There are 12 Big Ten Basketball teams hovering around the top-50, they all have at least three quality wins, but only two were announced in the bracket reveal on Saturday. What do they need to do to get into the NCAA Tournament?
No matter how many teams end up in the NET top-50, Big Ten Basketball is not going to get 12 teams in the NCAA Tournament. A few of those teams may end up .500 or worse overall. I’m not a math major so I’m not about to figure that out exactly. If you know, tweet me. But there are four teams with nine or more losses as we end the second weekend in February. Half the Big Ten is at .500 or worse in league play. Two of the top-five were expected. The other four are not usually consistent enough in basketball.
When you go around each conference, it’s pretty clear who the locks are to make the Tournament, should be in’s and work left to do teams. The Big Ten has all these teams in the top-50, but are there really clear locks outside of Michigan State and Maryland? The first Big Ten team to appear in the NET barely sits in the top-10. The Big Ten only had two teams in the bracket reveal Saturday morning. Those were the Terrapins and Spartans at three and four seeds respectively.
If you go strictly by the NET, Indiana and Minnesota are the closest to falling outside the top-50. Both have only won one true road game all season. Not just in the Big Ten. Not to mention the Hoosiers just lost to Purdue at Assembly Hall where they’ve only lost twice prior. And the Boilermakers haven’t been able to buy a road win lately either. Indiana thought their record and wins over Michigan State and Florida State were the trump cards, but it’s getting harder and harder to use those anymore. The Gophers swept Ohio State, beat Michigan and Wisconsin. But the Gophers got swept by Michigan State and lost a winnable game to Penn State on the road.
Home court advantage has proven to be a real thing in the Big Ten this season. The only team over .500 overall in road games is Penn State at 4-3. The Nittany Lions own a pair of road wins in the state of Michigan and one in Lincoln. Maryland and Illinois are the only other two with three. And the Illini is the only team to have won three road games and not one coming to Nebraska or Northwestern. It’s going to be a tough final month, but I will highlight what teams need to do to find themselves in the NCAA Tournament.