Big Ten Tournament Bracketology: Badgers could still get No. 1 seed

Last week we took a look at the possibilities of where the Badgers will end up in the NCAA Tournament. Now it's time to look at the Big Ten Tournament bracket and see where Wisconsin will end up in Indianapolis.

Keep in mind that most teams still have two games this week and the seedings could easily change. This is how the bracket looks today:

2011bigtenbracket_medium

 

For reference, here's a link to the Big Ten tiebreaking procedures.

Technically, It's still possible for the Badgers to win a share of the Big Ten title and get the No. 1 overall seed in the Big Ten Tournament, but they need a lot of help. Ohio State travels to Penn State Tuesday night, which is no gimmie considering how well the Nittany Lions have played at home this year. If the Buckeyes were to lose, that would give the Badgers a chance to pull into a tie with Ohio State in Columbus Sunday.

The problem is that a Buckeye loss tonight would open the door for Purdue to possibility win the Big Ten outright if the Badgers pulled out the win Sunday as well. The Boilermakers host Illinois and go to Iowa this week. Quite frankly, it's hard to see them losing either game and Wisconsin would need them to lose at least one of them to earn the No. 1 seed.

But let's consider a three-way tie between Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin, which could only happen if the Badgers beat the Buckyeyes Sunday. That would give UW the tiebreaker because they would have a 3-1 record against the Bucks and Boilers. Purdue would get the No. 2 seed with a 2-2 record and Ohio State would fall to the No. 3 seed with a 1-3 record.

As you can see, a win Sunday at Ohio State would be very helpful for tiebreakers -- even if it is just for the No. 2 seed. If tied with Purdue for second place, Wisconsin would have the tiebreaker because of a 2-0 record against Ohio State (the first tiebreaker is head-to-head and Purdue and Wisconsin split their games this season). If tied with Ohio State for second place, Wisconsin would have the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning both games.

Of course, the Badgers could lose Thursday at Indiana and none of this would matter. The good news is that Wisconsin has already clinched at least the No. 3 seed.

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