The Big Ten has been the second best conference in men’s college basketball for the 2022-2023 season, according to KenPom. The Purdue Boilermakers have been the top team in the conference all season, but a six-team race for second place into the final days of the regular season put huge stakes on every game of the stretch run. Now the bracket for the 2023 Big Ten tournament is set, with the field invading the United Center in Chicago from March 8-12.
The Boilermakers have plenty to play for entering the conference tournament as they try to secure a No. 1 seed to the NCAA tournament. Purdue was shaky to close conference play, finishing the regular season 4-4 in the last eight games, but it still has one of the best resumes in America. Purdue’s 13-0 start included wins over Marquette, Gonzaga, and Duke and set the course for one of the best seasons in program history. Everything starts with Zach Edey, the 7’4 center likely to be national player of the year, who is a dominant force as an interior scorer and rebounded. Purdue needs big contributions from freshmen Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer if it wants to make the Final Four for the first time under head coach Matt Painter.
Indiana also has big dreams this year. The Hoosiers are led by senior star Trayce Jackson-Davis, an explosive 6’9 center who can attack the rim, hit the glass, and block shots. Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino has been the team’s breakout star, positioning himself as a possible NBA draft first round pick this year with a combination of size (6’6), shot-making, and playmaking. Indiana’s defense has been vulnerable this season, entering the tournament ranked No. 46 in the country. The offense has one of the lowest three-point rates in the DI, but their three-point percentage ranks in the top-25 nationwide.
A year ago, Iowa won the Big Ten tournament behind star forward Keegan Murray. Now it’s his twin brother Kris Murray leading the way for the Hawkeyes after Keegan was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Kris Murray has had a breakout season by carrying the scoring load for Iowa, though his three-point shot struggled a bit at the end of the season.
Illinois feels like the boom-or-bust team of the Big Ten. The Illini are loaded with talent thanks to transfers Terrence Shannon Jr. and Matthew Mayer, but their play has been wildly inconsistent all year. Shannon’s athleticism and shot-making gives Illinois a chance at a tournament title, but he’ll need his teammates to hit shots around him. Illinois has been one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the Big Ten all year.
Our latest bracketology projection has 10 Big Ten in the 2023 men’s NCAA tournament — more than any conference in America. Here’s the bracket, schedule, and a prediction for what’s going to happen in Chicago.
2023 Big Ten tournament bracket
2023 Big Ten tournament predictions
We picked Purdue to win the Big Ten tournament. From our conference tournament predictions post:
Our pick: Purdue Boilermakers. It’s almost impossible to lose a top-five NBA draft pick (Jaden Ivey) and one of the best big men in the conference (Trevion Williams) and get even better, but that’s exactly what Purdue has done this season. The Boilermakers have been considered an elite team since earning victories over Duke, Gonzaga, and Marquette early in the season, and for the most part Matt Painter’s team has remained among the country’s best ever since. Everything Purdue does is built around star center Zach Edey, the 7’4 behemoth poised to be college basketball’s national player of the year. With two standout freshmen (Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith) and a couple of savvy vets around him, Purdue’s pieces just fit better this year even if the talent isn’t as overwhelming. Now it’s time for Painter to prove it in March and get to his first Final Four ever. — Ricky O’Donnell
2023 Big Ten Tournament schedule
March 8 First Round
Game 1: No. 13 Ohio State 65, No. 12 Wisconsin 57
Game 2: No. 14 Minnesota 78, No. 11 Nebraska 75
March 9 Second Round
Game 3: No. 9 Rutgers 62, No. 8 Michigan 50
Game 4: No. 13 Ohio State 73, No. 5 Iowa 69
Game 5: No. 10 Penn State 79, No. 7 Illinois 76
Game 6: No. 6 Maryland 70, No. 14 Minnesota 54
March 10 Quarterfinals
Game 7: No. 1 Purdue 70, No. 9 Rutgers 65
Game 8: No. 13 Ohio State 68, No. 4 Michigan State 58
Game 9: No. 10 Penn State 67, No. 2 Northwestern 65
Game 10: No. 3 Indiana 70, No. 6 Maryland 60
March 11 Semifinals
Game 11: No. 1 Purdue 80, No. 13 Ohio State 66
Game 12: No. 10 Penn State 77, No. 3 Indiana 73
March 12 Championship
Game 13: No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 10 Penn State, 3:30 p.m., CBS
Odds to win 2023 Big Ten Tournament from DraftKings Sportsbook
Michigan State +600
Penn State +2500
Ohio State +6000