Big Ten Tournament: Predictions & Preview

    
March 11th, 2010

With four clear-cut big-dancers, the Big Ten oozes front-end quality.  But with lower-seeded teams providing late season scares to perennial powers – see Michigan State barely escaping Penn State in East Lansing last week - look for some drama to unfold this Thursday thru Sunday in Indianapolis.

 

Round 1

 

#8 Michigan vs. #9 Iowa: Coming off a spanking from Michigan State, look for the Wolverines to bounce back and rally around their two stars, Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims.  Too much talent for the Hawkeyes, as Michigan triumphs.

PICK:  Michigan.

 

#7 Northwestern vs. #10 Indiana:  After falling in overtime to a team that had not won in 11 games, look for the Wildcats to avenge their recent road loss to Indiana, and win their 20th game of the season for the first time in school history. 

PICK: Northwestern.

 

#6 Minnesota vs. #11 Penn State:  After losing by 2 at Michigan State and by 4 to Purdue in the same week, Penn State is ripe for a big game to fall their way.  Look for Chris Babb, who scored 16 against Michigan State and 17 against Purdue, to combine with Talor Battle to spearhead the upset of the Gophers. 

PICK:  Penn State

 

 

Round 2

 

#8 Michigan vs.  #1 Ohio State:  Unanimous Big Ten Player of the Year Evan Turner and company will be too much to handle for Michigan. 

PICK: Ohio State.

 

#4 Wisconsin vs. #5 Illinois:  Wisconsin avenged their only home loss of the season with a convincing win last weekend in Champaign.  Look for Wisconsin’s stingy defense and combination of veteran leadership dismantle the Illini, who appear ready to implode on their own. 

PICK:  Wisconsin.

 

#2 Purdue vs. #7 Northwestern:  The Wildcats are fighting for their tournament lives, and have a good opportunity for an upset in a second-round game with Robbie-Hummel-less Purdue.  Look for the ‘Cats, who have already beaten Purdue once, to rally behind senior Jeremy Nash for the win.

 PICK: Northwestern.

 

#3 Michigan State vs. #11 Penn State:  The Spartans got a scare from Penn State last week – you can bet they will be ready for the Nittany Lions this time around.  Look for Kalin Lucas to point the way to victory for Izzo’s crew.

PICK:  Michigan State.

 

 

Semi-Finals

 

#1 Ohio State vs. #4 Wisconsin:  Look for Turner to help the Buckeyes avenge a thrashing the Badgers applied to them when they were without their then-injured star.  Look for Jon Diebler, William Buford, and David Lighty to pull their weight in the Buckeyes victory.

PICK: Ohio State.

 

#7 Northwestern vs. #3 Michigan State:  The Wildcats luck runs out as the Spartans frontline proves too deep and tough to overcome.

PICK: Michigan State

 

 

Finals

 

#1 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan State:  While the Spartans don’t have one player who matches up with Turner (who does), look for them to come together at the right time in typical Michigan State fashion.  Izzo’s tactics – publicly criticizing his captain Lucas in the middle of the season – always have a purpose, and his latest move – benching guard Chris Allen for undisclosed reasons – will likely spur the team forward.  Look for the Spartans to beat the only team they failed to in the regular season, and build momentum heading into the Big Dance.

PICK: Michigan State.

 

Poll: Who Do You Think Will Win the Big Ten Tournament?

 

 

 

 

Paul's Predictions:

 

Round 1, Thu           Round 2, Fri             Round 3, Sat                        Round 4, Sun

 

#1 Ohio State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

#1 Ohio State

 

 

#8 Michigan

 

 

 

 

VS

#8 Michigan

 

 

 

#9 Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

#1 Ohio State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 Wisconsin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

#4 Wisconsin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Illinois

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAMPION!

#3 Michigan State

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Purdue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

#7 Northwestern

 

 

#7 Northwestern

 

 

 

 

VS

#7 Northwestern

 

 

 

#10 Indiana

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

#3 Michigan State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Michigan State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

#3 Michigan State

 

 

#6 Minnesota

 

 

 

 

VS

#11 Penn State

 

 

 

#11 Penn State