As we draw closer to March Madness, I can’t help but to analyze each conference for teams either worth an At-large bid or one whom is on the bubble. Here, I examine the Big Ten Conference, which according to KenPom is the 5th best conference. At first I was surprised that the Indiana Hoosiers were the outright Big Ten Conference champions, but if you take a look at the conference schedule they were dealt, it looks less surprising. Out of the 14 teams in the Big Ten Conference (Doesn’t Make Sense), the Hoosiers ranked 11th in terms of conference strength of schedule. Also, the Michigan St. Spartans who currently tied for the second best conference record, ranked 13th out of the 14th in conference strength of schedule. However, I don’t think that takes anything away from the fact that both teams are certainly potential Elite 8 squads.
Best Teams: Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan St. Spartans, Wisconsin Badgers, Maryland Terrapins, Purdue Boilermakers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Ohio St. Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines
At-large: Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan St. Spartans, Wisconsin Badgers, Maryland Terrapins, Purdue Boilermakers, Iowa Hawkeyes
On The Bubble: Ohio St. Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines
Note: I think it’s safe to say that the Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan St. Spartans, Maryland Terrapins, Purdue Boilermakers and Iowa Hawkeyes are certain to be locks. Although, the Hawkeyes are doing everything possible to unravel what was a marvelous season. They have lost four in a row and are 1-5 in their last six games (Scary). The Wisconsin Badgers non-conference schedule failures haunt, but I think the resurgence in conference has them in At-large territory. I mean, they are 11-1 in their last twelve games. They’ve beaten the Michigan St. Spartans, Indiana Hoosiers, Ohio St. Buckeyes, Maryland Terrapins, Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines in that span. Lock em in! Speaking about the Buckeyes and Wolverines, they both are clearly on the bubble and both have a big game left to end the regular season. I’m not sure that just a win gets them over the hump, but it would go a long way obviously.