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Top Five Potential Landing Spots for Brad Stevens

Dr. Stevens: Professor of Hoops

If Brad Stevens is to leave a perennial Final Four school, Butler, to move up to a bigger job, it has to be one of the traditional, iconic basketball powers. He’s proven that he can win consistently at Butler and moving to another school that hasn’t seen a Final Four in decades or ever, just for a few more dollars, doesn’t seem like the kind of well calculated decision that Stevens would make.

In the four years since replacing Todd Lickliter as the Butler head coach, Stevens has won 116 games going into Saturday’s national semifinal matchup with Virginia Commonwealth. He’s already surpassed the accomplishments of fellow national mid-major darling Gonzaga and other non-BCS schools like Xavier. Memphis is the only other non-BCS school to have comparable success to Butler over the past four seasons, but their compass of success has headed downward since John Calipari left for Kentucky two years ago.

When looking for a situation to compare with Steven’s job at Butler, the coach to look at would be Mark Few at Gonzaga. Few could probably get most, if not all of the jobs that open up every year. But Gonzaga has been able to keep him through big sponsorship money and made-for-TV out of conference matchups that bring in good money and give the program the type of national exposure needed to compete for top recruits. Butler, located in metropolitan Indianapolis, should be able to greatly exceed the revenues generated by Gonzaga, which is in sparsely populated Spokane, Washington. Butler could most likely compensate Stevens more than Few given their market size.

Assuming that money wouldn’t be the ultimate draw for Brad Stevens, which jobs might be able to entice the hottest coaching prospect to come around in years?

Indiana

This one is pretty obvious and could be realized as soon as next year if Tom Crean is still unable to register his first winning season after four years in Bloomington. Stevens is an Indiana native and grew up dreaming of playing for Bob Knight in Assembly Hall. If Crean were to leave (unlikely) or be let go, Stevens would be the first and, maybe, only call the administration would need to make.

Purdue

If not Indiana, how about Purdue? The interesting part of this hypothetical situation is that Purdue coach Matt Painter is currently flirting with Missouri and has an interview scheduled for Tuesday with the Big 12 school. While it’s extremely unlikely that Painter would leave his alma mater to go to another job, especially one that would be at best a lateral move, Purdue could call his bluff and let him go to Missouri instead of giving him a raise. Then the door for Stevens to go to Purdue would open. For Purdue to just let Painter walk now, they would have to have assurances through sources that Stevens would be amenable to taking their coaching position.

Duke

How can Stevens go from lovable underdog to hated frontrunner? He can replace Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. Coach K isn’t going to coach forever (we all hope). Who would be a better selection to fill the shoes of the soon-to-be all time leader in wins than Brad Stevens? Coach K has turned Duke into the biggest brand name in college basketball. Coach K has built the program into one that chooses recruits, not the other way around. Avoiding the recruiting cesspool could be a major draw to Stevens. In addition, Duke will be looking for a coach who understands how things work at a smaller, private school and Stevens brings that experience.

UCLA

The seat in Westwood might be lukewarm for Ben Howland right now, but another season like 2009-10 and the Bruins could be looking for a new coach. The last time UCLA hired an Indiana native with spectacles; he ran off 9 NCAA championships in 10 years and added another one to make it 10 out of 12. Based on his professorial look, persona, and on-court success, Stevens is beginning to resemble a modern day John Wooden.

NBA

What makes Stevens so unusual at the college level is his coolness under fire. He always seems to be in control of his emotions and rarely shows any on the sidelines. One of the reasons why college coaches have difficulty adjusting to the NBA is their inability to take a step back from the micromanaging world of college basketball. Most college coaches who didn’t last in the NBA, like Rick Pitino and John Calipari, have difficulty with pulling back and letting their players go and play. Stevens’ sideline demeanor is what NBA teams want on the sidelines, as opposed to the typical emotional college coach.

For the good of the college game, it would be nice if he stayed. Hopefully, with Stevens, all good things don’t have to come to an end.

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Filling In the Brackets: 2011 NCAA Tournament

Bracket Gold!

I’m going to take my annual futile stab at bracket prognostication. There might be more letters in the last word of the first sentence than I will have correct picks. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve overloaded on college basketball this season, but my picks look a lot like those TV guys.

In the East Region, I’m picking Ohio State to roll through it. The Buckeyes might not win a game by less than double digits as they should beat George Mason, West Virginia, and North Carolina to get to Houston. The Buckeyes haven’t shown any true weaknesses, except playing against top 15 Big Ten schools on the road. While freshman forward Jared Sullinger gets most of the attention, their three man backcourt of David Lighty, Jon Diebler, and William Buford are stellar. When March rolls around, the teams with the best backcourts advance and the Buckeyes might have the best in the country.

As for the rest of the region, I like West Virginia to beat Kentucky, mostly because Huggins destroys Calipari head-to-head. In nine meetings, Huggins has won eight, including last year’s Elite Eight matchup in Syracuse. On the bottom of the East, I like UNC to beat Xavier in a tough Sweet 16 matchup. Holloway is really good for the X-Men, but freshmen Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall have been spectacular over the past six weeks. Xavier will beat Syracuse and UNC will beat Washington to get to the Sweet 16.

In the West, I like San Diego State. There might not be a more complete defensive team in the tournament than the Aztecs. They have a number of players who can switch and defend different positions and when they beat Connecticut in the Sweet 16, it will be because of forward Billy White. They will have White hound the smaller Kemba Walker all game and it won’t be a mismatch in favor of Walker. White was used by Coach Steve Fisher on Jimmer Fredette in their matchups and his agility and length gave The Jimmer problems when they were matched up. The Aztecs will also beat Temple and Texas to make the Final Four.

The rest of the West will have Texas beating Arizona and then Tennessee in the Sweet 16 before falling to the Aztecs. Tennessee might save Bruce Pearl’s job by beating Duke on Sunday. The Vols have big wins and crazy losses on the season and beating Duke would be consistent with their inconsistency. Texas and Tennessee, I believe, are destined to meet each other. There aren’t two teams in the tournament who have shown more promise and then bombed out like these two. As for the biggest first round (or is it second) upset? It will be Missouri over Cincinnati.

The Southwest Region will be won by Kansas. The Jayhawks are clearly one of the two best teams in the tournament, along with Ohio State. They will beat UNLV, Louisville, and Notre Dame to get to Houston. That road will not be easy. Unlike Ohio State, Kansas will have to play really well in each of their games to avoid an upset. The Big East has been incredible this season, as their record eleven tournament bids would indicate. Every game is a slugfest and Kansas could be worn down by the time they reach Houston. The biggest advantage they have is their depth and balance. They have ten players who average over 11 minutes per game and have eight players who average at least 5 points per game.

The rest of the Southwest will see the highly anticipated game between Notre Dame and Purdue with the Irish winning. That might be the most anticipated Sweet 16 game next week. Notre Dame will have to beat Texas A&M to get there and Purdue will knock off VCU. Yes, the Rams of VCU will use their opening round momentum to upset Georgetown, who hasn’t been the same without Chris Wright and will struggle to regain their pre-injury form even if he returns. VCU’s cross town rival, Richmond will beat Vanderbilt in the 12-5 upset and then lose to Louisville on the weekend.

The Southeast Region will be won by Pittsburgh. I know three #1 seeds. But if Jamie Dixon is to lead the Panthers to the Final Four, this is the season. The Panthers have a favorable draw as they will beat Old Dominion, Kansas State, and BYU to get to Houston. The Monarchs of ODU could be the Cinderella team with a deep tournament run, but the Panthers might be the worst matchup for them because of their similar styles. Physical play, defense, and intangible play by Brad Wanamaker will be the key to Pittsburgh’s overall success.

The rest of the Southeast will have Jimmer and BYU beating Florida and Gonzaga before falling to Pitt. Kansas State will benefit from Belmont’s upset of Wisconsin to get to the Sweet 16. Florida will beat Michigan State before falling to BYU.

The Final Four matchups are these: Ohio State versus San Diego State and Kansas versus Pittsburgh. Ohio State will beat San Diego State in a close game. This will be closer than any game they play in the entire tournament up to this point. While the Aztecs are really good defensively, the Buckeyes have too many weapons and they typically don’t have anybody on the court that can’t score. In addition, the overall size of the Buckeyes backcourt will take its toll on the small backcourt for San Diego State.

In the other semifinal, Pittsburgh will upset Kansas as the Jayhawks will not be able to beat a Big East team in three straight games. This game might not be that easy on the eyes, but it should be tight and come down to the end. The Panthers have the size and toughness to matchup with the Morris twins and unless Josh Selby finally shows up, the Panthers are good enough defensively to shut down the Jayhawks backcourt. The bottom line with this pick is that I said a month ago that I didn’t think a team could beat three Big East teams in a row and that’s what Kansas will have to do to win it.

That leaves a championship game between Ohio State and Pittsburgh. These are the regular season champions of the two best conferences during the season. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Buckeyes are just too good. They have too many weapons for even Pittsburgh’s staunch defense to shut down. Barring an incredibly rough shooting night for Diebler and Buford, the Buckeyes should win this game by 6-8 points.

There’s the bracket breakdown, please don’t send me a bill for your poor bracket results.

Road to Selection Sunday for March 7

ODU's Frank Hassell

Welcome to the Road to Selection Sunday for March 7

News and Notes:

Here’s a story on ODU’s Frank Hassell, the best low post player playing tonight.

Shaka Smart is looking to lead the Rams to their first NCAA tournament since taking over for Anthony Grant two years ago.

The WCC will refrain from playing their tournament games on Sundays starting next season when BYU joins the conference.

Cousins will be battling each other in tonight’s MAAC championship game between Iona and St. Peter’s.

Weekend Winners:

Automatic Qualifiers:

  • Atlantic Sun: Belmont
  • Big South: UNC-Asheville
  • Ohio Valley: Morehead State
  • Missouri Valley: Indiana State

Ohio State: The Buckeyes will be a #1 seed even if they don’t win a Big Ten tournament game and just need to match Kansas this week to be the #1 overall seed.

Kansas: The Jayhawks are the same as Ohio State. The Buckeyes have a slight edge for the #1 overall seed.

UNC: Big win over Duke gives the Heels the ACC regular season title. Kendall Marshall is becoming one of my favorite players. Simply exciting, like a lefty Rajon Rondo. The Heels now have an outside shot at a #1 seed.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers won the outright Big East championship and are now a win or two away from sealing a #1 seed.

Michigan: The Wolverines swept the Spartans for the first time since beating them in their only matchup in 2003. Once 1-6 in the Big Ten the Maize and Blue fought back to 9-9. A win over Illinois on Friday would seal their bid.

Notre Dame: The Irish hung tough in Storrs after Ben Hansbrough fouled out with more than 8 minutes left. Not sure how they did it, but Notre Dame has the “Luck of the Irish” this season.

Florida: The Gators completed the quietest good conference championship by taking out Vandy in Nashville. Chandler Parsons is the pick here for SEC POY after leading the Gators to a 13-3 record.

Cincinnati: Yes, they beat up on poor Georgetown, but Mick Cronin’s crew did what most bubble teams don’t; seal their bid with wins. The Bearcats are playing for a seed this week in MSG. Who saw 11-7 in the Big East coming?

Clemson: The Tigers beat Virginia Tech to keep their at-large hopes alive and get the 4 seed in the ACC tournament. They still need another win or two.

Harvard: The Crimson clinched at least a tie for the Ivy League title by beating Princeton and will face them again next weekend if Princeton beats Penn on Tuesday night.

Marshall: The Herd is the one bubble team that nobody’s paying any attention to. They have a very good win over West Virginia and their RPI is top 50. If they lose in the CUSA championship game, they’re probably going to be in as an at-large.

Kentucky: The Cats finally got another road win and against a decent team, too. Cal has a lot more work to do in Atlanta if he wants a good seed next Sunday. SEC Most Improved: Josh Harrellson – is there another choice?

Virginia Commonwealth: The Rams stumbled down the stretch but avenged an earlier loss to George Mason and look to win the CAA tonight in their hometown. A loss and they’re still a bubble team. It will be interesting if they lose by a hoop if they can still get in.

Penn State: Still alive, at least until Friday.

Old Dominion: The Monarchs might not have been a lock when they arrived in Richmond on Friday, but they will leave a lock, win or lose, after tonight’s game. The right draw could lead them to the Sweet 16.

WCC finalists: Gonzaga and St. Mary’s have to feel a lot better about their at-large chances by getting a chance to play each other tonight. The loser gets another “good” loss and should be in the discussion next Sunday.

Losers:

Bubble teams with bad losses group: Here they are: Miami, Baylor, Virginia Tech, Wichita State, Oklahoma State, Washington State, Cleveland State, Marquette, and Southern Miss. All of these teams could have taken steps to get into the tournament or at least keep their hopes alive. Only the atrocious bubble situation keeps some of them alive. Wichita State and Cleveland State don’t have any more opportunities to improve their situation and will hope to go to the NIT.

Lost in their tournament, but get NIT auto-bid group: Coastal Carolina, Missouri State, and Fairfield are all heading to the NIT as regular season champions who are likely to miss out on an at-large bid.

Missouri: The Tigers stumbled home in the Big 12 with an 8-8 record. This team is better than that, but their failure to win road games was their downfall. They don’t get any more road games, but they have to win away from home for them to achieve any kind of success.

Villanova: The Cats are in possession of the second biggest collapse in college basketball behind Minnesota. The Cats are still NCAA worthy, but will need to win a game in MSG in order to be wearing their whites in their first tourney game.

Connecticut: The brutal Big East schedule claimed both Villanova and UConn. It just looked like these teams just ran out of gas at times going against great competition every night. The Huskies need to win a couple of games in MSG to solidify a Sweet 16 seed and then take a day or two to recharge to get ready for the Madness.

Michigan State: The Spartans are arguably the most disappointing team in the country this season. They were preseason #2 and are now fighting on the bubble. They might have to beat a very good Purdue team to get in.

Purdue: The Boilers chances for a #1 seed ended in Iowa City on Saturday. One down performance in a month isn’t anything to be alarmed at. They still look like a good bet to go deep in the tournament. But they’ll be farther from home.

Colorado State: The Rams RPI is still tournament worthy, but they lack the quality wins needed. They might have to beat New Mexico AND BYU to get in.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores struggled to end the season and are now looking at a middle seed next Sunday. None of the big boys would like to see these guys on the first weekend, but unless Vandy wins a few in Atlanta, they are heading to a 7-10, 8-9 type game.

Washington: I’m not sure the Huskies would be bubble worthy in most years, but this year is like no other. They can’t be one and done in Staples later this week.

Tennessee: Bruce Pearl almost looked like “dead man walking” in the handshake line after the game yesterday. One wonders if Pearl’s job will hinge on his ability to have success in the NCAA’s. I don’t see them firing a Sweet 16 coach. First round loser? Who knows?

Monday’s Notable Games: RPI in ()

CAA Championship: (48) Virginia Commonwealth vs. (24) Old Dominion: ESPN at 7 EST

MAAC Championship: (103) St. Peter’s vs. (65) Iona: ESPN2 at 7 EST

WCC Championship: (43) St. Mary’s vs. (62) Gonzaga: ESPN at 9 EST

Southern Conference Championship: (117) Wofford vs. (67) Charleston: ESPN2 at 9 EST

Click here for conference breakdowns on This Week in College Basketball.

Big Ten Basketball Overview March 6

Big Ten Basketball Overview March 6

Team Overviews: Records are going into March 7th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Ohio State Buckeyes RPI 3

  • 29-2, 16-2 in Big Ten    Away: 9-2  Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with wins over Florida and Florida State. They have 7 gimme wins. RPI 6, schedule 68.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, at Iowa, Minn, at Mich, Penn St, Iowa, at Ill, Purdue, NW, Mich, at Minn, Mich St, Ill, Ind, at Penn St, Wis  Losses: at Wis, at Pur
  • The Buckeyes are a lock #1 seed and can get the top overall seed if they match Kansas this week.

Purdue Boilermakers RPI 7

  • 25-6, 14-4 in Big Ten   Away: 7-5  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with solid wins over Virginia Tech and Alabama with losses to Richmond and West Virginia. They had 4 gimme wins. RPI 17, schedule 70.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Mich, NW, at Penn St, Iowa, Penn St, Mich St, Minn, Ind, at Ill, Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at Mich St, Ill    Losses: at Minn, at Ohio St, at Iowa
  • The Boilers need to get to the Big Ten finals to secure a 2 seed. Winning one game ensures at least a 3 seed. If they lose their only game, it becomes a coin flip between a 3 and 4 seed.

Wisconsin Badgers RPI 13

  • 23-7, 13-5 in Big Ten   Away: 5-6  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 10-2 with wins over BC and Marquette and losses to UNLV and Notre Dame. They also had 5 gimme wins. RPI 33, schedule 111.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, Mich, Ill, Ind, at NW, Pur, Mich St, at Iowa, Ohio St, Penn St, at Mich, NW, at Ind   Losses: at Ill, at Mich St, at Penn St, at Pur, at Ohio St
  • The Badgers need to make the Big Ten finals to get a 3 seed and have a long shot chance at a 2 seed if they win the Big Ten tournament by beating Ohio State. They appear to be no worse than a 4 seed, unless they lose to Indiana.

 

Bubble Territory:

Illinois Fighting Illini RPI 40

  • 19-12, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 4-7  Neutral: 1-3
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with solid wins over Maryland, North Carolina, and Gonzaga with losses to Texas and Missouri. They also have a horrible loss to Illinois-Chicago and 4 gimme wins. RPI 43, schedule 59.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Iowa, Wis, NW, Mich St, Penn St, at Minn, Mich, Iowa, Ind    Losses: at Penn St, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Pur, at Mich St, at Ohio St, at Pur
  • The Illini need to beat Michigan to be a lock for Selection Sunday. They’re probably in anyway, but you never know. If they win two games, they should be at least a 7 seed. They should be able to get a 6 seed if they win the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan State Spartans RPI 50

  • 17-13, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 2-9  Neutral: 2-1
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 with their only good win over Washington, but solid losses to Syracuse, Connecticut, Duke, and Texas. They also have 4 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 67, schedule 21.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, at NW, Wis, NW, Ind, Penn St, Ill, at Minn, Iowa   Losses: at Penn St, at Ill, at Pur, Mich, at Iowa, at Wis, at Ohio St, Pur, at Mich
  • The Spartans need to beat Iowa to be safe on Selection Sunday. Beating Purdue would lock it up.

Michigan Wolverines RPI 56

  • 19-12, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 5-5  Neutral: 0-2
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no good wins, but solid losses to Syracuse and Kansas. They also have 5 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 61, schedule 51.
  • Big Ten Wins: Penn St, at Mich St, Iowa, at Penn St, NW, Ind, at Iowa, at Minn, Mich St    Losses: Pur, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Minn, at Ohio St, at Ill, Wis
  • The Wolverines need to beat Illinois to be safe on Selection Sunday. The bubble is bad, but they don’t want to try it. If they really want to be a lock, beat Ohio State.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Penn State Nittany Lions RPI 54

  • 16-13, 9-9 in Big Ten   Away: 3-8  Neutral: 0-0
  • OOC rundown: 7-4 with a win over Duquesne and losses to Ole Miss, Maryland and Virginia Tech. They also have 3 gimme wins a horrible loss to Maine. RPI 117, schedule 64.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, Mich St, Ill, Iowa, Wis, NW, Minn, at NW, at Minn    Losses: at Mich, Pur, at Ohio St, at Pur, at Ill, Mich, at Mich St, at Wis, Ohio St
  • It’s going to take at least a win over Wisconsin to get the Lions in. Getting to the Big Ten finals would wrap it up.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Minnesota Golden Gophers RPI 74

  • 17-13, 6-12 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with solid wins over West Virginia and North Carolina. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 21, schedule 91.
  • Wow. What a collapse. The Gophers have lost 9 of 10 to end the regular season. Easily the team that collapsed the most during this season.

Northwestern Wildcats RPI 93

  • 17-12, 7-11 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-1 with no impressive wins and their loss was to St. John’s. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 54, schedule 274.
  • The Wildcats are heading for another empty Selection Sunday.

Indiana Hoosiers RPI 184

  • 12-19, 3-15 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with no good wins. RPI 142, schedule 244.
  • Will the heat get turned up on Crean over the next week?

Iowa Hawkeyes RPI 167

  • 11-19, 4-14 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 7-5 with no good wins. RPI 209, schedule 252.
  • Fran will have this team Dancing within two years.

 Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Road to Selection Sunday for Mar 1

Jackson could help the Boilers make that magical March run

Welcome to the Road to Selection Sunday for Mar 1

News and Notes:

Lewis Jackson has stepped up for the Boilers of late to provide additional scoring.

The Illini know that they have to stop Jackson’s ability to penetrate to neutralize the Boilers offense.

Its Senior Night in Gainesville for Chandler Parsons and company as the Tide come to town.

Eddie Sutton will be inducted in the College Basketball Hall of Fame later this year.

Seth Greenberg is trying to keep the Hokies focused on their ultimate goal.

Thad Matta is leaning on Bob Knight for advice for his top ranked Buckeyes.

Josh Harrellson has had a senior year to remember for the Wildcats in Lexington.

Kevin Stallings and the Commodores talk about playing Kentucky tonight.

Winners:

Kansas State: Just in case the Wildcats hadn’t punched their ticket to March Madness, they can now. There’s nobody in the Big 12 playing better than Frank Martin’s crew right now and they are getting contributions from everybody. Jacob Pullen is making a late charge at the Big 12 POY and Rodney McGruder really kept the Cats winning before Pullen got going late. Nobody is going to be interested to see the Cats in their bracket now. Look for them to be the 4 seed in BYU’s bracket.

Notre Dame: The Irish hit 11 3’s in the first half and 20 for the game. How do you beat that if you’re Nova? Tim Abromaitis hit 9 of 13 from 3. Ridiculous. Both Abro and Hansbrough scored 30 each on Senior Night. They couldn’t plan it any better than that.

Losers:

Villanova: Nova is struggling as they’ve now lost 8 of 13 since their 16-1 start. They couldn’t stop ND’s outside shooting and were never even close. Oh, and a trip to Pittsburgh is coming on Saturday. Good luck.

Texas: The Horns continue to struggle since Nebraska erased the mystique ten days ago. Now they have lost 3 of 4 and are in danger of falling to a 3 or 4 seed. They probably have to win the Big 12 tournament now to remain in a 2 seed and could fall to a 4 seed if they were to lose to Baylor and follow that with another loss in the tournament. This team was the favorite of many only a week and a half ago to roll through March. Now they look ordinary. Need them to straighten out before they get bracket love from me.

Tuesday’s Notable Games: RPI in ()

(39) Illinois at (6) Purdue: ESPN at 7 EST

(89) Alabama at (11) Florida: ESPNU at 7 EST

(75) Baylor at (61) Oklahoma State: ESPN2 at 7 EST

(46) Boston College at (54) Virginia Tech: ESPNU at 9 EST

(3) Ohio State at (57) Penn State: 9 EST

(24) Vanderbilt at (15) Kentucky: ESPN at 9 EST

Click here for conference breakdowns on This Week in College Basketball.

Big Ten Basketball Overview February 27

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Big Ten Basketball Overview February 27

Team Overviews: Records are going into February 28th. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Ohio State Buckeyes RPI 3

  • 27-2, 14-2 in Big Ten    Away: 8-2
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with wins over Florida and Florida State. They have 7 gimme wins. RPI 6, schedule 76.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, at Iowa, Minn, at Mich, Penn St, Iowa, at Ill, Purdue, NW, Mich, at Minn, Mich St, Ill, Ind  Losses: at Wis, at Pur
  • The Buckeyes now can lose one more game and still expect a 1 seed. The Big Ten is still up for grabs going into the final week.

Purdue Boilermakers RPI 6

  • 24-5, 13-3 in Big Ten   Away: 7-4
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with solid wins over Virginia Tech and Alabama with losses to Richmond and West Virginia. They had 4 gimme wins. RPI 17, schedule 75.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Mich, NW, at Penn St, Iowa, Penn St, Mich St, Minn, Ind, at Ill, Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at Mich St    Losses: at Minn, at Ohio St
  • The Boilers keep rolling. They can get a 2 seed if they win at least 4 more games. There might be an outside chance at a 1 seed if they win out, including the Big Ten tournament.

Wisconsin Badgers RPI 13

  • 22-6, 12-4 in Big Ten   Away: 4-5
  • OOC rundown: 10-2 with wins over BC and Marquette and losses to UNLV and Notre Dame. They also had 5 gimme wins. RPI 39, schedule 131.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, Mich, Ill, Ind, at NW, Pur, Mich St, at Iowa, Ohio St, Penn St, at Mich, NW   Losses: at Ill, at Mich St, at Penn St, at Pur
  • The Badgers need at least 3 more wins to secure a Sweet 16 seed. They can move to a 3 seed if they win at least 4 games and could make it to a 2 seed if they win out, including the Big Ten tournament.

 

Bubble Territory:

Illinois Fighting Illini RPI 40

  • 18-11, 8-8 in Big Ten   Away: 4-6
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with solid wins over Maryland, North Carolina, and Gonzaga with losses to Texas and Missouri. They also have a horrible loss to Illinois-Chicago and 4 gimme wins. RPI 40, schedule 55.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Iowa, Wis, NW, Mich St, Penn St, at Minn, Mich, Iowa    Losses: at Penn St, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Pur, at Mich St, at Ohio St
  • The Illini need to win at least 2 more games to be secure on Selection Sunday. With their schedule, they will probably be forced to win games in Chicago next week.

Michigan State Spartans RPI 42

  • 16-12, 8-8 in Big Ten   Away: 2-8
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 with their only good win over Washington, but solid losses to Syracuse, Connecticut, Duke, and Texas. They also have 4 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 66, schedule 18.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, at NW, Wis, NW, Ind, Penn St, Ill, at Minn   Losses: at Penn St, at Ill, at Pur, Mich, at Iowa, at Wis, at Ohio St, Pur
  • The Spartans just got only their second road win of the season against the Gophers. They are going to need at least 3 more wins to be safe on Selection Sunday.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Michigan Wolverines RPI 57

  • 18-12, 8-9 in Big Ten   Away: 5-5
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no good wins, but solid losses to Syracuse and Kansas. They also have 5 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 65, schedule 57.
  • Big Ten Wins: Penn St, at Mich St, Iowa, at Penn St, NW, Ind, at Iowa, at Minn    Losses: Pur, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Minn, at Ohio St, at Ill, Wis
  • The Wolverines are still in the hunt. They need at least 3 more wins to be safe on Selection Sunday.

Penn State Nittany Lions RPI 58

  • 15-12, 8-8 in Big Ten   Away: 2-8
  • OOC rundown: 7-4 with a win over Duquesne and losses to Ole Miss, Maryland and Virginia Tech. They also have 3 gimme wins a horrible loss to Maine. RPI 105, schedule 53.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, Mich St, Ill, Iowa, Wis, NW, Minn, at NW    Losses: at Mich, Pur, at Ohio St, at Pur, at Ill, Mich, at Mich St, at Wis
  • The Lions might have to beat Ohio State to have a chance. They probably need their next loss to be in their second or third game in Chicago.

Minnesota Golden Gophers RPI 60

  • 17-11, 6-10 in Big Ten   Away: 3-6
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with solid wins over West Virginia and North Carolina. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 23, schedule 103.
  • Big Ten Wins: Ind, Pur, Iowa, at Mich, NW, at Iowa     Losses: at Wis, at Mich St, at Ohio St, at Pur, at Ind, Ohio St, Ill, at Penn St
  • Wow. What a collapse. The Gophers have lost 7 of 8 and probably need to win their next 4 games to have a chance.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Northwestern Wildcats RPI 98

  • 16-12, 6-11 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-1 with no impressive wins and their loss was decent, to St. John’s. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 58, schedule 282.
  • The Wildcats are heading for another empty Selection Sunday.

Indiana Hoosiers RPI 178

  • 12-17, 3-13 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with no good wins. RPI 147, schedule 259.
  • Will the heat get turned up on Crean in the next few weeks?

Iowa Hawkeyes RPI 183

  • 10-18, 3-13 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 7-5 with no good wins. RPI 205, schedule 244.
  • Fran will have this team Dancing within two more seasons.

 

That’s this week’s Big Ten overview. This will be updated next week.

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.

Big Ten Basketball Overview February 21

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Big Ten Basketball Overview February 21

Team Overviews: Records are going into February 22nd. RPI is courtesy of rpiforecast.com.

Current NCAA Locks:

Ohio State Buckeyes RPI 3

  • 25-2, 12-2 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 13-0 with wins over Florida and Florida State. They have 7 gimme wins. RPI 6, schedule 79.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, at Iowa, Minn, at Mich, Penn St, Iowa, at Ill, Purdue, NW, Mich, at Minn, Mich St  Losses: at Wis, at Pur
  • The Buckeyes can’t afford to lose any more games and expect a 1 seed. Winning the Big Ten tournament gets tougher if they drop another game in the regular season and get seeded 2 in Chicago.

Purdue Boilermakers RPI 7

  • 22-5, 11-3 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 11-2 with solid wins over Virginia Tech and Alabama with losses to Richmond and West Virginia. They had 4 gimme wins. RPI 18, schedule 85.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Mich, NW, at Penn St, Iowa, Penn St, Mich St, Minn, Ind, at Ill, Wis, Ohio St    Losses: at Minn, at Ohio St
  • Big week with wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State. They can get a 2 seed if they win at least 5 more games. There might be an outside chance at a 1 seed if they share the regular season title and win the rest of their games, including the Big Ten tournament.

Wisconsin Badgers RPI 18

  • 20-6, 10-4 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-2 with wins over BC and Marquette and losses to UNLV and Notre Dame. They also had 5 gimme wins. RPI 41, schedule 138.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, Mich, Ill, Ind, at NW, Pur, Mich St, at Iowa, Ohio St, Penn St   Losses: at Ill, at Mich St, at Penn St, at Pur
  • The Badgers need at least 5 more wins to secure a Sweet 16 seed.

 

Bubble Territory:

Minnesota Golden Gophers RPI 39

  • 17-9, 6-8 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 11-1 with solid wins over West Virginia and North Carolina. They also have 5 gimme wins. RPI 23, schedule 108.
  • Big Ten Wins: Ind, Pur, Iowa, at Mich, NW, at Iowa     Losses: at Wis, at Mich St, at Ohio St, at Pur, at Ind, Ohio St, Ill, at Penn St
  • The Gophers still have work to do as their RPI continues to plummet. They need to win at least 4 more games to be safe on Selection Sunday.

Illinois Fighting Illini RPI 41

  • 17-10, 7-7 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with solid wins over Maryland, North Carolina, and Gonzaga with losses to Texas and Missouri. They also have a horrible loss to Illinois-Chicago and 4 gimme wins. RPI 44, schedule 64.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Iowa, Wis, NW, Mich St, Penn St, at Minn, Mich    Losses: at Penn St, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Pur, at Mich St
  • Beating Ohio State on Tuesday can do wonders to their resume. They need to win at least 4 more games to be secure on Selection Sunday. With their schedule, they will probably be forced to win games in Chicago next month.

Michigan State Spartans RPI 44

  • 15-11, 7-7 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 8-4 with their only good win over Washington, but solid losses to Syracuse, Connecticut, Duke, and Texas. They also have 4 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 56, schedule 18.
  • Big Ten Wins: Minn, at NW, Wis, NW, Ind, Penn St, Ill   Losses: at Penn St, at Ill, at Pur, Mich, at Iowa, at Wis, at Ohio St
  • The Spartans are going to need at least 4 more wins to be safe on Selection Sunday.

 

Needs To Get Hot:

Michigan Wolverines RPI 57

  • 17-11, 7-8 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 10-3 with no good wins, but solid losses to Syracuse and Kansas. They also have 5 gimme wins and a non-division I win. RPI 64, schedule 66.
  • Big Ten Wins: Penn St, at Mich St, Iowa, at Penn St, NW, Ind, at Iowa    Losses: Pur, at Wis, Ohio St, at Ind, at NW, Minn, at Ohio St, at Ill
  • The Wolverines are still in the hunt. They need at least 4 more wins to be safe on Selection Sunday.

Penn State Nittany Lions RPI 60

  • 14-12, 7-8 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 7-4 with a win over Duquesne and losses to Ole Miss, Maryland and Virginia Tech. They also have 3 gimme wins a horrible loss to Maine. RPI 92, schedule 36.
  • Big Ten Wins: at Ind, Mich St, Ill, Iowa, Wis, NW, Minn    Losses: at Mich, Pur, at Ohio St, at Pur, at Ill, Mich, at Mich St, at Wis
  • The Lions might be done. They probably need their next loss to be in their second or third game in Chicago.

 

Better Win the Conference Tournament:

Northwestern Wildcats RPI 81

  • 16-10, 6-9 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 9-1 with no impressive wins and their loss was decent, to St. John’s. They also have 6 gimme wins. RPI 57, schedule 286.
  • The Wildcats are heading for another empty Selection Sunday.

Indiana Hoosiers RPI 177

  • 12-15, 3-11 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 9-4 with no good wins. RPI 144, schedule 255.
  • Will the heat get turned up on Crean in the next few weeks?

Iowa Hawkeyes RPI 166

  • 10-17, 3-12 in Big Ten
  • OOC rundown: 7-5 with no good wins. RPI 193, schedule 226.
  • Fran will have this team Dancing within two more seasons.

 

That’s this week’s Big Ten overview. This will be updated next week.

Make sure you check in every morning for a review of the previous day’s games on the Road to Selection Sunday.