No. 12 Wisconsin (25-6), No. 23 Michigan State (23-8) and Nebraska (19-11) — the second, third and fourth seeds — all earned byes into Friday’s quarterfinals. The Badgers will play Minnesota (19-12) or Penn State (15-16), while the Spartans get Iowa (20-11) or Northwestern (13-18) and Nebraska squares off against Minnesota (19-12) or Penn State (15-16).
Here are five things to look for this week in Indianapolis.
PLAY-IN GAMES: Most tourney analysts believe six Big Ten teams will get NCAA tournament bids. A seventh could get in with a strong tourney run. The two teams with the most to gain or lose this week appear to be Minnesota and Nebraska.
PETTEWAY’S PUSH: Terran Petteway had a breakout season for the Cornhuskers, averaging 18 points and earning all-league honors. He also has the Cornhuskers going into the postseason as one of the league’s hottest teams with 10 wins in 12 games. The Nebraska women won their first-ever conference tournament title Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which prompted coach Connie Yori to declare that Nebraska is no longer just a football school. Now the men’s team has a chance to prove it.
HEALTHY SPARTANS: Michigan State coach Tom Izzo does his best work in March and April and there’s no place he’d rather be than Indy. Here, Izzo has won a tourney title, his lone national championship and a regional final that allowed the Spartans to make a Final Four appearance in suburban Detroit. Can he do it again? Perhaps. His team, once considered a national title contender, is finally getting healthy.
THE RED BADGERS: Wisconsin regained its mojo during the second half of the conference season and is now moving full steam ahead into the postseason. How good are these Badgers? They were ranked in the top five in January and were one of the last undefeated teams in the nation. After a midseason slump, the Badgers are playing well again.