Michigan State used a run out of intermission to create separation from Iowa in an eventual 10-point win. Both teams scored nearly at will in this one, but the Spartans’ outstanding three-point shooting masked a high turnover rate that is becoming worrisome.
Michigan won the Big Ten title outright last night on the strength of a shockingly easy win at Illinois. Sure, the Illini don’t have an impressive record, but John Groce’s team came into the matchup on a three-game winning streak, during which no opponent broke 0.9 points per trip. This was a hot team whose defense was absolutely stifling conference opponents. Talk had even begun of this Illinois team somehow sneaking back onto the bubble in the season’s final week.
The last week of Big Ten action is at our doorstep. Michigan is looking to wrap up the outright Big Ten title, Wisconsin is looking to extend a seven-game winning streak and make a push for a share of the crown, while Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois are looking to make pushes for the NCAA tourney.
On Monday night, BTN aired “Inside the Selection Process” to give fans an inside look at how the Selection Committee sorts out the NCAA tournament. CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm, Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy and Greg Shaheen, the former NCAA executive VP for championships and alliances, joined the show to offer their expertise. Watch both of our features in this post.
There are five teams that look to be locks for NCAA bids: Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa. But four other schools enter the final week of action making pushes for the Big Dance: Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska and Indiana. Of course, each team could earn a NCAA bid by winning the Big Ten tourney in Indianapolis, which begins March 13. But short of that, what does each team need to do to make it as an at-large squad?
This is it, the last week of Big Ten action. And, that means one thing: Expect the unexpected. As for the title chase, there isn’t much drama left, as Michigan already has wrapped up at least a share of the championship. Other schools are looking to enhance their NCAA resumes.