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College GameDay crew discusses which Big Ten teams can win the national championship

Nick Schultz03/12/22
Article written by:On3 imageNick Schultz

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Justin Casterline via Getty Images.

The Big Ten is likely going to be well-represented in the NCAA Tournament this year. But after a chaotic tournament that saw three of the top four seeds lose before the semifinals, the question remains if any Big Ten teams can win the national title.

College GameDay analyst Seth Greenberg certainly sounded skeptical on Saturday prior to the tournament semifinals. However, he pointed out one team that could be in position to make a run.

“[The Big Ten] only [has] three teams in the top 20 of KenPom,” Greenberg said. “They’re going to get eight teams in the NCAA Tournament, but they don’t have Final Four teams.

“I think Purdue has the best chance, and here’s why Purdue has the best chance. Everyone looks at Purdue and looks at their weaknesses because it’s being exposed in Big Ten play. You know why it’s being exposed in Big Ten play? Because they understand who they are and what’s going to give, what’s going to take away. When you get into the NCAA Tournament, that team doesn’t have that same understanding and feel. They haven’t played against that team and Matt Painter’s team for 10, 12, 15 times.

“So when you get into a one-and-done against a team that really doesn’t have an understanding of what you really want to do, the essence of what you want to do, they become a tougher team to play against. Noah’s Ark, two of everything. Jaden Ivey can take over a game. … Every year is different, but that team is really different. Jaden Ivey, though, he’s got to take over the game at the end of the game.”

The Big Ten saw its top two seeds lose in the quarterfinals for the first time ever on Friday. No. 9 seed Indiana stunned No. 1 seed Illinois and No. 7 seed Michigan State defeated No. 2 seed Wisconsin, leaving No. 3 seed Purdue as the last top-four seed standing.

The Big Ten Tournament semifinals tip off Saturday at 1 p.m. ET, starting with No. 5 Iowa vs. Indiana. Michigan State vs. Purdue follows shortly after, and the winners will face off Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET for the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.