10 March 2015

2015 Big Ten Tournament Predictions

As the Big Ten Tournament returns to the Windy City, it will feature an expanded look after the addition of Maryland and Rutgers to the conference. There is a good amount on the line this week with Wisconsin trying to get a one seed and a few teams (Purdue, Indiana, Illinois) on the at-large bubble. Couple that with the teams on the outside looking in to secure a tournament berth with the automatic bid and the teams trying to improve their seeding and you've got some fun in Chitown.

Here are my predictions for the 2015 Big Ten Tournament.

All games held at United Center in Chicago

First Round - Wednesday, March 11th
12 Nebraska vs. 13 Penn State - ESPN2, 4:30
Pick: Penn State

11 Minnesota vs. 14 Rutgers - BTN, 7:00
Pick: Minnesota

Second Round - Thursday, March 12th
8 Illinois vs. 9 Michigan - BTN, 12:00
Pick: Illinois

5 Iowa vs. 13 Penn State - BTN, 2:30
Pick: Iowa

7 Indiana vs. 10 Northwestern - ESPN2, 6:30
Pick: Northwestern

6 Ohio State vs. 11 Minnesota - ESPN2, 9:00
Pick: Ohio State

Quarterfinals - Friday, March 13th
1 Wisconsin vs. 8 Illinois - ESPN, 12:00
The Fighting Illini would seal in a tournament bid with an upset victory but that won't be happening here.
Pick: Wisconsin

4 Purdue vs. 5 Iowa - ESPN, 12:30
The Boilermakers have already defeated Iowa this year but I think on a neutral court, as opposed to in West Lafayette, Iowa will prevail.
Pick: Iowa

2 Maryland vs. 10 Northwestern - BTN, 6:30
The Wildcats nearly upset the Terps in College Park two months ago but Maryland has been on a tear over the last months. They will not struggle this go-around.
Pick: Maryland

3 Michigan State vs. 6 Ohio State - BTN, 9:00
OSU did lose their previous matchup with Sparty and just got slaughtered by Wisconsin at home. I think they will continue to rebound behind the excellence of D'Angelo Russell.
Pick: Ohio State

Semifinals - Saturday. March 14th
1 Wisconsin vs. 5 Iowa - CBS, 1:40
The Badgers have already destroyed Iowa twice this season and while Iowa will keep it closer this time, Wisconsin should still sail.
Pick: Wisconsin

2 Maryland vs. 6 Ohio State - CBS, 4:00
The Terps have only lost once since they got drilled in Columbus at the end of January, but I do think on a neutral court, the Buckeyes are the better team.
Pick: Ohio State

Championship - Sunday, March 15th
1 Wisconsin vs. 6 Ohio State - CBS, 3:30
As noted already, Wisconsin just crushed Ohio State by 24 this past Sunday and on the road nonetheless. The Buckeyes are better than that performance showed but not good enough to pull the upset.
Pick: Wisconsin

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