Mar 14, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard/forward Jake Layman (10) celebrates with guard Melo Trimble (2) after a made basket against the Michigan State Spartans during the first half in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
On the eve of Selection Sunday, conference tournaments are starting to wind down and automatic bids are being claimed. Other teams are trying to prove their worth to the selection committee. When your school plays in a power conference, it holds a little more weight and teams in the Big Ten are reaping the benefits. In ESPN’s latest ‘Bracketology,’ Joe Lunardi has seven teams from the conference making it into the NCAA Tournament.
Here’s where each team standing heading into the Big Dance.
As it stands right now, Wisconsin is a one-seed in the tournament. The Badgers punched their ticket into the Big Ten title game after handing Purdue a 20-point loss in the semifinal round. They will take on the winner of the other semifinal game between Maryland and Michigan State. If the Badgers do win out, then they will likely remain a No. 1 seed in the tourney, but if they are knocked off, I would be surprised if they don’t drop to a two-seed.
Maryland has consistently been a three-seed in ESPN’s Bracketology for quite some time now. As the two-seed in the Big Ten Tournament, the Terps took care of business by beating Indiana in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal round, they jumped out to an early lead on Michigan State, but could not withstand a second half rally by the Spartans. Maryland had a shot to possibly improve to a 2-seed if they won the tournament, but they will likely remain where they are.
Michigan St.: 6-seed
Mar 14, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Denzel Valentine (45) celebrates after defeating the Maryland Terrapins in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
What can you say about Michigan State? This team always turns it up around tournament time. The Spartans were the third seed in the B1G Tournament, but the disparity between them and two-seed Maryland was pretty evident. However, that didn’t stop them from knocking off those Terrapins in the semifinals. They were a six-seed before winning this game, so they should be on the rise. If they can pull off another upset over Wisconsin in the championship game, they are guaranteed at least a five-seed.
Iowa was poised to be either a six or seven-seed in the NCAA Tournament, but they were stunned in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament by the 13-seed Penn State. For the Hawkeyes to be awarded a first round bye, then come out and play the way they did against the Nittany Lions, an eight-seed may even be generous.
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Ohio St.: 8-seed
Unlike Iowa, the Buckeyes were able to take care of business in the second round of the B1G Tournament, downing Minnesota in a close one. Then, they ran into Michigan State and were just no match for the Spartans. Ohio State’s resume is still solid enough for them to draw a mid-range seed on Sunday. Lunardi currently has them playing 9-seed Georgia.
Purdue was able to rest up for a Friday afternoon quarterfinal tilt with Penn State and got a tougher test than they might have hoped for. They were able to pull away at the end, but that game must have taken a lot out of them, as they were destroyed by Wisconsin in the semifinals. ESPN has them as a 10-seed going against the 7-seed Oregon Ducks.
Indiana (Last Team In): 11-seed
Whether you’re Kentucky or the last team in, you’re in. Records go out the window in the NCAA Tournament. That’s promising for the Indiana Hoosiers. Now this is only a projection, but Indiana seems to have done enough to get a bid. The Hoosiers beat Northwestern pretty handedly in the second round of the B1G tourney, then fell to an inferior Terps team. Of course, Indiana will be rooting against some other bubble teams, so they can have a better shot of getting in.
Stay tuned to the Baltimore Wire for more March Madness coverage!