Reporting Adam Hoge
By Adam Hoge-
UNITED CENTER (CBS) For the second straight season, the top four seeds at the Big Ten Tournament have advanced to the semifinals. Here’s a quick look at what to watch for Saturday at the United Center:
No. 1 Indiana (27-5, 14-4) vs No. 4 Wisconsin (22-10, 12-6)
What’s At Stake: Seeding. With two wins this weekend, Indiana has supplanted itself as a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but a win over Wisconsin could give them the No. 1 overall seed over Gonzaga. More importantly, the Hoosiers just need to stay ahead of Louisville, who could steal the Indianapolis regional from them.
For the Badgers, they’re just looking at moving up the seeding list. Two wins over Indiana this season would boost their resume a lot.
Players To Watch: Jared Berggren and Cody Zeller. The biggest reason the Badgers handed the Hoosiers one of their two home losses this season is because they were able to neutralize Zeller in the second half. Berggren needs to stay out of foul trouble for Wisconsin to win.
Quick Pick: Tom Crean is 3-16 against Wisconsin and 3-14 against Bo Ryan in his career. The Badgers have also won 11 straight against the Hoosiers, including a win over IU in last year’s Big Ten Tournament. So, naturally, I’m going with Indiana.
No. 2 Ohio State (24-7, 13-5) vs No. 3 Michigan State (25-7, 13-5)
What’s At Stake: Seeding. As long as Michigan State keeps winning, the possibility of a 2-seed remains. For the Buckeyes, they’ve probably move up to the 3-line, but a win today would like guarantee at least a 3-seed.
Players To Watch: Keith Appling and Aaron Craft. Always a fun matchup to watch. Appling electrified the Spartans and sparked their comeback on Iowa Friday night with his monstrous dunk, but easy baskets like that will be hard to come by with Craft guarding him.
Quick Pick: Ohio State. Since getting blown out at Wisconsin Feb. 17, the Buckeyes have won six straight games, including an eight-point win over Michigan State. They matchup well against the Spartans and I like them to win a thriller at the United Center.
For Big Ten Tournament coverage throughout the weekend, follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamHogeCBS.