On Tuesday 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 Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin were the only teams to make the cut, Illinois was another team under consideration for the field.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected.
Big Ten In 3/4 ESPN Bracketology By Seed:
- #5 - Purdue
- #6 - Minnesota, Wisconsin
- #8 - Maryland
- #9 - Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern
- Next Four Out: Illinois
All things considered, this was a pretty strong showing for the Big Ten. To start, Purdue continues to be just on the outside of getting a four seed and both Minnesota and Wisconsin are still in decent position to be in consideration for a five seed.
Additionally, it was interesting to see both Michigan schools and Northwestern all sitting at nine seeds. Although none of those teams would be great bets to get past the Round of 32 (all would have to likely be a one seed), all three would at least be great shape to win at least one NCAA Tournament game.
It was also interesting to see Illinois so close to making the field. The Illini have been red hot over the last few weeks and could be closing on a bid.
You can see the full field here.