Up to 12 Big Ten teams could be in the tourney

Bo Suh, Staff Writer

It is now February, which means that March madness is on its way along with warmer weather. It has been quite a while since the Big Ten conference games started, and many experts believe 12 out of 14 teams in the Big Ten conference have legit shots at making it to the tournament.

According to Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology, the Big Ten will send 12 teams, while the SEC, Pac-12, Big-12, and Big East will each send five teams.

Yes, the Big Ten has been ridiculously amazing. Here’s the next couple weeks of Big Ten schedule, and my prediction based on their home records along with their trends.

Feb. 5 – Iowa at Purdue, my pick: Purdue; Wisconsin at Minnesota, my pick: Wisconsin.

Feb. 7 – Maryland at Illinois, my pick: Illinois.

Feb. 8 – Michigan State at Michigan, my pick: Michigan State; Purdue at Indiana, my pick: Indiana; Minnesota at Penn State, my pick: Penn State; Nebraska at Iowa, my pick: Iowa.

Feb. 9 – Ohio State at Wisconsin, my pick: Wisconsin; Northwestern at Rutgers, my pick: Rutgers.

Feb. 11 – Penn State at Purdue, my pick: Purdue; Nebraska at Maryland, my pick: Maryland; Michigan State at Illinois, my pick: Illinois.

Feb. 12 – Rutgers at Ohio State, my pick: Ohio State; Michigan at Northwestern, my pick: Michigan.

Feb. 13 – Iowa at Indiana, my pick: Indiana.

Feb. 15 – Maryland at Michigan State, my pick: Michigan State; Northwestern at Penn State, my pick: Penn State; Purdue at Ohio State, my pick: Ohio State; Wisconsin at Nebraska, my pick: Wisconsin; Illinois at Rutgers, my pick: Rutgers.

Feb. 16 – Iowa at Minnesota, my pick: Minnesota; Indiana at Michigan, my pick: Michigan.

My pick are based on how teams play at home compared to away games. Teams perform better at home game than away games, and the Big Ten conference this year is more extreme with the home court advantage. Remember Purdue beat Michigan State by over 20 points? The only exception to this would be Nebraska and Northwestern.

However, I would not be surprised if they win one or two at their home games during this two weeks-span.

Minnesota and Purdue have a lower change to make it to the tournament compared to other 10 Big Ten teams, but the win against Iowa, Penn State and Wisconsin would significantly increase the chance for Iowa.

I am less worried about Purdue from their strong performance at home. I strongly believe that Purdue will take down Penn State and Iowa at home (both ranked), and possibly either Indiana or Ohio State at away games.

Many sports analysts believe that Big Ten cannot send 12 teams to March Madness, but with the right wins, there is a great chance that they all can make it. I believe that at least 10 teams will enter the tournament without any problems.