Big Ten Bubble Watch: Big Ten Tournament Edition

Two of the Big Ten's six locks for the NCAA tournament. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

Now that the pairings for the Big Ten Tournament are set, its time for another update on where the Big Ten stands regarding the number of teams that will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament. Click here to see the Bubble Watch for all conferences.

Michigan State’s home loss to Ohio State and Michigan’s victory over Penn State means that Michigan State, Michigan, and Ohio State will share the Big Ten title, being seeded in that exact order. Northwestern will have some work to do in the Big Ten Tournament, as they represent the last chance for the Big Ten to get more than six bids.

Locks:

Michigan State (24-7) (13-5); Michigan (23-8) (13-5); Ohio State (25-6) (13-5); Wisconsin (23-8) (12-6); Indiana (24-7) (11-7); Purdue (20-11) (10-8).

Michigan State

RPI: 5

SOS: 1

Top 50 RPI: 9-6

Michigan State wrapped up the top seed in the Big Ten Tournament last weekend, but dropped a pair of decisions to Indiana and Ohio State during the week, the latter of which ended the Spartans’ home winning streak. Still, Michigan State is in great shape for a protected seed, but may have lost the chance to score a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State will draw the winner of Iowa and Illinois.

Michigan

RPI: 13

SOS: 14

Top 50 RPI: 9-6

The Wolverines won roadies against Illinois and Penn State this past week. Michigan has won six of their last seven games, putting them in excellent position for a protected seed in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan’s win on Sunday in Happy Valley assured them of a two seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan earned a share of the Big Ten title with Ohio State’s win at Michigan State on Sunday. The Wolverines will play on Friday, drawing the winner of Northwestern and Minnesota.

Ohio State

RPI: 8

SOS: 13

Top 50 RPI: 9-5

Ohio State closed the Big Ten slate strong, with a pair of road wins against Northwestern and Michigan State during the week, earning a share of the Big Ten title and the third seed in the Big Ten Tournament, to be played in Indianapolis, starting on Thursday. The Buckeyes will draw the winner of Purdue and Nebraska.

Wisconsin

RPI: 22

SOS: 30

Top 50 RPI: 6-6

After losing three straight games in early in the Big Ten schedule, Wisconsin has won 11 of their last 14 games. Only one of those three losses down the stretch was by double digits – at Michigan State. Wisconsin beat Minnesota and Illinois this past week to lock up a first round bye. Wisconsin plays on Friday, drawing the winner of Indiana and Penn State.

Indiana

RPI: 11

SOS: 28

Top 50 RPI: 8-4

Like Wisconsin, Indiana struggled beginning conference play, starting 3-4. Indiana went 9-3 down the stretch, including a season sweep of in-state rival Purdue. Indiana also beat Michigan State during the week. Despite the Hoosiers’ strong finish, Indiana will have to play on day one of the Big Ten Tournament – but this is a team no one wants to face. Indiana will draw last place Penn State.

Purdue

RPI: 41

SOS: 26

Top 50 RPI: 6-8

Purdue split their games this week, beating Penn State, but falling to Indiana. Indiana swept Purdue this season. The Boilermakers will play Nebraska in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. They need to avoid a loss in order to guard against being dropped down.

--

Work to do:

Northwestern (18-12) (8-10).

Northwestern

RPI: 41

SOS: 9

Top 50 RPI: 1-10

Northwestern lost a heartbreaker at home to Ohio State during the week, but won at Iowa over the weekend. The split keeps Northwestern on the "work to do" line, for now, but they are clearly going to need to win a few in the Big Ten Tournament. The Wildcats have lost four of their last seven and are 2-10 against potential NCAA Tournament teams. Northwestern plays Minnesota on Tuesday in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Wildcats will need to beat the Gophers and Michigan, at least.

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