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Big Ten men’s basketball bracketology: A fight for a bid

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Find out where the experts are ranking your teams.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, we are a little over halfway through Big Ten conference play, which means it’s finally time to dive into bracketology ahead of next month’s March Madness. As of late, eight teams look to be tournament locks with at least three more with the potential to join them.

Seeding should look extremely different this year with location out of the picture. Rankings will be solely determined based on record and strength of schedule rather than the usual implications of the tournament site locations.

Tournament Locks

Michigan Wolverines

ESPN: One Seed

Michigan’s dominance in Big Ten play has led to their rise from a pre-season seven seed to a real shot to see their name atop the bracket come reveal day.

CBS: One Seed

Jerry Palm has similarly ranked Michigan as a number one seed throughout the last few weeks of conference play. It says a lot about his confidence in the Wolverines, keeping them in the driver’s seat without playing a game in almost two weeks.

The Athletic: One Seed

Michigan is ranked as a number one seed in The Athletic’s ranking as well. This grouping would put the Wolverines on a collision course with the winner of an extremely tough eight vs. nine matchup in Oregon vs BYU.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus One Seed

BracketMatrix, a site that averages the bracket rankings of several industry sources, lists Michigan as a consensus one seed, with 92 out of 93 brackets listing them in that position.

Illinois Fighting Illini

ESPN: Three Seed

Joe Lunardi sees the Illini as a three seed, moving up after big wins against Iowa and Indiana.

CBS: Four Seed

CBS ranks Illinois as a four seed, which would lead to an exciting possible matchup in the round of 32 with Oklahoma State, pitting Big Ten star Ayo Dosunmu against freshman phenom Cade Cunningham.

The Athletic: Three Seed

Brian Bennet lists Illinois as a three seed in the Oscar Robertson region, which they share with Michigan.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Three Seed

BracketMatrix has Illinois at a three as well, with some brackets having the Illini on the top line with others having them as low as a six seed.

Iowa Hawkeyes

ESPN: Three Seed

Lunardi also lists the Hawkeyes as a three seed, pushing them down a seed after their slide against the Fighting Illini last week.

CBS: Two Seed

Jerry Palm is a little more optimistic about Iowa, keeping them on the two seed line.

The Athletic: Two Seed

Brian Bennett as well lists the Hawkeyes as a two seed, in what would be a brutal region consisting of Baylor, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Missouri, UCLA, Virginia Tech, UNC, UConn and Indiana.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Two Seed

Fran McCaffery’s team comes in as a consensus two seed here but is seeded as low as six in some brackets.

Ohio State Buckeyes

ESPN: Two Seed

The Buckeyes have pushed their way up to the two seed line after solid performances against Illinois and Wisconsin.

CBS: Three Seed

CBS gives OSU a three seed and sets them up for a possible second-round matchup with UCLA, who they beat on a neutral court earlier this season.

The Athletic: Three Seed

The Athletic gives Chris Holtmann’s squad a three seed as well.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Three Seed

The Buckeyes have risen as high as a top seed on some brackets, with none ranking them below the fourth slot.

Wisconsin Badgers

ESPN: Four Seed

The Badgers have dropped to a four seed in Lunardi’s bracket after dropping two of their past four games.

CBS: Five Seed

Jerry Palm’s bracket has not been updated since Wisconsin’s win over Penn State, so the Badgers currently sit at a five seed.

The Athletic: Four Seed

Bennett drops the Badgers in as a four seed in the previously mentioned Oscar Robertson region of death.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Four Seed

Although a consensus four seed, brackets did not look favorably upon UW, with some pushing the Badgers as low as a seven seed.

On The Right Path

Purdue Boilermakers

ESPN: Six Seed

The Boilermakers looked great against Minnesota before finding a way to lose to Maryland late. That should drop them a peg or two in the next rankings.

CBS: Six Seed

Matt Painter’s team finds themselves as a six seed in a daunting region that includes Villanova, Texas, Tennessee and Illinois as the top four seeds.

The Athletic: Six Seed

The Boilermakers make it 3-for-3 as a six seed and are placed into the George McGinnis Region with recent upset victims Villanova and Houston.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Six Seed

The jury is still out on Purdue with rankings as high as three and as low as 10.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

ESPN: Seven Seed

The Scarlet Knights have rebounded quite nicely after dropping as low as an eleven seed following their five-game conference skid.

CBS: Seven Seed

Rutgers falls in as a seven seed here, which would place them against St. Bonaventure, a team the Scarlet Knights lost to 80-74 a season ago.

The Athletic: Nine Seed

Brian Bennett’s rankings, which have not been updated since January 29, should push the Scarlet Knights up in the next update.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Eight Seed

Recently updated brackets seem to be giving Rutgers the benefit of the doubt with rankings up to six, but older versions see the Scarlet Knights as low as a 12 seed.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

ESPN: Eight Seed

Minnesota climbed as high as a six seed following their December hype but has dropped back down to an eight seed for Lunardi after poor play recently.

CBS: Seven Seed

Minnesota gains a seven seed from Jerry Palm, in what would feature a very interesting matchup against a currently undefeated Drake, the former team of transfer Liam Robbins.

The Athletic: Five Seed

Similar to Rutgers, Minnesota will drop in the rankings due to their struggles in conference play.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Seven Seed

Recent setbacks have made some bracketologists weary of the Golden Gophers, with many seeding Pitino’s squad 11th or 12th.

Indiana Hoosiers

ESPN: Eleven Seed

The Hoosiers had their season-defining win versus Iowa before losing back-to-back heartbreakers to Rutgers and Illinois.

CBS: Eleven Seed

Palm puts the Hoosiers at an 11 seed, with an unfortunate first-round matchup with the Virginia Cavaliers.

The Athletic: Eleven Seed

Indiana consistently sits at an 11 seed, but Brian Bennett’s version sees a more favorable, Chris Smith-less UCLA matchup.

BracketMatrix.com: Consensus Twelve Seed

Eight-one out of 93 brackets see the Hoosiers as a tournament team. They’ll need quality wins the rest of the way to solidify their spot.

Outside Looking In

Maryland Terrapins: First Four Out

Penn State: Next Four Out

Most Likely Waiting for 2022

Michigan State, Northwestern, Nebraska