Game 1: Today at noon the B1G Tourney will kick off with 2 squads that had rather disappointing seasons and they both need to win the B1G to have any shot at post season play. (Granted, they should each be eligible for the NIT). The Illini and the Hoosiers should really stick it to each other today and I suspect that the Illini may prevail in this one having to face #1 Seed Michigan tomorrow.As for the rest of today’s games, Who I like and Why:
Game 2: Suckeyes vs. Purdon’t: In all honesty, I hate picking ohio here for the simple reason that they seemed to be sliding into March without the typical ohio identity of having a really good offense (they don’t) and a serviceable defense (this, they kind of have). Purdon’t could rally and turn into Purdue and easily win this game. But, the gambler in me says to go with the higher seed here and hopeGame 3: Gophers vs PSU: Didn’t we just see this game? Uh, yeah…we did. And for some reason, the Gophers looked incredibly desperate in it and PSU looked like a team that is more than capable. Again, while I believe the blue kitty kats can find a way to beat this team, the Gophers want (and NEEED) it more if they want to keep there bubble hopes alive. Take the Gophers….
Game 4: Iowa vs. the Purple Kitties: Wow…Iowa should win this game, but everyone seems like they’ve had their way with the Hawkeyes at one point or another. If Northwestern wants to play post season, they have to win the B1G Tourney. That probably won’t happen, but it would be nice to have an upset on Day 1…I guess the Illini fit that bill, so stay with the Hawkeyes here to advance and play Sparty.Friday:
Game 5: Michigan vs. Illinois: Yes, in the 1st day’s only upset, the Illini then get the opportunity (?) to face the Big Boys of the B1G. They really didn’t like the way the last game turned out and don’t expect the same kind of blow-out this time. But I would suspect that Michigan finds a way to beat the Illini again for a 2nd time this season.
Game 6: Nebraska vs. the Suckeyes: In what in any other year would be an upset, taking Nebraska here is taking the chalk. And I’m not sure I completely like it, but look at the OE for the Huskers vs. ohio and the decision becomes a little clearer….the Huskers aren’t afraid to score, regardless of the opponents D. Take the Huskers to make the Semis and look to seek revenge against Michigan’s season sweep!Game 7: Wiscy vs. Gophers: While I think this is the easiest game to pick in the quarterfinals, it could present problems for a Wiscy squad that had some difficulty with the Gophers earlier in the season. This could be an OT game, but stick with the B1G Tourney favorite (yes, they are favored over Michigan!) to win a close one.
Game 8: Sparty vs. Iowa: This is another game where my instincts are screaming “Stick with the Seed Line!” but my logic is saying something completely different. I don’t think Iowa loses 3 in a row to a faltering sparty team that has actually seen an increase in Turnovers and a reduction in FT% in the last 10 games of the regular season. I think the Hawkeyes find a way and earn a slightly better NCAA seed in the process. Take Iowa to go to the Semis in the Tourney's first BIG UPSET!!!
Game 9: Michigan vs. Nebraska: It’ll be tight. Expect a big game from the bench and that includes Spike and Irvin. Michigan finds a way and plays on Sunday against the Wiscy – Iowa winner.
Game 10: Wiscy vs. Iowa: Does Iowa continue to roll and get revenge against Wiscy for that last second home loss? Yeah, they do! IOWA IS ON A ROLL!!!SUNDAY
Game 11: Michigan vs. Iowa: In a surprise match-up that doesn’t include Wiscy, Michigan and Iowa square off for the rubber match of the season. Iowa takes an early double digit lead, but Michigan shoots its way back in to a victory in the 2nd half against a slightly weary Hawkeye squad playing its 4th game in as many days to take the B1G Tourney Championship!
Here’s the final bracket completed: