Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 5, 2016

Yes, it?s only early January, but it?s never too soon to check in on the mock brackets by Jerry Palm of and Joe Lunardi of ESPN.

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As of now, Palm and Lunardi have five and six Big Ten teams in the Big Dance, respectively.

No. 1 Michigan State vs. play-in team in East
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 15 Idaho in Midwest
No. 4 Iowa vs. No. 13 UC Irvine in the South
No. 5 Purdue vs. play-in team in the West
No. 9 Michigan vs. No. 8 St. Mary?s in the Midwest

Where is Indiana, you ask? Palm has the Hoosiers as one of his ?first four out.? So, IU is sitting on the cusp.


No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 16 Jackson State/North Carolina A&T in the Midwest
No. 1 Maryland vs. No. 16 Bucknell in the East
No. 4 Purdue vs. No. 13 Yale in the South
No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 12 Akron in the West
No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 8 Gonzaga in the West
No. 10 Michigan vs. No. 7 George Washington in the Midwest

Lunardi has Michigan as one of his ?last four in.?

There is a long ways to go. Keep an eye on Ohio State, Northwestern and Wisconsin. All are playing well and could make a move.