The Big Ten does have one team in the Sweet 16 as of right now after the Indiana Hoosiers defeated the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, and there are three Big Ten teams in action today that are also trying to make it to the Sweet 16. The seven seeded Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the two seeded Villanova Wildcats, the seven seeded Wisconsin Badgers will take on the two seeded Xavier Musketeers, and the five seeded Maryland Terrapins will take on the 13 seeded Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
The Terrapins are the only team that is favored in their second round contest, but that does not mean that teams like Iowa or Wisconsin can't pull off the upset. It is March, and it has been a crazy NCAA tournament so far, so anything can happen.
(7) Iowa Hawkeyes vs. (2) Villanova Wildcats (12:10 p.m. ET| CBS)
The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off a hard fought victory over the Temple Owls. The Hawkeyes defeated the Owls in overtime on a last second put-back layup by Adam Woodbury. The stars on the Hawkeyes came to play last game, Jarrod Uthoff had 23 points and Peter Jok had 16 points. Both players did not shoot particularly well from deep, but they score enough to lead the team to victory. Iowa was winning practically the whole game, but they struggled to stay consistent and keep the lead. This is something they cannot do against the Villanova Wildcats.
Villanova relies a lot on its outside offensive game, which is why this game could either be a blowout or a very tight game. Iowa's defense is not terrible, but their perimeter defense is not great, which is why this could be a tough matchup for the Hawkeyes. Iowa needs to focus on making sure the Wildcats do not beat them with the deep ball and players like Uthoff and Jok need to have big games if the Hawkeyes want to pull off the big upset.
(13) Hawaii Rainbow Warriors vs. (5) Maryland Terrapins (7:10 p.m. ET| TBS)
The Maryland Terrapins almost got upset by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in their first NCAA tournament game, but they ended up pulling it out. Jake Layman had a huge game with 27 points and he shot really well from deep. If Layman keeps playing well on the offensive end, and players like Melo Trimble start hitting three-pointers then the Terps should have no problem knocking off the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Hawaii is coming off an upset win over the California Golden Bears, and the Rainbow Warriors were basically in control all game. The Rainbow Warriors certainly will not be afraid of the Terrapins, and they put up some points because of Maryland's poor defense, but will Hawaii be able to stop Maryland? The Terps should win this game, but if they have a poor shooting night from Trimble and Co. agains, Layman might not be able to save the team from losing.
(7) Wisconsin Badgers vs. (2) Xavier Musketeers (8:40 p.m. ET| TNT)
The Wisconsin Badgers escaped with a win against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the first round, while the Xavier Musketeers handled Weber State with ease. This game is going to come down to whether or not the Badgers can score the basketball consistently. They only put up 47 points against Pittsburgh, which would not be acceptable against Xavier. The Musketeers are very good on offense, so the Badgers will need to have players like Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig, and Ethan Happ step up on the offensive end.
The Badgers have had magical runs the past two NCAA tournament's, but this is the weakest team tournament team they have had in some time, so do not be surprised if their season ends against a very good Xavier team.