2011 NCAA Tournament: Which Big Ten Team Has The Easiest Path To The Final Four?

Ohio State maybe the overall #1 seed.. but the committee didn't do them any favors as they are in the toughest region, and probably have the toughest path to the Final Four. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Ever wish that more things worked like college brackets? That you could seed everything that way? Top 64 pre-game foods. Top 64 college players. Well, now you can do just that with your friends, with the Allstate BFF Brackets, which takes your 64 top Facebook friends (an algorithm seeds them based on interaction) and seeds them in four regions, exactly like the real tourney. Once the tourney starts, your friends advance with the corresponding seeds – till one is left standing. Check it out at http://apps.facebook.com/bffbrackets/

Seven Big Ten teams have been selected to participate in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Seven teams ties the record for the most Big Ten teams ever in the NCAA Tournament. I believe the only reason the Big Ten got seven teams in was because of the Big Ten Tournament... runs by Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan got them in. The Big Ten could have broken that record with eight teams in, had Minnesota preformed as expected this season. 

Three of the Big Ten teams that got in, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, got top four seeds. Top four seeds always have the best shot at making the Final Four. Everyone else in the Big Ten has an eight seed or worse. Out of Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, which has the easiest path to the Final Four?

We ranked the teams paths to the Final Four from easiest to hardest after the jump!

Ranked from EASIEST to HARDEST.


1.) Team: Wisconsin   Seed: 4   Region: Southeast

To me, Wisconsin has the easiest path to the Final Four. If they can get playing like we know they can play, they could potentially make a Final Four run. Wisconsin is sitting in the weakest region, making it the easiest path. Yes, they would have to go through teams like Pittsburgh and possibly Florida but Wisconsin has proven that they are capable of upsetting teams like this when they have Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor are running on all cylinders. According to everyone in the media.. they are picking Belmont, Wisconsin's first opponent of the NCAA Tournament, to beat Wisconsin. I do not see this happening. I think Wisconsin runs to the Sweet 16 and has a very good chance of upsetting Pittsburgh, if that is who they play. Overall, I think people are overreacting by saying how Wisconsin got a terrible draw.. but looking at the entire region.. Florida is overrated, BYU is hurting right now with the suspension of their player, and Pitt just doesn't seem as good to me as everyone says. Pitt is also a team that doesn't do very well in the NCAA Tournament, historically. 

 

2.) Team: Purdue   Seed: 3   Region: Southwest -

Purdue got a great draw for this years tournament. They matchup very well with two-seeded Notre Dame. They have a great chance of getting to the Elite Eight this year. But watch out for Georgetown, they probably won't be 100% but they are hungry, as their best player has been cleared to play in the NCAA Tournament, since breaking his non-shooting hand. The number one seed in this region is Kansas. Purdue should be hoping that Kansas falls before the Elite Eight... the Morris twins will be deadly in this tournament. I am not ranking Purdue last because they won't have to play tough team, after tough team, like Ohio State. The East will be interesting. Everyone expects Kansas to come out of the Southwest.. Purdue wants to be waiting there to shock them. 

 

3.) Team: Ohio State   Seed: 1   Region: East -

Ohio State is the number one overall seed this year so their Final Four chances are really good, but they are in  the toughest region. In that region North Carolina is the two seed, Syracuse is the three, Kentucky is the four and West Virginia is the five. Talk about tough. North Carolina is playing some of their best basketball of the season right now, minus the ACC championship game. Syracuse had won six straight before falling in the Big East tournament. In that six game win streak.. it included games against three ranked opponents. Look for this region to make some major waves. The one thing that can hurt the Buckeyes in this region is their lack of depth. If the Buckeyes get into foul trouble against teams like Kentucky, North Carolina or Syracuse.. they could be in trouble. I ranked Ohio State with the hardest path to get to the Final Four.. because honestly it is the hardest path. In the hardest region, you more than likely will always have the hardest path, even as a number one seed. They have the best Final Four chances with the hardest path.. that is a good team. Ohio State will probably have to play Villanova, Kentucky and North Carolina or Syracuse. That isn't an easy path at all.

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