The 2017 Big Ten Tournament schedule and printable bracket are set. It took every game of the Big Ten basketball regular season to decide the official tournament schedule, but after last night’s Michigan thrashing of Nebraska, Big Ten fans now know which teams will square off in round one.
According to SB Nation, all of the Big Ten Tournament action will get underway this Wednesday, March 8 with two games. The first one will feature the Nebraska Cornhuskers taking on the Penn State Nittany Lions at 4:30 p.m. ET. Game 2 on the opening day of tournament play will see the Ohio State Buckeyes squaring off against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
The winner of each of these games will have to run the table and win the Big Ten Tournament outright if they want a shot at heading to the March Madness Tournament next weekend. A good showing in the Big Ten Tournament may earn several teams at an invitation to the NIT Tournament as well.
One thing that wasn’t in doubt heading into the final games of the regular season yesterday afternoon was the Purdue Boilermakers clinching the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue had already clinched the regular season Big Ten title earlier in the week, but they finished the season strong, earning a tough road win Sunday afternoon at Northwestern.
The Boilermakers are the overwhelming favorites to win the Big Ten Tournament this year, but as history has shown us, these tournaments can be just as wild as the March Madness Tournament – and then some!
Three underdog team’s fans may not want to overlook that heading into this tournament are the Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines, and the defending champion Michigan State Spartans.
Since 2010, this title has been won by either the Buckeyes or the Spartans, except for 2015 when the Wisconsin Badgers claimed the title. OSU and MSU may not have the strength they had a few years ago as they both boast young squads, but they have great coaching, which can go a long way in tournament play.
The Wolverines, on the other hand, come into the Big Ten Tournament on fire.
Michigan rolls into the Big Ten tourney with wins in six of their last eight games, including a huge 82-70 win over Purdue. After yesterday’s big win against Nebraska took the sting out of a last second loss to Northwestern earlier in the week, head coach John Beilein is excited about his team’s chances in the upcoming conference tournament.
”I said twice in the locker room I have no idea how we were going to play tonight,” Beilein said. ”That Northwestern loss was so disappointing for these guys. But they handled it like they always handle it. They wanted to bounce back. They went out and they were just absolutely excellent from beginning to end.”
The Big Ten Conference Tournament will be held from March 8 through March 12, 2017, from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. It will be the first time that the Big Ten Tournament will be played in D.C.
Below is a look at the first round schedule match-ups and the current odds to win the 2017 Big Ten Tournament. Be sure to click here to print off your own Big Ten Tournament bracket.
Wednesday, March 8
- 12 Seed Nebraska (12-18, 6-12) vs. 13 Seed Penn State (14-17, 6-12) 4:30pm, ESPN2
- 11 Seed Ohio State (17-14, 7-11) vs. 14 Seed Rutgers (14-17, 3-15) 7pm, BTN
Thursday, March 9
- 8 Seed Michigan (20-11, 9-9) vs. 9 Seed Illinois (17-13, 8-10) Noon, BTN
- 5 Seed Michigan State (18-13, 10-8) vs. Nebraska-Penn State winner 2:30 p.m., BTN
- 7 Seed Iowa (18-13, 10-8) vs. 10 Seed Indiana (17-14, 7-11) 6:30pm, ESPN2
- 6 Seed Northwestern (21-10, 10-8) vs. Ohio State-Rutgers winner 9 p.m., ESPN2
Big Ten Tournament odds
- Purdue +140
- Maryland +250
- Wisconsin +400
- Minnesota +450
- Northwestern +500
- Michigan State +550
- Michigan +600
- FIELD +2200
[Featured Image by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]