Things are finally starting to shake out across the Big Ten. Some teams like the Indiana Hoosiers and Iowa Hawkeyes have emerged and others like the Michigan State Spartans and Rutgers Scarlet Knights have struggled. Its been an exciting few weeks of action that should only get better with more to come.
With that, 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 Friday, January 22, 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 (1/22):
Realistically, this is probably the last time I'm going to put this in here, but things are still relatively tight overall. The gap from first to last has now increased to seven games, but it's still only three games from first to seventh and a total of nine teams are tied with at least one other team in the standings. By the end of the weekend, things will probably be separated enough to start making some serious predictions.
At the top, Indiana and Iowa both stayed undefeated, but the Hawkeyes are now No. 1 due to the tiebreaker. Though it's a slight lead, it feels right given the schedule Iowa has faced so far. Below those two, Maryland has kept pace with just one loss and it looks like Purdue and Michigan are emerging as darkhorse contenders.
The middle remains a complete mess. Ohio State and Nebraska are tied at 4-3 and three teams -- including the formerly No. 1 ranked Spartans -- are tied at 3-4 behind those two in the standings. It's anybody's best guess how those five teams are going to shake out in the coming weeks. Notably, with Maryland at home this week, Michigan State is in serious trouble of potentially moving down to the bottom four in the conference.
At the bottom, Rutgers is once again dead last in the standings due to the tiebreak against Minnesota. Illinois and Penn State remained narrowly ahead of both.
We'll have to see how next week impacts things, but it looks like an exciting race in the Big Ten.