March Madness: Big Ten Tournament Preview and Pick

The race to win the Big Ten regular season title is wide open once again, and that’s likely a preview of things to come for the Big Ten Conference Tournament. Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue are all tied at 15-4 in conference and any of the three teams could be the No. 1 seed next week in Chicago. The Wolverines and Spartans will square off in East Lansing on Saturday with a share of the conference title on the line, while Purdue heads to lowly Northwestern to attempt to stake a climb to the title too. No matter who ends up as the No. 1 seed, you can bet on every game of the Big Ten Conference Tournament starting March 13 at BetDSI.

Big Ten Tournament Odds

Big Ten Tournament Favorites

Michigan – The Wolverines are one of the best defensive teams in the country. John Beilein is an old school coach that doesn’t use players much until they figure out his scheme, and that has paid dividends over the last couple years. Michigan went to the National Championship Game on the strength of its defense last year, and the Wolverines have an added dynamic this year in freshman Ignas Brazdeikis. Brazdeikis can get the buckets this team struggled to get at times last year making them potentially more dangerous this season. However, Michigan might not have top guard Charles Matthews for the conference tournament and that would ding their chances a bit.

Michigan State – Injuries have really hurt the Spartans chances of winning the Big Ten Conference Tournament and the national title as a whole. Joshua Langford went down for the year in January, and Nick Ward has been out for the last few weeks with a hand injury. That has led to Michigan State dropping winnable games to conference lightweights Indiana (twice) and Illinois, and they would be in line to win the regular season title outright without any one of those losses. The Spartans went into Ann Arbor and knocked off Michigan without Ward or Langford a couple weeks ago, and that has me bullish on their chances. Michigan State has a do-it-all guard in Cassius Winston and two big bodies that can control the glass in Xavier Tillman and Kenny Goins, and I’ll likely be on them to win the conference tournament.

Purdue – The Boilermakers blew a golden opportunity on Tuesday. Purdue had the inside track on the No. 1 seed and that would have meant avoiding Michigan or Michigan State until the conference championship game. They were unable to knock off a mediocre Minnesota team though, and I don’t like their chances. Purdue was blown out in its lone clash with Michigan and split against Michigan State, and the Boilermakers have not looked good away from West Lafayette over the last month.

Big Ten Tournament Contenders

Wisconsin – Outside of the big three, the team I like the most to win the Big Ten Conference Tournament is Wisconsin. The Badgers have one of the top defenses in the country, and they are in line for the No. 4 seed. That would give them a double bye into the quarterfinals, and I like their chances against both Maryland and potentially Purdue. If Wisconsin is anything north of 5-1 and lands the No.4  seed, I’ll likely throw some cash on the Badgers.

Maryland – The Terps are largely hanging their hat on a win over Purdue, but this team has struggled against the best in the conference. They are 2-4 against the teams that are currently ahead of them in the Big Ten, and that doesn’t bode well for their chances if they end up as the No. 5 seed and have to play four games in four days.

March Madness: Big Ten Tournament Preview and Pick
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March Madness: Big Ten Tournament Preview and Pick
The race to win the Big Ten regular season title is wide open once again, and that’s likely a preview of things to come for the Big Ten Conference Tournament.

About Jonathan Willis

Jonathan Willis has written on virtually every sport imaginable over the last decade. His specialties are college football, eSports, politics, the NFL and the NHL. He is always looking for soft markets to pounce on, and he will have you in the black by the end of the year.

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