MADNESS IN MINNEAPOLIS: It’s Big Ten Tourney Time!

Gophers

March Madness already has a firm grip on the people of the Twin Cities. Last weekend the Iowa Hawkeyes and their faithful fans left Minneapolis with their 3rd consecutive women’s Big Ten title. This week the men’s Big Ten tournament rolls into Minneapolis. Minneapolis is buzzing with Big Ten fans from Piscataway to Lincoln and there’s a ton of questions still to be answered before the big dance starts next week! Here’s the lay of the land on this week’s tournament.

Wednesday 3/13

  • Rutgers vs Maryland (5:30 PM CT)
  • Michigan vs Penn State (7:30 PM CT)

For those of you not attending, both of these 2 games will be on the cock (Peacock). I totally understand if you don’t have any interest, I’m sure your other Wednesday night activities are super exhilarating… But on the bright side, if you are looking for cheap tickets for a chance to take in the tourney, this is your shot! Besides that, is Juwan Howard getting left on the tarmac at MSP when Michigan gets bounced? That’s really my only point of interest.

Thursday 3/14

  • Minnesota vs Michigan State (11 AM CT)
  • Wisconsin vs Winner of Michigan/Penn State (1:00 PM CT)
  • Ohio State vs Iowa (5:30 PM CT)
  • Indiana vs Winner of Rutgers/Maryland (7:30 PM)

Alright Gopher fans, I’ve got good news and bad news…. The good news is you can still make the NCAA tournament. The bad news is you will likely need to win this entire tournament to do so. You also might only get one shot to show up and show out for the Big Ten tourney at home so get after it! Get the bloodies rolling for a little brunch and basketball with the 11 am start. Work or class will be there when you get back to it on Friday…or even Monday.

Friday 3/15

Top 4 Seeds (Triple Bye):

  • Purdue
  • Illinois
  • Nebraska 
  • Northwestern

It’s just weird seeing Nebraska and Northwestern as the top 4 seeds in this tournament. I gotta say this could not have been set up better for Fred Hoiberg and Big Red. There’s a Husker bar in downtown Minneapolis just steps away from Target Center and they are a top 4 seed in their conference tournament. Even if you’re not a Nebraska fan I can assure you Lyon’s Pub will be rocking before, during, and possibly after the Huskers Friday on night game.

Is There a Curse Brewing?

Winning the Big Ten Tournament has been somewhat of a curse in recent seasons with 3 straight tournament champions failing to advance to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

  • 2023 Purdue: Round of 64 Loss to #16 Fairleigh Dickinson
  • 2022 Iowa: Round of 64 Loss to #12 Richmond
  • 2021 Illinois: Round of 32 Loss to #8 Loyola Chicago

Prediction

Purdue and Illinois both seem to be on a war path to meet in the Big Ten Tournament Final. My prediction is Nebraska has the most representation of Big Ten fan bases outside the Twin Cities and I think Purdue goes back to back as Big Ten Tournament champions. 

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