Michigan vs. Indiana – IU won a blowout victory in their one meeting this year at Crisler, when they erased an early Michigan lead with a landslide run which the Wolvies could never chip away at. Michigan still likely needs a win in this game to wrap up an NCAA bid…I’d give them a small chance without it, but well under 50% from the way things look. For IU, they’re looking to validate their regular season title, keep their momentum intact heading into the NCAA Tournament, erase a history filled mostly with poor BTT performances, and try to maximize their seeding for Sunday.
As mentioned above, IU’s history in this event is mostly awful. They are 11-18 over the life of this event, so not even averaging a win per season. This one is in their backyard and I have a hard time imagining Michigan dealing with IU’s offensive onslaught. I’m figuring IU wins easily.
Illinois vs. Purdue – The Illini pulled off a big upset, beating an Iowa team which is sputtering badly to the (likely early) finish line. However, I think this is where the road ends. I don’t think Illinois can handle Purdue’s big kids inside over 40 minutes. That said, Illinois beat Purdue in C/U by 14 points in their sole meeting in the regular season. I just can’t see that result repeating. This will be essentially a home game for the Boilers as well, and I think that plus a talent and size advantage lead to a Purdue win.
Nebraska vs. Maryland – Nebraska just pulled off an impressive victory over Wisconsin to get to this game, facing the most out of balance “good” Big Ten team not named Iowa. Can Nebraska muster up a major effort for a 3rd straight day? I’m betting no. I would have been tempted to pick Wisconsin to beat Maryland but that’s because I think their patience is particularly suited to frustrate the Terps. Nebraska is at their best when they play faster and that’s where Maryland will likely be more comfortable as well. I’ll go with the Terps