Sunday evening was probably a bit exciting at the Big Ten offices in Chicago, as at about the midpoint of the second half in the conference’s final regular season game, the No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers were blowing out the Ohio State Buckeyes. So, I am sure that the B1G staff felt very comfortable in putting their final Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket together.
Then, Chris Holtmann’s squad mounted a ridiculous comeback to force overtime, before eventually falling 73-67. No doubt that caused some anxious moments in the Windy City.
Nonetheless, Ohio State enters the conference tournament as the No. 8 seed and will be the designated home team when they take on No. 9 Indiana to open up action in the second round on Thursday. The game will tip at 12:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. CT from the United Center in Chicago.
The winner will take on the top-seeded Michigan State Spartans the following day. The Buckeyes beat Indiana in their only meeting of the season in a 55-52 win in Bloomington, Ind. on Feb. 10. However, the Hoosiers have been hot as of late; winning their final four regular season contest.
If OSU advances, they will take on the Spartans, having dropped both games against the conference champs this year (86-77 on Jan. 5 and 62-44 on Feb. 17).
Should IU win on Thursday, it will set up a rematch against Tom Izzo’s squad, after the Hoosiers have beaten MSU twice already this year (79-75 on Feb. 2 and 63-62 on March 2).
The battle between OSU and IU very well might be the determining factor as to who goes to the NCAA Tournament. Both teams are on the bubble, especially following the Buckeyes’ Kaleb Wesson-less three-game skid to end conference play.
Check out the full Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket here: