Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Preview
This is March. Championship Week is here, and barring any catastrophic postponements or cancellations, we may even be able to finish it this year.
The Big Ten tournament has produced a multitude of unforgettable moments. From Evan Turner’s half court buzzer beater to knock off Michigan, to Michigan winning it all as an eight seed in 2017, this year is sure to be no different.
Let’s take a look at the best conference in basketball’s conference tournament.
The first game will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night between No. 13 Minnesota and No. 12 Northwestern.
Northwestern finished 9-14 overall on the season, but 6-13 in conference play. The Wildcats just edged out the Golden Gophers for the opportunity to wear their home jerseys in this matchup. Minnesota was 13-14 overall, but just 6-14 in Big Ten action. The two teams matched up once this season, and the Wildcats won 67-59.
Marcus Carr has been sensational for the Gophers averaging 19.6 points and 4.9 assists. Carre will be matching up with Chase Audige of Northwestern. Audige averages 12.6 points per game.
The winner of this matchup will take on the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes the next day. Ohio State finished 18-8 overall and 12-8 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 9 in the nation according to the AP Poll.
The second matchup of the tournament will be between No. 14 Nebraska and No. 11 Penn State. This will take place 25 minutes after the conclusion of the Minnesota Northwestern game.
Nerbraska picked up its first Big Ten win of the season in its first matchup with the Nittany Lions, 62-61 on a game-winning layup from junior guard Teddy Allen. But Penn State got their revenge the second time they’ve faced off, winning 86-83.
Teddy Allen scored an astounding 41 points for the Cornhuskers in the loss to Penn State, and gave the Nittany Lions’ defense headaches all game long. Jamari Wheeler and Penn State will have to find a way to slow him down if they want to move on.
Whoever comes out victorious in this one will match up with the No. 6 seed Wisconsin. The Badgers are 16-11 on the season and 10-10 in the conference. It has been an up and down season for Wisconsin, and it has lost 5 of its last six games. The Badgers are almost certainly going to make the Big Dance, but getting a win in the tournament would be a great stepping stone into the Madness.
Michigan State and Maryland will match up in the second round of the tournament, with the winner going on to play the No. 1 seed Michigan Wolverines. The Terrapins finished eighth in the conference, and the Spartans finished ninth. The two teams collided in late February with Maryland coming out on top, 73-55.
Indiana snagged the tenth seed just barely over Penn State because of the head to head tiebreaker due to a two-point overtime victory over the Nittany Lions back in December. The Hoosiers will take on the No. 7 seed Rutgers on Thursday, and the winner will move on to take on the ferocious No. 2 seed Illinois.
No. 3 seed Iowa and No. 4 seed Purdue are the other two teams who were granted the double bye, and they both will have to wait until Friday to play their first games.
We are sure to get some B1G moments this weekend.
Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems and minoring in journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.