Big Ten Basketball Tournament Bracket Predictions, Odds & Best Bets for 2023: Back the Boilermakers
March Madness is right around the corner, but before we can get to the big dance, the teams have to fight through their conference tournaments. The Big Ten basketball tournament runs from Wednesday, March 8 to Sunday, March 12, and it will be at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
The winner of the Big Ten tournament is automatically placed into the Round of 64 for March Madness. But a few teams from the Big Ten could get an at-large bid and be invited to the tournament, even without winning the Big Ten title. We’ve provided the odds for each team to win the Big Ten title as well as our best bet for the tournament.
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Big Ten Basketball Tournament Preview
It was a season to remember for the Purdue Boilermakers as they finished at the top of the Big Ten. The Boilermakers were 26-5 overall and 15-5 in conference play, while being ranked in the top 25 for nearly the entire season. They were the best Big Ten team this season, as no other team in the conference came close to stealing the best record away from them. Because of their stellar season, they locked up the #1 seed in the conference tournament.
At 21-10 overall and 12-8 in conference, Northwestern earned the #2 seed. They are followed by Indiana as the #3 seed and Michigan State as the #4 seed. All 4 teams earned much-needed rest and will not compete until the quarterfinals, which is a huge advantage at this time of year. But after the top 4 seeds, this is a very balanced conference. Illinois, Maryland, Iowa and Michigan all had respectable seasons and are more than capable of creating a few upsets in the tournament.
Big Ten Basketball Tournament Odds
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook
Michigan State +600
Penn State +2500
Ohio State +7500
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Big Ten Basketball Tournament Best Bet: Purdue (+145)
Unfortunately, Purdue’s struggles at the end of the season caused a distraction from how dominant they were for most of the season. In all transparency, the Boilermakers did not do great at the end of the season. They lost 3 of their final 6 games to Indiana, Maryland and Northwestern — all conference opponents. It was a good reality check for Purdue before heading into the conference tournament since they played most of the season without much adversity. And while those losses put a dampener on Purdue’s strong season, all 3 losses can be explained. From 3-point land, the Boilermakers were 5/22 (22.7%) against Northwestern, 2/23 (8.7%) against Maryland and 5/23 (21.75%) against Indiana.
While Purdue doesn’t pride itself on excellent 3-point shooting, they finished the season shooting 32.7% from deep as a team. They lost those games because when Zach Edey was doubled in the paint and kicked it out the perimeter for an open shot, they missed. I’m not expecting Purdue to make 10+ 3-pointers per game, but more than 2-5. They were 6/18 (33.3%) from deep in their 76-71 win over Illinois to conclude their regular season, and if they can replicate that performance in the Big Ten tournament, they are going to be hard to beat.
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