Feb 16, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play during the 2nd half of a game at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Basketball: Big Ten Basketball -- Heading For Home

GBMWolverine Basketball TidbitsPosted at 7:00am — 2/20/2014

Michigan Basketball: Big Ten Basketball — Heading For Home

Big Ten Basketball Shaping Up

The dogs are not only running, but as long predicted biting hard this season. Here is an update on the progress and predictions of league teams. The disclaimer for many teams, that of making the NCAA Tournament by winning the league tournament is hereby offered.

Little Chance:

Northwestern – The Wildcats sure hung in for a while and may have another surprise in store before the season ends. Both championship and tournament hopes are cooked, but Coach Collins has to be at least in the running for coaching honor consideration.

Feb 16, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Tim Miles reacts from the sidelines during the second half at Jack Breslin Student Events Center. The Cornhuskers won 60-51. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Needs Help:

Penn State – capable of an upset, but too much ground to make up. Cooked.

Nebraska – We mentioned this team had much improved talent and would play well at home. Already, the Huskers have had big upsets, that may not really be truly big upsets. Nebraska is hanging on and the fork will have to wait. Nebraska is 6-6 in the league, but the 14-10 overall record spells probably doom for the big dance.

Purdue – plays very hard and put a big dent in Indiana’s hopes with last week’s upset. The 5-7 league record paired with an overall record of 15-10 means that Purdue must make a big run. Still hanging on, but still in need of help.

Minnesota – is at the edge of being in the mixer and needing help. With 17 wins, the Gophers are in good shape, but must avoid a tank job of say four or five losses going down the homestretch. Coach Pitino has done a nice job of keeping this team in the hunt.

The mixer:

Illinois – has played its way out of the mixer, put the fork in this team. Still capable of beating anyone, the Illini continue to make too many mistakes and the guard play of last year seems to say different folks, same results. To have any chance, Illinois must run the table and then win at least one conference tournament game.

Feb 15, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermaker coach Matt Painter shakes hands after the game with Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Crean at Mackey Arena. Purdue defeats Indiana 82-64. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana – was demoted from contender to the mixer because of youth and early season losses. The Hoosiers are in trouble and have gone from the mixer to needing help. Eight league losses and 11 overall spell trouble. This may be the best contender for a team out of the running winning out and getting in, but this supposition is still a long shot.

Iowa – early on was promoted from last year’s needing help to being firmly in the mixer. The Hawkeyes are only one game out and therefore must be boosted to contender. Well coached and hard playing, here is a team that must be beat by the opponent.

Michigan – was picked to be about a fifth place team, a mixer. This could still happen as teams now have a clear game plan against the Wolverines. But as of right now, tied for the league lead certainly equals a contender.

The contenders:

Feb 9, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo talks with Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bo Ryan after their game at the Kohl Center. The Badgers won 60-58. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin – was picked as a contender because of the most favorable schedule in the league. An early strong of losses put the Badgers in a small hole, but only being two games behind and with a good schedule, Wisconsin is still labeled a contender. This team is on the upswing. But in this league things are fluid.

Ohio State – ran the table against a couple of good teams and a bunch of exhibitions in preseason. The 15-0 top three ranking has sprung leaks. There have been games where the shooting has been abysmal. Unexpectedly, the rebounding has been just as bad. Ohio State still probably has the best pure athletes in the conference and could get hot if the scorers get on a run. The Buckeyes are demoted from contender to mixer.

Michigan State – is still the odds on favorite to win the regular season championship regardless of their record. Big, strong, athletic, and balanced, this is a really good team, period. If Michigan loses the big game coming up, everyone else may be playing for second place.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu

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