Jon Crispin, BTN men's basketball analyst, March 8, 2016
The 2016 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament field is set, and the action will get underway Wednesday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
BTN men's college basketball analyst Jon Crispin provides a preview before the action begins.
Double-bye team with best draw: No. 4 Purdue. I?m not sure if there is such a thing as a good draw in the Big Ten Tournament, but with Purdue playing significantly better as of late and an opportunity to likely play Iowa and get a potential rematch with Indiana in the semifinals, I would not worry about the Boilermakers lacking motivation to play hard.
Double-bye team with worst draw: No. 3 Maryland. Only because the Terps will likely have to play Wisconsin if they want to advance to the semifinals on Saturday. Wisconsin controlled every aspect of the game against Maryland in College Park, and I could see Wisconsin coming into that game with a lot of confidence. Beat the Badgers, and a likely rematch with No. 2 Michigan State looms in the semis.
Double-digit seed most likely to make a run: No. 11 Nebraska. Not because of its draw or matchups, but simply because Shavon Shields is incredibly difficult to match up against. We all saw earlier this season in East Lansing that he can single-handedly will his team to victory over superior opponents.
Team with the most to prove: No. 3 Maryland. They have to prove to the country that they truly are elite, and they have to prove to themselves that they can pull it together and dominate when they want and need to.
Championship game I?d most like to see: No. 1 Indiana vs No. 2 Michigan State. The tempo and pace of this game would be terrific to watch. Especially on a neutral court. Both teams are playing as well as anyone else in the country, and both could potentially be playing for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This matchup would showcase the speed, pace and skill of the Big Ten.