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2017 Big Ten Basketball Championship Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Betting Preview

2017 Big Ten Basketball Championship Predictions, Picks, Odds and NCAA Betting Preview

The race for the Big Ten’s basketball championship is wide open. Purdue may look the most consistent, but we all know how things quickly change once the stage is a little bigger and brighter.

Maryland, Wisconsin, and a couple of other teams in the conference are sure to give a good run for the Big Ten Title. Read on to know more!

College Basketball News and Previews

2017 Big Ten Basketball Tournament Preview


Purdue Boilermakers (+150)

Big Ten record: 14-4

Thanks in large part to the strong years of bigs Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas, Purdue came out of the Big Ten on top. The two are 1A and 1B in providing the team points and rebounds, and they collectively shot an efficient 55 percent from the floor.

For Swanigan, his production of 18.6 points and 12.5 rebounds on the season also helped his stock rise, as he is now considered to be a potential first-round draft pick in the pros.

The Boilermakers’ reign on the Big Ten included them being the conference’s number one team in points (78.1 PPG), assists, and three-point shooting. On top of that, they also went 6-1 on the season against the next five teams below them on the conference standings – Maryland, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State.

They were able to reach the tournament final last season, but was edged out by Michigan State in a hard-fought battle, 66-62.

Wisconsin Badgers (+210)

Big Ten record: 12-6

UW starters Nigel Hayes, Bronson Koenig and Ethan Happ say they consider their job is to win games regardless who is coach. “We’ll do our best to win games and hopefully that will give him the spot that he has been so long deserving,” Hayes said of interim coach Greg Gard.

The Badgers stumbled in the last half of the season and only went 2-5 in their last seven. They are, however, still considered as a favorite due to the talent they possess. Also, the team was able to end their campaign on a good note, as they thumped the surging Golden Gophers, who were riding an eight-game winning streak, 66-49, during the on the regular season finale, and held them to an ugly 32.1 shooting percentage.

We can expect Bronson Koenig (14.1 PPG) and Nigel Hayes (13.5 PPG) to continue scoring from inside and out, and all-around big Ethan Happ to annihilate the stat sheet. Happ is one of the most versatile forwards in the Big Ten and possibly the country, and will head to the tournament posting averages of 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game on 59 percent shooting.

Wisconsin is also pretty stout on defense. Along with being the number one scoring defense (63.2 PPG), they also allow the fewest assists and lowest two-point field goal percentage (42.2) in the conference. has them rated as the best D in the Big Ten and 11th overall in the nation.

Sleeper Pick

Minnesota Golden Gophers (+1,000)

Big Ten record: 11-7

Despite the 66-49 thrashing from the Badgers last night, Minnesota should still have some momentum left from their eight-game winning streak. They had a good offensive showing during that stretch (82.1 PPG), and their 15th-ranked defense followed through, as they swatted shots 8.6 times per game and only allowed opponents to shoot 39.5 percent from the floor.

In the conference games, the Gophers went 2-1 against the two squads ahead of them in the standings – Purdue and Maryland. Minnesota netted 90 PPG in both victories and held their opponents to just 40.5 percent shooting. Nate Mason (15.4 PPG), the team’s leading scorer, averaged 23 points and seven assists in those pair of Ws.

Minny is right behind Wisconsin in Big Ten’s defensive efficiency rankings.

Long Shot

Northwestern Wildcats (+1,000)

Big Ten record: 10-8

Northwestern has some super underdog charm to them this season, which was highlighted during this week’s Christian Laettner-like game-winning play against Michigan.

Among their good trait is the play good, hard defense every night. The 65.8 points and 41.3 percent shooting they allow are both top two in the conference, and they are fourth in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency (28th in the nation).

For the offense, meanwhile, Bryant McIntosh should continue getting added attention from the defense. He’s on some roll in his last 10 games, posting 19.2 points and 5.1 assists during that stretch.

Complete Big Ten Tournament Odds

Purdue – +150 Wisconsin +150
Maryland – +600 Michigan – +150
Minnesota – +1,000 Michigan State – +1,400
Indiana – +1,600 Northwestern – +1,600
Ohio State – +3,300 Iowa – +4,000
Illinois – +5,000 Nebraska – +6,000
Penn State – +6,000 Rutgers – +12,500

Writer’s Prediction

Wisconsin and Purdue meet in the tournament final, and the Badgers earn a thrilling win.

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Written by JE

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