Big Ten Tournament 2019: Bracket, Schedule and Championship OddsMarch 11, 2019
Michigan State served notice once again that it is a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten. However, that does not mean the other conference contenders fear Tom Izzo's team.
While the Spartans were the regular-season co-champions along with Purdue, they are quite beatable. Both the Spartans and Boilermakers were 16-4 in the Big Ten regular season, with the Michigan Wolverines a game behind with a 15-5 mark.
Wisconsin and Maryland followed at 14-6 and 13-7, respectively, and those top five teams have the best chance to come away with the Big Ten conference tournament.
That postseason championship begins Wednesday in Chicago at the United Center.
Wednesday, March 13
Game 1: No. 12 Rutgers vs. No. 13 Nebraska (6:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
Game 2: No. 11 Illinois vs. No. 14 Northwestern (9 p.m., BTN)
Thursday, March 14
Game 3: No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Indiana (12:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
Game 4: No. 5 Maryland vs. Game 1 winner (3 p.m., BTN)
Game 5: No. 7 Minnesota vs. No. 10 Penn State (7 p.m, BTN)
Game 6: No. 6 Iowa vs. Game 2 winner (9:30 p.m., BTN)
Friday, March 15
Game 7: No. 1 Michigan State vs. Game 3 winner (12:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
Game 8: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. Game 4 winner (3 p.m., BTN)
Game 9: No. 2 Purdue vs. Game 5 winner (7 p.m., BTN)
Game 10: No. 3 Michigan vs. Game 6 winner (9:30 p.m., BTN)
Saturday, March 16
Game 11: Friday afternoon winners (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
Game 12: Friday evening winners (3:30 p.m., CBS)
Sunday, March 17
Game 13: Saturday winners (3:30 p.m ET, CBS)
All 14 teams in the conference are eligible for the tournament. The top four teams in the conference will not play until the quarterfinals during the third day of the tournament.
The Spartans will meet the winner of the Indiana-Ohio State game, and it seems likely that Izzo would rather play the Buckeyes than the Hoosiers.
Michigan State lost both meetings against Indiana, while sweeping the season series against Ohio State. The Spartans are led by guard Cassius Winston, who is averaging 19.0 points and 7.6 assists per game. He is shooting 47.1 percent from the field and connecting on 82.6 percent of his free throws.
Nick Ward is Michigan State's second-leading scorer with 15.1 points, and he is also contributing 6.7 rebounds per game. He has missed the last five games with a fractured left hand, but he could be available for the Big Ten tournament.
Guard Matt McQuaid has been a sparkplug for the Spartans, averaging 9.3 points and shooting 42.7 percent from beyond the arc.
The Purdue Boilermakers come into the tournament having won six of their last seven games and will play the winner of the Minnesota-Penn State game in the quarterfinals.
The Boilermakers will go as far as guard Carsen Edwards will take them. Edwards is leading the way with an average of 23.4 points per game, and while he is not an overwhelming shooter (39 percent from the field), he can score when the game is on the line.
Ryan Cline is averaging 11.8 points per night and is the Boilermakers' second-leading scorer.
The Boilermakers can hit the deep shot and are connecting on 36.7 percent of their three-point shots.
Third-seeded Michigan comes into the Big Ten tournament after splitting its last four games.
Both of those losses were to Michigan State, and both games followed similar patterns. The Wolverines were able to lead early and play on even terms for most of the game, but the Spartans took control in the late part of the game.
Michigan is a superb defensive team, allowing 58.8 points per game and ranking third in the nation. Forward Ignas Brazdeikis leads the Wolverines with 15.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He is getting scoring help from Jordan Poole and Charles Matthews.
Poole is scoring 13.0 points per game and connecting on 80.8 percent of his free throws, while Matthews is scoring 12.8 points and coming down with 5.1 rebounds per game.
Wisconsin finished the season by winning five of its last six games, and the Badgers are once again a solid defensive team as they allow 61.2 points per game.
Forward Ethan Happ leads Wisconsin in scoring with 17.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per night. Guard D'Mitrik Trice is a key offensive factor, and he is contributing 11.9 points per night.
Big Ten conference tournament odds
The Spartans are the favorites to come away with the championship, as they are +175 favorites, per Caesars Palace. A $100 bet on Michigan State will return a profit of $175 if Izzo's team wins the tournament.
Michigan is the second choice at +250, while Purdue follows at +300 and Wisconsin is next at +800.
Here are the rest of the odds for the 14 teams in the Big Ten.
Michigan State, +175
Penn State, +2500
Ohio State, +7500