Big 10 2013 Tournament Schedule and Predictions
With two games in the books, we are lucky enough to get nine more games in the Big Ten Tournament. Here is what the schedule looks like for the rest of the weekend, with all times in Eastern Daylight Time:
Thursday, March 14
No. 7 Purdue against No. 10 Nebraska at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2
No. 6 Iowa against No. 11 Northwestern at 9 p.m. on ESPN2
Friday, March 15
No. 1 Indiana against No. 8 Illinois at 12 p.m. on ESPN
No. 4 Wisconsin against No. 5 Michigan at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN
No. 2 Ohio State against the winner of Purdue/Nebraska at 6:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network
No. 3 Michigan State against the winner of Iowa/Northwestern at 9 p.m. on the Big Ten Network
Saturday, March 16
The first Semifinal features the winner of Indiana and Illinois against the winner of Wisconsin and Michigan at 1:40 p.m. on CBS Sports.
The second semifinal features the winner of Ohio State and the winner of Purdue/Nebraska against Michigan State and the winner of Iowa/Northwestern at 4 p.m. on CBS Sports.
Sunday, March 17
The winner of the two semifinal games meet in the final game of Championship Week before Selection Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on CBS Sports.
In Thursday night's games, I look for Purdue to continue their hot-streak and defeat Nebraska. In the night-cap, I think Iowa will defeat the hometown Northwestern Wildcats.
On Friday, the Hoosiers should handle the Fighting Illini; however, the last time these two foes faced off, the game featured a classic ending. In the second game of the afternoon session, I look for the Badgers to topple the Wolverines. This has everything to do with the maturation of Traevon Jackson and nothing to do with my enrollment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On Friday evening, I think Ohio State has enough defensive prowess to shut down the shooters of Purdue and continue their path to the Big Ten title. In the last game of the night, I think Michigan State will steamroll Iowa as they have been playing an excellent brand of basketball.
Saturday should see the Hoosiers beating the Badgers; however, Bucky and co. did defeat the Hoosiers in Bloomington in January. In the second game of the afternoon, I think Michigan State will defeat the Buckeyes as the trio of Payne, Nix, and Dawson will be too much inside to go along with the excellent guard play of Gary Harris and Keith Appling.
For the final game of the tournament, I look for Michigan State to defeat the Hoosiers and take the Big Ten crown. Will Indiana native Gary Harris burn the Hoosiers? Who will Victor Oladipo cover? Can Cody Zeller stand up to the physical brand of basketball that Michigan State's forwards play? These are all questions that could be answered on Sunday; however, a highly motivated Iowa team could wreck all of my predictions early on as they find themselves right on the cusp of the bubble.