Cover Photo: Getty Images 


With conference tournament play beginning, March Madness is finally here.


The insanity that comes with this month begins with conference tournaments and few have more intrigue than the Big Ten's dance. This conference may see as many as nine teams enter the field of 65 depending on how the bubbles burst for teams like Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio State. Before we get there, though, we have to find a tournament champion.


After their win Saturday night against the Michigan Wolverines, the Michigan State Spartans will enter the tournament as the top seed and the regular season champs.

This is a huge deal for the Spartans. 


With the way the Big Ten tournament works, all four top seeds receive double-byes. That means the Spartans, the second-seed Purdue Boilermakers, and the three-seed Wolverines won't play until Friday. The fourth seed will be decided today, coming down to the wire with the Wisconsin Badgers and the Maryland Terrapins. If the Badgers beat Ohio State on Sunday, they'll take the four seed while Maryland will fall to fifth. Iowa is locked in as a dangerous six seed in the tournament. 


The good news for the Spartans is they won't have to play Purdue or Michigan until the championship, allowing them to skate by a little longer while one of those teams knocks out the other.


This alone makes Michigan State the favorite, although it's not out of the woods just yet. It'll have to play the winner of the eight vs. nine game, which would feature some combination of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Rutgers, or Minnesota. The Spartans have an impressive 16-4 record in their conference, but three of those losses have come against those teams above.

One way you might see a championship matchup without Michigan State is if the Hoosiers, who are very much alive to finish in ninth, end up taking on the Spartans. Indiana swept Michigan State this year. 


Aside from their recent loss to Indiana, the Spartans have been red hot. They've won seven of their last eight, including two wins against Michigan. The Big Ten Tournament is expected to be a defensive-sided bloodbath, with Michigan State looking like the favorite to come out on top.


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Dan O'Shea is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Dan O'Shea also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Doshea93. While the strategies and player selection recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and plater selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.