We sit a mere two days from Selection Sunday, yet much is still to be determined in Indianapolis. Thursday’s quarterfinals saw Minnesota and Illinois keep hope alive. How much more do these teams, along with Nebraska, need to do to get into the Big Dance? As you could probably tell over the last couple weeks, we’re fans of the Easy Bubble Solver. It’s a quick, easy, and objective way to get a feel for who’s truly on the bubble and who isn’t. You simply add together each team’s KenPom rank and RPI rank, then sort them from smallest to largest.
Thursday’s action will be difficult to top, as every game had drama. Friday will try to live up to that billing with four interesting tilts. Here is one though on each game. [ MORE: Day 1 stars | Day 2 previews | Get all of our Big Ten tourney coverage ] 1. No. 1 Michigan just may have a shot at a top seed in the NCAA tourney with Villanova losing early in the Big East tourney. It would be hard to ignore the Wolverines being regular-season and tourney champs in a very strong Big Ten. But Michigan must be
Well, that was a fun opening day of the Big Ten tourney, wasn’t it? Officially, there was a pair of upsets, although No. 9 Illinois’ win over No. 8 Indiana isn’t all that much of a stunner. Anyway, all eyes move to Friday’s quarterfinals. Get my Day 2 primers in this post. [ MORE: Check out all of our Big Ten tourney coverage ] No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 9 Illinois The skinny on Michigan: The Wolverines have clearly established themselves as the hunted, winning the league crown by forging a 15-3 conference mark, which is three games better than
Iowa’s tailspin to close the regular season has carried into the postseason in the form of a stunning loss to Northwestern, 67-62. As an adjective, “stunning” is overused as pertains to college basketball, but this result is deserving of the term. Not only did the Wildcats overcome some heavy odds to get the win (KenPom had the Hawkeyes as 86% favorites), Chris Collins’ team also did it in the most unlikely way. Northwestern scored a staggering 1.17 points per possession on red-hot shooting (57 percent on twos, 48 percent on threes). Let’s not forget – these Wildcats quite possibly have
Needing a victory to keep its at-large hopes alive, Minnesota gutted one out against a persistent Penn State squad. Although the Gophers’ lead touched double digits at times, the Nittany Lions kept fighting and had opportunities down the stretch to make a real game of it. An Andre Hollins three with 12 seconds left would ice it, and Minnesota fans could finally exhale. The biggest difference in this game was Minnesota’s superior shooting accuracy, which was only slightly due to better shot selection. % Shots at Rim % Shots 2pt Jumpers % Shots 3pt Penn State 36% 29% 36% Minnesota
It’s almost tourney time so watch our experts in Indianapolis make their predictions in this post. Plus, our TV producers and editors worked long and hard to compile a glorious six minutes and 33 seconds of the best images from the 2013-2014 Big Ten basketball season. We’ve embedded it in this post, too. If you follow @bigtennetwork on Twitter, you got a first glimpse of it online. We promise this video is 6 1/2 minutes well spent. Spectacular #B1G hoops images. #B1GTourney WATCH – http://t.co/xpCAKoGvga — Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 13, 2014
The opening day of the Big Ten tourney did not disappoint. No. 9 Illinois dispatched Indiana, No. 5 Ohio State eliminated No. 12 Purdue, No. 7 Minnesota held off No. 10 Penn State and No. 11 Northwestern upset No. 6 Iowa. On Friday night, BTN/BTN2Go airs No. 2 seed Wisconsin vs. Minnesota at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by No. 3 seed Michigan State vs. Northwestern. Can’t get to a TV? Then make sure you have BTN2Go, our live mobile app for iPhone and iPad and for Android devices, or just use BTN2Go.com. Friday’s early games are No. 1 seed Michigan vs.
The Big Ten Tournament opens Thursday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. If this year’s Big Ten season is any indication of what’s to come this weekend, we are all in for one wild conference tournament. At this point in the year, teams have figured out both their strong points and weaknesses. And so, there isn’t a team in the Big Ten that doesn’t have some area that could be improved. With that said, I looked at each of the 12 teams and pinpointed those areas as a way of showing you what to watch for when each team takes
Before the Big Ten tourney tips off Thursday afternoon in Indianapolis, the BTN.com team offered its predictions. Who’s going to win it all? Who’s going to take Most Outstanding Player? And what about one bold prediction? See our guys’ answers in this post and vote for your choice. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten tournament coverage ] TOM DIENHART, BTN.com senior writer B1G tourney champ: Michigan State MOP: Keith Appling, Michigan State Bold prediction: No. 5 Ohio State will make it to the semifinals. BRENT YARINA, BTN.com editor B1G tourney champ: Wisconsin MOP: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin Bold prediction:
The Big Ten tournament tips off Thursday at noon ET, and it appears to be a wide open field, at least if you trust efficiency margin as a predictive tool. The last time the conference had only one team ranked in the KenPom top 10 was in 2010, when 6-seed Minnesota made a run to the tournament final to secure an unlikely at-large bid. Might we see something similar this time around? You can view the official bracket here. The teams with the most to gain (and lose) in Indianapolis are obvious. Minnesota is believed by many to currently reside on