Big Ten Basketball: 2020 conference tournament preview and predictions

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Big Ten Basketball

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Greg Gard of the Wisconsin Badgers talks to D’Mitrik Trice #0 and Brevin Pritzl  (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The 2020 Big Ten Basketball Tournament has arrived and is taking place in Indianapolis for the first time since 2016. How many teams can do enough to earn themselves a spot in March Madness? How many upsets will we see?

It’s March. The time of the year that College Basketball fans everywhere live for. Whether you have a dog in the fight or not, there is no denying the thrill of March Madness.

This season, Big Ten Basketball has been labeled the “best conference in America”, and it could be true. There is a good possibility that at least 10 teams from the conference could receive at-large bids in the big dance.

Every single game in this conference is an absolute dog fight. No matter who is playing, their record, the location, there is always a chance for an upset to occur.

At the beginning of conference play, nobody could win on the road. A conference road win in January was a sacred item, and not many teams could seem to figure out how to win away from home.

As January ended and February began, teams began to separate themselves from the pack. Road wins became less shocking, and a strong group of teams began to play to their potential.

Michigan State and Ohio State began the year on top of the rankings, envisioning themselves hoisting the trophy in April. That lasted about two hours, as Michigan State fell in their first game to Kentucky in the Champions Classic.

Ohio State struggled as well, losing four straight games to end December and begin January, and eventually fell out of the rankings altogether.

Both programs figured it out in February, and have played their way back into the conversation and have a chance to do some damage in the tournament.

The surprise team of the conference could be the play of the Wisconsin Badgers, who surged late to clinch a share of the Big Ten title. The Badgers won their last eight games and have been playing their best basketball of late.

The Maryland Terrapins also clinched a share of the Big Ten title after a rough stretch of games that saw them lose three of four, ultimately letting Wisconsin and Michigan State grab shares of the title as well.

The aforementioned Spartans clinched their share of the title on the season’s final day, winning at home over Ohio State and snagging the 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Another surprise this season was the play of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Brad Underwood has a much-improved squad that has a chance to make some noise in both tournaments. They will be the 4 seed and play on Friday.

Anything is possible in March, and the Big Ten is as wide open as ever. It’s going to be exciting to see which team will hoist the trophy next Sunday.

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