Torvik has challenged me to a Big Ten Tourney pool since we will be attending our first tourney this weekend.
On Thursday I like the favorites Iowa, Michigan, and Purdue. The tricky one is the 8-9 game of IL vs Minn. These teams split the season series, with each team picking up a road win on the other's home floor. Illinois struggled early in the season before ripping of 5 straight wins in Feb, then finished the season losing 3 of 4 with all 3 losses on the road to teams that finished ahead of them. Minnesota is a hard team to figure out. After winning their first 3 they finished 5-10. They won big games against MSU, Indiana, and UW but lost road games to Northwestern and Nebraska. This game looks like a toss up, and it probably comes down to how IL shoots the 3. In their home loss they were 3-24, and in the road win IL was 11-23. IL also played much better defense as the season went along, and held Minn to 38% shooting in the second matchup after Minn shot over 50% in the first.
I'm picking Minn in this one. Mbakwe had a double double in both matchups and I don't think IL has an answer for him down low. I think he gets another and leads Minn to the win.
On Friday I like Indiana to outscore Minnesota, and MI to beat UW. The Big Ten Tourney always has big upsets so I have to pick one in the evening games on Friday. Both Iowa and Purdue are desperate for wins as Purdue needs 2 tourney wins to get to .500 and have a shot at the post season and Iowa probably needs 2 wins for a shot at the NCAA. I think OSU gets by Purdue, but I'll take Iowa over MSU and keep hope alive that my preseason prediction of Iowa in the dance is correct.
For the weekend I like MI over IU, and OSU over Iowa. With Trey Burke leading MI over OSU in the championship game.
How about you Torvik?
I say the wager should be the entry fee into Bill's pool for the big tourney.