It’s almost time for the most wonderful time of the sporting calendar: MARCH MADNESS! Obviously Nebrasketball fans out there realize that there’s statistically something like a 1% or less chance of the Nebraska Cornhuskers making it anywhere beyond the Big Ten Tournament that tips off two weeks from today.
This is because their losing record both overall, let alone in conference play, prevents them from even an outside chance at something as lowly as a CBI bid. The only possible way for Nebraska to keep their season alive is to do the unprecedented accomplishment of advancing from a Wednesday bottom four seed game in the conference tournament to win it all and get the autobid to the NCAA tournament that comes along with it. Mind you, since expanding to 14 teams, no team that started play on Wednesday has made it past even the quarter-final round on Friday.
Then again, when it comes to Nebraska, they’ve never even made it as far as Saturday in the Big Ten Tournament even before the bracket expanded in 2015. Since expansion, Nebraska has only even advanced to Friday twice, and started play as a top four seed one other season before promptly losing to eventual tournament champ _____gan that year.
Now, onto the seedings. There is very little intrigue at the bottom of the bracket as there are only really two scenarios. If Nebraska beats Northwestern and avoids any other losses, they will be seeded at the 13 line. If they lose to Northwestern and all other remaining games, then they will be the 14 seed, even if Northwestern otherwise loses out their remaining games as well. If Nebraska loses to Northwestern, Northwestern loses out otherwise, but the Huskers get at least two other wins of the three other remaining games, then they can stay as the 13 seed.
Honestly this is getting complicated trying to clearly word the scenarios that won’t happen. You get the point here, right? Nebraska needs to beat Northwestern to be seeded 13, and neither team is likely to win any other remaining regular season game. Does the seed even matter in the end here? Let’s take a look at the projection prior to Tuesday night’s games, shall we:
Entering play today, there are 134,217,728 scenarios in play for the Big Ten Tournament. There are multiple 25-game sequences that exist that could generate a 10-team tie for 1st place. https://t.co/peysGoKfDV— Kevin Pauga (@KevinPauga) February 25, 2020
MSU beat Iowa last night, causing a bit of chaos in the middle, but it seems somewhat likely for now that it will end a toss-up in back between Minnesota and Purdue opening play against Northwestern and Nebraska. Neither is a great match-up, but Minnesota is the Huskers last opponent of the season and turning around to face them just three days later may be the best case scenario. Either way, let’s hear your prediction for what will happen in the tournament in the comment.
Who do you want the Huskers to face Wednesday?
This poll is closed
Weekend Leap-Day Update
Let’s take a moment on our extra day of the year to take an extra look at updated bracket projections before we get into the weekend’s full slate of games.
Leap Day look at the current B1G tourney bracket: pic.twitter.com/lNVNrADZrf— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 29, 2020
Currently Nebraska gets Minnesota if the tournament started today. The very next opponent for whoever wins that match-up is a brutal one in Penn State. However, the middle is as crazy as ever down the stretch and there are bound to be some potential big swings between now and the end of conference play next Sunday night!