The 2022 B1G Tournament gets underway this week! To set the stage for one of the most exciting conference tournaments in college basketball, our staff will be conducting a 3-part roundtable, leading us right in to first-round action on Wednesday night.

Topic: Picking the championship matchup, winner and MVP of the 2022 B1G Tournament

Paul Harvey, news writer

Championship matchup: Michigan vs. Purdue

Winner: Purdue

MVP: Zach Edey

I’m going with a Michigan-Purdue finale this week in Indianapolis. Last year, Michigan entered the B1G Tournament as losers of 2 of its final 3 games but guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Juwan Howard’s squad would lose in the semifinals. This year, the Wolverines enter as the 8-seed and with something to prove and looking to solidify a bid to the big dance. I do like Illinois on that side of the bracket, but consider that Hunter Dickinson was absent for one of Michigan’s losses to the Illini and posted a clunker in the other. He’ll want another shot to show what he can against Kofi Cockburn and company.

As for Purdue, I’ve been high on Matt Painter’s squad all season long. The Boilermakers also get a pretty favorable path to the final in Indy. Consider that even if Johnny Davis is healthy, Wisconsin and Purdue battled to the wire twice this season. After letting the B1G title slip away at season’s end, there will be plenty of motivation for the Boilermakers this time around. In the finale, I’ll take Purdue with that double-bye paying off on Sunday.

For an MVP, I’m going with the man in the middle in Zach Edey. Jaden Ivey is still the lead man for the Boilermakers, but Edey has a chance to steal the show in Indianapolis.

Alex Hickey, B1G columnist

Championship matchup: Michigan vs. Purdue

Winner: Purdue

MVP: Jaden Ivey

I expect the Wolverines to go a mini-run with a revitalized and refocused Juwan Howard back on the bench. Michigan and Purdue were the 2 teams favored to win the Big Ten in the preseason, and that will be how this somewhat unexpected championship game plays out.

Purdue should have won the regular-season title, but the Boilermakers were snake-bitten in several tight losses. I think they’ll be focused for a tournament run here. With Zach Edey and Trevion Williams able to neutralize Hunter Dickinson, Purdue would have the edge in the title game.

This tourney could very well be the start of the run where Jaden Ivey’s draft stock ratchets up to an even higher level.

Dustin Schutte, news editor

Championship matchup: Illinois vs. Ohio State

Winner: Illinois

MVP: Kofi Cockburn

Admittedly, I’m putting a lot of faith in assuming Ohio State is at full strength this week. Maybe that’s a risk considering how injury-prone this team has been all year long. But if the Buckeyes have Kyle Young, Zed Key and Meechie Johnson in Indianapolis, this is a team capable of beating anyone it matches up with. EJ Liddell is a matchup nightmare on both ends of the floor and Malaki Branham has come on as a great scorer in the latter portion of the season.

On the other side of the bracket, Illinois has too many weapons to be counted out. It has the best big man in the conference in Kofi Cockburn. He’s surrounded by plenty of shooters in Alfonso Plummer, Trent Frazier, Jacob Grandison and others. Plus, the Illini are capable of getting the job done on the defensive end of the floor.

Come Sunday, Illinois’ getting the double-bye, having the most dominant big man in the game and great depth will lead it to its second-consecutive B1G Tournament title. Cockburn, a double-double machine, should have no trouble raking in MVP honors if he plays half as well in Indianapolis as he did throughout the course of the season.

Adam Spencer, news/newsletter editor

Championship matchup: Illinois vs. Purdue

Winner: Illinois

MVP: Alfonso Plummer

Illinois defends its B1G Tournament title this year. The Illini will need to score a lot of points to keep up with Jaden Ivey and the Boilermakers, but that’s where Plummer comes in. Kofi Cockburn will have his usual big game in the post, Trent Frazier and Andre Curbelo will do their thing, but at the end of the day, Plummer and his 3-point prowess will be too much for Purdue’s defense (or lack thereof).

Heck, I’m feeling bold, so let’s make a prediction: Purdue loses on a buzzer-beating 3 by Plummer. What’s one more last-second loss for the Boilermakers?

Previous topics

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