Big Ten Tournament Breakdown


While everyone is excited and ready for March Madness to begin, it’s time to figure out who the Big Ten will be sending to the Big Dance.

Let’s take a look at the games already set for the 2015 Big Ten Tournament that will take place at the United Center in Chicago starting on Wednesday and ending with the Big Ten Championship game next Sunday.

First Round:

The first game this week will be the 13th seeded Penn State Nittany (15-15, 4-14) Lions taking on the 12th seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-17, 5-13) at 4:30 p.m on ESPN2. While the Nittany Lions have the better record overall the Cornhuskers get the higher seed due to their five Big Ten wins. Penn State is currently a one and half point favorite.

The winner of the Nebraska-Penn State will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday in the second round.

Following the tip-off game of the tournament, the 11th Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-14, 6-12) will face off against the 14th seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-21, 2-16). That game can be seen on the Big Ten Network on Saturday at 7 p.m . The Golden Gophers have opened up as a 10-point favorite over the Scarlet Knights.

The winner of the battle between Minnesota and Rutgers will take on Ohio State in Round Two on Wednesday.

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Round Two:

Two games have already been set for Thursday as the 8th seeded Illinois Illini (19-12, 9-9) and the 9th seeded Michigan Wolverines (15-15, 8-10) will face off in what will surely be a fun game to watch as the two schools split their two-game season series. The Illini and Wolverines will tip-off at noon on Thursday. The current books have Illinois as a three point favorite.

The other game set for Thursday thus far is the 10 seed Northwestern (15-16, 6-12) facing off against the the 7th seeded Indiana Hoosiers (19-12, 9-9). The Wildcats won the only game between the two schools in a 72-65 home win. Game time is currently set for 6:30 p.m. Indiana is opening as a three and half point favorite.

Once again, Iowa will be taking on the winner of Nebraska vs Penn State on Thursday while Ohio State will take on the winner of Minnesota vs Rutgers. Those game times have yet to be set.


The four teams already locked into Friday’s quarterfinals are the following;

  1. Wisconsin Badgers (28-13, 16-2)
  2. Maryland Terrapins (26-5, 14-4)
  3. Michigan State Spartans (21-10, 12-6)
  4. Purdue Boilermakers (20-11. 12-6)


The Badgers are the overwhelming favorite to win the Big Ten tournament especially coming off their convincing 72-48 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday. With a 28-3 record overall and a 16-2 conference record, the Badgers are not a program that teams want to be messing with right now.

Lead by potential Wooden Award winner Frank Kaminsky, the Badgers will be a force to be reckoned with in not just the Big Ten tournament but the NCAA tournament as well. Winning all but two games since the end of the December, Wisconsin is playing hot and may just very well roll through the Big Ten tournament.

In the quarterfinals, the Badgers will take on the winner of Illinois vs Michigan on Thursday.

The biggest obstacle in their way? The Maryland Terrapins.

Maryland Terrapins:

Only one of three NCAA teams to say they beat Wisconsin this year (Duke and Rutgers), the Maryland Terrapins made a statement in their first year in the Big Ten winning 14 of 18 conference games and 26 of 31 total games in 2014.

The Terrapins are coming off a nice seven game winning streak that includes wins over Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The Terrapins also have two victories over the third ranked Michigan State Spartans. If anyone is going to stop the Badgers, Maryland may be it.

In the quarterfinals the Terrapins will take on the winner of Indiana vs Northwestern.

Purdue Boilermakers:

Despite Iowa having a better overall record, the Purdue Boilermakers (20-11, 12-6) were able to get the third seed in the Big Ten Tournament thanks to their 67-63 win over the then 25th ranked Hawkeyes on January 24th.

Purdue has had a nice season so far staying under the radar of the Big Ten and nationally. However with losing two of their last three games, the Boilermakers will have to refocus this week in returning to fundamentals that helped them beat Iowa, Indiana, and Ohio State all who were ranked at the time in a four game stretch.

The Boilermakers will try to strengthen their bid for the Big Dance this week. Their journey begins on Friday as they face the winner of the Iowa vs Nebraska/Penn State second round match up on Thursday.

Michigan State Spartans:

Michigan State had another strong year in the Big Ten as they finished their season with a 21-10, 12-6 record. With notable wins over Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, and Ohio State the Spartans could make a run for the Big Ten title this week.

The Spartans are looking for some consistency over the last two months as they’ve been winning a few games but dropping one or two in between. A loss late last month to Minnesota strengthens the doubts about the Spartans this year and whether or not they truly have a chance against Wisconsin or Maryland this season.

However in the Spartans first game against the Terrapins, Michigan State fell just short in double overtime 68-66.

Here’s a full look at this year’s Big Ten Tournament bracket.