On Thursday morning, ESPN released its updated bracketology for the 2016-’17 college basketball season and seven Big Ten teams were fortunate enough to make the cut. Although the conference doesn’t appear to be as loaded at the top as it has been in recent years, it still showed up strongly in this projected NCAA field.
While Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, and Wisconsin were the seven teams to make the cut, one has to figure that a few more teams were in the discussion for making the field. Perhaps the most interesting absence was Iowa, who is No. 54 on KenPom and 2-0.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected
Big Ten In 11/17 ESPN Bracketology By Seed:
- #2: Indiana
- #3: Wisconsin
- #5: Michigan State; Purdue
- #9: Maryland
- #10: Ohio State
- #12: Michigan (Play-In Game)
While the Big Ten has seen plenty of drama on Selection Sunday in recent years, this could be an early sign that fans might not experience as much suspense this year. The conference appears to have most of its teams safely in the field and just two teams anywhere close to missing the cut. This will certainly change in the weeks to come, but it doesn’t look all that encouraging for the conference’s NCAA hopes.
Two of the more interesting picks were Purdue as a five seed and Michigan was a play-in game. While neither team has looked unbeatable this year (Purdue has already lost), these seem a bit low for both teams. Purdue nearly took down Villanova on Monday night and Michigan has looked at least a little better than last season, where it ended up in a play-in game.
One other interesting development is that it looks like the only serious contender at this point for a one seed is Indiana. These bracketology posts are usually pretty inaccurate this early, but it would be quite a disappointment for the Big Ten if the Hoosiers were the only team even in shouting distance of a one seed at season’s end.
You can see the full field here.