The Big 10 often struggles to get respect in both college football and college basketball. Like in college football, the power teams of the Big 10 in college basketball often aren’t put up as major contenders. This comes despite Michigan State’s annual contention year in and year out. But the 2009 Big 10 tournament bracket has a lot of intrigue around it this year, which could seriously impact the bubble for Selection Sunday.
The Big 10 tournament bracket is led by Michigan State, as per usual. Tom Izzo’s Spartans are the top seed, and are likely playing for a 3 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. But a lot of teams desperate to get off the bubble could be in the Spartans way in the Big 10 tournament bracket.
The first three games of the Big 10 tournament bracket on Thursday alone have bubble implications. Eighth seeded Minnesota starts it off against Northwestern, probably needing two wins to get into the NCAA tournament. After that, seventh seeded Michigan looks to solidify their first tournament bid in years, facing Iowa.
Penn State wraps up day 1 of the Big 10 tournament, as one of the more contested bubble teams. The Nittany Lions will be virtually eliminated, however, if they can’t beat Indiana. For once, the Hoosiers are on the very bottom of the Big 10 this year, and are supposed to be an automatic win nowadays.
The Big 10 tournament bracket moves on to the quarterfinals the next day. If Minnesota wins their game, they get Michigan State next, and a chance to get into the NCAA with an upset. But the Spartans won the Big 10 regular season by a four game margin over everyone else.
Wisconsin and Ohio State play in the next game, with the winner likely clinching an at-large berth and the loser still on the bubble. Illinois meets either Michigan or Iowa to start Friday night, ending with Purdue playing either Penn State or Indiana.
The Big 10 tournament location has rotated between the United Center in Illinois and Canseco Fieldhouse in Indiana, with the Hoosier state hosting this year.
Despite Michigan State being the only national contender in the Big 10 tournament bracket, the league could still have the most bids of any conference this year, or at least be right at the top. Eight teams go into the tournament with NCAA hopes remaining.
Midwest Sports Fans- “2009 Big Ten Tournament Bracket and Predictions” www.midwestsportsfans.com/2009/03/big-ten-tournament-bracket-predictions-mens-basketball-tourney/
The Huge Blog- “Big Ten, Spartans deserve more national respect” blog.mlive.com/hugeblog/2009/03/big_ten_spartans_deserve_more.html