On Sunday afternoon, the NCAA Tournament Committee released its early look at the field heading into Selection Sunday. This is the second year that the Committee has given fans an early look at the bracket. Of course, there will be much discussion about the selections in the weeks to come.
The Big Ten ended up landing three teams in the Committee’s top 16. However, there were far more interesting developments than just that. Here is the full list:
Is this what the 2018 Sweet 16 will look like? #BracketPreviewhttps://t.co/PxBQXWxUP0 pic.twitter.com/Rdru8SJez5— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 11, 2018
From the Big Ten’s perspective, the biggest news is pretty clear. It’s that Purdue ended up being listed as a one seed in the West Region, Michigan State found itself as the three seed in the South Region, and that Ohio State ended up as the four seed in the East Region. As mentioned, those were the only Big Ten teams that were among the Committee’s top 16 teams as of Sunday morning.
Generally speaking, it’s hard to argue much with those rankings. Purdue’s resume is clearly the strongest of any Big Ten teams right now with Michigan State and Ohio State following some distance behind.
Many may question the divide between the Boilermakers and the Spartans, but a review of their respective resumes clearly leaves Purdue on top. In particular, Michigan State’s non-conference resume is tremendously underwhelming in comparison to Purdue’s performance, which is the biggest reason for this divide.
However, it is important to note that there are still a few more weeks of play. All three of these teams still have four regular season games remaining and at least one Big Ten Tournament game as well. As such, these projections could change quite a bit. This is especially true for Ohio State, who could potentially add three more road wins.
The final thing to address here is the potential of any other Big Ten teams to enter this discussion. Right now, I don’t believe any other Big Ten teams have a serious shot to get a top four seed. Michigan projects to be the league’s fourth highest seed in the NCAA Tournament right now and the Wolverines look more like a seven or eight right now than a potential four seed.
Nonetheless, things will remain interesting in the weeks to come. Stay tuned to BTPowerhouse for more updates as the season continues.