On Monday morning, Sports Illustrated updated its 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 landed quite a few teams in this projected NCAA field.
While Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin were the only teams to make the cut, one has to figure teams like Illinois aren’t too far out of the just missed category.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected.
Big Ten In 1/23 Sports Illustrated Bracketology By Seed:
- #5 - Purdue, Wisconsin
- #7 - Indiana, Maryland
- #8 - Minnesota, Northwestern
- #9 - Michigan State
- #12 - Michigan (First Four)
- First Eight Out: N/A
Sports Illustrated projects pretty closely to the other bracketology sites and figures that two Big Ten teams sit among the top 20 seeds. However, the lack of top seeds remains concerning as the conference could be in tough shape after the first weekend.
One other interesting projection here was Indiana. While the Hoosiers have proven themselves against some elite opponents like Kansas and North Carolina, the team has also struggled to show consistency. Perhaps this is more of an anticipated rise, since the Hoosiers have shown some improved play over the last few games.
Northwestern also got some serious love from Sports Illustrated as the Wildcats sat as a No. 8 seed. If accurate, that should get the team some real leeway in the coming weeks. Personally, I tend to agree with this projection. Many of the other sites are down on Northwestern, but it seems more about their name than what they’ve done.
You can see the full field here.