As I discussed in an earlier post, the Big Ten was very stratified this year. Ohio State and Wisconsin lost only two games to anyone other than each other. Minnesota, Northwestern, and Penn State won only two games against anyone other than each other. The middle six generally held serve against each other. So does that make tomorrow more interesting or less interesting? #8 Michigan plays # 9 Minnesota, #7 Michigan State plays #10 Northwestern, and #6 Illinois plays #11 Penn State. By seed, there has been at least one first day upset in every BTT except 2001 and 2005. This year, the bottom three really are the dregs of the conference. Will one of the underdogs win? The conventional wisdom among bracketologists is that OSU, Wisconsin, and IU are locks, with Illinois and Michigan State in fairly good shape. Oddly, two teams playing on day one are in good shape, while the teams in the 4/5 game, Iowa and Purdue, seem to be in trouble. All of these games have NCAA implications. Michigan might play itself into the tournament if they beat Minnesota and then try to upset OSU, which they nearly did last weekend. Illinois and Michigan State may play themselves out of the tournament if they lose their openers.
Tournament begins tomorrow.
By John M. IU