Big 10 Tournament 2019: Schedule and Bracket Predictions for Conference Tourney

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 5, 2019

Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis (13) shoots as Rutgers guard Geo Baker defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Piscataway, N.J. Michigan won 77-65. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The Big Ten tournament moves back to the midwest in 2019 after two seasons on the East coast of the United States. 

The 2019 conference tournament takes place at the United Center in Chicago, which is the fourth different location for the competition in four years. 

Michigan enters as the two-time defending champion after wins in Washington, D.C. and New York City, but the Wolverines won't be the only favorite to win the conference crown.

Purdue and Michigan State have been neck-and-neck with Michigan atop the Big Ten regular-season standings and are expected to contend for the title, as well as a few upset-minded teams. 


Big 10 Tournament Schedule

All Times ET. 

Wednesday, March 13

No. 12 seed vs. No. 13 seed (6:30 p.m., BTN) 

No. 11 seed vs. No. 14 seed (9 p.m., BTN) 


Thursday, March 14

No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed (12:30 p.m., BTN) 

No. 5 seed vs. Winner of No. 12 vs. No. 13 (25 minutes after end of previous game, BTN) 

No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed (7 p.m., BTN) 

No. 6 seed vs. Winner of No. 11 vs. No. 14 (25 minutes after end of previous game, BTN) 


Friday, March 15

No. 1 seed vs. Winner of No. 8 vs. No. 9 (12:30 p.m., BTN) 

No. 4 seed vs. Winner of No. 5 vs. No. 12/No. 13 (25 minutes after end of previous game, BTN)

No. 2 seed vs. Winner of No. 7 vs. No. 10 (7 p.m., BTN) 

No. 3 seed vs. Winner of No. 6 vs. No. 11/No. 14 (25 minutes after end of previous game, BTN) 


Saturday, March 16

Semifinal No. 1 (1 p.m., CBS) 

Semifinal No. 2 (3:30 p.m., CBS) 


Sunday, March 17 

Championship (3:30 p.m., CBS) 


Bracket Predictions

1. Purdue

2. Michigan State

3. Michigan 

4. Wisconsin

5. Maryland

6. Iowa

7. Ohio State

8. Minnesota

9. Indiana

10. Rutgers

11. Illinois

12. Nebraska

13. Penn State

14. Northwestern 


Barring a setback in its final two regular-season games against Minnesota and Northwestern, Purdue should secure the No. 1 seed for the Big Ten tournament. 

The winner of Saturday's Michigan State-Michigan clash should slide into the No. 2 seed, with the loser owning the No. 3 seed. 

Beneath the top tier of Big Ten teams are Wisconsin, Maryland and Iowa, all of whom are capable of making deep conference tournament runs. 

Then it gets a bit sketchy, as seeds No. 7-No. 13 could be handed out in a few different orders. 

Keep an eye on Indiana, who beat Wisconsin and Michigan State a week ago, as the lower seed capable of pulling off a Cinderella run in Chicago.

BLOOMINGTON, IN - MARCH 02:  Justin Smith #3 of the Indiana Hoosiers and Devonte Green #11 of the Indiana Hoosiers congratulate near the end of the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Assembly Hall on March 2, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Hoosiers are one of a few Big Ten teams in need of conference tournament victories to secure their places in the NCAA tournament. 

With desperation seeping in for a few teams, the first few rounds of the Big Ten tournament could be chaotic. 

While we could see a lower seed achieve success like Michigan in 2017 and Penn State in 2018, it's hard for any team to win four games in four days. 

The Carsen Edwards-led Boilermakers have 13 wins in their last 14 games and look like the most consistent team in the Big Ten, but the No. 1 seed hasn't qualified for the Big Ten tournament final since 2015. 

Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Michigan is going to be seen as a favorite to win in Chicago based on its recent success in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. 

The Wolverines have proved they have what it takes to win in March under John Beilein, and they have a well-rounded offense that could give any opponent trouble. 

Michigan State will beat Michigan in the regular-season finale, but taking down the Wolverines a week later on a neutral court won't be easy.

With the Wolverines enacting revenge on the Spartans through Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole and Ignas Brazdeikis, they'll set up a final against Purdue, who survives a semifinal test from Wisconsin.

While the Boilermakers are one of the best teams in the nation, they won't be able to handle the Wolverines, who take their third straight Big Ten tournament. 

Prediction: Michigan over Purdue.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.