You are currently viewing One reason to buy and sell each Big Ten team ahead of a wide-open conference tournament


After watching hundreds — maybe thousands — of hours of Big Ten basketball this season, I’ve come to one giant conclusion ahead of Wednesday’s Big Ten tournament: I know nothing.

Thirteen of the 14 Big Ten teams had a winning record at home, but only two teams had a winning record on the road. Big Ten teams went a whopping 173-57 this season at home. That’s an absurd 75.2% winning percentage for you math majors. Life on the road was a death sentence (56-98). So, what’s going to happen on Chicago’s neutral site court? Your guess is as good as mine. As a result, I decided to list out one reason you should buy and sell each team in the Big Ten tournament.


  1. Purdue: Zach Edey’s “worst” game in conference play was early in December when he had 11 points, 17 rebounds, five turnovers and seven blocks against Nebraska.
  2. Northwestern: Northwestern was one of the best post-trapping defenses in the country. That helps in the post-up heavy Big Ten Tournament.
  3. Indiana: Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jalen Hood-Schifino are the scariest pick-and-roll combination in the country.
  4. Michigan State: MSU was the best 3-point shooting team (41.5%) and the best 3-point defense (30.7%) during Big Ten play.
  5. Iowa: Patrick McCaffery had more points (23) in the regular season-finale against Nebraska than his last six games combined (22). A late-season surge from the talented wing would change the ceiling for the Hawkeyes.
  6. Maryland: Kevin Willard has the 12th-most efficient transition offense in the country. Maryland averages a whopping 1.184 points per possession in transition.
  7. Illinois: Brad Underwood has an extremely athletic squad. The Illini are the best shot-blocking team in the Big Ten and Illinois already has 88 dunks — the second-most in a single season in the last 10 years.
  8. Michigan: The Wolverines are the only team with three of the top-20 scorers in the Big Ten. Stopping two of Hunter Dickinson, Jett Howard and Kobe Bufkin is a major chore.
  9. Rutgers: Rutgers was the only team with two players on the All-Defensive team. Cliff Omoruyi and Caleb McConnell were excellent. Mawot Mag would’ve also been on the team if he hadn’t gotten hurt.
  10. Penn State: Jalen Pickett rates in the 94th percentile in pick-and-rolls and 90th percentile in post-ups. He’s a maestro.
  11. Nebraska: Keisei Tominaga is shooting 41.1% on 3s and 63.4% on 2s during Big Ten play.
  12. Wisconsin: The Badgers had the lowest turnover rate (12.6%) in Big Ten play.
  13. Ohio State: Freshman Brice Sensabaugh averaged more points per possession on post-ups (1.10) than any other player in the Big Ten.
  14. Minnesota: Freshman Pharrel Payne has really turned a corner lately, scoring in double figures in four of his last six games.


  1. Purdue: Purdue ranks 353rd out of 363 Division I teams in transition defense. The only Power Six teams who are worse are: Louisville (worst team in the ACC), LSU and South Carolina (two of the worst teams in the SEC).
  2. Northwestern: Northwestern averages just 0.68 points per possession in pick-and-rolls.
  3. Indiana: Indiana’s transition defense has been a problem all year long. The Hoosiers allow 1.096 points per possession in transition.
  4. Michigan State: The Spartans are one of the worst layup-shooting teams in the country, rating in just the 10th percentile, according to Synergy.
  5. Iowa: An Iowa opponent has an effective field goal percentage of over 50% in 10 of the last 11 games.
  6. Maryland: The Terps cannot play the Big Ten Tournament at home, unfortunately.
  7. Illinois: Illinois ranks in the second percentile nationally in catch-and-shoot jump shooting, according to Synergy.
  8. Michigan: Michigan is one of the worst teams in the country in close games this season. 12 of Michigan’s 14 losses have been by two possessions and/or overtime.
  9. Rutgers: Rutgers has turned it over more than 21% of the time in each of its last three losses.
  10. Penn State: Penn State has only won the rebounding battle once in the last eight games.
  11. Nebraska: Nebraska is one of the smallest teams in the Big Ten after season-ending injuries to Emmanuel Bandoumel and Juwan Gary.
  12. Wisconsin: The Badgers have not won back-to-back games since beating Western Michigan and Minnesota in late December/early January.
  13. Ohio State: The Buckeyes give up more than eight unguarded catch-and-shoot 3-pointers per game.
  14. Minnesota: Trevor Mbakwe and Amir Coffey aren’t walking through that door.

The Daily Dish is a daily college basketball column by a rotating cast of 247Sports writers on the biggest stories of the day in the sport and will run through the NCAA Tournament championship in April.


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