On Saturday, both Purdue and Michigan State handled their business to earn a share of the Big Ten regular-season title as each team finished with a 16-4 conference record.
With the regular season in the books, it’s now time to focus in on the Big Ten Tournament which tips off on Wednesday at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The No. 1 seeded Michigan State Spartans and the No. 3 seeded Michigan Wolverines will get some time to rest as they will not play until Friday.
Here is a look at the Big Ten Tournament bracket followed by my prediction for each and every game.
No. 13 Nebraska vs. No. 12 Rutgers
In their only matchup of the season, Rutgers beat Nebraska by seven. Though neither of these teams has a shot to make any noise in the tournament, the Scarlett Knights are the better squad.
Rutgers 70 Nebraska 65
No. 14 Northwestern vs. No. 11 Illinois
Northwestern and Illinois split their head to head matchups during the regular season with each team winning on their home court. That being said, Northwestern solidified themselves as the worst team in the conference by dropping 11 of their final 12 games of the season. Illinois is not much better but they will win a close one.
Illinois 77 Northwestern 73
No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 8 Ohio State
Beginning on Jan. 6, Indiana lost 12 of 13 games and they looked like a lost cause. Since then, the Hoosiers have won four straight, including a win over Big Ten co-champion Michigan State and they look like a dangerous team. Ohio State, on the other hand, has lost 4 of 5 to end the season and they are trending down. The Buckeyes won the only regular season matchup between the two teams but this time around, the Hoosiers will prevail.
Indiana 65 Ohio State 59
No. 12 Rutgers vs. No. 5 Maryland
Rutgers has the advantage of getting a game under their belt at the United Center but Maryland is clearly the favorite and will take care of business.
Maryland 73 Rutgers 65
No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 7 Minnesota
Penn State may be the No. 10 seed but I believe they could make some noise in the Big Ten Tournament. Knocking out Minnesota could start them rolling.
Penn State 67 Minnesota 65
No. 11 Illinois vs. No. 6 Iowa
Iowa has struggled as of late but they will be too much for Illinois to handle in what should be a high scoring affair.
Iowa 85 Illinois 80
No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 1 Michigan State
Michigan State lost four games in the Big Ten in 2019 and two of those losses came at the hands of Indiana. Though the Hoosiers are playing great basketball, I would be surprised if they beat the Spartans a third time.
Michigan State 79 Indiana 70
No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 4 Wisconsin
This game is a toss-up for me to pick so I am going with the team who won the most recent matchup and that is Wisconsin!
Wisconsin 65 Maryland 64
No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 2 Purdue
I want to pick Penn State in the worst way in this one but Purdue has had their number this season.
Purdue 74 Penn State 67
No. 6 Iowa vs. No. 3 Michigan
In their last matchup, Iowa manhandled Michigan. That was then and this is now. Look for the Wolverines to get some revenge this time around. #RevengeTour 🙂
Michigan 76 Iowa 70
No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Wisconsin
In their only matchup of the regular season, the Spartans beat Wisconsin on the Badgers home court. The Spartans’ confidence continues to grow and they will take down Wisconsin to move to the Finals.
Michigan State 66 Wisconsin 61
No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 3 Michigan
Michigan gave the Boilermakers a major beatdown the first time around. This one will go down to the wire but the Wolverines will be on a mission to get a rematch against Michigan State.
Michigan 69 Purdue 65
SUNDAY (CHAMPIONSHIP GAME)
No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 3 Michigan
The saying is that it is extremely difficult to beat a team three times in one season and that is exactly what Michigan State will be charged with when they square off against Michigan for the Big Ten Tournament Championship. That being said, I do not trust Michigan’s shooting, it is too inconsistent, and the Spartans just look like the better team with the best player (Cassius Winston) right now. Though it will cause me great pain, I am taking MSU.
Michigan State 75 Michigan 72