Big Ten sends 9 teams to postseason tournaments

9 of 12 Big Ten teams will be dancing somewhere along the line this postseason. The conference sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament, two to the NIT, and one to the CBI.

Michigan State earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with a victory against Michigan on Sunday. The Spartans, who have been a popular national title contender all season, are a No. 4 seed in the East Region, facing No. 13 seed Delaware from the CAA.

Photo: AP | Michael Conroy
Photo: AP | Michael Conroy

Although Michigan State won the Big Ten Tournament, Wisconsin and Michigan actually have the highest seeds among teams from the league. Both the Badgers and the Wolverines are No. 2 seeds.

Wisconsin draws a fairly tough opener against No. 15 seed American. The Eagles are one of the nation’s better defensive teams, but the Badgers will still be a heavy favorite to advance.

Michigan has an easier matchup in the round of 64. The Wolverines will face No. 15 seed Wofford, a program that is still one year away from being a true postseason threat.

Ohio State also easily earned a spot in the field of 68 as a No. 6 seed. The Buckeyes have struggled to score all season, but they are a top-notch defensive squad.

Sneaking into the field as No. 11 seeds were Nebraska and Iowa. The Cornhuskers, who are appearing in their first NCAA Tournament since 1998, won eight of their last nine regular season games to make their case for a bid. A loss in the Big Ten quarterfinals to Ohio State put them back on the bubble, though.

Iowa was ranked in the top 10 early on in conference play, but the Hawkeyes dropped six of their final seven games to wind up in a play-in game in Dayton.

Minnesota and Illinois will represent the Big Ten in the NIT. The Golden Gophers sat squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble entering Championship Week, but a Big Ten quarterfinal loss to Wisconsin left them without a marquee win away from home.

Penn State is the final Big Ten team awarded a postseason bid. The Nittany Lions will play in the CBI with a 15-17 overall record.

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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