Friday, March 9th, 2012

Big 10 Conference Tournament preview and predictions

Published on March 8, 2012 by Scott Shirley   ·   No Comments

The Big Ten is the best conference this year in college basketball. Will this be the year Northwestern finally makes the NCAA tournament? Who do I predict to win the Big 10 tournament? Find out below along with my picks for every game.

Top 5 Players

1.Draymond Green, Michigan State (Sr.) – Is a unique big man that can do it all. He leads his team in all the following stats (16.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals, .9 block). Green also averages 3.5 assists. He is also making about 1.5 threes per game.

2.Jared Sullinger, Ohio State (Soph.) – Despite battling nagging injuries this season Sullinger is only a couple rebounds away from averaging a double double (16.9 points, 9.3 rebounds). He is shooting 54 % from the field and he has also added a three point shot to his game.

3. John Shurna, Northwestern ( Sr.) – Shurna leads the Big Ten in scoring 19.8 points per game. He is a very versatile player, who can score both inside and out. He is averaging 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.7 blocks. Shurna also leads the Big Ten with 2.7 threes per game while shooting 42 % from three.

4. Tim Frazier, Penn State (Jr.)- Frazier is a one-man show for Penn State. He leads the team in points (18.6), rebounds (4.8), assists (6.3), and steals (2.3). With those numbers Frazier is the 2nd leading scorer in the Big Ten, 1st in assists, and 2nd in steals.

5. Cody Zeller, Indiana (Fr.) – Zeller has been the difference for the Hoosiers this season averaging 15.4 points and 6.4 rebounds. Zeller is averaging 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks. He is also shooting a crazy 64 % from the field.

NCAA Tournament

Locks : Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Purdue

On the Bubble: Northwestern

First Round

Illinois/ Iowa- Illinois just beat Iowa at home but now on a neutral court, I like Iowato win. Illinois just wants the season to be over. Bruce Weber is going to be fired after the season. Illinois was once looking like a NCAA tournament team but they have lost 11 out of their last 13 games. Iowa star Matt Gatens is one of the most underrated players in the country so look for him to have a big game. Also look for freshman Aaron White to have a big game. The Hawkeyes could make the big dance if they make it the whole way to Big Ten Championship game.

Penn State/ Indiana-It is really hard to believe that Indiana has not won a Big Ten Tournament game since 2006. In fact, 2 out of the last three years they have been ousted by Penn State. However this year Indiana will get its revenge. Penn State’s Tim Frazier is a one-man show; he basically leads Penn State in every category. He really gets no help. Indiana is just the opposite they have a ton of players whocan score a lot of points on any given night. Look for Cody Zeller to score the most points in this one.

Minnesota/ Northwestern- This is a must win for Northwestern if they have any hope of making the big dance. The two teams split in the regular season, but Minnesota is playing horribly of late losing 6 out of their last 7. I just see no way that Northwestern looses this game. John Shurna is the leading scorer in the Big Ten amd  look for him to have a big game in this one as well as Drew Crawford.

Nebraska/ Purdue-Welcome to the Big Ten Nebraska! They finished up the season going 4-14. The last 8 out of their last 9 games included in that was an 83-65 loss to Purdue. I see the same outcome here with  Purdue destroying Nebraska. What a great year Purdue’s Robbie Hummel is having after coming back from two knee injuries. Last time they played the Cornhuskers Hummel had 29 points and he should have another big game.


Michigan State/Iowa– What else is new? Michigan’s State Tom Izzo has done a great coaching job. After losing their first two games of the season, the future didn’t look brigh,t but Izzo turned this team into a national championship contender. The two teams only met once this season and Michigan State destroyed Iowa 95-61. In that game the Big Ten player of the Year. Draymond Green, had a monster game . Look for him to have another big game and Michigan State will roll over the Hawkeyes.

Wisconsin/ Indiana –This your typical Bo Ryan team. They are limited offensively, but they have an outstanding point guard in Jordan Taylor, and the Badgers are also one of the best defensive teams in the country. These teams only met once in the regular season with Wisconsin winning at home by 7. This game will be all about style. At the end of the day I like that the team that can score, and that is Indiana. Playing in Indy doesn’t hurt. Look for a Jordan Hulls three late to seal things.

Michigan/ Northwestern – These two teams have met this season and both times Michigan has won in overtime. Sadly for Northwestern, I see them losing this game in regulation. In the two games Michigan guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. have had outstanding games. I see this happening again in this one because Northwestern doesn’t have the athletes to stop them. With the loss Northwestern will be the most talked about team on the bubble.

Ohio State Purdue – The Buckeyes are just 4-3 in their last 7 games but that last win over Michigan State has to make the Buckeyes fell a little better. In their only meeting of the season Purdue almost knocked Ohio State off in Columbus only losing by 3. In that game William Buford had a monster game, as did Buford in OSU’swin over the Spartans. Look for him and Jared Sullinger to dominate Purdue. Purdue really doesn’t have a big man to match up with the powerful Sullinger.


Michigan State/ Indiana –These two teams spilt with each team winning on their home court by 15. Indiana is a different team  on the road. Even though they are playing in Indianapolis, I still like Michigan State to win this game. The Hoosiers won’t have an answer for Draymond Green. In their last meeting Green had 29 points. Green is a senior and he will go all out in this one. Still, though, a pretty good season for the Hoosiers, considering the past three seasons.

Michigan/ Ohio State – Even though this doesn’t get the hype of the football game this is still a pretty huge rivalry. The two teams both won on their home court. The one weakness for Michigan is inside play. This is the reason why I think Ohio State will win. In their two meetings this season Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas have averaged a combined 32 points against Michigan. No shame for Michigan losing to Ohio State. With the loss they will likely be a 3 or 4 seed.


Michigan State/ Ohio State- I think this is the game everyone wanted to see in the Big Ten finals. Both teams just played in the last regular season game with Ohio State winning on a buzzer beater. Michigan State won earlier in the season at Ohio State. This game will be back and forth the whole way but I think Ohio State will get the victory at the end. William Buford will hit another clutch shot late to seal the victory for the Buckeyes. Jared Sullinger and Draymond Green will cancel each other out. One thing you know is that you will always get consistent guard play for the Buckeyes but the Michigan State guards are very inconsistent.

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