It's Big Ten Tournament time, baby. The time of year every Indiana fan gets their hopes wildly high after a terrible season, though it's only certain to come crashing down in the form of a Blake Hoffarber butt-shot. Nonetheless, brackets are for gambling and such. What's better than turning a monetary profit off a child's game played by unpaid student-athletes, amirite?!
Listen, I love brackets. You put any sort of competition in bracket format and I'm going to fill it out and get twenty other people to do it and make the buy-in as high as I can.
Here's the full bracke via PrintYourBrackets.com. A printable PDF is available here. Our picks are below in bold.
WEDNESDAY (ROUND 1)
Nebraska (12) vs. Penn State (13)
Ohio State (11) vs. Rutger (14)
The more interesting bet for these two games would be the total attendance o/u, which I will set at 15.
THURSDAY (ROUND 2)
Michigan (8) vs. Illinois (9)
Michigan State (5) vs. Penn State (13)
Iowa (7) vs. Indiana (10)
Northwestern (6) vs. Ohio State (11)
No real surprises here unless you were expecting the Indiana fan to pick the Hoosiers to win a game; but you failed to recognize that I am knowledgeable, charming, and watch foreign films without subtitles, so I know that Indiana cannot win a Big Ten Tournament game. I am more advanced than you, person-who-watches-Ted-Talks.
Also I picked Penn State to get to the quarters. They dominated MSU on the last neutral court they played on and the Spartans just look kind of done with basketball this year. I don't blame them, I feel the same way.
Purdue (1) vs. Michigan (8)
I know this is going to send our loyal Purdue-based readership into a tizzy but Michigan is a horrific matchup for y'all and, believe me, this is a blessing in disguise. Take the weekend off, recharge those batteries, hit up a spa or something. You've got a double-overtime loss to East Tennessee State next week, we need everyone in top form.
Minnesota (4) vs. Penn State (13)
Penn State's fairy tale ends here at the hands (and fresh legs) of the Gophers capping off session 1 of the quarterfinals. When they did this tourney in Chicago, they made everyone leave the United Center between sessions, which I understood given how the tickets worked but it was raining ice and if you're unfamiliar with the area, there is literally nothing of substance within five blocks of the arena. So there were just thousands of Big Ten fans milling about the vacant streets wondering how much longer they had until they froze to death.
Wisconsin (2) vs. Iowa (7)
I know we all like to say Wisconsin sucks now but I think they'll show well in this tournament. Plus Wisconsin / Iowa is a great rivalry between states no one cares about. Just like Indiana / Purdue and literally every other rivalry in the Big Ten.
Maryland (3) vs. Northwestern (6)
In a beautiful moment, the Terrapins will pay homage to Indiana by failing to win a single game in the Big Ten Tournament despite the event being played in their backyard.
Michigan (8) vs. Minnesota (4)
The Wolverines are probably too gassed at this point to score enough points. Expect a lot of jumpers to hit the front of the rim in a rather easy win for the Gophers.
Wisconsin (2) vs. Northwestern (6)
The battle of attrition nicks the Wildcats and the Badgers advance to their 7th Big Ten Tournament title game.
Minnesota (4) vs. Wisconsin (2)
Yeah, the Badgers did just pulverize the Gophers to end the regular season but I like Pitino the Younger to take the rematch and deliver Minnesota's first Big Ten Tournament title. This will be a matchup of the top two teams in defensive efficiency in the Big Ten, with mediocre offenses, playing their third game in three days, it will be horribly unwatchable and a scourge on the reputation of college basketball. I can't wait.