We are one less Sunday away from the NCAA Tournament bracket being set in stone for 2023. Over the next few weeks, Maize n Brew will track where the experts have the Michigan Wolverines and the rest of the Big Ten.
However, since Michigan sits at 13-10 with only two Quad 1 wins, no experts currently have the Wolverines dancing next month. After back-to-back wins, they are trending upward, but still have ground to make up to be considered for the tournament.
For now, we’ll focus on the rest of the Big Ten and see if anything changes over the course of the next month.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi
February 4, 2023
Saturday was a hectic day in college basketball. There were five matchups where top-25 teams lost to teams ranked lower than them or unranked. That included an Indiana win over No. 1 Purdue in Bloomington. Many still expect the Boilermakers to come in as the top-ranked team, despite the loss.
Lunardi posted these rankings during some of this action, but he currently has eight Big Ten teams headed to the tournament and three others on the bubble. Purdue, Rutgers, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Maryland and Northwestern find their way in. Meanwhile, Wisconsin is in the first four out, and Penn State is the next four out. Michigan sat as the No. 84 team in his bracket and likely moved up a few spots after the win against Ohio State on Sunday.
In his scenario, Rutgers, Indiana and Illinois would all be in the 5-seed hole, one of the most upset-prone spots on the board. With the Hoosiers’ big win this weekend, I imagine they could be bumped to a 4-seed and have a chance to be even higher by the end of the month.
CBS’ Jerry Palm
Like Lunardi, Palm’s rankings came out before this weekend’s action and things are probably a little different thanks to some wild upsets.
Purdue is on the No. 1-seed line with Indiana and Illinois both coming in as 4-seeds. Then, three Big Ten programs come in as 7’s: Rutgers, Iowa and Michigan State. The Maryland Terrapins are right behind those three as an 8-seed. The 10-seeded Wisconsin Badgers sit just a tad higher than the Penn State Nittany Lions, who are one of Palm’s First Four. In total, nine Big Ten programs are going dancing prior to the start of this weekend while Northwestern is one of his First 4 out.
Since then, Northwestern beat Wisconsin, Penn State suffered an ugly loss to Nebraska, and Rutgers and Iowa each earned home wins on Saturday against Michigan State and Illinois, respectively. Odds are the Nittany Lions probably won’t be in the bracket in his next update.
SBNation’s Chris Dobbertean
Dobbertean has started his bracketology for 2023 and also released his latest update before the weekend, but here is how he sees things shake out for the conference.
The only team that is a “lock” is Purdue, who Dobbertean has sitting as one of the top seeds. Rutgers and Illinois are just behind the Boilermakers as “near locks” and you have to imagine Indiana has joined that clip after its win over Purdue. On Friday, the Hoosiers were in the “in decent shape” category with Iowa and Michigan State. Then, four teams come in “on the bubble” including Northwestern, Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Dobbertean praised the Wolverines’ win in Evanston over Northwestern last week, giving the the boost to the bubble status. Ohio State, Nebraska and Minnesota would only get in the tourney if they won the Big Ten Championship. One team I don’t see listed is Maryland, which may have just been an oversight in his conference-by-conference breakdown.