Sunday, March 09, 2008

March Madness looms...
Finally, the best sports time of year is upon us. No more beating the heck out of teams that know each other better than they know themselves (I truly believe that is what stands in MSU's way each year - the understanding of tendencies). No more playing in or playing out, well, except for the rare case of a huge run by an unexpected team in the Big Ten Tournament. And just a few more days of listening to the know-nothing media regaling us with how bad the Big Ten is. Note, that's the same horrible, awful, atrocious, vomit-inducing "bad" Big Ten that has sent nine teams to the Final Four over the past ten seasons.

First thing's first, however. Big Ten Tournament time. Time to predict what'll happen and what it will mean come Selection Sunday:

Thursday:
(9) Michigan vs. (8) Iowa: Truly a toss up. Michigan had been playing better of late until Purdue finished strong in the finale. Iowa plays smothering defense but can go scoreless for long periods of time. Winner gets Wisconsin. Todd Lickliter comes home and Iowa has familiar Big Ten Tourney result. Iowa 63 - Michigan 60

(10) Illinois vs. (7) Penn State: Penn State took out Illinois twice this year and is riding high after the upset win over Indiana. The Nittany Lions can ensure at least a .500 season with a win and keep NIT hopes alive. Illinois has been an 11 that's made it to the finale before, might they do that as a 10 this year? Not likely, but the Illini play great defense and PSU is without its top two players. Illinois 58 - Penn State 55.

(11) Northwestern vs. (6) Minnesota: Northwestern is truly better than their 1-17 record indicates. Minnesota overachieved this year and still has a very, very long shot to make the Dance. The Gophers get a win and set up a battle with the Hoosiers. Minnesota 68 - Northwestern 57.

Friday:
8/9 Winner vs. (1) Wisconsin: Iowa has a history in this tournament but now the Badgers are playing for the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region. Wisconsin 64 - Iowa 52.

(5) Ohio State vs. (4) Michigan State: The Spartans more or less dominated the Buckeyes for 30 minutes on Sunday but in the end fell victim to a nemesis that had seemed to be put to death - unforced and untimely turnovers that lead to opponent baskets. The Spartans are likely locked into a 5 or 6 but if they win this thing, might sneak as high as a 3 and get assigned to the Midwest. That and the opportunity for the Drew's to get some sort of Big Ten title drive the team to a win. Michigan State 64 - Ohio State 58.

7/10 Winner vs. (2) Purdue: Illinois and Purdue renew an underrated rivalry. The Illini need to win this thing to make any postseason tournament. Purdue is playing for seeding... with a two still not impossible if a long shot. Purdue edges Illinois to live until Saturday. Purdue 67 - Illinois 63.

6/11 Winner vs. (3) Indiana: Minnesota gave the Hoosiers fits at The Barn and played them semi-tough on the road. Beating teams three times is tough, but a win here sets up a great rematch with the Boilermakers. IU makes it the first time all four top seeds make the semis. Indiana 74 - Minnesota 58.

Saturday:
(4) Michigan State vs. (1) Wisconsin: I so want to pick my Alma mater in this one. The Badgers have so often stood in the Spartans' way in this tournament over the past few years. On one hand, I think this is a chance for revenge and for State to serve notice that this is its time of year. On the other, Wisconsin is hot for a number one seed. I'll go with my head and not my heart... Wisconsin 59 - Michigan State 57.

(3) Indiana vs. (2) Purdue: Speaking of revenge... Purdue is seeking some. IU is the only team the Boilers did not beat this season and last week's loss at OSU cost the old gold and black a share of the league crown. They want one more shot. Purdue 68 - Indiana 65.

Sunday:
(2) Purdue vs. (1) Wisconsin: The tables are turned with this one. The only team to hand UW a loss in conference play? Purdue - twice. The crowd will be with the home state Boilermakers but Wisconsin is on a mission. No. 1 seed, here they come... Wisconsin 65 - Purdue 60.

March Madness...
OSU will stay on the bubble with a quarterfinal loss but sneak in and be a tough 11 seed.

Michigan State can move a lot with a tournament title but won't lose much ground with their resume if an early exit rears its ugly head. Give 'em a 5, the same position from which they went to their last Final Four....

Indiana is the enigma. Talented enough to go deep, mental enough to go one and done. I think the Hoosiers can swing as high as a 3 and as low as a 6. Give them a 5.

Purdue is pretty well locked in at this point. Win the thing and a 2 is not out of the question. Lose early and maybe they fall to a 6. I'll say with the finals loss I've predicted that they get a 4.

Wisconsin has a lot to gain. Win the postseason title with the regular season solo championship and say hello to a No. 1 in the Midwest.

18 comments:

Badger Tracker said...

#1 seed, eh? We need you on the Selection Committee pronto.

I think after the Duke and Stanford losses, the Badgers only need to make it to the championship game and win or lose they'll be a two seed ... but the committee usually winds up putting UW a slot or two below where Big Ten fans would generally rate them.

Andy Gamm said...

I think UNC has the 1 in the East. UCLA the 1 in the West. Memphis will get it in the South. That means it is between Texas, Kansas and UW for the Midwest. Kansas could spoil it, but I think they get rewarded...

Anonymous said...

Possible #1 seed for Wisconsin.

Rofl, you obviously would fail bracketology 101.......

Andy Gamm said...

Enlighten me?

In my opinion, Wisconsin deserves it - if they go 16-2 in B10 play AND win the B10 Tourney - over a Texas squad they've beaten (at Texas mind you), over a Tennessee team that is more likely to supplant Memphis anyway due to head to head. Kansas is the only one that could wrench it up.

And, BTW, thanks for the opinion. I have mine, you have yours... that's what's great about sports.

Phats said...

Hey Andy
Are we suppose to go ahead and pick these games?

I think the 1 seeds will be UNC, UCLA, Memphis, and Texas(if they win the Big 12 tournament

mayo170 said...

Looks like I'm going to have to get used to being a middle of the pack Gammer. This time around, the Get Gamm OSU Alumni Club follows me.

Andy, are we picking brackets for the B10 Tourney?

mayo170 said...

I'm putting these in, just in case. I don't want to end up like Andrew J...

Game 1: Iowa 76 UM 71
Game 2: PSU 63 Illinois 70
Game 3: Minnesota 54 NW 49

Game 4: Wisconsin 59 Iowa 55
Game 5: MSU 71 OSU 65
Game 6: Purdue 69 Illinois 59
Game 7: IU 59 Minnesota 63

Game 8: Wisconsin 72 MSU 78
Game 9: Purdue 68 Minnesota 67

Game 10: MSU 59 Purdue 61

Phats said...

Just in Case as well

IOWA 64 michigan 62
ILLINOIS 71 penn state 59
MINNESOTA 67 northwestern 53

WISCONSIN 64 iowa 56
MICHIGAN STATE 70 ohio state 69
PURDUE 77 illinois 65
INDIANA 66 minnesota 61

WISCONSIN 64 michigan state 62
PURDUE 70 indiana 65

PURDUE 69 wisconsin 61(what can I say I am a Boiler!)

Dan Meyer said...

Thursday:
Iowa 58 vs MICHIGAN 62
PENN STATE 72 vs Illinois 68
MINNESOTA 74 vs Northwestern 65

Friday:
WISCONSIN 68 vs Michigan 57
MICHIGAN STATE 77 vs Ohio State 72
PURDUE 68 vs Penn State 63
Indiana 66 vs MINNESOTA 70

Saturday:
Wisconsin 68 vs MICHIGAN STATE 72
Purdue 62 vs MINNESOTA 65

Sunday:
MICHIGAN STATE 77 vs Minnesota 65

Tournaments:
Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Northwestern are true win or go home.

Penn State might make the CIT by beating Illinois but would have a much better chance if they beat Purdue, also.

Ohio State and Minnesota are both on the bubble with the scenario above. My GUESS: OSU a 11/12 seed in the Big Dance, Minnesota a 2/3 region seed in the NIT.

Seeds for the NCAA locks: Wisconsin a 3 (but I think that the Badgers can go very deep), MSU a 4, Purdue a 5 and IU a 6.

mayo170 said...

Since the Dance is right around the corner... Does anyone think this could be the year a 16 beats a 1 seed? There have been some very crazy things going on in sports lately and if it were to happen this year, I wouldn't be shocked.

Buckeye Nation said...

Thursday
Iowa 66 Michigan 61
Illinois 68 Penn State 63
Minnesota 64 Northwestern 55

Friday
Wisconsin 76 Iowa 67
Ohio State 65 Michigan State 63
Purdue 69 Illinois 61
Indiana 66 Minnesota 60

Saturday
Wisconsin 68 Ohio State 64
Purdue 71 Indiana 68

Sunday
Wisconsin 70 Purdue 68

AndrewJ1313 said...

I hear ya, Phats. I gave up a long time ago. I missed two weeks and figured, what's the point?! I'll just wait for the tourney and see how I do;)

AndrewJ1313

mayo170 said...

Congrats to the Buckeyes on getting Pryor. Hopefully this kid lives up to the hype and doesn't end up the next Ron Powlus or Jimmy Clausen. Should be an exciting couple of years in Columbus.

Dan Meyer said...

Looks like 3-0 on Maundy Thursday. Time for IU to "represent" tomorrow!

Dan Meyer said...

Congrats to the Badgers and Spartans! Purdue gave a good effort, but poor shooting hurt. Nevertheless, Xavier won the game more than Purdue lost it; the Musketeers played well and showed themselves worthy of a #3 seed.

AndrewJ1313 said...

I love that the two No. 1's I didn't even have in the final four are in the championship game. Ah, my bracket looks like my Get Gamm picks - a total mess!

BruceS said...

Greetings to all. Haven't been on this site much since the end of football season. It's just too laborious for me to keep up with all the BB games and try to predict all those scores, (no disrespect to you, Andy). I'm ready to talk some B10 football following the Spring practices for all the schools.
The MSU Spartans certainly have been making headlines lately with all the QB's coming and going. I'm happy Nichol has decided to enroll at MSU. He was a much heralded recruit in the past. He chose to go elsewhere but has now returned. I'm not upset with him going elsewhere after we made a coaching change. I'm sorry to lose Foles in all of this though.
I am hopeful the Spartans can build upon a solid first season under Dantonio. Let's hear from some of you others about your favorite B10 school. GO GREEN

AndrewJ1313 said...

bruce,

I think most college football fans are well aware of how Ohio State looks at this point, so I don't think I need to go into too much detail about that. Ohio State has a few tough road games this season, and one in particular at Southern Cal. At this point, OSU stands a great chance of returning to the NC game (I can hear America booing now). I hope the nation has enjoyed belittling Ohio State and the Big Ten these past two years because they may not get a chance to do it again for a long time. The 2006 Buckeyes were great, but went into the NC game unprepared, out of shape and over confident. Last years Buckeyes made too many mental mistakes to beat a seasoned LSU team (5 personal fouls, are you kidding me!?). This years team has quality, quantity, experience and will be great. IF OSU returns to the NC game and plays the SEC, it will not look anything like the previous two years, I guarantee it.

Besides OSU, I'm really interested to see the rest of the Big Ten this year. Illinois lost a great weapon at RB, but will still be a contender for the Big Ten crown. Wisconsin will also be in the mix and could reach a BCS bowl this year. Indiana is no longer a door mat and might make some noise this year. I don't know what to make of Iowa or Purdue. Iowa could go either way and Purdue will probably end up under acheiving again.

The team that has the biggest question mark has got to be Michigan. Can Rich Rod get his offense in place without a run and gun QB? UM lost a lot of offensive talent and experience this past season but they are Michigan. I think Michigan wins anywhere from 4 to 8 games this season, but who knows. Rich Rod hasn't been making a positive impression for himself nationally, how is he being received in Ann Arbor?