Despite losing, Purdue can still be the No. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.
Steve will have the game wrap later, but I just got home from Mackey. Really, things could not have gone better for Purdue tonight aside from actually winning the game. Purdue played hard, Terone Johnson was magnificent, and if not for Trey Burke playing like a Player of the Year candidate the Boilers win. It was extremely promising.
In the meantime, Minnesota's loss at Nebraska had a huge effect on the Big Ten Tournament seedings. We know the following:
- Penn State is the 12.
- Northwestern is the 11 barring two wins int heir last two games.
- Nebraska is the 10 barring a loss to Iowa and two wins by Northwestern.
- Indiana can finish anywhere from 1 to 4, but cannot fall out of a bye.
- Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State can all finished anywhere from 1 to 5, and one will be the five seed vs. Penn State.
- Purdue, Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota can all finish at 8-10, which would give Purdue the No. 6 seed vs. northwestern.
That last part is key, as the first tiebreaker in a three or more team tie is record vs. all teams tied. For the four-way 8-10 tie to happen Purdue must beat Minnesota, Illinois must lose to Ohio State, and Nebraska must beat Iowa all this weekend. The four teams against each other would be as follows:
Purdue 3-2 (beat Minnesota, split with Iowa and Illinois)
Iowa 3-2 (split with Purdue and Minny, beat Illinois)
Illinois 2-3 (lost to Iowa, split with Purdue and Minny)
Minnesota 2-3 (lost to Purdue, split with Iowa and Illinois)
That still leaves Purdue and Iowa tied, which would then be broken by record vs. highest placed Big Ten team. Iowa and Purdue all lost to Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State in all available chances, but Purdue was 1-0 vs. Wisconsin and Iowa was 1-1, so Purdue wins that tiebreaker, and the No. 6 seed.
In the event of Iowa beating Nebraska, but Purdue beats Minnesota and Illinois loses to Ohio State (much more likely) Purdue would be the seven seed. Again, the multi-team tiebreaker is best record among the teams tied. in that scenario Purdue would be 2-1, Illinois 2-2, and Minnesota 1-2, giving Purdue the No. 7 seed and game against Nebraska.