No. 10 Illinois (at Michigan State 2/10)
An underreported storyline this season has been a bit of a dip in quality for the Big Ten in terms of basketball. The league has routinely sent 8 or 9 teams to March Madness over the past decade but may get as few as six teams into the field on Selection Sunday.
One Big Ten team that appears to be a lock to dance is No. 10 Illinois, which has largely taken care of business in league play and scored a nifty win over Florida Atlantic in the non-conference portion of their schedule. Seeding appears to be the biggest concern for the Fighting Illini right now and they will have a challenging matchup on their hands on Saturday when they head to Michigan State.
Tom Izzo's team began the year ranked No. 4 in the AP poll before a rough run in non-conference play sent them out of the rankings by the end of November. Things have started to turn around for the Spartans, however, who have won five of their past six games and only lost by three at Illinois when the teams met last month.
A trip to the Breslin Center could be very dangerous for Illinois, which will have to withstand a dangerous Spartans team that has seen its confidence build over the past three weeks. Michigan State usually starts to get itself right at this point of the season and they can announce their presence with authority if they take down the Illini in the Izzone.