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March Madness: Purdue Seeks Big Ten’s 1st Title Since 2000

Most of the focus when it comes to the odds of winning March Madness has been on Purdue as the Boilermakers are closing in on the Big Ten title. Will other Big Ten teams make some noise in the NCAA tournament?

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 teams from the conference earning invitations into the NCAA tournament.

March Madness Update: Purdue Seeks Big Ten’s First National Title Since 2000
Zach Edey #15 of the Purdue Boilermakers | Justin Casterline/Getty Images/AFP

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 would need to stumble, probably a couple of times, to lose its place as a top seed for the upcoming NCAA tournament.

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 and the nine Quad 1 wins are tied for the national lead.

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.

It will be interesting to monitor has the NCAA selection committee views the results because Illinois’ leading scorer Terrence Shannon Jr. missed time as a result of sexual assault allegations. Two of the losses for Illinois came when Shannon was suspended.

Wisconsin is a half-game out of second place in the Big Ten standings. A 3-7 road record is holding the Badgers back but Wisconsin has played the most Quad 1 games in the nation and is 7-6 in those games.

Michigan State is 12th in strength of schedule and that has helped to push them into the top 25 in the NCAA NET rankings even if the Spartans don’t always pass the eye test.

On the Bubble

It’s hard to know what to make out of Nebraska’s numbers. The next win would be the 20th for the Cornhuskers. However, 12 of the first 19 victories have come in Quad 3 or Quad 4 games, and that will not impress the NCAA selection committee.

Nebraska is 2-7 on the road and 3-7 in Quad 1 games. Perhaps Sunday’s game against Minnesota will help the case for the Cornhuskers but the rest of the regular-season schedule won’t be of much assistance for a team sitting 43rd in the NCAA NET rankings.

Northwestern is another team on the verge of a 20-win season. The seven Quad 4 games and one Quad 4 loss can’t be overlooked as that has the Wildcats at No. 55 in the NCAA NET rankings. Northwestern wraps 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.

Iowa is sitting at No. 63 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. A road win versus Illinois this weekend would be a huge boost to the at-large possibilities for Iowa.

Wait ‘Til Next Year

Ohio State, Maryland, and Minnesota come in at No. 67, No. 71, and No. 72 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 four Quad 1 or Quad 2 wins and is 0-8 on the road.

Maryland has a losing record in Quad 3 contests and has dropped seven of its nine 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 1-5 mark in Quad 1 games.

No. 92 Rutgers, No. 97 Penn State, No. 105 Indiana, and No. 119 Michigan would need to win the Big Ten tournament to be a part of the March Madness bracket.

 

 

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 both 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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