Big Ten Conference Tournament Predictions

The Big Ten Conference Tournament is underway with a pair of games are on tap today, as the No. 13 Minnesota Golden Gophers take on the No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini and the No. 14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights face the No. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers. None of these games matter, as the quarterfinals are when this tournament actually starts. The Big Ten Conference has been great this year and I can see six or seven teams represent in the NCAA Tournament. There are for certain five locks (Indiana Hoosiers, Michigan St. Spartans, Maryland Terrapins, Purdue Boilermakers and Iowa Hawkeyes), then there are a bunch of bubble teams (Wisoconsin Badgers, Ohio St. Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines). I personally believe that the Badgers are worthy of an At-large, but I can see how their non-conference failures have them on the outside looking in. Anyways, the Big Ten Conference schedule are as follows…

First Round: March 9 (BTN, ESPN2)
Game 1: No. 13 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini
Game 2: No. 14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. No. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Second Round: March 10 (BTN, ESPN2)
Game 3: No. 9 Northwestern Wildcats vs. No. 8 Michigan Wolverines
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes
Game 5: No. 10 Penn St. Nittany Lions vs. No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes
Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers

Quarterfinals: March 11  (BTN, ESPN)
Game 7: Winner Game 3 vs. No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers
Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers
Game 9: Winner Game 5 vs. No. 2 Michigan State Spartans
Game 10: Winner Game 6 vs. No. 3 Maryland Terrapins

Semifinals: March 12 (CBS)
Game 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8
Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10

Championship: March 13 (CBS)
Game 13: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12

Prediction: My favorite team is the Maryland Terrapins, but I can’t see them winning this tournament. The Terrapins have all the talent, but are just too inconsistent to think they will put it all together now. The team that I predict to win the Big Ten Conference Tournament, is the Michigan St. Spartans. They have the number one ranked offense and a top ranked defense, have beaten the Kansas Jayhawks earlier in the season and are riding into this on a six game win streak. That win streak includes a beatdown on the No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers. I can’t not side with the Michigan St. Spartans, especially when they got a bonafide stud in Denzel Valentine.

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