Sunday was a big day for the Big Ten ahead of the regular season wrapping up in the week ahead. We saw several key games that just might determine whether or not certain teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament this season. The Big Ten is currently projected to send nine teams to the Big Dance, the most of any conference. Let’s take a look at how Sunday’s results affected seeding.
Key games for bracketology
Maryland 75, Northwestern 59
The Terrapins shut down a hot Wildcats team on Sunday that had won five of its previous six games. Maryland sat in the 7-to-8 seed range ahead of this game, while Northwestern was projected to be a No. 6 seed. We may see those numbers flip in this week’s bracketology predictions, and these will both be important teams to watch come Big Ten Tournament time.
Michigan 87, Wisconsin 79
Wisconsin blew this one due to some bad clock management at the end, and the Wolverines went on to tie it up, send it to overtime, and win. The Badgers were sitting in the “Last Four In” category at ESPN and at CBS ahead of this game, and after a loss to a team whose own tourney hopes are questionable, Wisconsin may be out after this week. They will still have a shot to excel in the conference tournament, but face another tough opponent in Purdue this week. Michigan could jump into those “Next Four Out” categories this week, as well, after winning their last three games.
Rutgers 59, Penn State 56
Penn State sat in the “Last Four In” at CBS and in the “First Four Out” at ESPN before falling to Rutgers by three points at home. It wasn’t as bad as their last loss to the Scarlet Knights, but it wasn’t a mark in the win category, and we can expect to see them drop further out of contention after this. Their next opponent will be another major challenge as they take on Northwestern.