Monday, February 08, 2016

Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

Now that football is over (after what was one of the most boring Super Bowls in recent memory) and we are only one month from the Big Ten Tournament, it appears to be time for my annual attempt at predicting the Big Ten Tournament seeds, based on every team's remaining schedule, and each Big Ten team's chances of making the NCAA Tournament.

For shits and giggles, let's take a look at how my initial Big Ten Tournament seeding predictions last year compared to how things actually shook out.  For each seed, my initial prediction is the first team listed, with the predicted record in parentheses, and the second team is the team that actually ended up with that seed, with their actual record in parentheses.

1.  Wisconsin (15-3); Wisconsin (16-2)
2.  Maryland (15-3); Maryland (14-4)
3.  Ohio State (13-5); Michigan State (12-6)
4.  Indiana (13-5); Purdue (12-6)
5.  Michigan State (12-6); Iowa (12-6)
6.  Michigan (12-6); Ohio State (11-7)
7.  Purdue (10-8); Indiana (9-9)
8.  Iowa (10-8); Illinois (9-9)
9.  Illinois (7-11); Michigan (8-10)
10.  Nebraska (7-11); Northwestern (6-12)
11.  Minnesota (6-12); Minnesota (6-12)
12.  Northwestern (2-16); Nebraska (5-13)
13.  Rutgers (2-16); Penn State (4-14)
14.  Penn State (2-16); Rutgers (2-16)

So, 3 out of 14 isn't great.  Hopefully, my inner Nostradamus will shine through this year.  Right now, Indiana, Iowa, and Michigan have been the surprises of the Big Ten (even with Michigan's two bad home losses last week to IU and MSU, and even with IU's bed shitting at Penn State this past Saturday).  Maryland and Purdue have played up to expectations, while Michigan State and Ohio State have somewhat underperformed (although MSU is still a Top 10 team, while OSU is on the outside looking in for an NCAA Tournament bid as of right now).  After back-to-back Final Fours, Wisconsin has fallen back to reality, but has improved its chances at an NCAA Tournament berth after winning their last five games.  Northwestern has cooled after a hot start.  Nebraska has been up and down.  Illinois and Penn State have been bad, and Rutgers and Minnesota have been downright horrible.

Next games
The next slate of games is tomorrow night.  Here they are (all times Eastern):
-Bowie State at Maryland (6 p.m.; BTN)
-Michigan State at Purdue (7 p.m.; ESPN)
-Northwestern at Ohio State (8 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.  Iowa (10-1):  at Indiana (L); Minnesota (W); at Penn State (W); Wisconsin (W); at Ohio State (W); Indiana (W); at Michigan (L)
2.  Maryland (10-2):  Wisconsin (W); at Minnesota (W); Michigan (W); at Purdue (L); Illinois (W); at Indiana (L)
3.  Indiana (9-2):  Iowa (W); at Michigan State (L); Nebraska (W); Purdue (W); at Illinois (W); at Iowa (L); Maryland (W)
4 (tie).  Michigan (7-4):  at Minnesota (W); Purdue (W); at Ohio State (L); at Maryland (L); Northwestern (W); at Wisconsin (L); Iowa (W)
4 (tie).  Michigan State (7-4):  at Purdue (L); Indiana (W); Wisconsin (W); at Ohio State (W); Penn State (W); at Rutgers (W); Ohio State (W)
4 (tie).  Purdue (7-4):   Michigan State (W); at Michigan (L); Northwestern (W); at Indiana (L); Maryland (W); at Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (W)
7.  Wisconsin (6-4):  Nebraska (W); at Maryland (L); at Michigan State (L); Illinois (W); at Iowa (L); Michigan (W); at Minnesota (W); at Purdue (L)
8.  Ohio State (6-5):  Northwestern (W); at Rutgers (W); Michigan (W); at Nebraska (W); Michigan State (L); Iowa (L); at Michigan State (L)
9.  Nebraska (5-6):  at Wisconsin (L); Penn State (W); at Indiana (L); Ohio State (L); at Penn State (W); Purdue (L); at Northwestern (L)
10.  Northwestern (4-7):  at Ohio State (L); Illinois (W); at Purdue (L); at Michigan (L); Rutgers (W); at Penn State (L); Nebraska (W)
11 (tie).  Illinois (3-8):  at Northwestern (L); Rutgers (W); at Wisconsin (L); Indiana (L); Minnesota (W); at Maryland (L); at Penn State (L)
11 (tie).  Penn State (3-8):  at Nebraska (L); Iowa (L); at Rutgers (L); Nebraska (L); at Michigan State (L); Northwestern (W); Illinois (W)
13 (tie).  Rutgers (0-11):  Ohio State (L); at Illinois (L); Penn State (W); at Minnesota (L); at Northwestern (L); Michigan State (L); Minnesota (W)
13 (tie).  Minnesota (0-11):  Michigan (L); at Iowa (L); Maryland (L); Rutgers (W); at Illinois (L); Wisconsin (L); at Rutgers (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.  Iowa (15-3)
2.  Indiana (14-4) (would have tiebreaker over Maryland based on 1-0 record vs. Maryland)
3.  Maryland (14-4)
4.  Michigan State (13-5)
5.  Purdue (12-6)
6.  Michigan (11-7)
7.  Wisconsin (10-8) (would have tiebreaker over OSU based on 1-0 record vs. OSU)
8.  Ohio State (10-8)
9.  Northwestern (7-11) (would have tiebreaker over Nebraska based on 2-0 record vs. Nebraska)
10.  Nebraska (7-11)
11.  Illinois (5-13)
12.  Penn State (4-14)
13.  Rutgers (2-16)
14.  Minnesota (1-17)

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 announced.  However, here are the dates/times/TV schedule for the Big Ten Tournament (and a link to the bracket), which will be in Indianapolis.  All times are Eastern.

Wednesday March 9 – First Round
(12) vs. (13) (4:30 p.m. ESPN2)
(11) vs. (14) (7 p.m. BTN)

Thursday March 10 – 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 11 – 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 12 – 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 13 – 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
Because I am insane, like last year, I am also going to post updates on each Big Ten team's 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.  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.  Maryland
RPI:  5
Overall record:  21-3
Good wins:  3 (Iowa (8), Purdue (23), Connecticut* (50))
Bad losses: None (at Michigan (55))

2.  Iowa
RPI:  8
Overall record:  19-4
Good wins:  6 (Michigan State (16), at Michigan State (16), Purdue (23), at Purdue (23), Florida State (38), Wichita State* (41))
Bad losses:  None (Notre Dame* (28)

3.  Michigan State
RPI:  16
Overall record:  20-4
Good wins:  5 (Maryland (5), Kansas* (6), Louisville (21), Florida (22), Providence* (32))
Bad losses:  1 (Nebraska (163))

4.  Purdue
RPI:  23
Overall record:  19-5
Good wins:  2 (Florida* (22), at Pittsburgh (39))
Bad losses:  1 (at Illinois (119))

5.  Michigan
RPI:  55
Overall record:  16-7
Good wins:  2 (Maryland (5), Texas* (20))
Bad losses:  None (Indiana (56))

6.  Indiana
RPI:  56
Overall record:  19-5
Good wins:  1 (Notre Dame* (28))
Bad losses:  2 (at Penn State (108), UNLV* (132))

7.  Wisconsin
RPI:  59
Overall record:  14-9
Good wins:  3 (Michigan State (16), VCU* (40), at Syracuse (44))
Bad losses:  3 (at Northwestern (104), Milwaukee (167), Western Illinois (273))

8.  Ohio State
RPI:  85
Overall record:  14-10
Good wins:  1 (Kentucky* (19))
Bad losses:  3 (UT-Arlington (103), Memphis* (116), Louisiana Tech (146))

9.  Northwestern
RPI:  104
Overall record:  16-8
Good wins:  None (Wisconsin (59))
Bad losses:  1 (Penn State (108))

10.  Penn State
RPI:  108
Overall record:  12-12
Good wins:  None (Indiana (56))
Bad losses:  2 (Duquesne* (102), Radford (174))

11.  Illinois
RPI:  119
Overall record:  11-13
Good wins:  1 (Purdue (23))
Bad losses:  2 (North Florida* (147), Nebraska (163))

12.  Nebraska
RPI:  163
Overall record:  13-11
Good wins:  1 (at Michigan State (16))
Bad losses:  2 (Northwestern (104), Samford (265))

13.  Minnesota
RPI:  228
Overall record:  6-17
Good wins:  None (Clemson (78))
Bad losses:  8 (Northwestern (104), at Northwestern (104), at Penn State (108), Illinois (119), Oklahoma State* (140), at Nebraska (163), Milwaukee (167), South Dakota (186))

14.  Rutgers
RPI:  248
Overall record:  5-18
Good wins:  None (Farleigh Dickinson (215))

Bad losses:  4 (Illinois (119), Nebraska (163), at Nebraska (163), at St. John's (195))

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