Hoge: Big Ten Tournament Predictions
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INDIANAPOLIS (CBS) — The Big Ten Tournament tips off from Bankers Life Fieldhouse today. A few years ago (2008, I believe) I had a perfect bracket. That was somewhat of a miracle and considering how wide open the field is this year, I can tell you there is a zero percent chance of that happening this time.
That said, here are my predictions that are sure to go wrong (click on the bracket for a larger image):
There are a ton of tough matchups to call. I really think the winner of the assumed Wisconsin-Indiana game has a good chance to make it to Sunday. Both teams are playing well and Michigan State is reeling right now, despite earning the No. 1 seed. I’m afraid the Spartans’ best basketball is behind them and Wisconsin and Indiana are playing well. The Badgers are actually a bad matchup for the Hoosiers because Wisconsin will slow them down, but UW hasn’t one a game here in the last three tournaments because they shoot very poorly in this building.
I’m really interested to see how good Ohio State really is. William Buford got a huge confidence boost when he nailed the game-winner in East Lansing Sunday to clinch a share of the Big Ten title. If he gets it going, the Buckeyes are a Final Four team. They come to Indy with momentum and have won the last two Big Ten Tournaments so these players know what it takes to win three games in three days. They’re the team to beat.
If there’s a true darkhorse in this tournament — and keep in mind a No. 5 or lower seed has made the championship game in each of the last four years — I’d say it’s Iowa. I have the Illini winning Thursday’s first round game, but if Iowa can get past Illinois, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take out Michigan State on Friday.