Big 10 Tournament 2019: Predicting Bracket Before Sunday's Regular-Season Finale

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 10, 2019

EAST LANSING, MI - MARCH 09:  Kenny Goins #25 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts after defeating the Michigan Wolverines 75-63 at Breslin Center on March 9, 2019 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan locked up the top three seeds for the 2019 Big Ten tournament during their regular-season finales on Saturday.

The Spartans and Boilermakers split the Big Ten regular-season title, but Tom Izzo's team earned the No. 1 seed based on tiebreakers.

While the top seeds are set for the tournament in Chicago, plenty still has to be decided during Sunday's four-game slate in the Big Ten.

Wisconsin has an opportunity to lock up the No. 4 seed, while a handful of programs in the middle of the standings are jockeying for the best positions and matchups possible in Chicago.


Big Ten Tournament Bracket Prediction

1. Michigan State

2. Purdue

3. Michigan 

4. Wisconsin

5. Maryland 

6. Iowa

7. Minnesota

8. Ohio State

9. Indiana

10. Illinois

11. Rutgers

12. Penn State

13. Nebraska

14. Northwestern 


When the Big Ten tournament bracket is unveiled Sunday, most outside observers will point to the potential semifinal clash between Purdue and Michigan.

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

But in order to reach the semifinals, the Boilermakers must fend off a desperate Minnesota team that beat Matt Painter's side Tuesday.

The Golden Gophers sit just above the chaos in the middle of the Big Ten standings, which will be settled Sunday.

At 9-11 in Big Ten play, Minnesota should land the No. 7 seed, with Ohio State expected to lose to Wisconsin, who is trying to secure the No. 4 seed.

Ohio State can't afford another defeat, but it won't have enough firepower to keep up with the Badgers.

Even if Indiana wins at home over Rutgers, Ohio State is basically guaranteed to earn the No. 8 seed with a loss to Wisconsin because it owns a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Hoosiers.

While Ohio State lost three of its past four games to put its NCAA tournament hopes at risk, Indiana's reeled off three straight wins to put itself into the bubble conversation.

According to ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi, the Buckeyes are one spot above the First Four participants, while Indiana is listed as the second team out.

A win over Rutgers, who won't be an easy out in Chicago, will put Indiana three games over .500 and in position to grab a spot in the field of 68 with a win over Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

BLOOMINGTON, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Devonte Green #11 of the Indiana Hoosiers dribbles the ball during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Assembly Hall on February 26, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We're pegging Illinois to win the other Big Ten game Sunday, which would land the Fighting Illini the No. 10 seed since it would lose the head-to-head tiebreaker to Indiana.

Penn State, Nebraska and Northwestern have had miserable seasons and aren't expected to last long in Chicago, but it is worth noting the Nittany Lions made it to the Big Ten tournament semifinals as a No. 7 seed a year ago.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.