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Huge mystery

Take Stephen Bardo's word for it: the Big Ten tourney is up for grabs

March 12, 2014|By Chris Sosa, For RedEye

If you've been losing sleep at night trying to project the outcome of the Big Ten men's basketball tournament, don't worry—it's probably not just you.

"I think it's going to be the most unpredictable Big Ten conference tournament in the history of the tournament," Big Ten Network analyst Stephen Bardo said.

How unpredictable? So much so that even a team that finished 6-12 in conference play can't be counted out.

"My dark horse is gonna be interesting: I would say Penn State," he said. "They just have a never-say-die attitude and a team that can bounce back very quickly."

We asked Bardo for three things: the odds of each team winning, their momentum coming in (scale of 1-5) and one reason to watch each team.

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MICHIGAN

Odds they win: 2-3

Momentum: 5

Reason to watch: Nik Stauskas, sophomore guard. "He's the Big Ten MVP."

.

WISCONSIN

Odds they win: 2-1

Momentum: 4

Reason to watch: Frank Kaminsky, junior forward. "Chicagoland-area kid, 7-footer, pretty talented."

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MICHIGAN STATE

Odds they win: 5-1

Momentum: 3.5

Reason to watch: Gary Harris, sophomore guard. "He'll be on the all-Big Ten first team. He's an outstanding player."

.

NEBRASKA

Odds they win: 4-1

Momentum: 4

Reason to watch: Terran Petteway, sophomore forward . "He's their best player, and he'll be all-Big Ten first team."

.

OHIO STATE

Odds they win: 30-1

Momentum: 3

Reason to watch: Aaron Craft, senior guard. "He's had a great career, and it's coming to an end."

.

IOWA

Odds they win: 50-1

Momentum: 1

Reason to watch: Fran McCaffery, coach. "He's a hot head. He might get a technical foul or something like that."

.

MINNESOTA

Odds they win: 90-1

Momentum: 2

Reason to watch: Deandre Mathieu, junior guard. "Very quick guard."

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INDIANA

Odds they win: 100-1

Momentum: 3

Reason to watch: Noah Vonleh, freshman forward. "I think he's one and done, meaning he's going to the NBA next year. He's the Big Ten's leading rebounder; he's a special talent."

.

ILLINOIS

Odds they win: 100-1

Momentum: 3.5

Reason to watch: Kendrick Nunn, freshman guard. "He's an emerging star."

.

PENN STATE

Odds they win: 90-1

Momentum: 2

Reason to watch: D.J. Newbill, junior guard. "Really, really outstanding guard. [He's] fun to watch."

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NORTHWESTERN

Odds they win: 500-1

Momentum: 2

Reason to watch: Drew Crawford, senior guard. "He's the Big Ten active leading scorer, and his tremendous career is coming to an end."

.

PURDUE

Odds they win: 1,000-1

Momentum: 1

Reason to watch: Basil Smotherman, freshman forward. "Great name and great athlete."

.

Chris Sosa is RedEye's sports editor.

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