Penn State’s path: Penn State, seeded 10th, faces No. 7 seed Minnesota in the first round. The Nittany Lions lost to Minnesota Sunday by 18 and in January by three at home. But Penn State’s players have expressed the belief they can beat any team if things go right. The problem is that this doesn’t happen often enough. If Tim Frazier can be a reliable second scorer to D.J. Newbill and if the Nittany Lions’ defense resembles the unit it was in a 59-32 victory last week against Northwestern, good things could happen against Minnesota. The Nittany Lions-Gophers winner plays No. 2 seed Wisconsin.
Overview: Parity and surprise have been the main themes of this season in the Big Ten. Wisconsin was the best team until it lost five in a row. Then after resurgent Nebraska beat the Badgers Sunday, Michigan finished first in the league. But rival Michigan State was considered the most talented team before conference play began and injuries depleted its roster. Any one of those teams, along with Ohio State, could win the tournament, and it wouldn’t be a surprise.