This was an excellent last few days of conference play and a weekend filled with some great games. Some of the top teams like the Iowa Hawkeyes and Maryland Terrapins thrived while others like the Michigan State Spartans struggled on the road against tricky opponent. The conference race is in full swing and it should be a wild race.
So, let's take a look at the Big Ten Tournament bracket.
The concept of the bracket is pretty simple. Each time, BTP will breakdown how the Big Ten Tournament projects as of that moment. For instance, today's bracket will be set as of the night of Sunday January 17, 2016. I have taken the liberty of looking at the Big Ten records and using the Big Ten tiebreaker scenarios to see where teams will land. Things will certainly move, but it is still interesting to see as of this moment. Let's take a look.
2016 Big Ten Tournament Bracket (1/17):
As mentioned, things are beginning to settle, but the race is still incredibly tight. Overall, the margin from first to ninth is just three games and a total of nine teams are tied with at least one other team in the standings. Just like last week, a single win or loss this week could dramatically reconfigure the standings.
At the top, Indiana and Iowa maintained their leads with perfect 5-0 records and important wins over the weekend. Indiana gets a pretty manageable week with Illinois and Northwestern at home and Iowa gets Rutgers on the road and Purdue at home. Both teams are favored in all four matchups, so it will be interesting to see whether Indiana and Iowa are both sitting at 7-0 next Sunday night.
Additionally, here's a breakdown of what each team has ahead.
Here's a comparison between Indiana and Iowa's remaining Big Ten slates. pic.twitter.com/hLQ4ErgEd5— Thomas Beindit (@tbeindit) January 17, 2016
Overall, there wasn't a ton of movement in the middle over the weekend. The Terps destroyed Ohio State at home and Michigan fell on the road against Iowa. However, the one intriguing team in the standings still has to be Michigan State. Thanks to tie-breakers, the Spartans stayed at No. 8, but it's incredible that the nation's former No. 1 team is still that low in the Big Ten Tournament seeding.
At the bottom, the biggest movement came from Penn State and Wisconsin, who both scored important wins over the weekend. The race for the No. 10 seed is going to be intense since it means avoiding the first day in the Big Ten Tournament and both teams should be in the thick of that race. Wisconsin and Penn State actually face off this week, so it will likely tell a lot about how that race should shake out.
We'll have to see how next week impacts things, but it looks like an exciting race in the Big Ten.