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2017 Big Ten Tournament Bracket & Seeding Scenarios: Minnesota looking great after Wednesday night

The Gophers control their own destiny.

NCAA Basketball: Texas-Arlington at Minnesota Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

***UPDATE Friday 3/3***

Here are the updated Big Ten Tourney seeding scenarios based on the results of Thursday night’s games.


After a completely uneventful Tuesday, the games on Wednesday night brought the drama and more than a little good news for the Minnesota. While the Gophers have always controlled their own destiny with regards to a double bye, some key losses were always going to be appreciated as the possible scenarios for Big Ten Tournament seeds continues to shrink. In that regard, Wednesday night was a success for Minnesota fans and players alike.

Wednesday Results

Northwestern beats Michigan, 67-65. This one could be seen as a win for the Gophers either way. That ending tho...

Illinois beats Michigan State, 73-70. This is the one that really matters. Thanks to Illinois, if Minnesota wins out they are guaranteed the #3 seed in the Big Ten tournament as their worst case scenario.

Big Ten Standings

1) Purdue Boilermakers: 13-4*

2) Wisconsin Badgers: 11-5

3) Maryland Terrapins: 11-6

4) Minnesota Golden Gophers: 10-6

5) Michigan State Spartans: 10-7

6) Northwestern Wildcats: 10-7

7) Michigan Wolverines: 9-8

8) Iowa Hawkeyes: 8-8

9) Illinois Fighting Illini: 8-9

10) Ohio State Buckeyes: 7-10

11) Nebraska Cornhuskers: 6-10

12) Indiana Hoosiers: 6-11

13) Penn State Nittany Lions: 6-11

14) Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 2-15

*Purdue has a least a share of the Big Ten title.

Bracket & Seeding Scenarios


Here is the full list of Big Ten tiebreakers via BTN’s website. There are two key tiebreaking rules to remember:

  • When 2 teams are tied and split the season series, their record versus the top seed is compared. Since Minnesota beat Purdue in their only meeting and Purdue beat our primary rivals in the seeding, we will always win this matchup.
  • When 3 teams are tied each team’s record against the entire group (not H2H against each individual team) is compared. The team with the best winning % within the group gets the best seed. We will almost always lose a group comparison if Michigan State is involved.

If Minnesota wins out...

  • If they end up in a three way tie at 12-6 with Wisconsin and Maryland, then the Badgers get the #2 seed, Minnesota gets the #3, and the Terps are #4.
  • If they end up in a head to head tie with either Wisconsin or Maryland, then the Gophers will have the #2 seed thanks to their win over Purdue.
  • That’s it. If Minnesota wins out those are the only 3 scenarios. No other teams can match Minnesota at 12-6 besides Wisconsin and Maryland.
  • TL;DR: Minnesota is guaranteed a #2 or #3 seed if they win out.

If Minnesota goes 1-1...

  • Ok, this gets complex still but I *think* Minnesota is limited to 10 possible outcomes. I could EASILY be wrong, so please point out in the comments if you think I am.
  • In these 10 scenarios Minnesota could potentially end up tied with several combinations of Wisconsin, Michigan State, Maryland, and Northwestern at 11-7, depending how the games play out.
  • The worst seed the Gophers could get is a #5. Only two Three of the ten possible outcomes lead to this seed (MD/MSU/MN/WI and MD/MSU/MN/NW/WI all tied at 11-7 or MD/MSU/MN tied at 11-7 when Wisconsin finishes 12-6.)
  • The best seed the Gophers could get is the #3. Three of the 10 outcomes lead to this.
  • The remaining 5 4 scenarios get Minnesota the #4 seed.
  • TL;DR: Should they go 1-1, Minnesota gets a double bye as a #3 or #4 in 7 of the 10 possible scenarios. Maryland beating MSU on Saturday locks Minnesota in as a double bye with one more win.

If Minnesota loses out...

  • Hell if I know. That outcome would suck and I’m not doing the number crunching on something I would hate, especially not when it has more than a few scenarios.
  • TL;DR: Screw this, Minnesota is going to beat Nebraska.


GOOD NEWS! Minnesota is in great shape for a double bye so long as they win one more game.

Rooting Interests

Thurs 3/2

  • Nebraska @ Minnesota - GO GOPHERS!
  • Iowa @ Wisconsin - Cheer for Iowa because FUCK WISCONSIN, it could help Minnesota get a better seed, and GET FUCKED WISCONSIN.

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 - It doesn’t really matter unless you’re in favor of Illinois sneaking into the NCAA Tourney. Then cheer for Illinois.
  • Michigan State @ Maryland - You want Maryland to win. Any scenario where Minnesota is tied with MSU hurts us. The only way we don’t get a double bye if we win one for game is if MSU beats Maryland.

Sun 3/5

  • Penn State at Iowa - Penn State, because we hate Iowa.
  • Purdue at Northwestern - Want to see Northwestern sweat on the bubble? Cheer for Purdue.
  • Minnesota @ Wisconsin - BETTER DEAD THAN RED

Michigan @ Nebraska: Nebraska probably, in case we need to eliminate tiebreaking scenarios that involve Michigan.