Setting aside the discussions of the usefulness of the Big Ten Tourney, it's here. There's basketball to be played and to be watched. This can be a thread for discussions about the games, predictions, etc.
Let's start with Thursday's fare:
Iowa v. Northwestern. I think that Iowa wins this handily. I don't know anyone who feels differently. A more interesting question is whether Iowa can play itself into the NCAA tournament if they beat Sparty on Friday. It's not terribly likely; that seems to be a very bad matchup for Iowa. But it would not be out of the question, either. So, if Iowa does that, they would have 22 wins, be .500 in the conference season in the toughest conference in the country, and have made it to the semifinals of the conference tourney. Similarly, if Minnesota flames out against Illinois, do you really think that they deserve a bid more than Iowa based upon what they did and who they played in November?
Michigan v. Penn State. I don't expect a repeat from a couple of weeks ago. Michigan wins this handily, and sets up another revenge game against Wisconsin. Which means that, by Saturday, their legs will be rubbery. They're not a deep team.
Purdue v. Nebrasketball. I think that Tim Miles is my favorite Big Ten Coach not named "Tom Crean" (narrowly beating out Franimal). This is an interesting game. I am curious to see if the juvenation of Purdue over the past couple of weeks is legitimate. I agree with Devin that the winner of this game has a shot against tOSU.
Minnesota v. Illinois. I think that Illinois wins this and does so handily. I am mystified by Minnesota. There is obviously some talent there, but they don't shoot particularly well. Is it that they are not difficult to game plan for and don't adjust well (i.e., coaching)? Or is it a lack of consistent effort (players)? Or is it both. Either way, I do not think that IU is going to sleep on whoever wins this game.
Also, as a shout out to Pocket: Kentucky sucks.