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Big Ten Basketball Projections 2016: Conference Week 4

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After a disastrous week for Michigan State, how do the title odds look now?

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week's Results

Games highlighted in bold are upsets (according to last week's projections); italics indicate a road win.

Midweek Games

Northwestern 70, Wisconsin 65
Nebraska 84, Minnesota 59
Michigan 70, Maryland 67
Ohio State 94, Rutgers 68
Purdue 74, Penn State 57
Iowa 76, Michigan State 59

Weekend Games

Maryland 100, Ohio State 65
Indiana 70, Minnesota 63
Nebraska 78, Illinois 67
Penn State 71, Northwestern 62
Wisconsin 77, Michigan State 76
Iowa 82, Michigan 71
Purdue 107, Rutgers 57

Plenty of upsets this week, and Michigan State was on the wrong end of two of them. Northwestern also torpedoed their tournament hopes; with their thin resume, a home loss to Penn State is a disaster.

Conference Projections

All projections are based on my margin-aware ratings, which still include a small preseason adjustment for teams who have played fewer than 15 games. Ratings without the preseason adjustment or which ignore margin are available here. Ratings are current through Sunday's games (Purdue's massacre of Rutgers is not taken into account in the ratings, only in the various tables).

Summary Table

Average conference wins and 10+ win percentages are based on game-by-game projections. Championships (outright or shared) and top/middle/bottom tier finishes are based on 100,000 season simulations; ties are not broken accurately but credit is split evenly (two teams tied for fourth and fifth each get credit for half of a top 4 finish and half of a middle 6 finish). Movement in the rank order and in BUBBLECON is noted in the table.

Team Current Avg wins Outright Shared Top 4 Middle 6 Bottom 4 10+ Wins BUBBLECON
Iowa (+2)
5-0 15.52 67.03% 84.59% 99.08% 0.92% <0.01% 121,000-to-1 fav 5
Maryland 5-1 13.46 7.02% 18.32% 84.26% 15.73% <0.01% 460-to-1 fav 5
Indiana (+1)
5-0 12.79 4.21% 11.28% 69.86% 30.13% 0.01% 98.75% 5 (+1)
Michigan State (-3)
3-3 12.63 0.78% 4.61% 69.78% 30.22% 0.01% 140-to-1 fav 5
Purdue 4-2 12.25 1.31% 4.83% 56.67% 43.32% 0.01% 97.91% 5
Michigan 3-2 10.58 0.12% 0.70% 17.67% 81.48% 0.85% 75.80% 4 (+1)
Ohio State 4-2 8.82 <0.01% 0.03% 2.13% 90.10% 7.76% 31.86% 2
Northwestern 3-3 8.04 <0.01% <0.01% 0.32% 86.12% 13.55% 11.50% 1 (-1)
Wisconsin (+1)
2-4 7.23 <0.01% <0.01% 0.06% 66.82% 33.12% 4.66% 1
Nebraska (+2)
3-3 7.10 <0.01% <0.01% 0.11% 62.28% 37.61% 3.88% 1
Penn State 2-4 6.75 <0.01% <0.01% 0.03% 52.75% 47.22% 2.80% 1
Illinois (-3)
1-4 6.31 <0.01% <0.01% 0.02% 39.88% 60.10% 1.30% 1
Minnesota 0-6 2.48 <0.01% <0.01% <0.01% 0.18% 99.82% 1 in 21.8 M 1
Rutgers 0-6 2.04 <0.01% <0.01% <0.01% 0.07% 99.93% 1 in 149 M 1

MSU tumbles all the way to fourth, while Iowa (with most of their really difficult games out of the way) surges to the top. The projections are pretty bearish on Indiana largely because they haven't played a single game against the top six yet (and won't for another two weeks). Michigan's upset of Maryland is enough to make it look pretty likely that the Big Ten gets a sixth team in the tournament, and Ohio State's still hanging on at the fringe of consideration too.

Projections by Record

Team 0-18 1-17 2-16 3-15 4-14 5-13 6-12 7-11 8-10
Iowa 1 in 3.29 T 1 in 13.6 B 1 in 154 M 1 in 3.37 M
Maryland 1 in 287 M 1 in 3.46 M 1 in 102,000 0.02%
Indiana 1 in 19.6 M 1 in 249,000 0.01% 0.15%
Michigan State 1 in 441 B 1 in 1.82 B 1 in 22.0 M 1 in 526,000 1 in 21,700 0.07%
Purdue 1 in 196 M 1 in 2.46 M 1 in 73,500 0.02% 0.27%
Michigan 1 in 8.84 M 1 in 105,000 0.03% 0.31% 1.85% 6.66%
Ohio State 0.06% 0.78% 4.37% 13.13% 23.45%
Northwestern 1 in 61,700 0.08% 1.23% 8.09% 23.96% 32.34%
Wisconsin 0.02% 0.27% 2.03% 8.09% 19.13% 27.77% 24.79%
Nebraska 0.08% 1.67% 9.20% 22.56% 29.44% 22.51%
Penn State 0.08% 0.94% 4.82% 13.73% 23.90% 26.45% 18.79%
Illinois 1 in 13,300 0.19% 1.81% 7.86% 18.85% 27.07% 24.22% 13.73%
Minnesota 2.82% 17.36% 32.57% 28.75% 13.85% 3.90% 0.67% 0.07% 1 in 20,900
Rutgers 7.43% 26.28% 33.95% 22.11% 8.16% 1.80% 0.24% 0.02% 1 in 93,200

Team 9-9 10-8 11-7 12-6 13-5 14-4 15-3 16-2 17-1 18-0
Iowa 1 in 126,000 0.01% 0.14% 1.01% 4.72% 14.27% 27.15% 30.54% 18.01% 4.15%
Maryland 0.20% 1.35% 5.79% 15.77% 26.92% 27.88% 16.49% 5.00% 0.60%
Indiana 1.09% 4.75% 12.98% 22.89% 26.39% 19.69% 9.19% 2.49% 0.34% 0.02%
Michigan State 0.63% 3.59% 12.61% 26.70% 32.30% 19.72% 4.39%
Purdue 1.79% 7.36% 18.61% 28.65% 26.14% 13.37% 3.44% 0.34%
Michigan 15.35% 23.55% 24.47% 17.18% 7.95% 2.28% 0.36% 0.02%
Ohio State 26.35% 19.21% 9.18% 2.85% 0.56% 0.06% 1 in 27,100 1 in 1.21 M
Northwestern 22.80% 9.08% 2.11% 0.29% 0.02% 1 in 112,000 1 in 6.91 M
Wisconsin 13.25% 3.99% 0.62% 0.05% 1 in 50,800 1 in 3.26 M
Nebraska 10.66% 3.20% 0.61% 0.07% 1 in 20,700 1 in 586,000 1 in 42.0 M
Penn State 8.49% 2.37% 0.39% 0.03% 1 in 77,700 1 in 5.89 M
Illinois 4.96% 1.13% 0.16% 0.01% 1 in 182,000 1 in 11.3 M
Minnesota 1 in 515,000 1 in 22.1 M 1 in 1.88 B 1 in 446 B
Rutgers 1 in 2.87 M 1 in 151 M 1 in 15.4 B 1 in 4.26 T

This Week's Games

All times ET. Odds are based on the margin-aware ratings.

Midweek

Illinois at Indiana - Tuesday, 7:00, ESPN (Indiana 92.8%; projected margin +14)
Northwestern at Maryland - Tuesday, 8:00, BTN (Maryland 92.8%; +14)
Nebraska at Michigan State - Wednesday, 6:30, BTN (Michigan State 95.8%; +17)
Minnesota at Michigan - Wednesday, 8:30, BTN (Michigan 96.4%; +18)
Iowa at Rutgers - Thursday, 7:00, ESPNU (Iowa 96.6%; +18.5)
Wisconsin at Penn State - Thursday, 8:00, BTN (Penn State 58%; +2)
Ohio State at Purdue - Thursday, 9:00, ESPN (Purdue 93.0%; +14)

Weekend

Northwestern at Indiana - Saturday, Noon, ESPNU (Indiana 87%; +10.5)
Michigan at Nebraska - Saturday, 2:00, ESPN2 (Michigan 54%; +1)
Maryland at Michigan State - Saturday, 6:30, ESPN (Michigan State 73%; +5.5)
Illinois at Minnesota - Saturday, 8:30, BTN (Illinois 55%; +1)
Purdue at Iowa - Sunday, 1:00, BTN (Iowa 79%; +7.5)
Penn State at Ohio State - Monday, 7:00, BTN (Ohio State 80%; +7.5)

Bye: Wisconsin, Rutgers

Not much drama expected in the midweek games; six out of seven project as 90%+ for the favorite. The weekend should be a bit more interesting; Iowa can pull away from the pack even further if they can survive a visit from Purdue, while Michigan State has to hold off Maryland to stay in the hunt for the title.