Big Ten Tournament Prediction
The 2018 Big Ten Tournament will get underway this week and features a number of top contenders for the crown. Here’s our breakdown and prediction for the tournament.
The Big Ten Tournament features 12 teams with the lowest four seeds opening play on Wednesday. Seeds 5-10 have byes into the second round while the top four seeds are in the quarterfinals. Play wraps up on Sunday and all games will take place from Madison Square Garden in New York.
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, both Michigan State and Purdue are listed as co-favorites, with each getting odds of +160 to prevail. Other short odds to win are Michigan (+400) and Ohio State (+600).
Michigan State owns the top seed in this week’s tournament after going 16-2 in Big Ten play to claim the outright title. MSU is also 28-3 overall and ranked No. 2 in the nation right now. The Spartans have won this tournament five times.
Purdue is looking to claim the Big Ten Tournament for just the second time in program history and first time since 2009. The Boilermakers are the second seed thanks to a 26-5 record overall and 15-3 mark in the Big Ten.
Ohio State is the third seed after also going 15-3 in the Big Ten, yet has lesser odds than Michigan, which is the fifth seed with a 13-5 Big Ten record. The Buckeyes have won this tournament five times, though it had to vacate one win. Michigan is the defending champion of the tournament and also won in 1998, though that had to be vacated.
When looking at the favorites, it looks like Michigan State is the team to beat. The Spartans had some shaky moments this season, but are playing the best right now. Purdue has hit a rough patch toward the end and Ohio State may have to face Penn State in its first game, a team it can’t seem to beat. If you are looking for a dark horse, consider Nebraska at +1600. The Cornhuskers have a bye into the quarterfinals as the fourth seed. They have quietly went 13-5 in the Big Ten this year. The Huskers are still considered a bubble team, so they have a lot to play for this week. However, my pick is still MSU. With the extra week off before the NCAA Tournament, there is no reason to conserve energy. I expect Tom Izzo to be fired up with his Spartans, which have the most talent.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: MICHIGAN STATE +160