Michigan State’s Road to the Championship
Friday, 2:30 p.m., ESPN, Opponent: Ohio State
Saturday, 1:40 p.m. CBS, Likely opponent: Wisconsin
Sunday, 3:30 p.m., CBS, Likely opponent: Purdue/Indiana winner
What the Logarithms Say
Ken Pomeroy uses the “log5” method to determine the odds of each team winning the Big Ten Tournament championship. He pegs #1 seed Wisconsin as as 56.0% shot to take home the trophy. That seems a bit high intuitively–but probably not by much. Purdue, IU, and MSU follow at 13.9%, 11.9%, and 10.4%, respecitvely. Northwestern is a 50,000-to-1 shot to stand atop the podium Sunday evening.
My Picks for the Bracket Contest
Below are my picks for the First Annual and World’s Only (As Far As We Know) Big Ten Tournament Bracket Contest. I will not, of course, be eligible to win the prize as awarding my own prize to myself could result in a rip in the time-space continuum. But I do want to play along for potential bragging rights.
I’m going to use the results of yesterday’s trend curve analysis to make my picks. Here we go:
- Game 1: Iowa over Michigan
- Game 2: Illinois over Penn State
- Game 3: Minnesota over Northwestern
- Game 4: Wisconsin over Iowa
- Game 5: Ohio State over MSU (also serves as an attempt to offset any jinxing perpetrated by those of you who have loyally picked the Spartans to win the championship)
- Game 6: Purdue over Illinois
- Game 7: Minnesota over Indiana (Minnesota technically on downswing but it’s a function of playing away games at Indiana and Illinois to close season; IU in free fall under Dakich)
- Game 8: Wisconsin over Ohio State
- Game 9: Purdue over Minnesota
- Game 10: Wisconsin over Purdue (Badgers avenge their only two losses of the conference season; Purdue has depth advantage, but previous analysis has found that’s not actually a significant advantage in the conference tournament)
- Tie-breaker: 61 possessions
Michigan State-Ohio State
I’m not going to do a full game preview, since I did a really long one for this same match-up just four days ago. Summary of keys for MSU:
- Hound Butler for 40 minutes.
- Make enough 3-pointers to keep the Buckeye zone honest.
- ATTACK THE PRESS FOR EASY BASKETS!
In terms of the psychological aspects of Ohio State playing for an NCAA tournament slot, the upsets in mid-major conference tournaments is pushing them down the bubble. Joe Lunardi and the Bracket Project both show the Ohio State as the last at-large team in at the moment. The stakes for the Buckeyes will be distinctly evident going into Friday’s game.
Future Spartan in Tournament Action
Draymond Green shot just 6-22 from the field, but had 14 points and 18 rebounds to lead Saginaw past Clarkston in a double-overtime thriller, 86-77. Saginaw advances to the Class A semifinals to play East Lansing at the Breslin Center on Friday (1:00) in their attempt to win back-to-back state championships.