Monday, February 09, 2015

Updated Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

It was an exciting weekend in the Big Ten, with some upsets shaking up the standings a little.  On Saturday, Illinois went into East Lansing and beat Michigan State.  What's going on with the Spartans this year?  They were ranked #18 in both preseason polls, and now sit at 15-8 overall (6-4 in the Big Ten) and firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

In other games on Saturday, Minnesota brought Purdue back down to Earth.  Nebraska's season-long fall back to Earth after last year's NCAA Tournament appearance continued, as the Huskers lost to Penn State in Happy Valley.  And, predictably, Wisconsin trounced Northwestern.

On Sunday, the Hoosiers squeaked by Michigan, but a win is a win.  Maryland got destroyed at Iowa, which is the Terps' third 16+-point loss on the road in the last few weeks.  Finally, Ohio State beat up on Rutgers, but then again, who hasn't?

On the slate (Tuesday):
-Michigan State at Northwestern (7:00 p.m. EST, BTN)
-Wisconsin at Nebraska (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 (9-1):  at Nebraska (W), Illinois (W), at PSU (W), Minnesota (W), at Maryland (L), MSU (W), at Minnesota (W), at OSU (L)
2 (tie).  Indiana (7-4):  at Maryland (L), Minnesota (W), Purdue (W), at Rutgers (W), at Northwestern (W), Iowa (W), MSU (W)
2 (tie).  Maryland (7-4):  IU (W), at PSU (W), Nebraska (W), Wisconsin (W), Michigan (W), at Rutgers (W), at Nebraska (W)
2 (tie).  Ohio State (7-4):  PSU (W), at MSU (L), at Michigan (L), Nebraska (W), Purdue (W), at PSU (W), Wisconsin (W)
2 (tie).  Purdue (7-4):  at Rutgers (W), Nebraska (W), at IU (L), Rutgers (W), at OSU (L), at MSU (L), Illinois (W)
6 (tie).  Michigan State (6-4):  at Northwestern (W), OSU (W), at Michigan (L), at Illinois (W), Minnesota (W), at Wisconsin (L), Purdue (W), at IU (L)
6 (tie).  Iowa (6-4):  Minnesota (W), at Northwestern (W), Rutgers (W), at Nebraska (L), Illinois (W), at PSU (W), at IU (L), Northwestern (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 (5-6):  Wisconsin (L), 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 (3-8):  at OSU (L), 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 (1-9):  MSU (L), 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:  21-2
Good wins:  7 (Oklahoma* (15), Georgetown* (21), Indiana (32), Iowa (38), at Iowa (38), Boise State (40), Buffalo (44))
Bad losses: 1 (at Rutgers (118))

2.  Maryland
RPI:  16
Overall record:  19-5
Good wins:  2 (Iowa State* (14), at Oklahoma State (28))
Bad losses:  None (at Illinois (47))

3.  Indiana
RPI:  32
Overall record:  16-7
Good wins:  5 (Maryland (16), Butler* (17), SMU (23), Ohio State (33), at Illinois (47))
Bad losses:  None (at Purdue (72))

4.  Ohio State
RPI:  33
Overall record:  18-6
Good wins:  3 (Maryland (16), Indiana (32), Illinois (47))
Bad losses:  None (at Purdue (72))

5.  Iowa
RPI:  38
Overall record:  15-8
Good wins:  4 (at North Carolina (10), Maryland (16), at Ohio State (33), Ohio State (33))
Bad losses:  None (at Purdue (72))

6.  Illinois
RPI:  47
Overall record:  16-8
Good wins:  2 (Baylor* (11), Maryland (16))
Bad losses:  1 (at Nebraska (101))

7.  Michigan State
RPI:  52
Overall record:  15-8
Good wins:  2 (Indiana (33), at Iowa (38))
Bad losses:  2 (at Nebraska (101), Texas Southern (172))

8.  Purdue
RPI:  72
Overall record:  15-9
Good wins:  3 (Indiana (32), Ohio State (33), Iowa (38))
Bad losses:  3 (Kansas State* (102), Gardner-Webb (137), North Florida (203))

9.  Michigan
RPI:  79
Overall record:  12-11
Good wins:  1 (Illinois (47))
Bad losses:  2 (NJIT (177), Eastern Michigan (179))

10.  Minnesota
RPI:  88
Overall record:  14-9
Good wins:  2 (Georgia* (24), Illinois (47))
Bad losses:  1 (at Nebraska (101))

11.  Penn State
RPI:  90
Overall record:  15-9
Good wins:  1 (George Washington (49))
Bad losses:  2 (at Rutgers (118), Charlotte* (191))

12.  Nebraska
RPI:  101
Overall record:  13-10
Good wins:  2 (Cincinnati (25), Illinois (47))
Bad losses:  3 (Creighton (125), Incarnate Word (155), at Hawaii (190))

13.  Rutgers
RPI:  118
Overall record:  10-15
Good wins:  1 (Wisconsin (6))
Bad losses:  4 (at Nebraska (101), Northwestern (153), St. Francis (PA) (157), St. Peter's (221))

14.  Northwestern
RPI:  153
Overall record:  10-13
Good wins:  None (Western Michigan (115))

Bad losses:  2 (at Nebraska (101), Central Michigan (104))

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