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Big Ten contenders vs. pretenders

Bo Ryan, Thad Matta and Tom Izzo are preparing their teams for March. Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Beyond Wisconsin (8-1 in the league), eight teams in the Big Ten standings are separated by just two games. Fran Fraschilla and Seth Greenberg got together this week to discuss the state of the conference. Which programs will make the NCAA tournament, and of those teams, who could make a deep run? Will Tom Izzo once again have Michigan State ready to surprise?

Which Big Ten teams will make the NCAA tournament?

Fran Fraschilla: Right now we’re looking at 10 teams, including Wisconsin, vying for six or seven spots. It’s looking more and more like Ohio State, Maryland and Michigan State are heading in the direction of earning a bid. Indiana certainly has some quality wins. But when you look at Purdue, Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, those teams are going to be fighting for the remaining couple of spots.