Earlier this morning, ESPN updated its bracketology for the 2019 NCAA Tournament and March Madness and eight Big Ten teams were fortunate enough to make the cut. Although there are still plenty of moving parts, the Big Ten looks poised to lead the national in bids to this year’s NCAA Tournament.
While Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin were the only teams to make the cut, Nebraska and Ohio State also just missed the field. Perhaps the most interesting absence was Iowa, who made last year’s NCAA Tournament, but has seen an up and down season so far.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected.
Big Ten In 3/17 ESPN Bracketology By Seed:
- No. 2 - Michigan
- No. 2 - Michigan State
- No. 4 - Purdue
- No. 4 - Wisconsin
- No. 6 - Maryland
- No. 8 - Iowa
- No. 9 - Minnesota
- No. 11 - Ohio State
- First Four Out - Indiana
While it would be disappointing to see Indiana miss out on a bid to this year’s March Madness, that’s a pretty impressive projected seeding for the league. Michigan and Michigan State are poised to be among the top eight and Purdue and Wisconsin would also have solid paths to the Sweet 16 as well.
The major thing still on the line on Sunday will be whether Michigan or Michigan State can push their way into a one seed with a win in the Big Ten Tournament title game. My gut says they will miss out, but I think the Spartans have a shot. Fans will also want to root against Tennessee in the SEC title game, as the Volunteers are another team vying for one of the one seeds this afternoon.
You can see the full field here.