clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Projecting the 2015 Big Ten Basketball Race: January 27

New, 32 comments

Wisconsin takes back the top spot with an exclamation point as the top six gets shuffled around and Michigan crawls closer to the bubble.

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week's Games

Bold indicates an upset (based on projections, including home court advantage); italic indicates a road win.

January 20-22

Michigan 54, Rutgers 50 (42%)
Nebraska 52, Minnesota 49 (53%)
Wisconsin 82, Iowa 50 (91.3%)
Michigan State 66, Penn State 60 (93.1%)
Illinois 66, Purdue 57 (75%)
Ohio State 69, Northwestern 67 (73%)
Indiana 89, Maryland 70 (45%)

January 24-25

Purdue 67, Iowa 63 (54%)
Penn State 79, Rutgers 51 (77%)
Minnesota 79, Illinois 71 (77%)
Nebraska 79, Michigan State 77 (38%)
Wisconsin 69, Michigan 64 (OT) (82%)
Ohio State 82, Indiana 70 (79%)
Maryland 68, Northwestern 67 (97.2%)

Three minor upsets in toss-up games this week, and one qualifies only because of home court advantage. No favorite with better odds than 5:3 lost, although Maryland and Wisconsin both came extremely close over the weekend.

Conference Projections

Projections are based on ratings through Sunday's games. Margin-aware ratings are available here; no-margin ratings are here. Differences from last week's projections are included. Conference titles and tiered finishes are based on 100,000 simulations of the remainder of the season (ties for the various tiers are given split credit to each team rather than breaking the tie); records are based on individual game projections.

Team Avg wins Outright Shared Top 4 Middle 6 Bottom 4 10+ Wins BUBBLECON
Wisconsin (+1) 14.88 (+0.58) 67.88% (+33.20%) 85.34% (+29.32%) 99.18% (+2.44%) 0.82% (-2.44%) <0.01% (=) 29,900-to-1 fav 5
Maryland (-1) 13.02 (-1.29) 8.87% (-26.59%) 22.05% (-35.15%) 89.31% (-7.72%) 10.69% (+7.72%) <0.01% (=) 240-to-1 fav 5
Indiana (+2) 12.05 (+0.70) 1.89% (+0.88%) 6.89% (+3.05%) 71.20% (+24.53%) 28.75% (-24.42%) 0.05% (-0.11%) 96.89% (+7.67%) 4
Ohio State (+2) 11.81 (+0.71) 1.54% (+1.07%) 6.31% (+3.67%) 64.89% (+24.67%) 35.06% (-24.45%) 0.05% (-0.22%) 95.53% (+9.47%) 4
Michigan State (-2) 10.98 (-0.92) 0.31% (-1.16%) 1.72% (-4.17%) 39.90% (-22.43%) 59.70% (+22.12%) 0.40% (+0.31%) 85.86% (-8.80%) 4
Iowa (-2) 10.34 (-1.05) 0.18% (-1.29%)
1.12% (-3.96%)
23.69% (-24.16%)
74.85% (+22.92%)
1.47% (+1.25%)
71.76% (-17.02%)
3 (-1)
Michigan (+2) 8.94 (+0.67) <0.01% (=) 0.04% (+0.01%) 5.26% (+2.78%) 88.84% (+2.33%) 5.90% (-5.11%) 33.02% (+13.50%) 3 (+1)
Purdue (-1) 8.72 (+0.10) <0.01% (=) 0.03% (-0.01%) 4.39% (-0.28%) 86.08% (-0.21%) 9.53% (+0.50%) 28.72% (+0.25%) 2
Illinois (-1) 8.42 (+0.10) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (=) 1.45% (-0.17%) 87.71% (-1.14%) 10.84% (+1.30%) 18.80% (+0.05%) 2
Nebraska (+1) 7.43 (+1.47) <0.01% (=)
<0.01% (=)
0.62% (+0.55%)
64.86% (+31.37%)
34.52% (-31.82%)
7.01% (+5.90%)
1
Minnesota (-1) 6.92 (-0.33) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (=) 0.10% (-0.19%) 52.09% (-19.36%) 47.81% (+19.55%) 1.87% (-3.09%) 1 (-1)
Northwestern (+1) 4.43 (-0.08) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (=) 5.05% (-3.31%) 94.95% (+3.31%) 1 in 6800 1
Penn State (+1) 4.21 (+0.44) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (=) 4.08% (+0.28%) 95.92% (-0.28%) 1 in 8400 1
Rutgers (-2) 3.85 (-1.09) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (=) <0.01% (-0.02%) 1.46% (-11.28%) 98.54% (+11.29%) 1 in 59,200 1

Wisconsin jumps well ahead of Maryland again after slipping behind by 0.01 wins last week; Maryland's blowout loss to Indiana and nail-biter at home against Northwestern drag them down quite a bit (although they had enough cushion to remain in second place despite the huge drop in projected numbers). Indiana and Ohio State surge past Michigan State and Iowa to become the favorites for the other two free passes to the quarterfinals, and Nebraska escapes the bottom four for now. Unusually, none of the 14 teams held the same position in the order as last week, although the groupings are largely the same (1-2, 3-6, 7-9, 10-11, and 12-14 consist of the same groups of teams as before, just reordered).

I was close to leaving Iowa at BUBBLECON 4 and Michigan at 2; if I did half-steps I'd probably have them at 3.5 and 2.5, but that feels like cheating. If I had to bet right now, I think Iowa makes it and Michigan does not, but it wouldn't take a whole lot to change that.

Projections by record:

Team 1-17 2-16 3-15 4-14 5-13 6-12 7-11 8-10 9-9
Wisconsin 1 in 4.17 B 1 in 35.3 M 1 in 763,000 1 in 31,100
Maryland 1 in 2.78 M 1 in 56,300 0.04% 0.38%
Indiana 1 in 1.43 M 1 in 33,600 0.05% 0.47% 2.59%
Ohio State 1 in 836,000 1 in 20,600 0.08% 0.71% 3.68%
Michigan State 1 in 594,000 1 in 17,700 0.08% 0.65% 3.20% 10.20%
Iowa 1 in 109,000 0.03% 0.35% 2.18% 7.90% 17.79%
Michigan 0.20% 2.50% 11.05% 24.01% 29.22%
Purdue 0.05% 0.80% 4.65% 14.03% 24.77% 26.97%
Illinois 1 in 34,200 0.08% 0.89% 5.10% 16.40% 29.67% 29.05%
Nebraska 0.78% 6.38% 18.61% 27.92% 24.98% 14.30%
Minnesota 1 in 10,800 0.22% 2.12% 9.98% 24.58% 31.43% 21.58% 8.19%
Northwestern 0.94% 6.39% 18.03% 27.68% 25.49% 14.68% 5.36% 1.24% 0.17%
Penn State 1.48% 8.68% 21.14% 28.29% 23.12% 12.10% 4.14% 0.92% 0.13%
Rutgers 11.62% 29.75% 31.52% 18.51% 6.74% 1.59% 0.25% 0.03%

Team 10-8 11-7 12-6 13-5 14-4 15-3 16-2 17-1
Wisconsin 0.05% 0.43% 2.55% 9.62% 22.80% 32.27% 24.60% 7.69%
Maryland 2.41% 9.16% 21.33% 30.02% 24.45% 10.43% 1.77%
Indiana 9.11% 20.54% 29.17% 24.70% 11.13% 2.11% 0.12%
Ohio State 11.73% 23.40% 29.02% 21.46% 8.53% 1.38%
Michigan State 21.17% 28.20% 23.14% 10.79% 2.41% 0.16%
Iowa 25.81% 24.39% 14.81% 5.51% 1.14% 0.10%
Michigan 21.10% 9.17% 2.37% 0.35% 0.03% 1 in 124,000
Purdue 18.45% 7.88% 2.05% 0.31% 0.03% 1 in 119,000
Illinois 14.74% 3.66% 0.39% 0.01%
Nebraska 5.41% 1.36% 0.22% 0.02% 1 in 76,300 1 in 3.14 M
Minnesota 1.69% 0.17% 1 in 17,000
Northwestern 0.01% 1 in 179,000 1 in 14.3 M
Penn State 0.01% 1 in 185,000 1 in 9.38 M
Rutgers 1 in 61,400 1 in 1.70 M 1 in 110 M

This Week's Games

All times ET.

Tuesday, January 27

Nebraska at Michigan (7:00, ESPN): Michigan 70% (+4.5 projected margin)

Wednesday, January 28

Minnesota at Penn State (7:00, BTN): Minnesota 50.7% (+0)
Indiana at Purdue (9:00, BTN): Indiana 50.4% (+0)

Thursday, January 29

Michigan State at Rutgers (6:00, BTN): Michigan State 77% (+6)
Maryland at Ohio State (7:00, ESPN): Ohio State 67% (+3.5)

Midweek byes: Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern

Saturday, January 31

Wisconsin at Iowa (Noon, ESPN): Wisconsin 71% (+4.5)
Penn State at Illinois (1:00, BTN): Illinois 81% (+8)
Rutgers at Indiana (3:15, BTN): Indiana 94.1% (+14.5)
Nebraska at Minnesota (6:00, BTN): Minnesota 81% (+8)
Purdue at Northwestern (6:00, ESPNU): Northwestern 56% (+1)

Sunday, February 1

Michigan at Michigan State (1:00, CBS): Michigan State 88% (+10.5)

Weekend byes: Ohio State, Maryland

Key games this week (apart from MSU's): Purdue could start to make some noise regarding a tournament bid with a sweep of two toss-up games this week (home against Indiana is probably the more critical of the two, since the committee values good wins more than they punish bad losses). Maryland at Ohio State on Thursday could go a long way toward settling the order behind Wisconsin at the top, and Iowa has a chance to redeem themselves this Saturday after an embarrassing blowout at the Kohl Center.