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Big 10 Tournament 2019: Schedule and Conference Bracket Predictions

Jake RillContributor IIIMarch 7, 2019

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 28:  Isaiah Livers #4 of the Michigan Wolverines reacts while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Crisler Arena on February 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It's clear which three college basketball teams are the best in the Big Ten Conference this season. However, there is still much to be decided in terms of the seedings for the upcoming conference tournament.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Big Ten tournament will be played in a different location, with this year's event taking place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, from March 13-17.

Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State are all atop the Big Ten standings with 15-4 conference records, with one conference game remaining on each team's schedule. The Wolverines have won the conference tournament each of the past two seasons.

Purdue has reached the Big Ten tournament championship game two of the past three seasons, but it hasn't won the tourney since 2009. Michigan State has won the tournament three times since 2012, with its last championship coming in 2016.

          

Big 10 Tournament Schedule

All times ET

Wednesday, March 13

No. 12 seed vs. No. 13 seed (6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network) 

No. 11 seed vs. No. 14 seed (9 p.m., Big Ten Network

                 

Thursday, March 14

No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed (12:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

No. 5 seed vs. Winner of No. 12 vs. No. 13 (25 minutes after end of previous game, Big Ten Network

No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed (7 p.m., Big Ten Network

No. 6 seed vs. Winner of No. 11 vs. No. 14 (25 minutes after end of previous game, Big Ten Network

                   

Friday, March 15

No. 1 seed vs. Winner of No. 8 vs. No. 9 (12:30 p.m., Big Ten Network

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

No. 2 seed vs. Winner of No. 7 vs. No. 10 (7 p.m., Big Ten Network

No. 3 seed vs. Winner of No. 6 vs. No. 11/No. 14 (25 minutes after end of previous game, Big Ten Network

                   

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. Michigan

2. Purdue

3. Michigan State

4. Wisconsin

5. Maryland

6. Iowa

7. Minnesota

8. Ohio State

9. Indiana

10. Illinois

11. Rutgers

12. Penn State

13. Nebraska

14. Northwestern

Purdue could have locked up the No. 1 seed with wins in its last two games of the regular season, but the Boilermakers lost at Minnesota on Tuesday. However, they can't secure the top seed if they're in a tie with either Michigan or Michigan State, which is now guaranteed with the Wolverines and Spartans going head to head on Saturday.

Michigan lost at Michigan State on Feb. 24, so now it'll be time for the Wolverines to even the season series against the Spartans in Ann Arbor. Michigan will secure the No. 1 seed, while Michigan State will slot in at No. 3 after Purdue wins its final regular-season game against Northwestern on Saturday.

MADISON, WISCONSIN - MARCH 02:  Brad Davison #34 of the Wisconsin Badgers reacts to a score during the second half of a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Kohl Center on March 02, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Wisconsin can secure the No. 4 seed with victories over Iowa (at home on Thursday) and Ohio State (on the road on Saturday), or a triumph in one of those games and a Maryland loss to Minnesota on Friday.

Expect the Badgers to clinch the double bye with a win over the Hawkeyes and a Terrapins loss to the Golden Gophers. That will also secure the No. 7 seed for Minnesota, slotted in behind Iowa, which will clinch the No. 6 seed with a victory over Nebraska on Sunday.

The bottom of the Big Ten standings is crowded, with the teams in eighth and 12th separated by two wins entering Thursday.

One potential team that could move up is Indiana, which can clinch a single bye with wins over Illinois and Rutgers, two of the other schools in this crowded portion of the conference standings.

The Hoosiers will pull off both victories—coming off the momentum of consecutive wins over Wisconsin and Michigan State—and move up to No. 9 behind Ohio State, which will secure its No. 8 seed with an upset win over Wisconsin at home on Sunday.

          

Final Prediction

EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN - MARCH 05:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans look on while playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Breslin Center on March 05, 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Although Michigan will beat Michigan State to secure the top seed, the Wolverines won't be able to get past the Spartans again to win their third straight Big Ten tournament.

The two rivals will meet in the finals on a neutral court in Chicago, and the Spartans will win the conference championship in their rubber match against the Wolverines.

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