We've reached the final day of the regular season and it's set to be a thrilling day with plenty of the conference's top teams facing off. In fact, Maryland and Indiana and Purdue and Wisconsin will be squaring off in games to determine who gets the double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament.
Selection Sunday is a week from today, buckle up!
Game of the Day:
There were many scenarios in which this game would have had Big Ten regular season title implications. Due to Indiana's win in Iowa City this week none of those scenarios happened. Indiana has won the Big Ten outright for the second time in four years. For Indiana it's just NCAA tournament seeding on the line. Maryland also clinched a double bye in the Big Ten tournament and will get either the #3 or #4 seed depending on the Purdue and Wisconsin game later in the day.
The Terrapins have national respect on the line though. Maryland only has one top 20 RPI win needs as many as they can get before selection Sunday if they want more recognition. The Hoosiers are 16-0 in Assembly Hall coming in to the game, it should be an emotional senior day for Yogi Ferrell as well as the rest of the Indiana seniors. Maryland will look to get to .500 on the year on the road in this one.
Penn State was becoming the giant killer winning 4 out of their last 5 until a recent two game slide. The Nittany Lions can get as high as the 9th seed and a bye in the first round of the Big Ten tournament with a win. A loss could drop them all the way to 12th in the standings and have to win five games in five days to win the tournament.
For the Fighting Illini they win need to win those five games in five days no matter the result in this one. They have clinched a bottom 4 seed but a win will give them a shot at Rutgers in the first round. Illinois' new AD issued a vote of confidence for Coach John Groce on Saturday, praising his leadership and making clear he will continue in the position. Barring any crazy run in the Big Ten tournament, this will be the third straight year they miss the big dance.
Senior day for Tre Demps and Alex Olah wont be as exciting as they originally anticipated. Another bottom half Big Ten finish for the Wildcats and barring a run in Indy another year without an NCAA Tournament bid. After starting the year 13-1 Northwestern has gone 6-10 since. A loss coupled with a Penn St. win and these Wildcats will have to play on the first day of the Big Ten Tournament.
For the Cornhuskers, a win today can get them to the 9th seed. Nebraska has lost four in a row and haven't won a road game since they shocked the Breslin Center back on January 20th. It will be back to back under .500 finishes overall for Nebraska since their NCAA tournament bid back in 2014. Nebraska took the first meeting 53-49 on the road.
When these two teams met back in December it would have been crazy for a Wisconsin fan to think this meeting would be for a double bye in the Big Ten tournament. The Badgers were in a totally different place during that one, a game they lost at the Kohl Center. They have now won 11 of their last 12 and are a lock for an NCAA tournament bid. Purdue needs a win and some help to get the coveted double bye.
Unfortunately for Purdue fans, they will need to root for their bitter rivals, Indiana to help them get there. A win by both Indiana and Purdue and the Boilermakers will lock up a top 4 seed. Purdue has only lost once so far at Mackey this year. It should be an emotional senior day as there are five on the roster including A.J Hammons, Rapheal Davis, and Johnny Hill.