Thursday, February 11, 2016

Updated Big Ten Tournament Seeding Predictions and NCAA Tournament Resumes

Last night, Wisconsin beat Nebraska for the Badgers' sixth win in a row, and Michigan held off a pesky Minnesota team in the Barn for an 82-74 victory.

Now is when things get interesting, for the Hoosiers anyway.  Tonight, they play first-place Iowa at home, and Sunday they play Michigan State in East Lansing (pretty much right smack dab in the middle of when I will be on a plane).  These two games will determine if IU is a contender or pretender.  Win both, and the Hoosiers are sitting pretty for a top 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title.  A split isn't too bad either, given that both are top 10 teams.  Losing both won't be the end of the world, but I will be pretty pissed because it will all but assure that IU won't win the regular season Big Ten title.

Elsewhere, on Saturday, Michigan has a huge home game against Purdue, as the Wolverines are in need of a couple more "good" wins to bolster their NCAA Tournament resume.  And Wisconsin travels to Maryland, looking to stay hot.

Next games
I'm going to be out of town tomorrow, so here are the games for tonight and the weekend (all times Eastern):
-Iowa at Indiana (9 p.m.; ESPN)
-Purdue at Michigan (2 p.m.; ESPN2)
-Ohio State at Rutgers (4 p.m.; BTN)
-Penn State at Nebraska (6 p.m.; ESPNU)
-Wisconsin at Maryland (6:30 p.m.; ESPN)
-Illinois at Northwestern (8 p.m.; BTN)
-Indiana at Michigan State (1 p.m.; CBS)
-Minnesota at Iowa (7:30 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.  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).  Purdue (8-4):   at Michigan (L); Northwestern (W); at Indiana (L); Maryland (W); at Nebraska (W); Wisconsin (W)
4 (tie). Michigan (8-4):  Purdue (W); at Ohio State (L); at Maryland (L); Northwestern (W); at Wisconsin (L); Iowa (W)
6.  Wisconsin (7-4):  at Maryland (L); at Michigan State (L); Illinois (W); at Iowa (L); Michigan (W); at Minnesota (W); at Purdue (L)
7 (tie).  Michigan State (7-5):  Indiana (W); Wisconsin (W); at Ohio State (W); Penn State (W); at Rutgers (W); Ohio State (W)
7 (tie).  Ohio State (7-5):  at Rutgers (W); Michigan (W); at Nebraska (W); Michigan State (L); Iowa (L); at Michigan State (L)
9.  Nebraska (5-7):  Penn State (W); at Indiana (L); Ohio State (L); at Penn State (W); Purdue (L); at Northwestern (L)
10.  Northwestern (4-8):  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 (0-12):  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
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
Here is each Big Ten team's NCAA Tournament resume, including each team's RPI (based on ESPN's daily RPI), 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.

1.  Maryland
RPI:  5
Overall record:  21-3
Good wins:  3 (Iowa (7), Purdue (20), Connecticut* (46))
Bad losses: None (at Michigan (56))

2.  Iowa
RPI:  7
Overall record:  19-4
Good wins:  6 (Michigan State (18), at Michigan State (18), Purdue (20), at Purdue (20), Florida State (38), Wichita State* (41))
Bad losses:  None (Notre Dame* (25)

3.  Michigan State
RPI:  18
Overall record:  20-5
Good wins:  5 (Kansas* (4), Maryland (5), Florida (23), Louisville (27), Providence* (36))
Bad losses:  1 (Nebraska (159))

4.  Purdue
RPI:  20
Overall record:  20-5
Good wins:  3 (Michigan State (18), Florida* (23), at Pittsburgh (37))
Bad losses:  1 (at Illinois (121))

5.  Indiana
RPI:  51
Overall record:  19-5
Good wins:  1 (Notre Dame* (25))
Bad losses:  2 (at Penn State (110), UNLV* (135))

6.  Michigan
RPI:  56
Overall record:  17-7
Good wins:  2 (Maryland (5), Texas* (19))
Bad losses:  None (Indiana (51))

7.  Wisconsin
RPI:  60
Overall record:  15-9
Good wins:  3 (Michigan State (18), VCU* (40), at Syracuse (44))
Bad losses:  3 (at Northwestern (111), Milwaukee (167), Western Illinois (272))

8.  Ohio State
RPI:  80
Overall record:  15-10
Good wins:  1 (Kentucky* (16))
Bad losses:  3 (UT-Arlington (102), Memphis* (119), Louisiana Tech (145))

9.  Penn State
RPI:  110
Overall record:  12-12
Good wins:  None (Indiana (53))
Bad losses:  1 (Radford (173))

10.  Northwestern
RPI:  111
Overall record:  16-9
Good wins:  None (Wisconsin (60))
Bad losses:  1 (Penn State (110))

11.  Illinois
RPI:  121
Overall record:  11-13
Good wins:  1 (Purdue (20))
Bad losses:  2 (North Florida* (147), Nebraska (159))

12.  Nebraska
RPI:  159
Overall record:  13-12
Good wins:  1 (at Michigan State (18))
Bad losses:  2 (Northwestern (111), Samford (254))

13.  Minnesota
RPI:  243
Overall record:  6-18
Good wins:  None (Clemson (87))
Bad losses:  8 (at Penn State (110), Northwestern (111), at Northwestern (111), Illinois (121), Oklahoma State* (146), at Nebraska (159), Milwaukee (167), South Dakota (183))

14.  Rutgers
RPI:  252
Overall record:  5-18
Good wins:  None (Farleigh Dickinson (216))
Bad losses:  4 (Illinois (121), Nebraska (159), at Nebraska (159), at St. John's (201))

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