There are realistically three teams that could win the tournament and are the odds on favorites.
That is Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue.
The Spartans finished with a share of the Big Ten regular season title after going 16-4 in conference play. Oddly enough, two of those losses came against a struggling Indiana team.
Heading into the Big Ten Conference Tournament, Tom Izzo’s squad has to be considered the favorite to win in 2019. They are the fourth best team in the nation according to KenPom, and they are 8th in NET ratings. Despite a few bad losses, they have risen to the occasion in big games against good teams.
Iowa basketball fans got a good glimpse of that when the Spartans wiped the floor with the Hawks in both matchups this season. Vegas is also giving the Spartans the best odds at +175.
Although Michigan finished third in the conference, I believe they have the second-best chance of winning this whole thing. All five of their losses have been quadrant one losses, meaning they don’t lose the games they shouldn’t, and even when they do lose, it’s not by much. In fact, only two of their losses have been by double digits (on the road vs the Iowa basketball team and on the road vs Michigan State).
The Wolverines are led by five-star freshman sensation Ignas Brazdiekis who is averaging 15 points per game on 46% shooting, and he is accompanied by do-it-all point guard Zavier Simpson who is second in the Big Ten in assists (6.3) and is fourth in the Big Ten in steals (1.5). Protecting the rim is 7’1” junior Jon Teske who is leading the team in rebounds with 6.7 and leading the Big Ten in blocks with 2.2.
Although the Boilermakers struggled early on in the season, they turned it on when they got to conference play going 16-4 to claim a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. This team is obviously talented, but what makes them even scarier is how hot they have been. Purdue has lost just 2 of their last 16 games, and they are led by First Team All-Big Ten guard Carsen Edwards who is averaging 23.4 points per game.
Currently, Vegas is giving the Boilermakers the third best odds at +300, and they will need to beat the winner of Penn State and Minnesota before likely taking on Michigan to get to the Big Ten Championship game.