On Monday morning, ESPN updated its bracketology for the 2016-’17 college basketball season and seven 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 State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin were the only teams to make the cut, Michigan was also listed as another Big Ten team that just narrowly missed the field.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected.
Big Ten In 2/6 ESPN Bracketology By Seed:
- #4 - Wisconsin
- #5 - Maryland, Purdue
- #7 - Northwestern
- #8 - Michigan State
- #10 - Minnesota
- #11 - Indiana (First Four)
- First Four Out: N/A
- Next Four Out: Michigan
The first thing that pops out from this ESPN projection is that the Big Ten lacks a team within the bracket’s top 12 seeds. This continues to be a concern in these bracketology posts and it likely won’t be changing anytime soon. However, getting a few teams into the four and five seed range should at least help somewhat.
Northwestern also got some serious love from ESPN as the Wildcats sat as a No. 7 seed in this projection. If accurate, that should get the team some real leeway in the coming weeks. Personally, I tend to agree with this projection.
It’s also interesting to see where Indiana and Michigan landed on the bubble. Both of these teams have struggled over the last few weeks and this projection reflects that. It will be crucial for the Hoosiers and Wolverines to turn things around in the coming weeks if they are going to make an NCAA Tournament run.
You can see the full field here.