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Northwestern vs. Purdue/conference tournament live game thread spectacular

Despite a smaller than expected turnout yesterday, we're opening up another all day game thread. There a ton of great match-ups all day, of course leading up the NU-Purdue game at 5:30 central. So join us, and if you're a betting man, here are my picks for today's other Big Ten games.

#8 Michigan vs. #1 Ohio State (-9). 11 AM central, ESPN

Michigan couldn't put Iowa away yesterday and let the Hawkeyes hang around for way way too long. Since Ohio State is somewhere between 2 and 500 times better than Iowa, I expect a blowout Buckeye win, although maybe this will be like the Big East with the top seeds losing after getting a bye. As a side note, can someone explain to me why Big East teams getting a double bye is somehow a bad thing for those teams? It's a deep conference and sometimes there are upsets, I can't think of one logical reason why having an extra day off would lead a team to play worse. It's not like Syracuse and Villanova had 2 weeks off; both were in action on Saturday. Makes no sense that some in the media think a double bye hurts a team (I'm looking at you, Adrian Branch).

Pick: Ohio State

#5 Illinois vs. #4 Wisconsin (-8.5), approx. 1:30 central. ESPN

I have to say I am a bit confused by this line, and really want to take Illinois, but the Illini are impossible to figure out. Just when you think they're dead, they pull off an upset, and just when you think they've got an NCAA bid locked down, they do things like scoring 14 in a half vs. Minnesota and collapsing down the stretch vs. Wisconsin. Illinois could win this game by 15 or lose by 25 and neither would really surprise me. While I expect them to complete their late-season collapse with a loss, 8.5 is bit too many to give.

Pick: Illinois

#6 Minnesota vs. #3 Michigan State (-3), approx. 8 PM central, BTN

As I typed the last sentence, I looked the line for the first time and said "Wow!" out loud. I know Chris Allen is suspended for Michigan State, but this line should be at least 4 points higher. When an NIT team is playing a top 15 team on a neutral court, and the top 15 team is only giving 3, that's way too good to pass up.

Pick: Michigan State

Overall record: 45-47-2
Northwestern games: 15-7