Day 1: March 13- First Four
#13 Nebraska Cornhuskersvs #12 Rutgers Scarlett Nights
This will be a scrappy game and I believe James Palmer Jr. will be the X-factor due to his 19.1 ppg which is third best in the Big Ten.
#14 Northwestern Wildcats vs #11 Illinois Fighting Illini
Freshman guard Ayo Dosunmu is one of the best freshman point guards in the country and his 14.1 ppg should be able to propel the Fighting Illini into the first round.
Day 2: March 14- Round One
#9 Indiana Hoosiersvs #8 Ohio State Buckeyes
Indiana Hoosiers and their two man show of forward Juwan Morgan and guard Romeo Langford, will be able to upset the Buckeyes as they try to get off the First Four out and into the Last Four into the NCAA tournament.
#12 Rutgers Scarlett Knights vs #5 Maryland Terrapins
Maryland, led by potential lottery pick Bruno Fernando, will cruise to victory over a much weaker Rutgers team, and will set up an interesting matchup vs. Wisconsin.
#10 Penn State Nittany Lions vs #7 Minnesota Golden Gophers
This game will be a pick ‘em but it won’t really matter cause either team will get smoked by Purdue in the next round. Jordan Murphy’s 14.5 points and 11.7 rebounds will get the job done against a much better Penn State team than earlier in the season.
#11 Illinois Fighting Illini vs #6 Iowa Hawkeyes
Like the Maryland game, this should be a walk in the park for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes four players with over ten points per game, Tyler Cook 15 ppg, Luka Garza 13 ppg, Jordan Bohannon 11.8 ppg, and Joe Wieskamp 11 ppg, and this balanced offense will lead the Hawkeyes to their matchup against the Wolverines.
Day 3: March 15- Elite Eight
#9 Indiana Hoosiers vs #1 Michigan State Spartans
Both Michigan teams have a matchup against teams they didn’t get a win against in the regular season. Michigan State are doing very well recently, and I don’t think that Indiana will beat the Spartans for the third time this season but look out MSU is on upset alert!
#5 Maryland Terrapins vs #4 Wisconsin Badgers
Ethan Happ and the Badgers are a very scrappy team that should be able to get the job done in the rubber game against the Terrapins. The Badgers are a very experienced team as opposed to the Terrapins who are young and inexperienced. The month of March and April requires experience that Maryland doesn’t have.
#7 Minnesota Golden Gophers vs #2 Purdue Boilermakers
Although Minnesota knocked off the Boilermakers to make them have to share the regular season title, Purdue is a juggernaut in the conference and Carsen Edwards will lead the Boilermakers to a matchup vs the Wolverines.
#6 Iowa Hawkeyes vs #3 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan has to play the Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan will be on upset alert as well. The Wolverines have historically gotten very hot in March and only based on that and John Beilein’s coaching will make the Wolverines will continue to move to defend their title.
Day 4: March 16- Final Four
#1 Michigan State Spartansvs #4 Wisconsin Badgers
All Wisconsin has better than MSU is Ethan Happ. Now that Nick Ward is back, he will be able to bully Happ. Xavier Tillman has come out and single handily modernized MSU’s defense by destroying and suffocating Michigan’s offense in both meetings.
#2 Purdue Boilermakers vs #3 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan played Purdue earlier in the season and dominated the Boilermakers. That was a different team than the red-hot Boilermakers. A little dirty secret about the “good” Purdue Boilermakers is that they are 1-4 against the top twenty teams in the country. Michigan will be motivated to get a third shot at revenge against the Spartans.
Day 5: March 17- Championship Game
#3 Michigan Wolverinesvs #1 Michigan State Spartans
John Beilein is slowly turning into his co-worker Jim Harbaugh, where he’s losing to MSU and getting out coached. I have faith in Coach Beilein, and he will get the job done. In the first match-up Michigan was just blown out of the gym. In the second, Michigan was dominant and until Michigan went colder than the polar vortex this winter, they were in control. Michigan loves playing against Nick Ward so I think that Michigan will get the job done and get revenge. All the pain and suffering endured by the Wolverines faithful will be rewarded with a title, hopefully.