On Wednesday, ESPN updated its bracketology for the 2022-’23 college basketball season and seven Big Ten teams were fortunate enough to make the cut. While that’s a step back from the league’s performance in recent years, it’s still an impressive accomplishment and puts more than half the conference in position for a postseason bid.
Here is how the Big Ten was projected.
Big Ten In 8/9 ESPN Bracketology By Seed:
- No. 4 - Indiana (AQ)
- No. 6 - Illinois
- No. 7 - Michigan
- No. 8 - Michigan State
- No. 8 - Purdue
- No. 10 - Iowa
- No. 10 - Ohio State
- First Four Out - Rutgers
As noted above, that’s an impressive grouping. The Big Ten projects to have five teams favored in Round of 64 matchups and a few of those in position to make noise after that. It would also put half the league into the field and another team (Rutgers) narrowly outside.
With that said, there’s obviously still some room for improvement. To start, Indiana currently projects to be the Big Ten’s highest seeded team. And while that’s not troublesome in itself, it is when you consider Indiana is presently slotted as a four seed. Entering March without a team in the top 12 isn’t exactly encouraging. It leaves a distinct possibility the Big Ten fails to make it out of the first weekend. Such would be a major disappointment.
Additionally, it’s also disappointing to see so few teams above the eight spot. It’s an important divide because the winner of the 8/9 game projects to face a one seed in the Round of 32. Obviously, that’s not an easy matchup and it’s even rougher in the first round for teams seeded 10 or below. All of that leaves room for the Big Ten to grow. Fans will hope to see a better performance when the teams actually take the court this fall.
You can see the full field here.