Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Buy or sell each Big Ten team in 2024 NCAA Tournament?

The Big Ten will send six bids to March Madness with hopes of crowning a champion for the first time since 2000.

Wisconsin v Illinois
Wisconsin v Illinois / David Berding/GettyImages
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As the 2024 Big Ten Tournament came to a close with confetti falling in an array of navy blue and bright orange with Illinois celebrating a 93-87 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, teams across the country began to focus their attention toward Selection Sunday to hear their fate or see where they will be selected in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

In the case of the Big Ten, there wasn’t much anticipation as to where or if teams would be selected besides Michigan State.

Thanks to a plethora of bid stealers during Champ Week, the 19-14 (10-10) Spartans had to wait until the final region to hear their name called, drawing a nine seed against Mississippi State and avoiding the First Four and a double-digit seed altogether.

Seems like there wasn’t much anticipation for Sparty after all.

With the league sending six bids to the NCAA Tournament, the Big Ten will once again have an opportunity to avenge its past NCAA Tournament struggles. Is this the year the Big Ten can break through? Or is this another year the Big Ten sputters down the stretch? 

Take a look as we buy or sell each Big Ten team in the NCAA Tournament.

Northwestern Wildcats

In the program’s first-ever back-to-back appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Chris Collins and the Wildcats earned a nine seed out of the East, drawing a matchup against last year’s Cinderella Florida Atlantic in the Round of 64.

Although it's a surprising matchup given the fact many perceived Florida Atlantic to be closer to the bubble than a single-digit seed, the Wildcats will have their hands full against an experienced, veteran-laden team in the Owls.

If Northwestern does advance, they will be tasked with dethroning last year’s national champion, the UConn Huskies.

A tough, tough, draw.

Northwestern is a team that has battled injuries throughout the year with Ty Berry suffering a season-ending meniscus tear and Matthew Nicholson missing the Big Ten Tournament with a foot injury.

With plaguing injuries on the roster, the Wildcats will look to lean heavily on First Team All-Big Ten star Boo Buie and Brooks Barnihzer, who also earned All-Big Ten honors as well.

Buy or Sell the Wildcats?

With a short-handed roster and a daunting matchup against UConn, if the Wildcats happen to get past Florida Atlantic, it's hard to truly buy into this team to make a deep run in March Madness.

Boo Buie is a terrific player and the job Chris Collins has done with this group is remarkable considering the circumstances of this year. This is a team that will play hard but they won’t have enough gas in the tank to advance to the second weekend and beyond. Sell the Wildcats.