These two leagues really gamed the system this year, so they belong together.
The league that prides itself on academics has a 5-day tournament beginning Wednesday. All games are to be played in Indianapolis.
The tournament matters most for two teams and seeding purposes for the top seeds. The two teams that need to get some wins are Indiana and Purdue. Both are on the bubble. Purdue gets a bye into Thursday games but draws Ohio State. It’s a must win. That would get them a matchup with Michigan State. There’s a path for Purdue. The same holds true for Indiana. Indiana opens on Wednesday against Nebraska. Again, that’s a must win. There path is a little easier. Penn State would be next up and then a date against Maryland.
Michigan State has established itself as a national title contender. Sigh. They’re a likely 3-seed and if they run the table in Indy, a 2-seed is possible.
The Pick: Michigan State
The Big East also tips-off in Wednesday from Madison Square Garden. The regular season had a 3-way tie for 1st place between Seton Hall, Villanova and Creighton. Seton Hall lost their last two games. First at home against Nova and then at Creighton. You hate to see it.
Xavier is probably out at the moment. They must beat DePaul on Wednesday and probably need to beat Villanova. Good luck. Marquette gets Seton Hall in Thursday. A loss in that game and they should probably be at least a little nervous, though they should be safe.
No one is playing for a 1-seed. Creighton is probably safe as a 3, though a win here would solidify a 2-seed. Nova and Seton Hall are playing to stay on the 3-line. Whoever loses in a 2-3 matchup probably slides to the 4-line.
I’m assuming Providence is in but a win over Butler should lock it up.
The Pick: Villanova