How did the Big Ten do in the NCAA Tournament so far?
Five of the eight teams from the Big Ten advanced in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. It wasn’t necessarily a flex from the Big Ten in the first round of the March Madness, but it was still an encouraging sign for the conference following last year’s postseason struggles.
And yes, despite whatever that was from Purdue in losing to a very strong, balanced and determined FDU, this was nonetheless a better start to the NCAA Tournament than not for the Big Ten.
(And let’s be honest, FDU looked pretty, pretty good in beating the Big Ten’s top team).
The big winner of the opening round for the Big Ten was Penn State as the Nittany Lions backed up their strong conference tournament run with a first-round win.
Here is how the Big Ten did in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament:
No. 8 Maryland beat No. 9 West Virginia 67-65 (will play No. 1 seed Alabama on Saturday)
No. 1 Purdue lost to No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 63-58
No. 7 Michigan State beat No. 10 USC 72-62 (will play No. 2 Marquette on Sunday)
No. 4 Indiana beat No. 13 Kent State 70-61 (will play No. 5 Miami on Sunday)
No. 10 Penn State beat No. 7 Texas A&M 76-59 (will play No. 2 Texas on Sunday)
No. 7 Northwestern beat No. 10 Boise State 75-67 (will play No. 2 UCLA on Saturday)
No. 9 Illinois lost to No. 8 Arakansas 73-63
As noted in the bracket above, future Big Ten members UCLA and USC have had mixed results in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA beat No. 15 UNC-Asheville 86-53. USC lost to a very solid Michigan State.