10 seed Northwestern 57 When: Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network Skinny: A tight game became unwound in the late stages, when the Nittany Lions staged a 15-5 run over the final 4:56 to knock out last year’s darlings, the Wildcats.
1 seed Michigan State (28-3, 16-2) When: Friday, noon, Big Ten Network Skinny: The Spartans are a national championship contender and perhaps the most complete team in the country, having clinched the outright regular season title with a hard-fought, 68-63 win at Wisconsin in the finale.
4 seed Nebraska (22-9, 13-5) When: Friday, 2:30 p.m., Big Ten Network Skinny: The Cornhuskers enter the week squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble and need a win over Michigan here to buffer their portfolio; that still might not be enough for a team with 13 league victories but no quality nonconference wins.
2 seed Ohio State (24-7, 15-3) When: Friday, 6:30 p.m., Big Ten Network Skinny: The Buckeyes were the league’s surprise this winter, rejuvenated by first-year Coach Chris Holtmann, who was selected as Big Ten Coach of the Year.
3 seed Purdue (26-5, 15-3) When: Friday, 9 p.m., Big Ten Network Skinny: The Boilermakers have the best shot to challenge Michigan State for the championship, although Matt Painter’s team trended downward in February.