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Big Ten Tournament Prediction 2018

Vince Edwards & Isaac Haas, Purdue
First Round
12 Iowa Hawkeyes 71
13 Illinois Fighting Illini 64
Neither Iowa nor Illinois will be going to the postseason this year, but this first round game gives the two an opportunity to build momentum for more experienced squads in '18-'19. The Illini have the slightly better record, but Iowa is a dangerous team offensively, fourth in the nation in assists. That offense should be enough for them to move on.

11 Minnesota Golden Gophers 67
14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 61
Minnesota has been maybe the most disappointing team in the conference this year, as injuries and a lack of depth have haunted them. However, the backcourt of senior Nate Mason and true freshman Isaiah Washington should give them enough offensive punch to overcome the struggling Scarlet Knights.

Second Round
9 Wisconsin 65
8 Maryland 59
It looks like Wisconsin is going to miss their first NCAA Tournament this millennium, but there is no denying they've played much better in the season's second half. Freshman guard Brad Davison has been on fire as of late, and should be able to outplay Maryland's star guard Anthony Cowan.

5 Michigan 74
12 Iowa 70
The Hawkeyes aren't going to go on a Cinderella run here, but it should be a pretty good offensive display between the two. Iowa just doesn't have anybody to shut down Mo Wagner inside, nor somebody to counter Duncan Robinson's scary shooting ability.

10 Northwestern 66
7 Penn State 64
Penn State is on the bubble right now which should give them extra motivation, but the bad news is the Nittany Lions will likely be without stud center Mike Watkins, who went down with a knee injury last Wednesday. That doesn't doom them, but it could be the X-factor against a very experienced Northwestern squad.

6 Indiana 72
11 Minnesota 61
After a brutal non-conference stretch, Indiana has rebounded really nicely in conference play, and the future appears bright for Archie Miller in Bloomington. Jordan Murphy will be a load to handle down low, but the Hoosiers' superior shooting leads them to a comfortable win against the Gophers.

9 Wisconsin 60
1 Michigan State 68
The Badgers nearly upset Michigan State at home this past weekend, and they should be able to compete with the Spartans. However, unless Davison or forward Ethan Happ have the game of their lives, the depth and experience of MSU will be too much.

5 Michigan 78
4 Nebraska 73
Sitting firmly on the bubble this one will be critical for Nebraska's Tournament chances. The Wolverines will have to contain the explosive scoring James Palmer Jr., but Nebraska just doesn't have the depth nor low post scoring needed to take down this Michigan team.

10 Northwestern 69
2 Ohio State 80
The Buckeyes have been the coolest story in the Big Ten this year, as first year head coach Chris Holtmann has had a wonderful season with the help of a number of resurgent veterans. Keita Bates-Diop and versatile Jae'Sean Tate will be too much for the Wildcats to handle.

6 Indiana 70
3 Purdue 82
Fierce in-state rivals they may be, but Indiana just isn't at Purdue's level right now in terms of talent or experience. If Isaac Haas and Vince Edwards doesn't doom them, the three-point shooting of Carsen Edwards and Dakota Matthias certainly will.

5 Michigan 76
1 Michigan State 75
It isn't going to be the run they made last season after their airplane crash scare, but I think Michigan can go on another conference tourney run. They're a balanced, well-rounded team and have proven they can beat Michigan State, who still struggles with consistency.

2 Ohio State 71
3 Purdue 79
Ohio State did just beat Purdue recently, but I like the Boilermakers in a rematch here at Madison Square Garden. Ohio State doesn't have a very good frontline, which leaves them very vulnerable against Haas and company. Purdue's strong defense should also put them in good position to contain OSU's athletic wings.

Big Ten Championship
5 Michigan 68
3 Purdue 72
Despite the fact they have slowed down as of late, Purdue has the makeup of a team that should be able to win in March. They play both ends as well as anybody in the country, and they have the depth and veteran leadership to get the job done. They should be able to take down Wagner and company in the Championship game.

Big Ten Champ: 3 Purdue Boilermakers

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