We have made it to the final week of the Big Ten regular season, and there are four teams with a mathematical chance to win at least a share of the Big Ten championship. To the pleasure of Illini fans, the Orange and Blue are one of them, thanks to its win over Michigan on Sunday.
Here is how the top four currently look, with this week’s games included:
- Wisconsin 14-4 (Tuesday vs. Purdue, Saturday vs. Nebraska)
- Purdue 13-5 (Tuesday @ Wisconsin, Saturday vs. Indiana)
- Illinois 13-5 (Thursday vs. Penn State, Sunday vs. Iowa)
- Ohio State 11-6 (Tuesday vs. Nebraska, Thursday vs. Michigan State, Sunday vs. Michigan)
For Illinois to win the Big Ten outright, the Illini need to win their final two games. In addition, Purdue needs to beat Wisconsin on Tuesday and lose to Indiana, while Wisconsin would need to lose both of its remaining games.
For Illinois to clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title, they would need to win out and Purdue would need to beat Wisconsin. If the Illini do not win out, the Illini would need to win one of their remaining games, Purdue would need to beat Wisconsin and both teams would need to lose their regular season finale.
Wisconsin can win the Big Ten outright with a win over Purdue on Tuesday. Wisconsin could also win the conference outright if Purdue or Illinois lose both of their remaining games. Wisconsin clinches at least a share of the Big Ten title if Illinois or Purdue lose either of their remaining two games. Wisconsin would also guarantee at least a share with a win over Nebraska on Sunday.
Purdue wins the Big Ten outright if they win out and Wisconsin loses out, and Illinois loses one of its last two. If Purdue wins out, they will clinch at least a guaranteed share of the Big Ten title. If Purdue beats Wisconsin but loses to Indiana, the only way they could clinch a share would be Wisconsin losing out and Illinois losing at least one of its last two.
Finally, Ohio State can clinch a share for the Big Ten if Wisconsin loses out and Purdue/Illinois don’t win out.
The best possible record that can win the Big Ten is 16-4, only achievable by Wisconsin.
The worst possible record that can win the Big Ten is 14-6, achievable by Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois and Ohio State.
When it comes to seeding for the Big Ten Tournament in the case of a tie, there are some complicated measures taken by the conference. However, the ultimate question comes down to head-to-head record. If there is a tie between multiple teams, the tie is determined by winning percentage against all teams tied. In addition, if nothing can be decided between those two measures, record vs. Division I opponents and a coin toss in the commissioner’s office is next.
- Illinois has a tie breaker over Wisconsin. (1-3 overall)
- Purdue has a tie breaker over Illinois and Ohio State. (3-1 overall*)
- Wisconsin currently has tie breaker over Purdue and Ohio State. (2-1 overall*)
- Ohio State has a tie breaker over Illinois. (1-2 overall)
- Wisconsin and Ohio State split their season series. In the case of a season split, the tie breaker goes to head-to-head record over the next team. If that next team is deemed Illinois, Ohio State has the tie breaker. If that next team is deemed Purdue, Wisconsin has the tie breaker.
*record could change
NOTE: Winning a share of the Big Ten tournament automatically includes a Championship Banner and Ring, regardless if that team does not have a tiebreaker over other teams.