The Big Ten Tournament's field is set, and Maryland – if it gets far enough – will likely face Michigan State, the same obstacle that got in its way in last year's conference semifinal. The Terrapins are the No. 3 seed in the tournament, which starts Wednesday but doesn't begin for them until Friday thanks to their double bye.
Upsets certainly happen in March, so it's important to remember these projections are hypotheticals wrapped inside hypotheticals. (And also to that there's no harm in independent media outlets looking ahead.)
Assuming Wisconsin doesn't lay an egg against Nebraska or Rutgers on Thursday, Maryland will face the Badgers in a quarterfinal game on Friday. The Terps and Badgers split their season series, with each team winning in the other's arena. And assuming Michigan State doesn't lose to Penn State or Ohio State (it won't), Maryland's second game of the tournament (if there is one) will come against the Spartans.
It's a challenging setup for Maryland. The Spartans are the best team in the league even if they're not the regular-season champions, and Wisconsin has won 11 of its last 13 games under interim coach Greg Gard. If Maryland goes 1-1 in this tournament, it'll have been a reasonably impressive showing.
Maryland's first game, probably against Wisconsin, will be at about 9 p.m. ET on Friday on the Big Ten Network.
Here's a full schedule:
Illinois (12) vs. Minnesota (13) 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Nebraska (11) vs. Rutgers (14) 7 p.m. ET, BTN
Michigan (8) vs. Northwestern (9) Noon ET, BTN
Iowa (5) vs. Illinois (12)/Minnesota (13) 2:30 p.m. ET, BTN
Ohio State (7) vs. Penn State (10) 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Wisconsin (6) vs. Nebraska (11)/Rutgers (14) 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Indiana (1) vs. Michigan (8)/Northwestern (9) Noon ET, ESPN
Purdue (4) vs. Iowa (5)/Illinois (12)/Minnesota (13) 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Michigan State (2) vs. Ohio State (7)/Penn State (10) 6:30 p.m. ET, BTN
Maryland (3) vs. Wisconsin (6)/Nebraska (11)/Rutgers (14) 9 p.m. ET, BTN
Semifinal 1: 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Semifinal 2: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Final: 3 p.m. ET, CBS