How will Sunday’s games affect the top five seeds in the Big Ten tourney?

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The final day of the regular season is going to be thrilling for Big Ten fans.

There are four Big Ten games that are going to be played that day, involving all five teams with a shot at getting one of the top four seeds in the Big Ten tournament.

Here are the games:

  • No. 22 Wisconsin (11-6 B1G) at Penn State, 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Illinois at No. 14 Ohio State (12-5 B1G), 12:30 p.m. ET
  • No. 2 Indiana (13-4 B1G) at No. 7 Michigan (12-5 B1G), 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Northwestern at No. 10 Michigan State (12-5 B1G), 6:00 p.m. ET

And here is how the outcomes will affect the top five seeds, the top four of which get a bye:

INDIANA: Indiana has already locked up the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament regardless of what happens on Sunday. If they win at Michigan, they are the outright Big Ten champs. But even if they lose, the Hoosiers just so happen to own all of the tiebreakers, regardless of how the other three games play out.

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MICHIGAN: Michigan may have the most on the line on Sunday. Obviously, they have a share of the Big Ten title and, potentially, a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. If Michigan beats Indiana, they will be the No. 2 seed if Illinois beats Ohio State and the No. 3 seed if Ohio State beats Illinois. But if the Wolverines lose, they will be the No. 5 seed unless Wisconsin pulls a Michigan and loses at Penn State. The No. 2 or No. 3 seed means they avoid Indiana until the finals. That matters.

Michigan fans need to root for: ILLINOIS and PENN STATE

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OHIO STATE: The Buckeyes control their own destiny. If they beat Illinois, they will be the No. 2 seed regardless of what else happens on Sunday.

If the Buckeyes lose: the only way they can still get the No. 2 seed is if Indiana beats Michigan AND Wisconsin loses to Penn State AND Michigan State loses to Northwestern. That’s probably not happening. What could end up happening, however, is the Ohio State falls all the way down to the No. 5 seed. There’s only one scenario where that plays out, but it is a long way from far-fetched: if Michigan beats Indiana AND Michigan State and Wisconsin both win. Minnesota’s loss on Wednesday would mean that the Badgers have a tiebreaker with the Buckeyes, and Ohio State would miss out on their bye.

Here are the rest of the possible outcomes:

  • If Indiana beats Michigan: Ohio State will be the No. 3 seed if Michigan State loses to Northwestern OR Wisconsin loses to Penn State. If both Michigan State AND Wisconsin win, the Buckeyes will be the No. 4 seed.
  • If Michigan beats Indiana: Ohio State will be the No. 3 seed if both Michigan State AND Wisconsin lose. They will be the No. 4 seed if either Michigan State OR Wisconsin wins. They will be the No. 5 seed if both Wisconsin AND Michigan State win.

Ohio State fans need to root for: INDIANA, PENN STATE, and NORTHWESTERN

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Michigan State: Beating the Badgers on Thursday locked the Spartans into a first round bye, but then things start to get complicated:

  • If Indiana beats Michigan: the Spartans will fall no lower than a No. 3 seed. If Illinois also beats Ohio State, Michigan State is locked into the No. 2 seed as long as Wisconsin beats Penn State OR Michigan State beats Northwestern. If Ohio State beats Illinois, the Spartans will be the No. 3 seed whether they win or lose.
  • If Michigan beats Indiana: the Spartans will be the No. 4 seed unless Illinois beats Ohio State AND EITHER Wisconsin beats Penn State OR Michigan State beats Northwestern.

Michigan State fans need to root for: INDIANA, ILLINOIS, and WISCONSIN

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WISCONSIN: If Wisconsin loses to Penn State, they will be 11-7 in the league and locked into that No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament. If they win, they are still going to need some help to climb their way into a first round bye.

  • If Michigan beats Indiana: the Badgers can only climb out of the No. 5 seed if Illinois beats Ohio State, Michigan State beats Northwestern. In that case, Wisconsin will have the tiebreaker with Ohio State thanks to Minnesota’s loss to Nebraska.
  • If Indiana beats Michigan: Wisconsin will be the No. 4 seed unless Illinois beats Ohio State AND Michigan State beats Northwestern. If that happens, they climb all the way up to the No. 3 seed.

Wisconsin fans need to root for: INDIANA, ILLINOIS and MICHIGAN STATE

(A huge h/t to The Only Colors for making this chart)

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Grand Canyon lands Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson

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Grand Canyon landed an important piece for its NCAA tournament push on Saturday night as Oregon graduate transfer guard Casey Benson pledged to the Antelopes.

The 6-foot-3 Benson will be eligible right away as spent the past three seasons with the Ducks as a key reserve guard, helping Oregon to multiple deep NCAA tournament runs. Benson picked Grand Canyon over Wisconsin for his final season of college basketball as Benson’s brother, T.J., is an assistant coach with the Antelopes.

Benson shot 40 percent from three-point range last season while also being a steady ball handler over the course of his career at Oregon as he has only 81 career turnovers in over 2,600 career minutes with the Ducks. While Benson wasn’t asked to score a lot for a loaded Oregon team that featured multiple bucket-getters, he could be asked to do more at Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon is eligible for the NCAA tournament for the first time next season as the addition of Benson gives them an experienced guard who should be more of a factor in the WAC. The Antelopes are coming off of a 22-9 season in which they finished 11-3 in conference play.

With great facilities and a quickly-growing fan base, head coach Dan Majerle has the potential makings of a perennial mid-major conference contender if he continues to recruit well to Grand Canyon.

Colorado adds commitment from Class of 2017 point guard McKinley Wright

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Colorado landed one of the best available point guards for next season on Friday as Class of 2017 floor general McKinley Wright committed during an official visit.

A former Dayton commit who opted out of his recruitment after former head coach Archie Miller took the Indiana job, Wright was one of the best available point guards left as he played last weekend on the adidas Gauntlet in front of college coaches with D1 Minnesota.

The 6-foot-0 Wright gives the Buffaloes another ball handler and distributor as he was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball during this past season. As a senior, Wright averaged 22.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

It’s always hard to say if spring recruits who elevate a level in recruiting after decommitting are making the correct decision, but Wright looked the part of a high-major lead guard last weekend, and Colorado wasn’t the only high-major program that was pushing hard to add Wright at this late stage.

Oral Roberts to hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills

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Oral Roberts has found its new head coach as they will hire Baylor assistant coach Paul Mills, as first reported by NBCSports.com’s Rob Dauster.

Mills had been on staff with the Bears since 2003 as he’s been a big factor in why head coach Scott Drew has been able to turn around that program. A graduate of Texas A&M, Mills has been a full-time assistant at Baylor since the 2009 season.

“I am honored to accept this role of representing this historic institution, its students and its mission,” Mills said in a release. “Making this commitment today is a highlight of my career and I look forward with excitement to the basketball season directly ahead. Go Golden Eagles.”

Mills will replace former head coach Scott Sutton, who was relieved of his duties this offseason after 18 years at the helm.

 

Iowa commit Connor McCaffery to redshirt in basketball to pursue baseball

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Iowa commit Connor McCaffery is in a unique spot when he starts his freshman year in Iowa City next year.

Not only is the 6-foot-4 guard the son of basketball head coach Fran McCaffery, while being a four-star national basketball prospect, but Connor also has a bright future in baseball.

There was a lot of speculation as to what Connor might do for his future in athletics and he gave more clarification on what he might be looking to do on Friday.

McCaffery has decided to redshirt in basketball next season to focus on the beginnings of his baseball career at Iowa. A walk-on for both sports, the move enables Connor McCaffery to potentially play three years of basketball with his younger brother, Patrick, who is also a heralded basketball recruit for Iowa. This move also gives Connor the best chance to pursue both sports while he’ll also help out a young Iowa basketball team with its tough scholarship scenario.

Butler, Chris Holtmann agree to a contract extension

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Butler has agreed to a contract extension with head coach Chris Holtmann, the school announced on Friday, that will keep him under contract through 2025.

“Butler truly is a special place, and my family and I are thankful to be part of a great academic institution and an athletics department that is a source of pride for those who embrace Butler and The Butler Way,” said Holtmann. “Our student-athletes, our staff, and so many throughout our campus are remarkable at what they do, and I’m excited to continue to work alongside them.”

Holtmann was named Big East Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to a 25-9 record and a spot in the Sweet 16. In three years with the program, Holtmann has a record of 70-31.

“Chris is a tremendous ambassador for Butler and the Butler Way, and his leadership has resulted in success both on and off the court for the talented young men in our program,” said Butler Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier. “This commitment – both by our university and by Chris – allows the momentum within our program to continue.”

Holtmann was in the mix for a couple of jobs this spring, including N.C. State and Missouri.