With the Big Ten’s regular season wrapping up on Sunday evening, it’s now time to turn our focus to the 2019 Big Ten Tournament. Most expect it to be a tremendously exciting week of Big Ten action thanks to the sheer depth and talent in the league this season. From top to bottom, it’s hard to predict how things will go down in Chicago next week.
But before we dive into the bracket and how things might shake out, let’s make sure to take a quick look at the bracket itself. Here it is below.
2019 Big Ten Tournament Bracket:
To start, it’s important to remind folks about some of the basics of the Big Ten Tournament. The league’s bottom four teams will tip-off on Wednesday where two will advance to play on Thursday with the league’s middle tier. The top four seeds won’t begin play until Friday afternoon with the semi-finals and championship game being held over the weekend.
Not only do lower seeded teams get tougher matchups on paper, but they also likely have to play an additional day or two. Obviously, that’s not going to be an easy task for teams like Illinois, Northwestern, and Rutgers.
With that out of the way, let’s jump into the bracket itself.
On Wednesday, the Big Ten will likely have its most entertaining set of games since the conference tournament expanded to mid-week. An inconsistent Nebraska team gets a feisty Rutgers squad and a relatively resurgent Illinois faces off against Northwestern. On paper, Illinois should advance, but the other game looks pretty even.
Arguably the biggest question of Wednesday will be how the Huskers perform with the Tim Miles’ hot seat talk. A loss there could send Miles packing. It would also likely conclude a thoroughly disappointing season for the Huskers. After starting at 13-4 overall and having an inside path to the NCAA Tournament, Nebraska would likely miss the NIT. We’ll see if that ends up happening or the Huskers can take down Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights won the lone regular season meeting.
Thursday also should be a fun day for the Big Ten. Indiana and Ohio State will play in a legitimate bubble battle. A loss for either team would likely doom their NCAA at-large hopes. And later on, Minnesota will face a red hot Penn State and Maryland and a reeling Iowa will face the Wednesday winners. For the first time I can remember, nobody seems like a lock to get out of the Thursday slate of games.
And finally, the league’s top teams will get into action on Friday. Honestly, there isn’t a ton to breakdown there that hasn’t already been said. Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue look to be a notch up from everybody in the conference, but all have been vulnerable. On paper, it looks pretty likely that two or three of these teams will make it to Saturday and that two of them will end up playing for the Big Ten Tournament championship on Sunday.
Overall, this projects to be a fantastic week for the Big Ten Tournament. The league is as good as it’s been in recent memory and that figures to make for a plethora of great games over the coming days. It should be fun to follow and BTPowerhouse will keep you locked in.