Richey's Big Ten basketball tournament picks, analysis

Richey's Big Ten basketball tournament picks, analysis

A topsy-turvy Big Ten regular season wrapped up Sunday night, with tournament seeds still being decided in the absolute final game. Now that the bracket’s locked in, SCOTT RICHEY broke it down:

(13) Penn State 77, (12) Nebraska 72
(11) Ohio State 69, (14) Rutgers 61

(8) Michigan 81, (9) Illinois 72
(5) Michigan State 73, (13) Penn State 69
(10) Indiana 89, (7) Iowa 82
(11) Ohio State 75, (6) Northwestern 69

(1) Purdue 79, (8) Michigan 75
(5) Michigan State 73, (4) Minnesota 70
(2) Wisconsin 62, (10) Indiana 59
(3) Maryland 70, (11) Ohio State 63

(1) Purdue 75, (5) Michigan State 69
(3) Maryland 68, (2) Wisconsin 66

(1) Purdue 75, (3) Maryland 74


Richey's analysis

Purdue had the regular-season title won before it headed to Evanston for its regular-season finale, but the Boilermakers didn’t let that lead to a letdown against Northwestern. Boasting a National Player of the Year candidate in Caleb Swanigan and several shooters around the sophomore big man, Purdue is not only the favorite this week but also the Big Ten’s best shot at a March Madness run. 

Wisconsin came back to Earth in a hurry after its 10-1 start to Big Ten play, losing five of its next six games, including two at home and two on the road by double figures. Can a dominant win against Minnesota on Sunday night — in true Wisconsin fashion of stifling defense and balanced offense — get the Badgers back on track?

Eight wins in nine games to end the regular season has seen Minnesota play itself into legit contender status. The Golden Gophers have every piece a title team could want: standout point guard (Nate Mason), rim protector (Reggie Lynch), guy playing his best basketball of the season right now (Jordan Murphy) and options on the wing (Amir Coffey, Dupree McBrayer and Akeem Springs).

Saturday’s loss at Rutgers did some serious damage to Illinois’ postseason résumé. The Illini’s route back to the NCAA tournament bubble goes through the Big Ten tournament championship game. Having to beat Michigan, Purdue and possibly Minnesota would add three more quality wins.

Remember when Indiana beat Kansas and North Carolina in the first month of the season? Hardly seems possible after the Hoosiers’ 3-8 finish in Big Ten play. Given the sheer amount of individual talent on the roster, taking away just OG Anunoby simply crippled Tom Crean’s squad defensively.

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Moonpie wrote on March 06, 2017 at 8:03 am

What, Mr. Richey didn't automatically pick a tourney title by the Surgin Illini?

Did Ancient Tate sign off on this?

Let the monster loose!

cowpie needs a hobby wrote on March 06, 2017 at 11:03 am

"Loren Tate was once allegedly mean to me and I am still pouting about it!"

PaxtonIllini wrote on March 06, 2017 at 8:03 am

Ah, spouting off as usual with your "facts", Moonpie.

If you listen to Richey on the radio, it sounds to me as if he thinks it is time to move on from Groce. But just keep on Tate Jousting. It makes you who you are.