Tuesday, March 03, 2009

1. Michigan State (13-3)
It's all over but the shouting. Congrats, Big Ten champs.

2. Purdue (11-5)
The Boilers should handle NU at home just fine to clinch at least a share of second place, but at MSU on Senior day in the final game is pretty daunting. All this settled now, the question for Boiler fans is: how far do these guys get without a healthy Hummel in the NCAA tourney?

3. Illinois (11-6)
Getting owned at home by Michigan State finally proved what I've been thinking about these guys all along- they just are not at a level of title contender. I've seen a lot of these kinds of teams at Indiana: they're a good team that plays well together (usually) and when they're hitting their threes they are a very formidable opponent indeed. But this is the end of road for Meachem, Frazier, and Brock, barring a great run in the postseason. The Illini have to win at PSU or they'll fall into that 4-5 bracket in the conference tourney.

4. Penn State (9-7)
The Nittany Lions have probably the weakest non-conference resume of all the Big Ten bubble teams, so they need to make sure that they beat Illinois at home on Senior Day, and then win at Iowa to clinch a top-three finish (heck, maybe even tie for second!) to ensure a NCAA bid. Drop one of those games, and PSU will have to make it up in the conference tourney. Drop both, and PSU will be headed back to the NIT.

5. Wisconsin (9-7)

The home win over Michigan, combined with a probable senior day win over Indiana, has just about secured Wisconsin's redemption. They've got a tough game (and probable loss) at Minnesota looming, but to finish with a winning record after that brutal in-conference six-game losing streak shows that old Bo Ryan dominance we've come to respect. Consider that outside that losing streak, Wisconsin has been 9-1 in conference this year, and the only loss was at Michigan State. Now, that streak does count, and Wisconsin needs to make sure that it takes care of business, but I suspect they'll be okay on Selection Sunday.

6. Minnesota (8-8)
Losing in Champaign is nothing to hang one's head about, but Minnesota also is firmly on the bubble and has two games left with teams who are on it as well. Minnesota faces Wisconsin and Michigan, and although they're at both at home, Michigan especially could bump Minnesota off the bubble if they engineer a sweep of the Gophers. Michigan has a better non-conference SOS and signature wins, so it is imperative for Tubby's NCAA chances that Minny fends off that other UM.

7. Ohio State (8-8)
The Buckeyes won a blowout over Penn State at home, but then got blown out by Purdue on the road. OSU is now firmly on the bubble, but the schedule is pretty good from here. As long as Matta can get his guys to win at Iowa and fend off Northwestern at home, a rematch with Iowa awaits in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. Win those three games, and I think OSU will have done enough to get an at-large NCAA bid. Any slip-ups tho, and they don't deserve to get in.

8. Michigan (8-9)
This continues to be a two-step-forward/one-step-back year for Michigan. They notched a great home win over Purdue, but then lost a tough one at Wisconsin. Coach Beilien is a year ahead of where I thought he'd have this team, but it won't be good enough to make the NCAA tourney, unless Michigan wins at Minnesota and gets to the semi-finals of the Big Ten tourney... at least.

9. Northwestern (7-9)
The Wildcats have an overall winning season sewn up, and have tied for the second-highest ever win total for NU! A blowout win at Indiana and close home win over Iowa have left NU with a chance to pull in .500 in conference with two games left. However, those games are at Purdue and at Ohio State. It's not impossible to get both, but very unlikely, which leaves me thinking that Carmody's team is pretty much locked into a NIT berth.

10. Iowa (4-12)
The Hawkeyes, incredibly, looked competitive in both road games at MSU and NU. The bad news is that the Hawkeyes are now 0-9 in conference road games. They've got two home games to try to boost their overall record back over .500, and they've got Cyrus Tate back. However, point Jeff Peterson is unlikely to make it back this season, and that may create much of a difference in the final games against PSU & OSU.

11. Indiana (1-15)
All the remaining "reasonable" chances for wins have now gone by the wayside, so barring a huge upset, Indiana looks bound for 1-17 conference season. The Hoosiers could surprise somebody in the conference tourney, but as the #6 seed will still be trying to prove their worth to the NCAA selection committee, it seems pretty unlikely. It's been a year of survival, and faithful Hoosier fans who suffered through this season will be rewarded in the future.


At 9:17 AM, Blogger Caitlin said...

Who are you, College Basketball Chronotope? You seem so mysterious and sexy. Hoosier Fun Ball? Count me in!! I'd like to get to know you better. ;)

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Indiana Fan said...

I'm afraid I can't reveal my true identity, but I'll email you my digits.
Why don't you give me a call sometime, and maybe we can find the Fun?


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