On Friday morning, NBCSports updated its preseason bracketology for the 2016-’17 college basketball season and eight 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, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin were the teams to make the cut, Illinois and Ohio State also narrowly missed the cut for the field.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected.
Big Ten In 12/30 NBCSports Bracketology By Seed:
- #3 - Purdue
- #5 - Wisconsin
- #6 - Indiana
- #7 - Maryland
- #8 - Michigan, Northwestern
- #9 - Minnesota
- #11 - Michigan State (First Four)
- First Four Out - Illinois, Ohio State
Most of the national media considers this to be a “down” year for the Big Ten, but if the conference ended up landing eight teams in the field, it’s hard to think fans will be too disappointed with that result. Few of the teams would be projected to go beyond the first weekend, but that’s still an impressive result.
Perhaps the most interesting selection was Indiana as a six seed. Although it’s not a bold decision given the way the Hoosiers have played over the last week, it’s still interesting to think that a team that has already beaten Kansas and North Carolina could end up that low in the bracket.
Two other teams worth watching in the coming weeks figure to Iowa and Nebraska. Neither team has shown much consistency in the past few months, but both are good enough to do some damage to some Big Ten resumes. How those two perform could tell a lot about the conference’s goal of putting eight or more teams into the field.
You can see the full field here.