Michigan State walked away with the regular season title
after a dominate second half performance against rival Michigan Saturday
night. Sunday the final regular season
games took place finalizing the seeds for what could be the funniest tournament
of all the power fives. The ACC is top
heavy, the Big12 is a three-team race, anyone can beat anyone in this
tournament. Let’s break it down.
Most may not remember that the Hoosiers entered the season
with very high expectations. They have
slowly begun to return to form. With the
two man punch of Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan Indiana has two studs they can
lean on during big moments. The Hoosiers
also got a favorable draw against a reeling Ohio State team and potentially
matching up with Michigan State whom they defeated twice during the regular
What to watch for-
Returning Nick Ward
Michigan State showed what they are made of while dealing
with multiple injuries during the regular season. Kenny Goin and Xavier Tillman stepped up in
the absence of Nick Ward. The Spartans
will welcome back Ward for this tournament.
If he plays to his ability this team has a shot to steal a #1 seed.
Nebraska over Rutgers–
Nebraska was an early season darling in the Big Ten. The injury to Isaac Copeland
derailed what could have been a promising season. Still the Cornhuskers will have the best
player on the court in James Palmer Jr. Feeding off the momentum of Sunday’s
shocking comeback versus Iowa should propel Nebraska to an opening round
Illinois– Illinois made a nice run mid-season showing the potential of Brad
Underwood’s team. I prefer Northwestern
in this matchup mainly because of their ability to handle the ball. Northwestern is top five in the Big Ten in
turnovers per game which is the bread and butter of the Illini. Northwestern will control the tempo and Vic
Law will have a big game.
Indiana over Ohio
Indiana has to win, and they will versus an Ohio State team
that has looked bad without Kyle Wesson.
The Hoosiers will have too much for the Buckeyes.
Maryland has a problem with turnovers. They will have to take care of the ball to
have a chance in the big dance. Locking down Nebraska’s James Palmer will be a problem,
but the size of Maryland will be too much for the Cornhuskers.
Penn State over
Penn State has turned their season around after a rough
start and will continue it against a Minnesota was barely able to get by a
struggling early season Nittany Lions team. Penn State will have to keep Jordan
Murphy off the glass, if they contain him they roll.
Iowa needs this win, they will score to much for
Northwestern to handle.
Michigan State over
Cassius Winston will lead his veteran team to a revenge
victory over an Indiana team that surprisingly handled the Spartans twice during
the season. Michigan State will also
have a lift from the returning Nick Ward.
Maryland will have a tall task beating the slow paced
Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers are to
inconsistent on the offensive end, their inability to hit free throws will do
them in down the stretch of the game.
Purdue over Penn
Carson Edwards versus Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Josh
Reaves will be a very fun matchup.
Purdue will have to much ancillary pieces for Penn State to get the win.
Michigan over Iowa-
I’m not a believer in Michigan but their defense is too good
for an Iowa team that that will be forced to take a lot of contested jumpers.
Michigan State over
Maryland has the talent to win this game. Unfortunately, their turnover problems will
return in this semi-final matchup with the veteran Michigan State Spartans. Kenny Goins outside shooting will help pull one
of the young bigs from the paint opening up lanes for Cassius Winston. Michigan State wins big.
Purdue over Michigan
Purdue’s early season defeat against Michigan will be in the
minds of the Boilermakers. Carson
Edwards will come up. Big against Michigan early. The Wolverines are a great defensive team,
but they have problems with putting together points when they are down early. Boilermakers make it to the final.
Michigan State over
These two teams split the regular season with both home
teams winning. Cassius Winston will solidify himself as the MVP of the tournament
while Nick Ward will be handled Matt Haarms.
The Spartans are too deep for the Boilermakers. Michigan State wins the Big 10 Tournament.