How many Big Ten teams will get in?

Bo Suh, Staff Writer

It is almost March. We all know what March represents in sports. Yes, it is true that Major League Baseball will start in March, but what I meant is March Madness.

Currently, ESPN bracketology expects 10 out of 14 teams in the Big Ten will make it to the tournament.

A month ago, the ESPN experts expected 12 Big Ten teams including Purdue and Minnesota, but the recent struggles by them kept them out.

However, if they perform well in the Big Ten Tournament, they should be able to make it to the Big Dance. I think Purdue has a better chance than Minnesota at this point, but we will see how it goes.

It will be interesting how many Big Ten teams will be in March Madness. The following is the list of my picks for this week:

Maryland at Rutgers, my pick: Rutgers (upset)

Michigan State at Penn State, my pick: Penn State

Purdue at Iowa, my pick: Purdue (upset)

Northwestern at Wisconsin, my pick: Wisconsin

Minnesota at Indiana, my pick: Indiana

Nebraska at Michigan, my pick: Michigan

Illinois at Ohio State, my pick: Ohio State

Wisconsin at Indiana, my pick: Indiana

Rutgers at Purdue, my pick: Purdue

Penn State at Northwestern, my pick: Penn State

Michigan at Maryland, my pick: Maryland

Nebraska at Minnesota, my pick: Minnesota

Ohio State at Michigan State, my pick: Michigan State

Iowa at Illinois, my pick: Illinois (upset)

The most recent ESPN article mentioned that seven teams in Big Ten (Maryland, Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, and Wisconsin) are locks for the tournament, two teams (Illinois and Rutgers) “should be in,” and three teams (Indiana, Purdue, and Minnesota) have “work to do.”

I think Indiana should be in especially after beating Minnesota and possibly Wisconsin (both games at home).

Minnesota really needs a heroic winning streak from now on, at the minimum making it to the Big Ten Championship game. The close losses against Penn State and Maryland (and Indiana if I’m right) were just too significant at this late of the season.

Purdue is in a similar situation, but they missed a great opportunity to boost their resume against Penn State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Wins against Iowa and Rutgers are must to enter the Big Ten Tournament as 17-14 record, and even so, they need to win at least two games as 19-14 (by beating 2 ranked opponents) to have a shot for the March Madness.

Purdue is the type of team that can beat anyone, but lose to anyone at the same time. Which version of Purdue appears in the next few games will determine whether they will go to Big Dance or NIT.