The 2012 Big Ten Conference Tournament is set to begin on Thursday March 8 with the opening matchup between No. 8 Iowa and No. 9 Illinois at 11:30 a.m. ET on the Big Ten Network. Before the Tournament gets started, however, we should look at who's favored to win the Tournament. Eric Gibson of SB Nation's Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries likes Ohio State to walk away as the winners of the tournament.
This is a pretty open tournament, but I do think Ohio State will win the whole thing for the third straight season. I've got Northwestern in the semis, but don't sleep on Minnesota. They've gone down in flames in February, but I do like their backcourt. Whoever wins that 7/10 game I think makes a mini-run. I also like the Branden Dawson-less Spartans to get bounced by Iowa.
Surprisingly, Gibson also likes the Iowa Hawkeyes to pull an upset win over the Michigan State Spartans, who are dealing with an injury to Branden Dawson. The Hawkeyes were blown out by Michigan State in the regular season, but the Hawkeyes have pulled a few upsets during the season so far. In the finals, Gibson has Ohio State taking down Indiana to win the Big Ten conference tournament.
For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Nittany Lions, check out Black Shoe Diaries. For all your Big Ten hoops news during championship week, visit BT Powerhouse, SB Nation's Big Ten hoops blog. For all your college basketball news during March Madness, keep up with SB Nation's NCAA college hoops hub.