The regular season has now drawn to a close, and the bracket for the Big Ten Tournament is now set. With Ohio State clearly on the outside of the NCAA Tournament right now, the Buckeyes will need to do some damage in the tournament if they want to play their way to the NCAAs. Unfortunately, their seeding did not do them any favors.
The Buckeyes did avoid having to play on the first day of the tournament, by thanks to earning the seven seed. They will face tenth seeded Penn State on Thursday, at 6:30 PM on ESPN2. The Buckeyes played Penn State once this season, winning easily at home, 66-46. They should be favored to win the second meeting.
The problem for Ohio State is more with who awaits them next. Should Ohio State win against Penn State, they'll face the second seeded Michigan State Spartans. Ohio State has played Michigan State twice in their last three games, and got destroyed both times, thanks to the Michigan State's offensive excellence. Should the third time be the charm for the Buckeyes, they will likely face the winner of Wisconsin/Maryland, a much more manageable matchup for Ohio State, even though both of those teams beat the Buckeyes during the regular season.
Ohio State has almost certainly clinched a spot in the NIT right now, even if they are upset by Penn State in the first game. But if the Buckeyes have designs on playing in the Big Dance, they absolutely need to beat Penn State and Michigan State, and maybe even need to get to the tournament finals to really feel comfortable.
You can view the entire tournament bracket below:
And here is the full schedule of games:
Illinois (12) vs. Minnesota (13) â 3:30 p.m. CT, ESPN
Nebraska (11) vs. Rutgers (14) â 6 p.m. CT, BTN
Michigan (8) vs. Northwestern (9) â 11 a.m. ET, BTN
Iowa (5) vs. Illinois (12)/Minnesota (13) â 1:30 p.m. ET, BTN
Ohio State (7) vs. Penn State (10) 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Wisconsin (6) vs. Nebraska (11)/Rutgers (14) 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Indiana (1) vs. Michigan (8)/Northwestern (9) Noon ET, ESPN
Purdue (4) vs. Iowa (5)/Illinois (12)/Minnesota (13) 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Michigan State (2) vs. Ohio State (7)/Penn State (10) 6:30 p.m. ET, BTN
Maryland (3) vs. Wisconsin (6)/Nebraska (11)/Rutgers (14) 9 p.m. ET, BTN
Semifinal 1: 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Semifinal 2: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Final: 3 p.m. ET, CBS