On Saturday afternoon, the NCAA Tournament Committee released its first (and only) early look at the field heading into Selection Sunday. It’s only been a few years since the Committee starting giving an early look, but it’s quickly become a marking point of the season. 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:
NCAA Bracket reveal— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) February 19, 2022
@NovaMBB and @KUHoops among the Top 16 for 5th time in 6 years pic.twitter.com/HS0QWJ4f1x
From the Big Ten’s perspective, Purdue is clearly the team to watch moving forward. The Boilermakers narrowly missed out on a one seed and are still very much alive for one of the best slots on Selection Sunday. The team’s going to need to do some serious work to get there, but this list clearly suggests that’s still in play.
The divide between Purdue and Illinois was also pretty interesting. Illinois has some rough losses, but the team atop the Big Ten standings and only a few spots behind the Boilermakers on KenPom. We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out. However, it seems likely Illinois will end up seeded a bit higher when all’s said and done.
Wisconsin also narrowly made the top 16 in the committee’s early look. The Badgers have been inconsistent this season, but have some great wins on their resume. If the team can get some momentum down the stretch, a great seed is still in play.
The other question that Big Ten fans will likely have is about how close some of the other teams are to the top 16. ESPN had Michigan State and Ohio State as five seeds in its latest bracketology, so both are still in the picture. Neither made the cut on Saturday, but don’t count them out just yet.
Nonetheless, things will remain interesting in the weeks to come. Stay tuned to BTPowerhouse for more updates as the season continues.