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2/1 Big Ten Hoops NCAA Tournament Bracket Tracker: 10 Teams Currently In Field of 68

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A look at where each Big Ten team landed in the most recent Fox College Hoops bracket projection.

NCAA Basketball: James Madison at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the BT Powerhouse Bracket Tracker. We’ll take a quick look at every Big Ten team’s current NCAA profile and their seeding according to the most recently updated Fox College Hoops bracket projection. With the understanding that one bracket source is not the rule, I will include the current NET ranking along with their NET records against the different tier levels of importance. It is important to mention that the NCAA has stated several times that the NET is an evaluation tool to arrange teams as the tournament selection gets closer. Outside of the conference tournament winners it is not necessarily the rest of the teams ranked the highest in the NET that get in. Let’s dive in, shall we?

NET Quad 1 Wins: 1-30 (Home), 1-50 (Neutral), 1-75 (Away)

NET Quad 2 Wins: 31-75 (Home), 51-100 (Neutral), 76-135 (Away)

Bad Losses: 76 or more (Home), 101 or more (Neutral), 136 or more (Away)

1. Let’s take a look at each team’s current tournament profile

Michigan State Spartans

  • Overall record: 16-5 Big Ten: 8-2
  • vs NET Quad 1: 4-5
  • vs NET Quad 2: 4-0
  • Bad Losses: None
  • Seed Projection: 2
  • NET ranking: #7
  • Upcoming games: @ Wisconsin 2/1 and vs Penn State 2/4

The Spartans took care of business this past week. They grabbed a road win at Minnesota which gave them another Quad 1 win. The home win over Northwestern was simply a game they couldn’t afford to lose on their quest for a 1 seed. The Spartans now sit on the 2 seed line. With a few big players in front of them losing this past week, it assisted their big jump. The Spartans will have two Quad 1 opportunities this week. The first of which will be an away game against a reeling Wisconsin team.

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Overall: 16-5 Big Ten: 8-2
  • vs NET Quad 1: 4-3
  • vs NET Quad 2: 3-1
  • Bad Losses: Miami (Home)
  • Seed Projection: 4
  • NET Ranking #29
  • Upcoming games: @ Iowa 2/2 and vs Maryland 2/7

The Illini had a huge week. They picked up a Quad 1 road win at Michigan and then held on against a feisty Minnesota team at home. It seems the Illini, won’t shy away from their chance at a league regular season title this year as they are still tied with Michigan State for 1st place. Illinois jumped up to the 4 seed line and will have two huge opportunities this week. The first being a road challenge against Iowa and then a massive home game against Maryland. If the Illini go 2-0 this week then you can’t help but think they may be the most dangerous team from the Big Ten come March.

Maryland Terrapins

  • Overall: 17-4 Big Ten: 7-3
  • vs NET Quad 1: 5-4
  • vs NET Quad 2: 5-0
  • Bad Losses: None
  • Seed Projection: 5
  • NET ranking #12
  • Upcoming games: vs Rutgers 2/4 and @ Illinois 2/7

Maryland has now rattled off 4 straight wins. They won at the always tough Assembly Hall against Indiana to start last week. The Terrapins followed it up with a huge win at home against the Iowa Hawkeyes. I am actually a bit surprised the Terrapins didn’t make it to the 4 seed line but they’ll have two chances for resume boosts this week with a home game against Rutgers and an away game at Illinois. Both teams have flipped the Big Ten on it’s head this year. It will be interesting to see how the Terrapins fare.

Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Overall: 15-6 Big Ten: 6-4
  • vs NET Quad 1: 4-4
  • vs NET Quad 2: 5-1
  • Bad Losses: @Nebraska
  • Seed Projection: 5
  • NET Ranking: #21
  • Upcoming games: vs Illinois 2/2 and @ Purdue 2/5

The Hawkeyes had a five game winning streak snapped at Maryland on Thursday but still remain in conference contention. Iowa’s profile is one of the best in the Big Ten and their offensive prowess could carry them far come tournament time. They remain a 5 seed but will have two key opportunities this week. First a home game against Illinois that would really help them get a step forward in the league standings. Then they’ll have an always difficult game at Purdue. If the Hawkeyes split the week they’ll remain in really good shape for a top tournament seed.

Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Overall: 15-5 Big Ten: 5-4
  • vs NET Quad 1: 5-3
  • vs NET Quad 2: 5-1
  • Bad Losses: Ole Miss (N)
  • Seed Projection: 5
  • NET Ranking #23
  • Upcoming games: @ Nebraska 2/1 and @ Michigan State 2/4

Penn State had a light week, only playing one game. They dominated an Indiana team that had been playing quite well as of late. This game kept the Nittany Lions on the right track as they look ahead to a tough road week. They first play against a Nebraska team that has given some of the best teams of the league a hard fought game. Then they play at Michigan State. A huge test for a Penn State team that wants to make this their best season of the last decade.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Overall: 16-5 Big Ten: 7-3
  • vs NET Quad 1: 2-4
  • vs NET Quad 2: 4-0
  • Bad Losses: St. Bonaventure(N)
  • Seed Projection: 6
  • NET Ranking #18
  • Upcoming games: vs Michigan 2/1 and @ Maryland 2/4

Rutgers had a tricky week but came through. They were at home for both games and started by needing a game winning shot from Geo Baker to beat Nebraska. Then Purdue game to town and the Scarlet Knights were dominate for the first half but allowed Purdue back to within 4 points late in the second half before icing the game. Rutgers will have a home game against a struggling Michigan team and then an extremely difficult challenge at Maryland. They are right in the thick of the Big Ten race, only 1 game back from 1st.

Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Overall: 13-7 Big Ten: 3-6
  • vs NET Quad 1: 3-5
  • vs NET Quad 2: 2-2
  • Bad Losses: None
  • Seed Projection: 8
  • NET Ranking #17
  • Upcoming games: vs Indiana 2/1 and @ Michigan 2/4

Ohio State had one game this week at Northwestern. They were in control throughout and won a game they couldn’t afford to lose. This week they have Indiana at home and a road game against Michigan. They will need to go at least 1-1 to stay afloat for now.

Indiana Hoosiers

  • Overall: 15-6 Big Ten: 5-5
  • vs NET Quad 1: 4-5
  • vs NET Quad 2: 2-1
  • Bad Losses: None
  • Seed Projection: 9
  • NET Ranking #46
  • Upcoming games: @ Ohio State 2/1

The Hoosiers had a tough week. It started with a heart breaking home loss against Maryland that saw they Terrapins score the final 7 points of the game to win by 1. They then followed it up by being dominated at Penn State. The Nittany Lion’s defense suffocated the Hoosiers. They will look to bounce back this week at Ohio State and hope to earn what would be an excellent profile boost.

Michigan Wolverines

  • Overall: 12-8 Big Ten: 3-6
  • vs NET Quad 1: 3-8
  • vs NET Quad 2: 2-0
  • Bad Losses: None
  • Seed Projection: 9
  • NET Ranking #35
  • Upcoming games: vs Rutgers 2/1 and vs Ohio State 2/4

The Wolverines are hanging on by a thread after what started as a very promising debut for Juwan Howard and the program. They lost by two at home to league leading Illinois and but then rebounded with a win at Nebraska. They are still without Isaiah Livers and had to play without Zavier Simpson against Nebraska due to suspension. The Wolverines could really use a 2-0 record this week.

Wisconsin Badgers

  • Overall: 12-9 Big Ten: 5-5
  • vs NET Quad 1: 4-7
  • vs NET Quad 2: 2-1
  • Bad Losses: (N) New Mexico
  • Seed Projection: 10
  • NET Ranking #31
  • Recent and upcoming: vs Michigan State 2/1 and @ Minnesota 2/5

The Badgers had a difficult road week. First they were dominated at Purdue and then they couldn’t seal the deal at Iowa in a hard fought game. If that wasn’t enough, they lost their 2nd leading scorer, Kobe King, to transfer. The Badgers are really hurting right now but remain on the right side of the bubble. This week is full of opportunity as they play host to Michigan State and then visit rival Minnesota for a grudge match.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Overall: 11-10 Big Ten: 5-6
  • vs NET Quad 1: 3-8
  • vs NET Quad 2: 2-2
  • Bad Losses: None
  • Seed Projection: None
  • NET Ranking #45
  • Upcoming games: vs Wisconsin 2/5

Purdue Boilermakers

  • Overall: 11-10 Big Ten: 4-6
  • vs NET Quad 1: 2-8
  • vs NET Quad 2: 3-1
  • Bad Losses: Nebraska (Away)
  • Seed Projection: None
  • NET Ranking #37
  • Upcoming games: @ Northwestern 2/1 and vs Iowa 2/5

I am going to lump Minnesota and Purdue into the same paragraph because it’s pretty straight forward for these two. They need wins to get back into tournament consideration. If either or both can get to 19 wins in the regular season, then I like their chances of getting into the tournament. Otherwise, both will be hoping for a miracle run through the Big Ten tournament.

Northwestern Wildcats and Nebraska Cornhuskers

On the matter of Northwestern and Nebraska, I will exclude them for now due to their lack of profile strength in regards to the NCAA tournament, Northwestern has a NET ranking of #152 and Nebraska #166.

2. Which team do you think will win the Big Ten ?

My answer: Illinois. I have become sold on the Illini after watching the intensity with which they play as well as the variety of scoring options they possess. They will be a dangerous team come March.

3. Which team has been the biggest disappointment compared to what you expected from them leading into the season?

My answer: Ohio State would be the most disappointing in my eyes. They were one of my favorites to win the Big Ten. Making matters worse, they started the season being exactly who I thought they’d be. Then by a combination of injuries, player issues, and dry shooting it seems they have lost themselves. I wonder if they can find it again though. They have a good coach and a lot of great pieces.