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CBS, ESPN, and FOX Bracketology Update: Big Ten Locked In For Seven

Where does the Big Ten rank in some of the nation’s most well known bracketology projections?

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As we begin the final week of conference play, the number of Big Ten representatives in the NCAA Tournament appears to be clear. The three major bracketology sites (CBS, FOX, and ESPN) have all provided their latest updates. Across the board, the Big Ten is well represented in each of full tournament field projections.

There are seven Big Ten teams that appear in all three brackets: Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin. The conference projects to have a strong presence among the mid to high seeds in each region, and several teams have a realistic shot of making a deep March run.

Big Ten In 2/23 ESPN Bracketology By Seed:

  • #4 - Purdue (East)
  • #5 - Wisconsin (Midwest)
  • #7 - Maryland (East)
  • #7 - Minnesota (South)
  • #9 – Michigan (West)
  • #9 - Northwestern (East)
  • #10 - Michigan State (West)
  • First Four Out: None
  • Next Four Out - Indiana

For the first time this year, the Big Ten is alone in second place with seven teams in ESPN’s latest bracketology. The ACC leads with nine teams and the Big 12 dropped to six teams in the field. Purdue lead the way with a four seed in the East and Wisconsin earned a five seed in the Midwest region.

The biggest jump this week was made by the Michigan Wolverines, who moved from a No. 10 seed to a nine seed in the West.

As for teams trending in the wrong direction, it starts with the Northwestern Wildcats. Having lost five of their last seven games, the Wildcats fell two spots to the nine seed in the East, but did get leading scorer Scottie Lindsey back from an illness. Indiana is still on the bubble, and remains on the “Next Four Out” line for ESPN.

See full field here.

Big Ten In 2/26 CBS Bracketology By Seed:

  • #5 - Purdue (Midwest)
  • #5 - Minnesota (West)
  • #6 - Maryland (South)
  • #6 - Wisconsin (West)
  • #7 - Northwestern (South)
  • #9 - Michigan (Midwest)
  • #9 - Michigan State (East)

In the CBS March Madness projection, the Big Ten repeated their strong seven team representation. Purdue dropped one spot to a five seed, and Michigan State climbs one spot to a nine seed this week. But the team that made the biggest improvement was Minnesota. The Golden Gophers moved up two spots to a five in the West, one spot ahead of Wisconsin in that region.

Maryland dips one spot to a six seed in the South, and Michigan holds firm as a nine seed in the Midwest region.

See full field here.

Big Ten In 2/24 FOX Bracketology By Seed

  • #4 - Purdue (West)
  • #5 - Maryland (South)
  • #6 - Wisconsin (Midwest)
  • #7 - Minnesota (South)
  • #8 - Northwestern (Midwest)
  • #9 - Michigan (South)
  • #10 - Michigan State (Midwest)
  • First Four Out: None
  • Next Four Out – Ohio State, Illinois

For the third week in a row, the Big Ten has perfect linear symmetry with a team representing every seed from four through ten in the Fox Bracketology. This projection also has seven conference teams, the same as ESPN and CBS. Ohio State remains as a member of the Next Four Out, and is joined this week for the first time by Illinois. The Fighting Illini have won three in a row, including on the road at Iowa and Nebraska. These two teams would potentially give the Big Ten the same nine bids as the ACC has in most projections.

Purdue (23-6) looks the part of a team that can make a deep run in March. Purdue had won nine of their last ten games before an 82-70 loss at Michigan. The Boilermakers moved up from the five line to a four seed in the West.

Minnesota moved one spot to a seven seed, and Michigan State dropped to a ten seed in the Midwest region. Both the South and Midwest regions project three Big Ten teams each.

See full field here.


The Big Ten looks to be in good shape for seven teams in this year’s NCAA tournament. The conference team most in need of a win this week is Wisconsin, who needs to right the ship after losing four of their last five games. Indiana is still alive in all three projections, but will need huge efforts to win road games at Purdue and Ohio State.