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Around the B1G: Basketball Week 3 Recap, Week 4 Preview

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With Big Ten basketball this year, the only thing certain is uncertainty.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Last Week’s Results

Upsets according to last week’s projections are in bold; road wins are in italics.

Midweek

Maryland 75, Indiana 72
Michigan State 65, Minnesota 47
Illinois 85, Michigan 69
Wisconsin 89, Ohio State 66
Iowa 83, Purdue 78
Northwestern 69, Rutgers 60

Weekend

Penn State 52, Minnesota 50
Michigan 91, Nebraska 85
Maryland 62, Illinois 56
Indiana 76, Rutgers 57
Ohio State 72, Michigan State 67
Northwestern 89, Iowa 54

Home teams mostly held serve this week, with only two road victories (only one of which was an upset) and three home upsets. Minnesota’s reign at the top of the projections is very short-lived after being on the wrong end of two of those home upsets. The week’s big surprise is Iowa’s win over Purdue after having been destroyed at Mackey Arena earlier.

Conference Projections

All projections are based on my margin-aware ratings, which now have no preseason adjustment remaining. Ratings 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 4 - 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
Wisconsin 3-1 13.69 52.05% 71.71% 95.38% 4.60% 0.02% 99.58% 5
Northwestern 4-2 11.97 8.30% 20.06% 77.27% 22.59% 0.15% 96.01% 4
Purdue 3-2 11.72 6.29% 16.18% 69.88% 29.67% 0.46% 92.52% 5
Minnesota 3-3 11.38 4.06% 12.09% 63.48% 36.05% 0.48% 90.91% 5
Maryland 4-1 11.16 3.64% 10.27% 55.40% 43.70% 0.91% 85.95% 4 (+1)
Michigan State 4-2 9.66 0.40% 1.81% 20.02% 73.45% 6.55% 54.02% 3
Indiana 2-3 8.31 0.07% 0.31% 5.84% 68.56% 25.61% 22.49% 3
Penn State 3-2 7.78 0.01% 0.10% 2.61% 60.51% 36.89% 12.72% 2 (+1)
Illinois 2-3 7.73 0.02% 0.15% 3.23% 58.39% 38.39% 13.81% 2 (-1)
Nebraska 3-2 7.72 0.02% 0.12% 2.76% 58.76% 38.49% 12.84% 2
Iowa 3-3 7.55 0.00% 0.04% 1.60% 56.42% 41.98% 9.18% 1
Michigan 2-3 7.33 0.01% 0.07% 1.67% 50.62% 47.72% 8.34% 2 (-1)
Ohio State 1-4 6.69 0.01% 0.03% 0.86% 36.12% 63.03% 4.43% 2
Rutgers 0-6 3.31 <0.01% <0.01% <0.01% 0.68% 99.32% 1 in 100k 1

Minnesota tumbles to fourth after two losses this week; combined with Purdue’s loss to Iowa, this leaves Wisconsin a heavy favorite (for this early in the season) to win the title. Maryland’s solid week pulls them up close to the top four, and with their sterling non-conference record, the Terps are in good position to make the NCAA tournament. Michigan State and Indiana both look close to the cut line after splits last week, with the Spartans probably in a better position but not by as much as it might look like from this table (due to MSU’s two extra non-conference losses). After that come several teams in contention but needing to make up some ground to get to the Dance; the only two I don’t think have at least a vaguely plausible route to the tournament are Iowa (mostly because of their non-conference disasters) and Rutgers, but it’s not impossible that everyone outside the top six beats up on each other to the point that all of them just miss the cut.

Scheduling note: why has Wisconsin already had both of their mini-byes? That’s almost as weird as the way some of the double-plays are packed so close together (MSU-Minnesota and Purdue-Iowa, for instance, were both played twice in the first five half-weeks).

Projections by Record

2017 BB Projections Wk 4 - .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
Wisconsin 0.36% 1.63% 5.44% 13.09% 22.39% 26.36% 20.12% 8.86% 1.68%
Northwestern 3.25% 10.42% 21.47% 28.10% 22.63% 10.58% 2.57% 0.25%
Purdue 5.57% 13.51% 22.49% 25.49% 19.19% 9.11% 2.45% 0.28%
Minnesota 6.83% 16.56% 26.30% 26.51% 15.93% 5.02% 0.60%
Maryland 9.84% 19.19% 25.24% 22.36% 13.09% 4.87% 1.08% 0.13% 1 in 16,400
Michigan State 23.95% 25.26% 17.64% 8.16% 2.46% 0.46% 0.05% 1 in 47,400
Indiana 22.61% 14.33% 6.12% 1.71% 0.30% 0.03% 1 in 85,000
Penn State 18.50% 9.03% 2.96% 0.64% 0.09% 1 in 13,600 1 in 299k 1 in 15.8M
Illinois 17.79% 9.39% 3.43% 0.84% 0.13% 0.01% 1 in 252k
Nebraska 17.67% 8.90% 3.09% 0.73% 0.11% 0.01% 1 in 175k 1 in 8.03M
Iowa 16.48% 6.97% 1.87% 0.31% 0.03% 1 in 67,900 1 in 3.45M
Michigan 14.35% 6.18% 1.78% 0.33% 0.04% 1 in 40,600 1 in 1.52M
Ohio State 9.07% 3.39% 0.88% 0.15% 0.01% 1 in 153k
Rutgers 0.02% 1 in 104k 1 in 3.26M 1 in 250M

2017 BB Projections Wk 4 - 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
Wisconsin 1 in 11.6B 1 in 145M 1 in 4.19M 1 in 208k 1 in 16,000 0.06%
Northwestern 1 in 23.5M 1 in 391k 1 in 16,000 0.08% 0.65%
Purdue 1 in 52.6M 1 in 880k 1 in 36,200 0.04% 0.30% 1.57%
Minnesota 1 in 46.7M 1 in 821k 1 in 33,800 0.04% 0.34% 1.87%
Maryland 1 in 465k 1 in 13,800 0.10% 0.74% 3.36%
Michigan State 1 in 11,400 0.17% 1.33% 5.74% 14.77%
Indiana 1 in 32,000 0.07% 0.59% 2.93% 8.96% 17.98% 24.37%
Penn State 0.08% 0.98% 5.00% 13.85% 23.38% 25.49%
Illinois 0.02% 0.26% 1.71% 6.23% 14.35% 22.15% 23.68%
Nebraska 0.14% 1.39% 5.95% 14.64% 23.03% 24.33%
Iowa 0.13% 1.40% 6.36% 16.10% 25.13% 25.22%
Michigan 0.04% 0.47% 2.70% 8.80% 18.05% 24.56% 22.69%
Ohio State 0.02% 0.28% 1.84% 6.65% 14.93% 22.34% 23.25% 17.18%
Rutgers 1.27% 7.74% 19.85% 27.98% 24.02% 13.15% 4.70% 1.10% 0.17%

This Week’s Games

All times ET.

Midweek

Illinois at Purdue (Tuesday, 7:00, BTN) - Purdue 88% (projected margin +11)
Michigan at Wisconsin (Tuesday, 9:00, ESPN) - Wisconsin 91.1% (+13)
Indiana at Penn State (Wednesday, 7:00, BTN) - Indiana 51% (+0.5)
Ohio State at Nebraska (Wednesday, 9:00, BTN) - Nebraska 61% (+2.5)
Maryland at Iowa (Thursday, 7:00, ESPN) - Maryland 54% (+1)

Idle: Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan State, Rutgers

Weekend

Nebraska at Rutgers (Saturday, Noon, ESPNU) - Rutgers 60% (+2)
Penn State at Purdue (Saturday, Noon, BTN) - Purdue 91.1% (+13)
Illinois at Michigan (Saturday, 2:15, BTN) - Michigan 72% (+5)
Michigan State at Indiana (Saturday, 4:00, ESPN) - Indiana 79% (+7)
Wisconsin at Minnesota (Saturday, 4:30, BTN) - Minnesota 61% (+2.5)
Northwestern at Ohio State (Sunday, 1:00, BTN) - Northwestern 58% (+2)

Idle: Iowa, Maryland

For title implications, the biggest game of the week is Badgers’ visit to the Barn on Saturday. MSU-Indiana is one of the biggest for tournament implications, with the Illinois-Michigan rematch not far behind (although both of those teams are in much more desperate positions than MSU and Indiana). An MSU win in Assembly Hall would go a long way toward tournament positioning, but it’s not absolutely necessary. Indiana might be in real trouble if they drop this one at home, though - and they have a game at Penn State first (which tripped up both MSU and Minnesota).