Bracketology: Experts have Big Ten leading the way, again, this week
With one week left in the season, the NCAA brackets seemingly are coming into sharper focus. Bracket gurus Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com and Joe Lunardi of ESPN.com each has lots of love for the Big Ten.
Palm has eight Big Ten teams in his projected bracket; Lunardi has seven. No league has more, just like last week.
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Like last week, Wisconsin holds steady as a No. 2 seed—despite its loss at Maryland. With Gonzaga losing at home to BYU over the weekend, a No. 1 seed opened. Both bracket experts slipped Villanova to the No. 1 line along with Kentucky, Virginia and Duke. Could the Badgers overtake Villanova if they win out and take home the Big Ten tourney title? They could, but the Wildcats would need to lose.
Speaking of the Terps, Maryland is a No. 3 by both bracketologist. Last week, Palm had the Terps as a No. 3; Lunardi had them as a No. 4.
Michigan State and Ohio State remain in the Nos. 7-9 slots. Iowa moved from a No. 10 to a No. 8 by Lunardi, as the Hawkeyes are riding a four-game winning streak.
Indiana is curious. Palm has the Hoosiers as a No. 7; Lunardi has them as a No. 10.
Purdue and Illinois continue to walk a delicate walk. Palm has Illinois among his “last four in” as a No.11 seed in a play-in game and Purdue as a No. 10 seed. Lunardi doesn’t include Illinois is his bracket, slotting the Illini among his “first four out.” He has the Boilermakers among his “last four in” as a No. 11 seed in a play-in game.
Here is a look at how each bracketologist has Big Ten teams slotted this week.
Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com
No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 Albany, Midwest
No. 3 Maryland vs. No. 14 Georgia State, East
No. 7 Indiana vs. No. 10 Cincinnati, Midwest
No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Oregon, East
No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Ole Miss, South
No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 9 Dayton, Midwest
No. 10 Purdue vs. No. 7 St. John’s, West
No. 11 Illinois vs. No. 11 Texas A&M, play-in game
Joe Lunardi, ESPN.com
No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 William & Mary, South
No. 3 Maryland vs. No. 14 Toledo, East
No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Oregon, East
No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. N.C. State, West
No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Ole Miss, West
No. 10 Indiana vs. No. 7 San Diego State, Midwest
No. 11 Purdue vs. No. 11 Cincinnati, play-in game
Here is how each bracketologist had Big Ten teams seeded last week.
Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com (Feb. 23)
No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast, Midwest
No. 3 Maryland vs. No. 14 Iona, South
No. 7 Indiana vs. No. 10 Dayton, East
No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Xavier, Midwest
No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Cincinnati, West
No. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 8 Ole Miss, East
No. 10 Illinois vs. No. 7 San Diego State, West
No. 11 Purdue vs. No. 6 SMU, Midwest
Joe Lunardi, ESPN.com (Feb. 23)
No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast, South
No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Valparaiso, East
No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Colorado State, East
No. 8 Indiana vs. No. 9 Texas, South
No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Texas A&M, West
No. 10 Iowa vs. No. 7 Ole Miss, West
No. 11 Purdue vs. No. 6 West Virginia
No. 11 Illinois vs. No. 11 UCLA, play-in game, West
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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