Big Ten Predictions and Breakdown: NCAA Tournament Outlooks

ctsports picksAnalyst IMarch 5, 2009

Not a banner year for the Big Ten Conference, and with less than two weeks left several teams have work left to do.

Can't remember a year when the Big Ten had so few nationally ranked teams.

With today's article, Craig has finally finished his major conference predictions for the big dance.

Hope all of you have enjoyed all the conference breakdowns and predictions for March Madness. If you missed one you can check them out here: Pac-10, ACC, Big East, SEC, and Big 12.

Now let's look at Craig's predictions for the Big Ten and see who gets in and how they will do in the NCAA tournament.


Michigan State

The Spartans have flown under the radar all year, but have compiled a really nice record and have won the Big Ten conference title. This Michigan State team is very similar to past Spartan teams. They are solid on defense and a very hard-nosed team. 

The Spartans are led in scoring by Ramar Morgan, who is averaging nearly 15 ppg. Kalin Lucas does a great job running the offense with nearly a 5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio while averaging 13 ppg.

Outlook: An almost-lock for a No. 3 seed and an outside chance for a No. 2 seed. Tom Izzo is always known for his tournament success.  Craig likes the Spartans to advance to the Sweet 16 but no further.



Disappointing year for a team that was picked to win the Big Ten and predicted to contend for a national title. Injuries this year have cost this team some losses but this team has started to play better as of late.

Their late-season blowout win over Michigan State shows why this team was picked as a championship contender. Robbie Hummel will have to stay healthy for this team to have any chance to go far in the big dance.

Outlook: Seeding for this team could change but right now they are a No. 5 seed. Craig predicts that this team will keep the disappointment up and lose in second round.



Best defensive team in the conference and a very dangerous young team that doesn't take a game off. The biggest surprise in the Big Ten this year could be a tough out if the Illini can find consistent outside shooting.

Outlook: Definitely a No. 5 seed and with a couple wins in the Big Ten tournament could see them as a No. 4 seed. Predicting this team has been tough all year, but on the road or neutral floor it has not really played great. Lack of outside shooting knocks this team out in the first game.


The Big Ten will get three other bubble teams in the NCAA tournament: Ohio State (No. 9 seed), Wisconsin (No. 9 seed), and Penn State (No. 10 seed). All of these teams will have disappointing showings in the big dance, with all three losing big.

The Big Ten will continue its disappointing season as a conference with only one team in the Sweet 16.