CBB Review prepares you for every conference tournament leading up to Selection Sunday. Up next: The Big Ten Tournament.
The Big Ten has had a wild season, featuring arguably the top two players in the country, Zach Edey and Trayce Jackson-Davis. The conference standings featured Purdue winning by 3 games, and numbers 2 through 12 finishing within 3 games of each other. There is still a lot to play for in the Big Ten Tournament for many teams in terms of seeding.
2023 Big Ten Awards
Player of the Year: Zach Edey, Purdue
Freshman of the Year: Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana
Transfer of the Year: Jahmir Young, Maryland
Coach of the Year: Matt Painter, Purdue
- G: Jahmir Young, Maryland (16.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.2 SPG)
- G: Jalen Pickett, Penn State (18.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 39.3 3P%)
- F: Kris Murray, Iowa (20.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.1 BPG, 1.0 SPG)
- C: Zach Edey, Purdue (21.9 PPG, 12.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.3 BPG, 61.1 FG%)
- C: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana (20.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.9 APG, 2.8 BPG, 56.9 FG%)
- G: Tyson Walker, Michigan State (14.8 PPG, 2.8 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 42.9 3P%)
- G: Boo Buie, Northwestern (17.2 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.4 RPG, 1.1 SPG)
- G: Terrence Shannon Jr., Illinois (17.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.3 SPG)
- C: Cliff Omoruyi, Rutgers (13.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 0.9 APG, 2.1 BPG, 51.1 FG%)
- C: Hunter Dickinson, Michigan (18.2 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.7 BPG, 56.0 FG%)
Big Ten Tournament Simulation
First Round – Wednesday, Mar. 8
12. Wisconsin (17-13, 9-11) vs. 13. Ohio State (13-18, 5-15) – 6:30 p.m. on BTN
After a strong start, Ohio State had a very disappointing end to its season. Wisconsin has been in a bunch of close games, and they find themselves squarely on the bubble. Wisconsin won their only matchup earlier in the season, but Ohio State has been playing better as of late. Their jump shooting is going to allow them to possibly pull off an upset in round one.
Joe’s pick: 13. Ohio State
11. Nebraska (16-15, 9-11) vs. 14. Minnesota (8-21, 2-17) 9 p.m. on BTN
Minnesota has been one of the worst major conference teams all season, but they have shown a bit of life over the past two games. However, Nebraska has been legitimately good over the past three weeks, winning six of their past eight. Nebraska would have to make a very deep run, but there is a small chance they could sneak their way into the NCAA Tournament. They have been the better team all season, and I see no reason that changes now.
Joe’s pick: 11. Nebraska
Second Round – Thursday, Mar. 9
8. Michigan (17-14, 11-9) vs. 9. Rutgers (18-13, 10-10) – Noon on BTN
This may be the most important game in the entire Big Ten Tournament. Michigan found themselves on the bubble because of early season struggles, and they will probably need two wins to make the tourney. Rutgers lost seven of their last nine to find themselves on the bubble. Rutgers has not looked the same since Mawot Mag got injured, and I don’t think that changes now.
Joe’s pick: 8. Michigan
5. Iowa (19-12, 11-9) vs. 13. Ohio State – 2:30 p.m. on BTN
This would be a super high-scoring game, with both teams featuring high-scoring offenses and poor defenses. Iowa has been very up and down, but if they are on, they are built for the tournament format. This would feature two future pros in Kris Murray and Brice Sensabaugh, both being prolific scorers. In the end, Iowa has too many options for Ohio State to overcome, and Iowa is able to force enough turnovers to get the win.
Joe’s pick: 5. Iowa
7. Illinois (20-11, 11-9) vs. 10. Penn State (19-12, 10-10) – 6:30 p.m. on BTN
Penn State, and specifically Jalen Pickett, had Illinois’ number in both of the in-season matchups. Illinois has been a super up-and-down team. I still think their best is one of the best, but it does not come out often. Penn State has the ability to get super hot from three at any moment which makes them a dangerous team. They won five of their last six to be right on the bubble, and they have much more to play for in this. Pickett and Seth Lundy go off to get the win and secure an NCAA birth.
Joe’s pick: 10. Penn State
6. Maryland (20-11, 11-9) vs. 11. Nebraska – 9 p.m. on BTN
All season the formula has been simple for Maryland. If they were at home, they would win. If they were not, they would lose. Now it will be neutral site games. Nebraska would need this game to continue any hope of playing in the postseason, but Maryland will have the best player on the floor in Jahmir Young that should be enough to win.
Joe’s pick: 6. Maryland
Quarterfinals – Friday, Mar. 10
1. Purdue (26-5, 15-5) vs. 8. Michigan – Noon on BTN
Purdue has been one of the best teams in the country, and they have the best player in the country in Zach Edey. Purdue won the sole matchup this season in Ann Arbor. If Michigan could win this, they may have a chance at the postseason. However, I don’t think they’ll have enough to stop Edey and company, sending their fate to the NIT.
Joe’s pick: 1. Purdue
4. Michigan State (19-11, 11-8) vs. 5. Iowa – 2:30 p.m. on BTN
In a rematch of a thriller in their last meeting, this would have the potential to be another really fun game. Both teams have been very solid over the past month, and this game will ultimately come down to who hits more jumpers. I think MSU has a guard in Tyson Walker designed to thrive in this format, and he will be able to do enough to get the Spartans to advance.
Joe’s pick: 4. Michigan State
2. Northwestern (21-10, 12-8) vs. 10. Penn State – 6:30 p.m. on BTN
Northwestern has been arguably the biggest surprise in the Big Ten. They have already clinched a postseason birth, and now they are playing with house money. Penn State just knocked off Northwestern a few days ago, but it may be harder to repeat it. If Penn State makes threes, they will win. If not, Northwestern will be in a prime spot to make the semis.
Joe’s pick: 2. Northwestern
3. Indiana (21-10, 12-8) vs. 6. Maryland – 9 p.m. on BTN
Maryland won the only matchup of the season, holding Indiana to only 55 points in one of the worst games of the season for Jalen Hood-Schifino. It seems that Hood-Schifino has been much better since then, and Jackson-Davis is more rested. Maryland will make it a close game, but will not be able to do quite enough to stop the dynamic duo of Indiana.
Joe’s pick: 3. Indiana
Semifinals – Saturday, Mar. 11
1. Purdue vs. 4. Michigan State – 1 p.m. on CBS
Zach Edey dominated both of the in-season matchups, putting up 32 and 38 points with 17 and 13 rebounds. Michigan State has not seemed to have any sort of answer for the Canadian big man. They would probably have to try doubling the post, but it is not something they are used to. Purdue would be forced to hit open jumpers which have been a struggle, but ultimately, Edey has another dominant performance on the glass that leads to easy points.
Joe’s pick: 1. Purdue
2. Northwestern vs. 3. Indiana – 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Northwestern won the two earlier meetings by a combined 3 points. Both teams have struggled slightly over the past couple of games, but this would be a big chance for Indiana to get some revenge. In the second matchup, Northwestern came out on fire and it put them up big before slowly losing the lead. Without the big buffer early in the game, Indiana controls this one and sets up an in-state rivalry for the Big Ten Tournament championship.
Joe’s pick: 3. Indiana
Championship – Sunday, Mar. 12
1. Purdue vs. 3. Indiana – 3:30 p.m. on CBS
Indiana won both of the matchups in the season. Are they able to knock off their rival three times in the season, this time for a Big Ten Tournament championship? The second game was won on an all-time great performance by Hood-Schifino, especially with Jackson-Davis looking gassed. Edey has had his way in the matchup, and I think Purdue will be fresher due to their slightly deeper bench. The fresher legs will carry them, given that Hood-Schifino and Jackson-Davis don’t have all-time performances. Indiana will finish the season 2-1 against Purdue, but Purdue will be raising their second trophy of the season.
Joe’s pick: 1. Purdue