by John Huffstetler
Updated through Friday February 24th
Locks- Mich St., Ohio St., Mich, Indiana, Wisconsin
Purdue- Record- 18-10 (8-7 in Big Ten)
Games Remaining- at Mich, vs. Penn St., at Ind
Ken Pom Rating- 35
Ken Pom SOS- 19
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- Iona (neutral), Temple (Neutral), Mia (Fl.), Illinois (Twice), at Minn, NWestern (Twice),
Bad Losses- Butler (Neutral), Penn St. (away)
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 8-2- Wins over Iona, Temp, Mia Fl, Ill x 2, Minn, NWestern x 2 and Losses to Alabama, Xavier
In or Out right now- In- Beating Illinois and Northwestern twice puts them firmly above both fellow Big Ten squads. In addition, their quality wins and impressive record against other bubble teams gives them an edge over most bubble teams in the country. Even if they lose their 3 remaining games, they could still conceivably make the tourney.
Northwestern- Record- 16-11 (6-9)
Games Remaining- at Penn St., vs. Ohio St., at Iowa
Ken Pom Rating- 54
Ken Pom SOS- 6
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- Mich St., LSU (neutral), SHall (neutral), at Ill, Minn
Bad Losses- None
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 4-4- Wins over LSU, SHall, Ill, Minn and Losses to Ill, Minn, Pur x 2
In or Out right now- Out- If the Wildcats don't make the NCAA field, they will look back and regret the two OT losses to Michigan. One or both of those wins could have them in the field right now. As they stand right now, they have no losses outside of the top 63 on Ken Pom and have a strong quality win over Michigan St. If they win 2 of their final 3, Northwestern will most likely secure their first ever NCAA tournament bid.
Illinois- Record- 16-12 (5-10 in Big Ten)
Games Remaining- vs. Iowa, vs. Mich, at Wis
Ken Pom Rating- 63
Ken Pom SOS- 7
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- Ohio St., Mich St., Gonzaga, St. Bona, Minn, at NWestern
Bad Losses- at Penn St., at Neb
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 3-4- Wins over St. Bona, Minn, NWestern and Losses to Pur x 2, Minn, NWestern
In or Out right now- Out- On January 18th, Illinois looked like a guarantee to make the NCAA tourney, but after losing 9 of their last 10 games, the Illini are currently on the outside of the field. Despite their recent struggles, Illinois still has a legitimate chance to make the field with a few late season wins. They have several high quality wins, including victories over two top 10 squads in Michigan St. (#3 in Ken Pom) and Ohio St. (#2 in Ken Pom). If they win 2 of their last 3, they still have a chance of making the field. 3 wins should definitely get them in because they would add quality victories over Wisconsin and Michigan in that scenario.
Minnesota- Record- 17-11 (5-10 in Big Ten)
Games Remaining- vs. Ind, at Wisc, vs. Neb
Ken Pom Rating- 52
Ken Pom SOS- 25
Quality Wins (vs. Ken Pom Top 75)- at Ind, NWestern, Ill, South Dakota St.
Bad Losses- None
Record vs. Other Bubble Teams- 2-3- Wins over NWestern, Ill and Losses to Ill, Pur, NWestern
In or Out right now- Out- Like Illinois, the Big Ten record just isn't good enough to warrant at-large consideration right now. Unlike Illinois, Minnesota doesn't have two wins against top 10 teams to potentially overcome the weaker conference record. The fact that they have no losses against teams outside the top 100 helps their cause, but they probably need to win out to get in, which isn't likely.
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