Blog Entry

What-to-know conference previews: Big Ten

Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:33 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 12:47 am
They played 18 league games and couldn't settle it.

So let's settle it in Indianapolis.

The Big Ten Tournament starts there Thursday -- Will the city be over Peyton Manning by then? -- with four games that do not feature one of the three co-champions -- namely Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan. The Buckeyes' victory at Michigan State on Sunday created the three-way tie for first. It also probably cost the Spartans a shot at a No. 1 seed, but they'll still get a two seed as long as they don't do something stupid in Indianapolis (like lose Friday to Illinois or Iowa).

What about Wisconsin and Indiana?

It honestly won't surprise me if either wins this event because both are legitimate Top 20 teams, too. That's why Friday's quarterfinals should be great and Saturday's semifinals greater. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Thursday's first-round games provide some nice storylines, too.


Iowa (8) vs. Illinois (9): Each time I talk to somebody in basketball they ask me who's gonna get the Illinois job, which suggests nobody thinks Bruce Weber will coach in the Big Ten next season. And that's too bad. Weber is a good coach and a good man. But he stayed in one place too long, and now he's on his way out. He might beat Iowa on Thursday but he won't beat Michigan State on Friday.

Indiana (5) vs. Penn State (12): Indiana started the regular season as a borderline NCAA Tournament team and ended the regular season as a No. 4 seed, according to my colleague Jerry Palm. So that's a good season. It'll get better when the Hoosiers handle Penn State on Thursday. It'll get a lot better if the Hoosiers handle Wisconsin on Friday.

Northwestern (7) vs. Minnesota (10): A win here might be enough for Northwestern to secure its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. So win here, Northwestern. Just win here and make everybody (outside of Minnesota) happy. Tubby's been to enough NCAA Tournaments. It's your time, Wildcats. Don't screw this up.

Purdue (6) vs. Nebraska (11): The Boilermakers are in a strange spot. They could win this game and probably get off the 8-9 line for the NCAA Tournament or lose this game and definitely get off the 8-9 line for the NCAA Tournament. So what should they do? They should try to win, obviously. But a loss wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. An eight seed or a nine seed would be the worst thing in the world. That's all I'm saying.

-- By Gary Parrish
Category: NCAAB

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:43 pm

What-to-know conference previews: Big Ten

Should be a wild tourney with so many top 20 teams battling it out. Looking forward to it....

Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:47 am

What-to-know conference previews: Big Ten

This should be a great tournament with a lot of story lines and many teams fighting for better seeds in the NCAA Tournament.  Northwestern probably has the most to lose if the can't beat Minnesota because odds are that would kill their hopes of making it to the Big Dance. 

I don't think OSU or MSU can get to the top line and grab a 1 seed but if either can win this tournament there is an outside shot the committee will reward them.  If both teams end up with 2 seeds that may be just fine since I like both their chances to make deep runs.  I am just hoping for a weekend of great battles and the matchups in the semis on Saturday could be awesome. 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or