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Big Ten MBB Bracketology: Cannibalism at its finest

How can we summarize this one?

Purdue v Indiana Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We are more than halfway into conference play and less than six weeks until Selection Sunday, and as usual this year, the Big Ten is a mess. Besides Purdue, the Big Ten is hard to figure out, with the middle featuring so called “Big Ten cannibalism” that the conference has become to know so well. Let’s see where bracket experts have Northwestern and their competitors:

Tournament Locks

Purdue Boilermakers

ESPN: One seed

Joe Lunardi has had the Boilermakers as a one seed for most of the season, and they continue to be the No. 1 overall seed.

CBS: One seed

There won’t be too much differentiation here. Consensus one seed

Purdue is ranked No. 1 in the country currently and is a one seed in 97 out of 97 brackets.

Indiana Hoosiers

ESPN: Five seed

The surging Hoosiers continue to rise on ESPN’s bracket, and should be a shoe-in for the tournament.

CBS: Five seed

Indiana borders the four or five seed on CBS’s bracket. Consensus five seed

Indiana has an average seed of 5.30 across 97 sites.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

ESPN: Five seed

A big win against Michigan State has Rutgers moving up for Lunardi.

CBS: Seven seed

CBS is not as kind to the Scarlet Knights as ESPN. Consensus five seed

There is more fluctuation for Rutgers than Indiana, but the Scarlet Knights settle at the five seed.

Should be Fine

Iowa Hawkeyes

ESPN: Seven seed

Iowa is one of the hottest teams in the conference, and Lunardi notes this in his latest bracket.

CBS: Six seed

CBS gives the Hawkeyes a little more leeway in its newest bracket. Consensus eight seed

Across the 97 sites, Iowa is as high as a five seed and as low as a nine.

Illinois Fighting Illini

ESPN: Five seed

The Fighting Illini stay put at a five seed in ESPN’s latest bracket.

CBS: Seven seed

Though it probably won’t hold, CBS currently projects a mouth-watering first round matchup between Illinois and Kentucky in Denver. Consensus five seed

Illinois has an average seed of 5.57 across the 97 sites.

Maryland Terrapins

ESPN: Eight seed

Maryland has won some big games lately, and this has the Terrapins tending up on ESPN.

CBS: Eight seed

The Terps are in the same exact position on CBS. Consensus eight seed

BracketMatrix is pretty similar. Maryland has an average seed of 8.26 across 97 sites.

Michigan State Spartans

ESPN: Eight seed

ESPN is pretty favorable to the Spartans, who are .500 in conference, giving them an eight seed.

CBS: Ten seed

Michigan State is lower on CBS than ESPN, but still pretty safe. But, this can change. Consensus eight seed

All 97 sites have Michigan State in the tournament, with an average seed of 8.70.

The Bubble

Yes, Northwestern has its own section.

Northwestern Wildcats

ESPN: Ten seed

Lunardi has the Wildcats as one of the last four byes, which is fair compared to the expectations coming into the year.

CBS: Ten seed

Northwestern matches up against Providence in the first round of CBS’s bracket. Consensus ten seed

91 of 97 sites have Northwestern in the field of 68. The Wildcats’ games against Ohio State and Purdue should give some more clarity.

Outside looking in:

Penn State (next four out), Wisconsin (next four out), Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota, Nebraska.