Thursday, February 12, 2015

Updated Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

Well, last night, the Hoosiers had a good shot (literally) at beating Maryland at College Park, but Yogi Ferrell's three-pointer with five seconds left and off-balance, last-second runner both missed the mark, and the Hoosiers fell 68-66 in a hard-fought, back-and-forth game.  It was IU's best showing on the road since beating Illinois in Champaign on January 18.  Maryland now has the inside track for the 2-seed in the Big Ten Tournament, although IU still has a shot at the 2-seed, given the Hoosiers' relatively favorable schedule from here on out.

In the other game, Ohio State killed Penn State, 75-55, in Columbus.

Tonight's games could ruin some teams' NCAA hopes.  Iowa should take care of Minnesota at home, although a loss by the Hawkeyes would place them firmly on the bubble (right now, I have them in the NCAA Tournament).  Purdue travels to the RAC to face Rutgers.  A loss to the Scarlet Knights would be the fifth "bad" loss for the Boilers this year and all but derail their NCAA Tournament chances, given their remaining schedule.  Meanwhile, Michigan travels to Illinois.  The Illini have been playing better as of late and have worked their way back into the RPI Top 50.  A loss for Michigan would drop them to 12-12 overall, would likely put the nail in their NCAA Tournament coffin, and would put them at risk of finishing the season with a losing record, given that their next three games are against Michigan State, Ohio State, and Maryland.  Granted, the Wolverines have been ravaged by injuries and lost a lot of talent from last year's squad, but I don't think anyone thought they'd go from a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament and Elite Eight team last year to possibly missing the NIT this year.

On the slate tonight:
-Minnesota at Iowa (7:00 p.m. EST, BTN)
-Purdue at Rutgers (7:00 p.m. EST, ESPNU)
-Michigan at Illinois (9:00 p.m. EST, ESPN)

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

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

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:

1.  Wisconsin (15-3)
2.  Maryland (14-4)
3.  Indiana (13-5)
4.  Iowa (12-6) (has tiebreaker over OSU based on 2-0 record vs. OSU)
5.  Ohio State (12-6)
6.  Michigan State (11-7) (would have tiebreaker over Purdue based on 1-0 record vss. Purdue)
7.  Purdue (11-7)
8.  Michigan (10-8)
9.  Illinois (9-9)
10.  Nebraska (6-12) (would have tiebreaker over Minnesota based on better record vs. Iowa and Ohio State than Minnesota)
11.  Minnesota (6-12)
12.  Penn State (3-15)
13.  Northwestern (2-16) (has tiebreaker over Rutgers based on 1-0 record vs. Rutgers)
14.  Rutgers (2-16)

Big Ten Tournament Schecule
Here are the dates/times/TV schedule for the Big Ten Tournament (and a link to the bracket), which will be in Chicago.  All times are Central.

Wednesday March 11 – First Round
(12) vs. (13) (3:30 p.m. ESPN2)
(11) vs. (14) (6 p.m. BTN)

Thursday March 12 – Second Round
(8) vs. (9) (11 a.m., BTN)
(5) vs. (12)/(13) (1:30 p.m., BTN)
(7) vs. (10) (5:30 p.m., ESPN2)
(6) vs. (11)/(14) (8 p.m., ESPN2)

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

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

Sunday March 15 – Finals
(1)/(4)/(5)/(8)/(9)/(12)/(13) vs. (2)/(3)/(6)/(7)/(10)/(11)/(14) (2:30 p.m., CBS)

NCAA Tournament Resumes for All 14 Big Ten Teams
Here is each Big Ten team's updated NCAA Tournament resume.  From top to bottom, I will list each team's RPI (based on ESPN's daily RPI), "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.  Also, 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.

1.  Wisconsin
RPI:  6
Overall record:  22-2
Good wins:  6 (Oklahoma* (12), Georgetown* (21), Indiana (31), Iowa (36), at Iowa (36), Boise State (40))
Bad losses: 1 (at Rutgers (117))

2.  Maryland
RPI:  14
Overall record:  20-5
Good wins:  5 (Iowa State* (16), at Oklahoma State (22), Indiana (31), Michigan State (47), at Michigan State (47))
Bad losses:  None (at Illinois (48))

3.  Indiana
RPI:  31
Overall record:  17-8
Good wins:  5 (Maryland (14), Butler* (18), SMU (24), Ohio State (33), at Illinois (48))
Bad losses:  None (at Purdue (73))

4.  Ohio State
RPI:  33
Overall record:  19-6
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (14), Indiana (31), Illinois (48))
Bad losses:  None (at Purdue (73))

5.  Iowa
RPI:  36
Overall record:  15-8
Good wins:  4 (at North Carolina (9), Maryland (14), at Ohio State (33), Ohio State (33))
Bad losses:  None (at Purdue (73))

6.  Michigan State
RPI:  47
Overall record:  16-8
Good wins:  2 (Indiana (31), at Iowa (36))
Bad losses:  2 (at Nebraska (104), Texas Southern (171))

7.  Illinois
RPI:  48
Overall record:  16-8
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (14), Baylor* (15), at Michigan State (47))
Bad losses:  1 (at Nebraska (104))

8.  Purdue
RPI:  73
Overall record:  15-9
Good wins:  3 (Indiana (31), Ohio State (33), Iowa (36))
Bad losses:  4 (Kansas State* (101), at Vanderbilt (110) Gardner-Webb (163), North Florida (205))

9.  Michigan
RPI:  80
Overall record:  12-11
Good wins:  1 (Illinois (48))
Bad losses:  2 (NJIT (175), Eastern Michigan (180))

10.  Penn State
RPI:  88
Overall record:  15-10
Good wins:  None
Bad losses:  2 (at Rutgers (117), Charlotte* (193))

11.  Minnesota
RPI:  89
Overall record:  14-9
Good wins:  2 (Georgia* (20), Illinois (48))
Bad losses:  1 (at Nebraska (104))

12.  Nebraska
RPI:  104
Overall record:  13-11
Good wins:  3 (Cincinnati (32), Michigan State (47), Illinois (48))
Bad losses:  3 (Creighton (126), Incarnate Word (155), at Hawaii (190))

13.  Rutgers
RPI:  117
Overall record:  10-15
Good wins:  1 (Wisconsin (6))
Bad losses:  4 (at Nebraska (104), St. Francis (PA) (151), Northwestern (156), St. Peter's (225))

14.  Northwestern
RPI:  156
Overall record:  10-14
Good wins:  None (Western Michigan (113))

Bad losses:  1 (at Nebraska (104))

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