Iceberg, dead ahead!

Disaster is looming, yet again, for the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament. Including the First Four, Big Ten teams have played 5 games and lost 3 of them. Michigan, an 11-seed, it the only team through to the 2nd round.

But it could be worse. At least the Big Ten isn’t the Mountain West, which is already out of the Tournament entirely after the first full day.

Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State and Wyoming are all gone. And in the ultimate sad reflection of both the MWC and the B1G, the Big Ten’s only wins so far are against Mountain West schools.

And at least no one from the Big Ten is Kentucky, either. A popular national championship pick, the Wildcats are out after falling to 15-seed Saint Peter’s in maybe the worst loss in program history.

No matter what happens to Big Ten teams Friday, nothing will be as bad as that.

South Region

No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Loyola Chicago

When: 12:15 p.m. ET

Where: Pittsburgh

Ohio State top players: F EJ Liddell (19.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg), G Malaki Branham (13.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

Loyola top players: F Lucas Williamson (14 ppg, 5 rpg), G Braden Norris (10.3 ppg, 3.9 apg)

Keys to the game

Ohio State’s defense, which was sliced and diced over its final 6 games, has to stop the offense Ken Pomeroy rates 7th nationally in effective field goal percentage. That’s all.

Prediction: Loyola 70, Ohio State 65

Can’t say I like the Buckeyes’ chances of stopping an efficient offense. At all.

The key to beating Loyola is to push the tempo, and Ohio State is 290th nationally in adjusted tempo. This is a dream matchup for the Ramblers.

No. 4 Illinois vs. No. 13 Chattanooga

When: 6:50 p.m.

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Where: Pittsburgh

Illinois top players: C Kofi Cockburn (21.1 ppg, 10.6 rpg), G Trent Frazier (12.1 ppg, 4.1 apg)

Chattanooga top players: G Malachi Smith (20.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg), F Silvio DeSousa (11.1 ppg, 7 rpg)

Keys to the game

The Mocs are 35th in the country against the 3, so they’ll have the ability to take Trent Frazier and Alfonso Plummer out of their game.

Illinois needs Kofi Cockburn to stay out of foul trouble, play big boy basketball, and dominate.

Prediction: Illinois 70, Chattanooga 63

The Mocs have done this before, beating the Illini in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. But that was a 2nd round game, with the 14th-seeded Mocs beating Illinois as a 6-seed.

Don’t expect the magic to be recreated 25 years later. Illinois is a veteran team that’s going to be laser-focused after last year’s disappointing Second Round exit.

East Region

No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Yale

When: 2 p.m.

Where: Milwaukee

Purdue top players: G Jaden Ivey (17.4 ppg, 3.2 apg), F Trevion Williams (11.7 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.1 apg)

Yale top players: G Azar Swain (19.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg), G Jalen Gabbidon (11.6 ppg, 1.4 spg)

Keys to the game

Unless Zach Edey and Trevion Williams both foul out, Purdue is winning this game. Yale’s offense is almost entirely reliant on 2-pointers and free throws. And the Bulldogs haven’t dealt with size like Purdue’s in the Ivy League. Or, presumably, in the season opener against Vassar.

Prediction: Purdue 82, Yale 64

The Boilers will vanquish the demons of last year’s First Round loss to North Texas.

West Region

No. 7 Michigan State vs. No. 10 Davidson

When: 9:40 p.m.

Where: Greenville, S.C.

Michigan State top players: F Gabe Brown (11.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg), F Marcus Bingham Jr. (9.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.2 bpg)

Davidson top players: G Foster Loyer (16.3 ppg, 3.3 apg), G Hyungjun Lee (16 ppg, 6 rpg)

Keys to the game

This will come down to shooting — and defending — 3-pointers. Davidson is 5th nationally in 3-point shooting, and Michigan State is 16th. He who stops the 3 will taste victory.

Prediction: Michigan State 70, Davidson 69

The most fun outcome here is the one that allows Draymond Green to talk non-stop smack to Steph Curry in the Golden State locker room.

I originally liked the Wildcats in this game, but Michigan State’s chances are bolstered by the fact point guard Tyson Walker can play. He left the Big Ten semifinal with an ankle injury and never returned.

Another key factor: Davidson’s defense doesn’t really turn opponents over. The Wildcats are 267th in defensive turnover percentage, making them unlikely candidates to exploit Michigan State’s biggest weakness.

Midwest Region

No. 3 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Colgate

When: 9:50 p.m.

Where: Milwaukee

Wisconsin top players: G Johnny Davis (19.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg), G Brad Davison (14.5 ppg, 38.8% 3-point shooting)

Colgate top players: G Nelly Cummings (14.5 ppg, 3.4 apg), G Tucker Richardson (12.6 ppg, 3.9 apg, 1.4 spg)

Keys to the game

Colgate is one of the nation’s most efficient offenses, ranking 11th in effective field goal percentage. Wisconsin is one of the least efficient, ranking 291st in that same stat.

So if the Raiders can get up early, they’ve got the ability to grind out possessions and really make the Badgers sweat.

Prediction: Wisconsin 74, Colgate 68

There are going to be some very nervous moments for the Badgers. This is a scary matchup. But this is a late Friday night game in Milwaukee. I find it hard to believe Colgate won’t get rattled by a capacity crowd of roaring drunk Badgers fans.