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Bracket Banter 2/16: Big Ten Update

This conference is literally just chaos past maybe 3-4 people, but... welcome the Wildcats into the lock group!


  • Purdue: Since writing about Purdue last week, they lost the one game they played, meaning I can’t “Sharpie” them into the 1 line. With that being said, they have another tough challenge tonight in College Park. I look for it to be a fun one, and the Boilermakers are still solidly on the 1 line.

  • Indiana: The Hoosiers are in a great position to get a good seed coming down the stretch; even with the close loss to Northwestern, they’re my final #4 seed. They have a fun stretch for the next ~10 days, which will tell us a lot about their ceiling in the bracket.

  • Northwestern: Jumping from the Bubble section to a lock doesn’t happen… Until it does. Quadrant records: 1: 7-4, 2: 2-3, 3/4: 10-0. For fun, assume they lose out: a total record of 19-12, with a 7-7 Q1 record and 2-5 Q2 record. Their seeding would take a hit, but they're in the bracket this year. That said, if they keep winning, they could potentially reach the 5-6 seed area.

Should be in:

  • Illinois: The top end of the Illinois resume doesn’t look great, but they are 10-0 in Q3/4, leaving them safely in the bracket. 2 more wins will lock them into the bracket. Their next chance for a win comes in Bloomington vs. Indiana. The Illini could be locked in as early as Monday, but likely not that quickly. Currently, they’re the final 6 seed.

  • Iowa: A team with 7 Q1 will have a hard time missing the tournament, but the Hawkeyes do have one each of a Q3/4 loss, meaning I won’t lock them in yet. They probably need 3 wins for me to lock them in, and they get a good opportunity tonight vs. Ohio State, which is really struggling right now. I have them on the 7 line for the moment, with a chance to move up by winning their next 2.

  • Maryland: I can’t figure this team out this year. They’ve been so up and down, and they’re going to be difficult to seed. Right now, they’re a 9 seed, just above the bubble. They need 3 more wins to be locked. A win tonight would be a HUGE step toward getting to that goal.


  • Michigan State: I’m starting to really move the Spartans up in the bracket, and I have them on the 7 line right now. They have a 9-8 in Q1/2, and a 7-1 Q3/4 record with a Q3 loss. Finding a way to win 2 more may get them locked, but I likely won’t lock them until they get 3 more.

  • Rutgers: I’ve seen several fellow bracketologists talk about how Rutgers’s seeding is surprisingly low, and I agree; my numbers have them on the 10 line right now, and their metrics are starting to falter down the stretch. With as weak as the bubble is, I have a hard time seeing the Scarlet Knights getting left out, but I’d advise them to start winning now. Their schedule isn’t going to make that easy, either, playing 3/5 on the road to close the year.

  • Wisconsin: Beating Michigan on Tuesday did basically eliminate the Wolverines, but it doesn’t do much to help the Badger’s resume. They are my 3rd team out right now and need to win some Q1 games soon. They do have 3 more Q1 games remaining, so they have chances. I think 2 more Q1 wins and beating both Iowa and Minnesota could get them in. Their biggest issue is that their metrics are awful, and of course, they can’t score.

  • Penn State: I moved them up into the bubble category due to them beating Illinois by 12 on Tuesday. Up next is a trip to Minneapolis to get the final Q4 game off the schedule. After that, they have 2 home and 2 road Q1 games remaining. They probably need to go 4-1 to get into the bracket this year.

Is it football season yet? Need I say more?

  • Michigan: 13th team out and not trending in a good direction. They continue to lose games that are close, and they could win. They need to win 4 of the next 5, which includes trips to Rutgers, Illinois, and Indiana, just to get back into the close bubble picture.

  • Ohio State: They’re effectively done. They're last in the group of considerations that includes several other mid-majors with no chance.

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