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Around the B1G: Basketball Week 2 Recap, Week 3 Preview

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Two weeks in, there are no unbeatens left in conference, but three teams look likely to pull away from the pack.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Penn State Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week’s Results

Upsets (based on last week’s projections) are in bold; road wins are in italics.

Midweek

Wisconsin 75, Indiana 68
Michigan State 93, Rutgers 65
Michigan 72, Penn State 69
Purdue 76, Ohio State 75
Nebraska 93, Iowa 90 (2OT)
Minnesota 70, Northwestern 66

Weekend

Penn State 72, Michigan State 63
Maryland 77, Michigan 70
Indiana 96, Illinois 80
Northwestern 74, Nebraska 66
Iowa 68, Rutgers 62
Purdue 66, Wisconsin 55
Minnesota 78, Ohio State 68

Just like that, there are no unbeaten teams in the Big Ten, as the three that survived the first week all lost over the weekend. Only one of the three losses was an upset, and that only barely (keeping in mind the caveat that for whatever reason, my system is rating MSU much lower than most other computers have been).

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.

Summary Table

Average wins and chances of 10+ wins are based on game-by-game odds. Chances for an outright title, share of the title, and top/middle/bottom tier finishes are based on 100,000 season simulations; tiebreakers are not incorporated into the simulations at this point, but instead the credit is split evenly (a tie for 4th, 5th, and 6th would give each team credit for 13 of a top 4 finish and 23 of a middle 6 finish). BUBBLECON is estimated from the projected record and RPI data from RPIForecast.com.

2017 BB Projections Wk 3 - Summary

Team Current Avg wins Outright Shared Top 4 Middle 6 Bottom 4 10+ Wins BUBBLECON
Team Current Avg wins Outright Shared Top 4 Middle 6 Bottom 4 10+ Wins BUBBLECON
Minnesota 3-1 13.66 33.06% 53.61% 96.57% 3.42% <0.01% 99.68% 5
Purdue 3-1 13.09 17.21% 34.73% 92.06% 7.91% 0.03% 98.86% 5
Wisconsin 2-1 13.08 19.89% 36.83% 92.38% 7.58% 0.04% 98.72% 5
Northwestern 2-2 11.23 1.81% 6.16% 63.93% 35.52% 0.56% 87.93% 4
Maryland 2-1 9.45 0.30% 1.15% 19.47% 72.35% 8.19% 48.78% 3
Michigan State 3-1 9.07 0.15% 0.68% 13.39% 75.07% 11.55% 39.00% 3
Illinois 1-2 8.11 0.03% 0.20% 6.44% 66.67% 26.90% 20.91% 3
Indiana 1-2 8.02 0.02% 0.11% 5.13% 67.33% 27.55% 18.04% 3
Nebraska 3-1 7.82 0.01% 0.06% 3.51% 64.43% 32.07% 14.40% 2
Michigan 1-2 7.74 0.01% 0.09% 3.83% 62.69% 33.49% 14.32% 3 (-1)
Penn State 2-2 6.94 <0.01% 0.01% 0.99% 46.10% 52.92% 4.93% 1
Iowa 2-2 6.88 <0.01% 0.01% 0.91% 44.96% 54.14% 4.39% 1
Ohio State 0-3 6.76 <0.01% 0.02% 1.40% 42.20% 56.41% 5.48% 2
Rutgers 0-4 4.14 <0.01% <0.01% 0.01% 3.85% 96.14% 0.03% 1

Minnesota surges to the top, an especially surprising turnaround after last year’s debacle of a season (barely beating out Rutgers for last place). Wisconsin and Purdue lurk about a half game back, but from there it’s a sharp dropoff to Northwestern in 4th and another to Maryland and MSU fighting for 5th and 6th.

The only BUBBLECON change this week is a demotion for Michigan, although I feel like I’m being generous listing them, Illinois, and Indiana all at 3 (if I did half-steps, they’d probably all be 2.5). Right now there are four teams that look reasonably safe to get in (and, amazingly, Northwestern is one of them) and a whole bunch of teams that are right on the edge but probably need to improve a little bit to get there. The conference’s general ineptitude at gaming the RPI (way too many bottom-50 opponents) could really come back to bite a lot of teams on Selection Sunday; even those who did schedule wisely might be held back by their conference-mates’ RPI ranks being just outside the top 50 (thus denying them “quality wins”; cue perennial rant about the RPI and the Selection Committee’s use of it).

Projections by Record

2017 BB Projections Wk 3 - .500 or Better

Team 9-9 10-8 11-7 12-6 13-5 14-4 15-3 16-2 17-1
Team 9-9 10-8 11-7 12-6 13-5 14-4 15-3 16-2 17-1
Minnesota 0.28% 1.44% 5.27% 13.41% 23.39% 27.15% 19.75% 7.97% 1.31%
Purdue 0.95% 3.69% 10.03% 19.15% 25.37% 22.70% 13.01% 4.29% 0.61%
Wisconsin 1.04% 3.79% 10.03% 19.00% 25.30% 22.84% 13.07% 4.16% 0.53%
Northwestern 8.63% 18.34% 25.98% 24.01% 13.93% 4.76% 0.85% 0.06%
Maryland 22.91% 22.48% 15.59% 7.57% 2.51% 0.55% 0.07% 1 in 18,500 1 in 608k
Michigan State 24.28% 20.29% 11.96% 4.98% 1.45% 0.29% 0.04% 1 in 38,200 1 in 1.25M
Illinois 19.98% 12.74% 5.83% 1.88% 0.41% 0.06% 1 in 23,700 1 in 758k
Indiana 20.19% 11.74% 4.73% 1.30% 0.24% 0.03% 1 in 57,800 1 in 2.11M
Nebraska 18.45% 9.71% 3.58% 0.92% 0.16% 0.02% 1 in 73,000 1 in 1.85M 1 in 116M
Michigan 17.84% 9.60% 3.61% 0.93% 0.16% 0.02% 1 in 102k 1 in 4.14M
Penn State 10.54% 3.82% 0.94% 0.15% 0.02% 1 in 102k 1 in 3.03M 1 in 219M
Iowa 10.01% 3.46% 0.80% 0.12% 0.01% 1 in 150k 1 in 4.83M 1 in 380M
Ohio State 9.91% 4.04% 1.17% 0.23% 0.03% 1 in 46,600 1 in 1.54M
Rutgers 0.22% 0.03% 1 in 44,400 1 in 871k 1 in 30.7M 1 in 2.59B

2017 BB Projections Wk 3 - Below .500

Team 0-18 1-17 2-16 3-15 4-14 5-13 6-12 7-11 8-10
Team 0-18 1-17 2-16 3-15 4-14 5-13 6-12 7-11 8-10
Minnesota 1 in 68.3B 1 in 626M 1 in 13.4M 1 in 505k 1 in 30,300 0.04%
Purdue 1 in 3.67B 1 in 42.8M 1 in 1.19M 1 in 59,700 0.02% 0.17%
Wisconsin 1 in 37.9B 1 in 428M 1 in 11.1M 1 in 492k 1 in 33,900 0.03% 0.21%
Northwestern 1 in 413M 1 in 5.99M 1 in 203k 1 in 12,100 0.09% 0.59% 2.75%
Maryland 1 in 439k 1 in 14,300 0.09% 0.64% 2.83% 8.27% 16.47%
Michigan State 1 in 17,700 0.11% 0.92% 4.14% 11.35% 20.19%
Illinois 1 in 79,500 0.03% 0.25% 1.36% 4.71% 11.20% 18.81% 22.75%
Indiana 1 in 228k 0.01% 0.16% 1.10% 4.44% 11.59% 20.23% 24.23%
Nebraska 0.11% 1.19% 5.32% 13.68% 22.37% 24.48%
Michigan 1 in 56,100 0.04% 0.36% 1.89% 6.32% 14.11% 21.70% 23.41%
Penn State 0.06% 0.80% 4.22% 12.25% 21.89% 25.45% 19.85%
Iowa 0.08% 0.92% 4.56% 12.77% 22.30% 25.49% 19.47%
Ohio State 1 in 45,300 0.05% 0.42% 2.09% 6.62% 14.14% 21.13% 22.62% 17.55%
Rutgers 0.33% 2.82% 10.25% 20.78% 26.16% 21.58% 12.02% 4.60% 1.22%

This Week’s Games

All times ET.

Midweek

Indiana at Maryland (Tuesday, 9:00, ESPN) - Maryland 70% (projected margin +4.5)
Minnesota at Michigan State (Wednesday, 7:00, BTN) - Minnesota 63% (+3)
Michigan at Illinois (Wednesday, 9:00, BTN) - Illinois 70% (+4.5)
Ohio State at Wisconsin (Thursday, 7:00, ESPN2) - Wisconsin 91.9% (+13)
Purdue at Iowa (Thursday, 9:00, BTN) - Purdue 73% (+5)
Northwestern at Rutgers (Thursday, 9:00, ESPNU) - Northwestern 69% (+4.5)

Idle: Nebraska, Penn State

Weekend

Minnesota at Penn State (Saturday, Noon, ESPNU) - Minnesota 72% (+5)
Nebraska at Michigan (Saturday, 2:00, BTN) - Michigan 85% (+9)
Maryland at Illinois (Saturday, 6:00, ESPN2) - Illinois 67% (+3.5)
Rutgers at Indiana (Sunday, Noon, BTN) - Indiana 90.8% (+12)
Michigan State at Ohio State (Sunday, 1:30, CBS) - Ohio State 70% (+4.5)
Iowa at Northwestern (Sunday, 7:30, BTN) - Northwestern 92.4% (+13)

Idle: Wisconsin, Purdue

Big week ahead for Michigan State, hosting the current title favorite (in a rematch of the wild conference opener; I really don’t like that the Big Ten schedules some of the few two-plays to be done so early in the season) followed by a trip to face an Ohio State team who is probably better than their record would indicate. I’m a little more optimistic for both games than these numbers are (for one, Miles Bridges is back), but even so I don’t see either as much better than a toss-up. Other key games include Indiana-Maryland and Michigan-Illinois (early bubble battles).