I’m using my ratings and Bill James’ log5 formula to estimate the chances of each participating team advancing to a particular round of its conference tournament.

Big Ten Conference
Location: Indianapolis (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
Dates: March 13-16
Chance of bid thief: 6 percent (presuming top six seeds are at-larges)
Current kPOY: Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin


                Qtrs  Semis  Final  Champ
 1 Michigan      100   72.6   45.1   25.4
 2 Wisconsin     100   73.7   40.4   22.1
 5 Ohio St.     82.2   55.2   28.9   15.1
 3 Michigan St.  100   55.9   29.3   15.0
 6 Iowa         86.2   42.3   21.8   10.9
 4 Nebraska      100   39.4   14.1    5.0
 8 Indiana      57.8   17.4    7.3    2.6
 7 Minnesota    58.9   17.1    5.7    1.9
 9 Illinois     42.2   10.1    3.5    1.0
10 Penn St.     41.1    9.2    2.4    0.6
12 Purdue       17.8    5.5    1.1    0.2
11 Northwestern 13.8    1.8    0.3    0.05

Somehow, Nebraska found it’s way to a first-round bye in this event. The computer still doesn’t respect the Huskers, at least relative to the other top six seeds. Though I’d say being ranked 50 is respect, but whatever, Tim Miles broke up with my computer a long time ago.

Michigan State’s chances may be marginally understated here since the Spartans are finally almost healthy. So the Big Ten tournament will give us more data on whether they should be considered for a deep tournament run with a full roster. I tend to think people are overestimating the Spartans’ chances and allow me to offer a theory as to why. In their second game of the season, Michigan State beat the presumed best team in the land, Kentucky. Therefore, Michigan State was considered the best team in the land, and since they were healthy then, they have been riding on that reputation for a while. But what if we knew Kentucky was say, the 24th best team in the land? I think folks would have felt a lot differently about a four-point victory over a team like that. Ergo, the Michigan State “healthy” portfolio has been exaggerated to some extent.