On Friday morning, SBNation updated its bracketology for the 2016-’17 college basketball season and nine 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 Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin were the only teams to make the cut, one has to figure Nebraska and Ohio State aren’t too far out of the just missed category. Perhaps the most interesting absence was Iowa, who made last year’s NCAA Tournament, but has seen an up and down season so far.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected.
Big Ten In 1/6 SBNation Bracketology By Seed:
- #5 - Purdue
- #6 - Indiana, Wisconsin
- #7 - Minnesota
- #9 - Maryland
- #10 - Michigan, Michigan State
- #11 - Illinois, Northwestern (First Four)
- Under Consideration: Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State
The Big Ten ranked second among conferences (behind the ACC) with nine teams in SBNation’s latest bracketology. However, it was a rather underwhelming performance as the conference failed to land any teams among the bracket’s top 16.
Obviously, there’s no telling how accurately this projection holds up on Selection Sunday (it’s a good guess that there will be some serious changes in the coming weeks), but lacking a four seed or higher would be a devastating blow for the conference. In such a scenario, the Big Ten would seriously have to worry about getting past the first weekend, even with nine teams in the field.
Apart from the conference’s general seeding scenarios, it was interesting to see Indiana and Minnesota so highly seeded in the field. Both teams have their skeptics and it will be intriguing to see if they can live up to those lofty seedings in the weeks and months to come.
Iowa and Ohio State fans also have to be pretty concerned with this projection as neither the Hawkeyes or Buckeyes were listed within the first eight teams to miss the field. Without a strong finish to January, both could be on the outside looking in when Selection Sunday arrives.
You can see the full field here.