Previewing the Big Ten Tournament

Ohio State’s Dallas Lauderdale dunks against Indiana earlier this season. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

With the Big Ten Tournament beginning tomorrow in Indianapolis, let’s take a quick look at the 11 teams and, below, my predictions for the Tournament.

1. OHIO STATE
The favorite and it is obvious why — no team can match the Buckeyes in terms of star power (freshman of the year Jared Sullinger) and depth (William Buford, David Lighty and Jon Diebler were All-Big Ten honorees). LAST SEASON: Beat Minnesota, 90-61, in championship game. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: 2010. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 1 SEED: 21-8.
2. PURDUE
Can we can get Ohio State and Purdue on a neutal court? That should make for an excellent championship game, with Sullinger and Big Ten Player of the Year JaJuan Johnson going head-to-head for true supremacy. LAST SEASON: Lost to Minnesota, 69-42, in semifinal. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: 2009. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 2 SEED: 17-7.
3. WISCONSIN
If the final third of the big three can beat both Ohio State and Purdue for the Big Ten championship, the Badgers could greatly benefit in terms of NCAA Tournament seeding. SI.com’s Andy Glockner has them a five-seed right now, but would a title push them to a No. 2 or 3? LAST SEASON: Lost to Illinois, 58-54, in quarterfinal. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: 2008. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 3 SEED: 9-11.
4. MICHIGAN
The Wolverines struggled early in the Big Ten season, losing seven of their first eight — but rebounded to finish 9-9 and all but cement a NCAA Tournament at-large bid. They are the sexy upset pick, but buyer beware against the top seeds — Michigan did not defeat a single one. LAST SEASON: Lost to Ohio State, 69-68, in quarterfinal. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: 1998. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 4 SEED: 7-12.
5. ILLINOIS
Like Michigan, Illinois probably has a NCAA Tournament bid locked. So this is just about the sixth put-up or shut-up time for the team, where we see if the Illini are capable of being more than first-round fodder. LAST SEASON: Lost to Ohio State, 88-81 (2OT), in semifinal. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: 2005. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 5 SEED: 8-13.
6. PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions probably have to go to at least the Big Ten final to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament bid. If any player if the conference deserves that chance, it is senior guard Talor Battle. LAST SEASON: Lost to Minnesota, 76-55, in first round. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Has never won. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 6 SEED: 22-11.
7. MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State could lose to Iowa today and sweat until Sunday, or it could beat Iowa and Purdue to advance to the semifinals. Who knows? At this point, even Tom Izzo is confused about his team. LAST SEASON: Lost to Minnesota, 72-67 (OT), in quarterfinal. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: 2000. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 7 SEED: 8-13.
8. NORTHWESTERN
A season that began with so much promise has now down come to this: another NIT bid after a likely first round or quarterfinal Big Ten exit. What if Bill Carmdoy had not driven such a hard line with Kevin Coble last summer and the latter came back? It could have all been different. LAST SEASON: Lost to Purdue, 69-61, in quarterfinal. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Has never won. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 8 SEED: 11-12.
9. MINNESOTA
Losers of nine of their last 10, Minnesota is the one team that rivals Indiana for worst second half of the season performance. There is no reason to believe today will be any different. LAST SEASON: Lost to Ohio State, 90-61, in championship game. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Has never won. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 9 SEED: 6-13.
10. IOWA
Everyone but Jarryd Cole should return next season for Iowa, so this Big Ten Tournament is about establishing the Hawkeyes as a potential sleeper pick for the 2011-12 season. LAST SEASON: Lost to Michigan, 59-52, in first round. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: 2006. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 10 SEED: 8-12.
11. INDIANA
Indiana last won a Big Ten Tournament game in 2006, topping No. 4 Wisconsin the quarterfinals. Little reason to believe Indiana is not going to make it five-straight one-and-done appearances. LAST SEASON: Lost to Northwestern, 73-58, in first round. LAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Has never won. ALL-TIME RECORD OF NO. 11 SEED: 3-13.
PREDICTIONS
FIRST ROUND
Penn State defeats Indiana.
Michigan State defeats Iowa.
Northwestern defeats Minnesota.
QUARTERFINALS
Ohio State defeats Northwestern
Purdue defeats Michigan State.
Penn State defeats Wisconsin.
Michigan defeats Illinois.
SEMIFINALS
Ohio State defeats Michigan.
Purdue defeats Penn State.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Ohio State defeats Purdue.

5 comments

  1. Penn St. over Wisconsin? Looking at the potential match-ups, I actually think the Hoosiers have a chance to get to a semi-final game. Barring another 40 point night from Taylor, I think we give Wisconsin all they can handle in Indy.

  2. Ok someone please tell me why IU isnt recruiting Chris Whitehead hard! He is a beast a fire plug that can get to the rim at will, a solid jump shooter and is super quick. He would be IU’s best running back and the second best wide out IU has. This year in football he scored 6 rushing touchdowns and ran for 400 yards in one game! come on! Whitehead has gone head to head against Darrly Baker twice this year the first time he had 29 and the second time had 17 he also shut down Baker in the sectional victory. He is 5’9 about 200 pounds and is as strong as a Ox. Dustin? Hugh? tell me why we arent going after him for two sports!!!

  3. Hugh, in every single capsule, it says “all-time record of no. 1 seed.” Think you need to change this to 2, 3, 4, etc.

  4. Recruit Guy,

    You answered your own question: he’s 5-9. Matters little how many points he scored against a high school sophomore because he’s done playing those guys.

  5. He is a clone of Lewis Jackson but stronger and Jackson ran circles around IU. He is a beast at football too, just doesnt seem like he is getting the attention he should have. If you want to see him play he will be matched up against Darwin Davis (signed with Xavier) from Bsouth this Saturday at 10 a.m. in Seymore

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