Purdue took advantage of a weak Big Ten this season to claim the conference regular season title. Can the Boilermakers now go and claim a rare tournament title – just their second in school history – or will some of the conference’s more established powers make up for their poor season in the tourney?
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2017 Big Ten Tournament Preview and Prediction
Purdue Boilermakers (+150)
Purdue has looked like the best team in what has been a down year for the Big Ten. Powered by Big Ten Player of the Year Caleb Swanigan (18.7 points, 12.6 rebounds), the Boilermakers have the potential to add to their lone Big Ten tournament title, which they won back in 2009.
However, they are nowhere near a dominant force that’s a lock for the championship. They will be weary of a potential third-round matchup with Michigan, which handed Purdue its heaviest conference loss of the season.
Wisconsin Badgers (+210)
Wisconsin salvaged a disastrous end to the regular season with a big win over Minnesota, but the five losses in their previous six revealed what many knew all along: that this is a flawed Badgers team. They have some excellent players in Bronson Koenig, Nigel Hayes, and Ethan Happ, but for some reason they just haven’t been able to put it all together this season.
The Badgers have a much-needed double-bye as the 2-seed, but with the way they’ve been playing, they really can’t be trusted to put together three consecutive good performances in a row.
Michigan State (+1,400)
All the momentum Michigan State built up with its win over Wisconsin was undone by back-to-back close road losses to Illinois and Maryland. Tom Izzo’s team is just too reliant on freshmen, and especially so after Eron Harris’ injury. The Spartans have in turn done what young teams do: struggle to win on the road.
Having said all that, though, the collective talents of Miles Bridges, Nick Ward and Joshua Langford and the uncanny brilliance of Izzo are such that you can’t completely rule out another Spartans charge in the tourney.
Iowa Hawkeyes (+4,000)
With four straight wins, including back-to-back road triumphs at Maryland and Wisconsin, to end the regular season, count Iowa out at your own risk. The last time the Hawkeyes were a No. 7 seed in the Big Ten tournament (2005), they made it all the way to the semifinals.
And if the outstanding Peter Jok (20.2 points per game) can get hot, which he’s completely capable of doing, don’t be the least bit surprised if Iowa somehow crashes the championship game in the nation’s capital.
Complete Tournament Odds for Big Ten
|Purdue (+150)||Wisconsin (+210)|
|Maryland (+600)||Michigan (+1,000)|
|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)|
Somehow, some way, Michigan State (+1,400) does it again as it claims another tournament title.
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