Andy Glockner has some interesting thoughts on Big Ten bubble teams (beyond the five locks of Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin).
None of them are listed in the “should be in” section – with three in the “in the mix” section:
IN THE MIX
Purdue (19-10, 9-7; RPI: 40, SOS: 19)
A huge, huge win at Michigan helps move the Boilermakers closer to an NCAA berth. With an earlier win over Temple, that’s two high-quality Ws to go with the demolition of the middle of the conference. Now 10-8 looks pretty likely with Penn State coming in on Wednesday, and they get a shot to punch their ticket in Bloomington on Sunday. Somehow lose both? Hmm…
GW: Temple (N), Iona??, sweep of Northwestern?, Miami (Fla.)?
BL: Butler (N), at Penn State
Northwestern (17-11, 7-9; RPI: 43, SOS: 12)
The Wildcats were very fortunate to escape at Penn State with their hopes intact. Now they host a sliding Ohio State team in the game that could be the difference between making the tournament and losing out on a bid. Northwestern needs this win. There are no truly bad losses on the resume, but not nearly enough good wins given the number of chances.
GW: Michigan State, Seton Hall (N)?, at Illinois???
Illinois (17-12, 6-10; RPI: 74, SOS: 25)
If the Illini can win their next four and make the Big Ten semis, they would not be a ridiculous at-large consideration. It may take making the final, though, which likely would provide another marquee win.
GW: Ohio State, Michigan State, Gonzaga, at Northwestern?
BL: at Penn State, at Nebraska
I would think Purdue is a “should be in,” especially if they take care of Penn State tomorrow night. Northwestern is in the right place, and Illinois? Well, as he notes, they have some work to do.
(For the record, Glockner has both Purdue and Northwestern in his bracket as of today.)