A year ago, the Big Ten advanced only 1 team into the NCAA Tournament’s 2nd weekend.

If the league is to at least double that — or more — then it’s going to take work, because the Selection Committee did the B1G few favors with its bracket reveal Sunday evening, particularly with 3 of the conference’s 6 entrants lining up in a dreaded 8/9 game — meaning they’re on a collision course with a No. 1 seed in the 2nd round. Perhaps this season, however, No. 1 seed Purdue (the tourney’s 3rd overall seed) can carry the way, followed along by a couple surging teams in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Purdue has the best odds among Big Ten schools to win the national title. DraftKings has the Boilermakers priced at +650. Ohio residents can get similar action at some of our best Ohio betting apps.

FanDuel also is offering odds to win each region.

Let’s glance at key takeaways from each of the Big Ten’s 6 teams that are dancing:

Purdue (1 seed, Midwest Region)

Maybe Purdue can treat the Midwest Region as the Maui Invitational Part II, because it looks awfully familiar to the impressive field the Boilermakers saw at the tournament in Hawaii in November. The familiar foes? Tennessee, the 2 seed, which Purdue could take for a right to go to its first Final Four since 1980, and Gonzaga, the 5 seed, which the Boilermakers could see in the Sweet 16. No. 4 seed, Kansas, was also a Maui participant, although the Jayhawks then missed a date with Purdue. Maybe a regional semifinal is on the horizon.

Of course, for the Boilermakers, there are always the monsters that lurk under the bed, the double-digit seeds that have knocked Purdue from the tournament in past years. Where are the unknown dangers this season? Perhaps it’s 12-seed McNeese, the Southland Conference winner and 1 of only 4 teams in the tournament with at least 30 wins, which will bring an 11-game winning streak into its 1st-round matchup with the ‘Zags.

But Purdue won’t be taking anyone for granted, certainly not Montana St. or Grambling in the 1st round, after what Fairleigh Dickinson did to Zach Edey and Co. last March.

Illinois (3 seed, East Region)

Illinois is rolling after beating Wisconsin to win the Big Ten Tournament, but this veteran Fighting Illini squad is hungry for more. They’ll have to upend a darling upset pick in Round 1, in Morehead St., a 26-game winner that rolled through the Ohio Valley Conference tourney. It’ll be a matchup of 2 of the top guards in the country in Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr., and Morehead’s Riley Minix. Both can score in bunches.

But even with a potentially dangerous lower-seeded opponent in Game 1, the Fighting Illini have to like their draw. Iowa State could stand in the way of a trip to the Elite Eight, and while the Cyclones have been hot of late — they upset Houston on their way to a Big 12 tournament title — they’re softer nonconference schedule might leave them vulnerable.

Wisconsin (5 seed, South Region)

Whatever the Badgers were doing early in the Big Ten season, they recaptured late in the year, as Wisconsin surged to the Big Ten Tournament title game after beating Northwestern and Purdue before falling to Illinois on Sunday. Led by AJ Storr, Wisconsin is scoring more, and with more efficiency, than in past years, perhaps increasing its NCAA ceiling. But being a 5 seed is always a dangerous place as a Power 5, because frequently it is facing a mid-major coming off a fantastic season — and is on track to face a No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16.

The dangerous mid-major this year is James Madison. The Dukes, led by Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Terrence Edwards Jr., have the nation’s longest winning streak at 13 games. It could be a test for the improved Badgers’ offense, because Wisconsin will take on a JMU team that averages 84.4 points per game, the 9th-best mark in the country.

Nebraska (8 seed, South Region)

Nebraska presents a danger not only to 1st-round opponent Texas A&M — led by new AD Trev Alberts — but potentially to likely 2nd-round opponent Houston too, because the Cornhuskers can get hot and stay hot, like they did in hitting 14 3-pointers in a 16-point win over Purdue earlier this season. Does anyone know how to slow down veteran Nebraska guard Keisei Tominaga if he gets on a heater?

But to get that shooter’s chance against the Cougars, the Cornhuskers will have to get by the Aggies, and that might not be an easy thing to do. First, Nebraska has its own history to overcome: The Huskers are 0-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament — the only Power 6 team without a win. That, and TAMU is playing well right now, recording 5 consecutive wins before losing to Florida in the SEC Tournament semifinals. That stretch vaulted the Aggies into an at-large berth, after they had lost the 5 previous.

Northwestern (8 seed, East Region)

There might not be a bigger 1st-round contrast in styles than Northwestern and Florida Atlantic. The Wildcats, particularly as beat up as they are, will try to value possessions behind the stellar play of Boo Buie. Meanwhile, the Owls, who had an up-and-down season despite returning a bulk of their lineup from last March’s surprise run to the Final Four, want to run. They average 82.5 points per game, the 16th-highest mark in the country. What wins out?

Many across the country would probably like to see FAU win, setting up a 2nd-round game between it and UConn, 2 of last season’s Final Four participants. But Northwestern, which is in the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history, thrives when it is doubted. Should be a great game.

Michigan State (9 seed, West Region)

For one of the rare times over the past quarter century, Michigan State was sweating out Selection Sunday, figuring it might be squarely on the bubble. Turns out, things might not have been quite so dire, as the Spartans avoided the First Four play-in games, landing as a solid 9 seed. It marks the 26th consecutive season that Tom Izzo’s bunch as been in the NCAA Tournament, an incredible feat of consistency.

Now in, can MSU get out of the 1st round to make an unexpected run, as it did a year ago when it was the only team from the Big Ten to advance to the Sweet 16? It might be tough. The Spartans, who were the country’s 5th-ranked team in the preseason, never found their footing this season, and now take on a Mississippi State team that beat Tennessee only a couple days ago.

And, of course, the 8/9 winner gets the No. 1 seed (UNC) in the 2nd round. Repeating a Sweet 16 run will be challenging, indeed.