The 2010 Big Ten Mens Basketball Tournament preview post is live.
Well, to nobody’s surprise the Hoosiers fell short in Madison today. Verdell Jones and Nick Williams gave a tremendous effort, but it wasn’t good enough against a Badger team that has had the Hoosiers number over the latter half of the this decade.
(Whispered side note: How much has Verdell Jones improved since the beginning of the year? He went from a meek freshman who looked terrified when the ball was in his hands to a confident guard with a solid combination of inside/outside scoring ability. Don’t look now, but Tom Crean may be the developing his first All Big Ten player for the future…)
Anyway, now that the Big Ten regular season is over, it is time for the 2009 Big Ten Tournament. Before we break down the bracket and schedule, here are a couple of links that might interest you as a Big Ten fan — especially if you are thinking about going to the games:
- Big Ten Tournament History – Past Champions and Locations
- StubHub Tickets: 2009 Big Ten Basketball Tournament Tickets
- StubHub Tickets: 2009 NCAA Tournament Tickets
Real quick, here are the final Big 10 standings for 2009:
- Michigan State 15-3 (25-5)
- Illinois 11-7 (23-8)
- Purdue 11-7 (22-9)
- Ohio State 10-8 (20-9)
- Wisconsin 10-8 (19-11)
- Penn State 10-8 (21-10)
- Michigan 9-9 (19-12)
- Minnesota 9-9 (21-9)
- Northwestern 8-10 (17-12)
- Iowa 5-13 (15-16)
- Indiana 1-17 (6-24)
Now let’s take a look at the 2009 Big Ten Mens Basketball Tournament bracket. The final seedings came down to the last game of the regular season after a crazy Big Ten season in which so many teams were jumbled up in the middle of the pack. But here is how things will shake out when the Big Ten tournament begins on Thursday:
2009 Big Ten Mens Basketball Tournament Schedule and Bracket
|1||Thu, March 12||#8 Minnesota def. #9 Northwestern 66-53||12:00 ET||Big Ten Network|
|2||Thu, March 12||#7 Michigan def. #10 Iowa 72-45||2:30 ET||ESPN2|
|3||Thu, March 12||#6 Penn State def. #11 Indiana 66-51||5:00 ET||ESPN2|
|4||Fri, March 13||#1 Michigan State def. #8 Minnesota 64-56||12:00 ET||ESPN|
|5||Fri, March 13||#5 Ohio State def. #4 Wisconsin 61-57||2:30 ET||ESPN|
|6||Fri, March 13||#2 Illinois def. #7 Michigan 60-50||6:30 ET||Big Ten Network|
|7||Fri, March 13||#3 Purdue def. #6 Penn State 79-65||9:00 ET||Big Ten Network|
|8||Sat, March 14||#5 Ohio State def. #1 Michigan State 82-70||1:40 ET||CBS|
|9||Sat, March 14||#3 Purdue def. #2 Illinois 66-56||4:00 ET||CBS|
|10||Sun, March 15||#3 Purdue def. #5 Ohio State 65-61||3:30 ET||CBS|
And here are some quick predictions, which almost surely will prove to be false:
Thursday Big Ten Tournament Predictions:
Northwestern is having one of the best seasons in school history and holding onto the slimmest of hopes for an NCAA Tournament berth. I think they find a way against Minnesota. Michigan is also playing for an NCAA Tournament berth and needs a win over Iowa to help their chances. I think they get it. And I think Indiana exacts revenge on Penn State for the one that slipped away a couple weeks ago in Happy Valley. Is this prediction more with my heart than my head? Absolutely. I don’t care. Indiana plays on to Friday!
Friday Big Ten Tournament Predictions:
If my predictions come true, then Michigan State plays Northwestern in the first game Friday. The Wildcats pulled off one of the upset of the year when they beat the Spartans in East Lansing this year. The element of surprise will not be there for Northwestern this time and Michigan State moves on — while Northwestern goes to the NIT. A great season for the Wildcats, and congratulations to Bill Carmody.
Wisconsin plays Ohio State, and I really like how the Badgers are playing right now. They will be too tough for the Buckeyes and their superb forward Evan Turner. Illinois will take on Michigan, and I think they will beat them. The Illini are just a more consistent team.
Then look who will play in the final game on Friday…Indiana and Purdue! Yet another reasonw why I think the Hoosiers will win Thursday night. How can we have a season in which the Hoosiers and Boilermakers only play one? Seriously? And as much as it pains me to do this, I can’t be completely foolish. I think Purdue would win the rematch. They are simply a much better team this year, but things will begin evening out starting next year.
Saturday Big Ten Tournament Predictions:
My picks thus far have set up semifinal games between Michigan State-Wisconsin and Purdue-Illinois. There is just something that I really like about the way Wisconsin is playing right now. I think Michigan State is the better pick to do some damage in the Big Dance, but I like the Badgers in the Big Ten Tournament. They advance. And Illinois just seems to playing better than Purdue right now. I’m picking the Illini, with Purdue a little weary after a knock down-drag out battle with the Hoosiers on Friday.
Big Ten Tournament Championship Sunday Prediction:
I’ve got Wisconsin and Illinois in the Big Ten Championship Game, and I like the Badgers to win it. They struggled early in the year, but Bo Ryan has them playing solid, smash-mouth basketball again. They found their stroke again earlier today and I think the Badgers at their best are better than Illinois at their best. And in a battle between Bo Ryan and Bruce Weber, I give the edge to Ryan.
Besides, look at that picture. Would you want to pick against that man?
So, if you are thinking of placing any bets on the 2009 Big Ten Tournament, you would be wise to pick the exact opposite of what you just read. History has proven that your odds will be greatly enhanced! Either way, the Big Ten Tournament always seems to provide typical March Madness drama: great games, darkhorses making deep runs, and hard-fought battles between teams that know eachother well.
I’m just glad the Hoosiers have one final chance to try and notch a second victory. They sure have earned it, and I’ll be cheering my ass off Thursday night hoping they get it.
Bo Ryan photo credit: AP Photo/Brian Kersey