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Julio Cortez/Associated Press
The seeding permutations for the 2022 Big Ten tournament became a bit more complicated after a handful of unexpected results.
The Ohio State Buckeyes’ home loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Tuesday opened up the race for the No. 4 seed to as many as five teams.
As of Thursday morning, Ohio State, the Iowa Hawkeyes, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines are within one game of each other in the loss column between fourth and eighth place.
Those five programs will likely change positions more over the next few days since some of them play each other before the regular season concludes.
The Wisconsin Badgers are one win away from securing the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament. They clinched at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season crown with a win over the Purdue Boilermakers on Tuesday.
The bracket picture for the bottom six teams in the conference is much clearer than the mess directly above it. Indiana’s home loss to Rutgers on Wednesday likely made it the best of the teams at .500 or worse in Big Ten play.
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Andy Manis/Associated Press
Wednesday, March 9
No. 12 seed vs. No. 13 seed (6 p.m. ET, BTN)
No. 11 seed vs. No. 14 seed (8:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
Thursday, March 10
No. 8 seed vs. No. 9 seed (11:30 a.m. ET. BTN)
No. 5 seed vs. No. 12 vs. No. 13 winner (2 p.m. ET. BTN)
No. 7 seed vs. No. 10 seed (6:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 vs. No. 14 winner (9 p.m. ET, BTN)
Friday, March 11
No. 1 seed vs. No. 8 vs. No. 9 winner (11:30 a.m. ET, BTN)
No. 4 seed vs. No. 5 vs. No. 12/13 winner (2 p.m. ET, BTN)
No. 2 seed vs. No. 7 vs. No. 10 winner (6:30 p.m. ET, BTN)
No. 3 seed vs. No. 6 vs. No. 11/14 winner (9 p.m. ET, BTN)
Saturday, March 12
Semifinal No. 1 (1 p.m. ET, CBS)
Semifinal No. 2 (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
Sunday, March 13
Championship Game (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
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Doug McSchooler/Associated Press
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights positioned themselves to land the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten tournament with their win over the Indiana Hoosiers on Wednesday night.
Rutgers has a single game left at home versus the Penn State Nittany Lions. Steve Pickell’s team should win that game with ease.
Between now and then, the standings could break wide open for Rutgers to land the final top-four seed in Indianapolis.
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Ohio State Buckeyes each have two games left. They both have to play the Michigan Wolverines. Iowa also takes on the Illinois Fighting Illini, and the Buckeyes welcome the Michigan State Spartans on Thursday.
Rutgers owns head-to-head wins over Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan, so if they all finish with at least eight league losses, the Scarlet Knights would likely take the No. 4 seed. Rutgers split with Michigan. The Wolverines are the only team of the five potential No. 4 seeds that played the Scarlet Knights twice.
That situation is possible since Ohio State is on a two-game slump with losses to the Maryland Terrapins and Nebraska Cornhuskers. There is no guarantee the Buckeyes go 2-0 in their matchups with both Michigan schools.
Iowa plays both of its games on the road. The Hawkeyes suffered four of their six league losses on the road.
Michigan can be cleared out of the picture with a loss to either Iowa or Ohio State. The Wolverines lost their last three games against Top 25 opposition.
If Iowa and Ohio State suffer one loss each, Rutgers could sit in the unlikely position of the No. 4 seed heading into Indianapolis.
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Adam Hunger/Associated Press
The Wisconsin Badgers are sitting in a fantastic position away from all the chaos on top of the Big Ten regular-season standings.
Wisconsin just needs to beat Nebraska at home on Sunday to secure the No. 1 seed in Indianapolis.
That task appears to be a bit harder than it was a week ago since Nebraska found some life with road wins over Penn State and Ohio State.
Wisconsin comes into its regular-season finale on a five-game winning streak in which it held all opponents under 70 points.
Johnny Davis and Co. are 7-2 inside the Kohl Center in league play, and they should handle a Nebraska team that suffered five double-digit road losses over the last two months.
Wisconsin can also lock up the No. 1 seed if the Illinois Fighting Illini lose one of their remaining games against Penn State and Iowa.
The Badgers lead the Illini by one in the loss column going into Thursday. Illinois holds the head-to-head tiebreaker if the two programs finish with five conference losses.
Wisconsin should have plenty of time to refocus for Sunday after celebrating at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season crown on Tuesday.
As long as Wisconsin handles its business in Madison on Sunday, it will head to Indianapolis with the No. 1 seed.
original source: Big 10 Tournament 2022: Schedule and Conference Bracket Predictions