2020 Big Ten Tournament Preview
What has been a hectic final week of the regular season now brings us to the real fun: the Big Ten conference tournament. Following the final week of play, three teams in Wisconsin, Maryland and Michigan State all earned a share of the Big Ten regular season title and with that, a double bye in the postseason. Illinois also earned a double bye as the Fighting Illini won against Iowa in the last game of the regular season to clinch the four seed.
The tournament will kick off on Wednesday with Northwestern taking on Minnesota. Following that game will be Nebraska versus Indiana. Both games are projected to be blowouts with both Minnesota and Indiana as the supposed winners. Minnesota currently sits as 7.5-point favorites while Indiana is favored by 11.
Following opening night, four games will tip off in the tournament’s second round. Two of the four matches are already set in stone with Michigan taking on Rutgers and Purdue playing Ohio State. The Michigan-Rutgers game will likely be one of the closest matches in the tournament, as the Scarlet Knights had just one more regular season win than the Wolverines. The Purdue-Ohio State match will close out the second round. Both Penn State and Iowa will play the winners of the previous round. The Nittany Lions will face the winner of the Nebraska-Indiana game while Iowa will play the winner of Northwestern versus Minnesota.
To break the three-way tie at the top, the Wisconsin Badgers were awarded the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament thanks to a combined 2-1 record against Maryland and Michigan State. Michigan State was given the No. 2 as they went 2-2 against Wisconsin and Maryland, giving the Terrapins the No. 3 seed.
Maryland suffered the biggest fall as it was at the No. 1 spot throughout the majority of the season, but the Terrapins were hurt by an eight-game winning streak from Wisconsin and a five-game winning streak from Michigan State to close out the year. Wisconsin and Michigan State will take on the winners of the second-round matchups that are already set with the Badgers facing the winner of Michigan-Rutgers and the Spartans facing the winner of Purdue-Ohio State. Maryland will play the winner of Penn State and the winner of the first-round matchup between Nebraska and India, while Illinois has the same situation against Iowa and the winner of the first-round matchup between Northwestern and Minnesota.
Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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