Previewing the B1G Tournament: Which team is favored to win automatic bid?

The Big Ten’s men’s basketball tournament will get going Thursday with four games. The winner of course gets an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, but for seven teams there is really little chance they DON’T get invited anyway.

For Spartan fans, Michigan State has rarely done well in the B1G Tournament. The last time MSU won it was way back in 2001. And in the short history of the tournament, the Spartans have only made the finals twice (also winning it back in 1999).

Tom Izzo has made it point the past few weeks that his team is not taking this tournament lightly, as many have speculated over the past decade.

We’ll see about that, but you can bet after the more than heartbreaking loss to Ohio State last weekend, this Spartan team has something to prove.

So which Big Ten team is the odds-on favorite to win the tournament?

Here is how Ken Pomeroy sees the odds.

Pomeroy’s predictions seem to be pretty good, after all, MSU has not done well in the past and Ohio State has. Also, Wisconsin always proves to be a tough out for any team. We think that Indiana has a really solid shot of winning it all as well, but they have the disadvantage of playing Thursday, which would be tough to win four games in four days.

Illinois could also be a dangerous team given how poorly they have played and especially with Bruce Weber’s job likely on the line. For MSU, though, if they do win this tournament, it sends the message to the nation that they are not messing around anymore and who knows, a No. 1 seed might be in the cards.

Here are Thursday’s games from Indianaoplis:

Game 1

  • No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Illinois, 11:30 a.m. ET

Game 2

  • No. 5 Indiana vs. No. 12 Penn State, 2 p.m. ET

Game 3

  • No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Minnesota, 5:30 p.m. ET

Game 4

  • No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 11 Nebraska, 8 p.m. ET

Men’s Big Ten Tournament bracket

Tags: Big Ten Basketball Big Ten Tournament Michigan State Basketball

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