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Big Ten Tournament Seeds: Where Minnesota might end up

We’ve got less than a week of games left. Here’s how the rest of the league might impact Minnesota’s BTT seed.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Maryland Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

NOTE: I’ve updated the seeding options, standings, and the rooting interests to reflect the games from Tuesday night.

Talking about seeds is fun once you’re already in the NCAA Tournament. It’s fun when you’re talking Big Dance seeds and it’s fun when you’re talking Big Ten Tournament seeds. Because in the end what you’re talking about is how good might things get.

Last week I did a high level overview of some of the likely and less likely scenarios Minnesota might face when it comes to Big Ten Tourney seeds. Now that there are a more limited set of paths for the Gophers I’m going to dive into this a little more, but not as deeply as I wanted because holy crap are there a lot of scenarios when the B1G standings are this crowded. Thanks in advance to MNDailyGuy, whose work in the comments of the NCAA seed post saved me some time.

Before we get to the options, here’s a quick overview of the standings and the remaining B1G games this week:


1) Purdue, 13-4

2) Wisconsin, 11-5

3) Maryland, 11-6

4) Michigan State, 10-6

5) Minnesota, 10-6

6) Northwestern, 9-7

7) Michigan, 9-7

8) Iowa, 8-8

9) Illinois, 7-9

10) Ohio State, 7-10

11) Nebraska, 6-10

12) Penn State, 6-11

13) Indiana, 6-11

14) Rutgers, 2-15

*Per the Big Ten’s tiebreaker rules, well, I have no idea how the Big Ten got to their order. Normally you’d compare the record within all 3 teams but MD and MSU don’t play until the last game of the year. I’m not going to overthink it here and just use the B1G’s order without explanation. My best guess is right now it’s alphabetical because the next criteria after H2H within the group would be won by MN.
**Northwestern gets the 6 seed thanks to their record versus Iowa (yes, really). Michigan and Northwestern haven’t played head to head yet (that game is tomorrow night).
***Not going to bother explaining it because who the heck cares? They’re all 6-10.

Seeds if Minnesota goes 2-0

If the Gophers win out, everything from a share of the Big Ten title with the #1 seed from the #2 seed to the #4 seed are in play. They cannot do worse than a double bye if they win out.

  • If Minnesota wins out and Purdue loses out a couple of things happen. First, Minnesota is assured a share of the Big Ten title no matter what. Second, there can be only 6 possible scenarios for a shared Big Ten title. Minnesota gets the #1 seed in 3 of them, the #2 seed in one of them, and the #3 seed in two of them.
  • If Purdue wins 1 or 2 games (outright title either way) and Minnesota wins out there are only 5 possible outcomes for the Gophers. There are two scenarios where MN gets the #2 seed, two scenarios where they get the #3 seed, and one scenario where they get the #4 seed.

In other words, if Minnesota wins out they win a share of the Big Ten title in 55% of the possible scenarios. That’s not their odds for a title (because that would depend on the likelihood of the other parameters like Purdue losing out). But if Minnesota wins out there are only 11 different endings for their season and over half of them have us celebrating extra hard. Who would have imagined that before the year started? HEY WAY TO SUCK INDIANA.

Seeds if Minnesota goes 1-1

TOO MANY DAMN SCENARIOS. Best case is a #3 seed. Gonna wait until Friday to plot the worst case. You should be rooting for Michigan State to lose out to avoid ties with them. That’s the most important rooting interest. Outside of that, you also want Maryland to lose their non-MSU game and the winner of Michigan/Northwestern to lose their other game.

Seeds if Minnesota goes 0-2

Yea, not even gonna try yet. Double bye is out of the question and we should be happy with a #5 seed in this case.

Remaining B1G games (with rooting interests)

Tues 2/28

  • Maryland @ Rutgers - Cheer for Rutgers, it helps Minnesota get a better seed. RUTGERS STILL SUCKS.
  • Indiana @ Purdue - Cheer for Indiana, it helps Minnesota maybe win the Big Ten title. FIRE TOM CREAN.
  • Ohio State @ Penn State - Who cares? STILL DON’T CARE.

Wed 3/1

  • Michigan @ Northwestern - Did Purdue win? Purdue won, so cheer for Northwestern with the hope that they’ll lose to Purdue on Sunday. If Purdue lost then cheer for Michigan because we want Northwestern to beat Purdue on Sunday. Also it will make Darren Rovell sad. Unless you really really want Northwestern to risk losing the dance. Then root for Michigan to cause them nothing but pain.
  • Michigan State @ Illinois - Cheer for Illinois, it helps Minnesota get a better seed.

Thurs 3/2

  • Nebraska @ Minnesota - I mean, duh.
  • Iowa @ Wisconsin - Cheer for Iowa, it could help Minnesota get a better seed, fuck Wisconsin, and maybe helps the Gophers win a Big Ten title.

Sat 3/4

  • Indiana at Ohio State - You don’t care. Or maybe your do. I dunno. Cheer for Ohio State if you want Tom Crean fired?
  • Illinois at Rutgers - Who knows? It doesn’t matter.
  • Michigan State @ Maryland - You want Maryland to win because Michigan State has all of the tiebreakers. Any scenario with us tied with MSU has us behind them in seeding. Boo that.

Sun 3/5

  • Penn State at Iowa - Penn State, because we hate Iowa.
  • Purdue at Northwestern - If Purdue lost to Indiana and Minnesota beat Nebraska, then cheer for Northwestern so Minnesota gets a share of the Big Ten title. Otherwise, cheer for Purdue to put Northwestern solidly on the bubble.
  • Minnesota @ Wisconsin - BETTER DEAD THAN RED
  • Michigan @ Nebraska: Nebraska probably, in case we need to eliminate tiebreaking scenarios that involve Michigan.