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Big Ten March Madness: Purdue Closing in on No. 1 Seed

If Wisconsin protects its home court and tops Illinois in the first of four Big Ten games scheduled for Saturday, Purdue can wrap up the outright regular-season title with a win this weekend.

Purdue still leads the way when it comes to the odds of winning March Madness in the Big Ten. Will other Big Ten teams make some noise in the NCAA Tournament?

Big Ten March Madness: Purdue Closing in on No. 1 Seed
Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers is fouled by Jace Howard #25 of the Michigan Wolverines/Mike Mulholland/Getty Images/AFP

Illinois and Purdue are the only teams from the Big Ten ranked in the Top 25 in the national polls, but there will be more than just two teams from the conference earning invitations into the NCAA Tournament.

Purdue is the only Big Ten team with a winning record on the road and with a winning mark against ranked teams. That is something to consider when it comes to the March Madness predictions.

When looking at the college basketball futures odds, Purdue (+700) has the second-best odds of winning the national championship. Illinois (+3500) and Wisconsin (+5000) are the next Big Ten teams listed.

Here’s a look at the NCAA Tournament hopes for the Big Ten teams with just three weeks to go in the regular season.


Big Dance-Bound

Purdue is sitting pretty as a potential No. 1 seed in the March Madness bracket. The Boilermakers are tied with UConn for the national lead with a 9-3 record in Quad 1 games and all three losses have come to Quad 1 teams.

The Boilermakers are 6-0 against teams ranked in the Top 25 in the national polls and are sitting second in the NCAA NET rankings. Purdue also happens to have the top strength of schedule in the country.


Illinois is 16th in the NCAA NET rankings with two Quad 2 losses and a 4-5 record in Quad 1 games, keeping the Fighting Illini from making a push for the top 10.

Two of the losses for Illinois came when Illinois’ leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. missed time as a result of sexual assault allegations.

Wisconsin lost two of its last three games to fall into fourth place in the Big Ten standings. A 3-8 road record isn’t going to look good when the NCAA Selection Committee gets together. Four Quad 2 losses could be a problem.

Michigan State is 12th in strength of schedule and that has helped to push them into the top 25 in the NCAA NET rankings. A win over Purdue this weekend would certainly improve the resume for the Spartans.

Here’s a look at some March Madness odds to consider!

On the Bubble

Northwestern has won three games in a row and is sitting at 20-8. The seven Quad 4 games and one Quad 4 loss can’t be overlooked, which has the Wildcats at No. 48 in the NCAA NET rankings. Northwestern does have wins over Purdue and Illinois. The Wildcats wrap up the regular season by playing Iowa, Michigan State, and Minnesota so there is a chance to make a move before the start of the Big Ten tournament.

Nebraska has also won 20 games. However, 13 of the first 20 victories have come in Quad 3 or Quad 4 games, and that will not impress the NCAA selection committee. The Cornhuskers face Rutgers and Michigan to wrap up the regular season and that won’t help in the NET rankings or the strength of schedule.

Nebraska is 2-8 on the road and 4-7 in Quad 1 games.

Iowa is sitting at No. 60 in the NCAA NET rankings. The Hawkeyes have played their way into the conversation as a bubble team with recent wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State.

Take A Look At These Other 2 NCAAB March Madness Special Articles

Wait ‘Til Next Year

Ohio State, Maryland and Minnesota come in at No. 63, No. 70, and No. 76, respectively, in the NCAA NET rankings. However, a deeper dive throws cold water on their March Madness hopes.

Despite a stunning upset over Purdue, Ohio State has five Quad 1 or Quad 2 wins and is 1-8 on the road.

Maryland has a losing record in Quad 3 contests and has dropped eight of its 10 Quad 1 games. Minnesota has the best record in the nation against the college basketball spread but that can’t overcome some of the other numbers, including a 1-7 mark in Quad 1 games.

No. 90 Rutgers, No. 95 Penn State, No. 105 Indiana, and No. 129 Michigan would need to win the Big Ten tournament to be a part of the March Madness bracket.

College basketball lines are heating up. Bet on March Madness and see if you can be the champion!



Questions Of The Day

Which Big Ten teams have the best record against the spread against ranked teams this season?

Minnesota has covered against the Las Vegas NCAAB odds in all three of its games against ranked teams while Purdue is 4-1-1 ATS when facing teams in the top 25 in the national polls.

Which Big Ten team has the best odds to reach the Final Four?

Purdue is priced at +150 to reach the Final Four and that trails only defending national champion UConn. Illinois is the next Big Ten team with +700 odds to advance to the Final Four.

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