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-7
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-12
Good wins:  2 (VCU* (27), at Northwestern (40))
Bad losses:  None (at Indiana (88))

11.  Penn State
RPI:  75
BPI:  91
Overall record:  14-13
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-5
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  6-10
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (19), Minnesota (21), Michigan State* (41))
Bad losses:  3 (George Mason (111), Rutgers (142), Albany (150))

12.  Nebraska
RPI:  81
BPI:  100
Overall record:  11-14
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  3-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-11
Good wins:  3 (Purdue (17), at Maryland (19), Dayton* (30))
Bad losses:  3 (at Iowa (104), at Rutgers (142), Gardner-Webb (216))

13.  Iowa
RPI:  104
BPI:  92
Overall record:  14-12
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  2-8
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  5-10
Good wins:  2 (Purdue (17), Iowa State (46))
Bad losses:  2 (Memphis* (102), Omaha (182))

14.  Rutgers
RPI:  142
BPI:  146
Overall record:  13-14
Record vs. RPI Top 50:  0-9
Record vs. RPI Top 100:  2-12
Good wins:  None (at Penn State (75))
Bad losses:  2 (Iowa (104), at Iowa (104))