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Bracketology 2012: Could The Big Ten Place Nine Teams?

The Big Ten and Big East figure to be in a battle all the way to Selection Sunday to see which conference will place the most teams in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Most prognosticators are giving the Big East the edge, but in his most recent Bracketology for, Andy Glockner gives the current edge to the Big Ten.

Glocker is projecting that nine Big Ten teams will make the Big Dance, which may be of some comfort to Northwestern Wildcats fans. Glockner has Northwestern as one of the last four teams in the tournament, where they would participate in this year's inaugural "First Four" mini-tournament, which in Glockner's bracket means they would take on the Xavier Musketeers. As for the top of the conference, Glockner has the Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes as No. 2 seeds, which seems to be the consensus at the moment after the Spartans knocked the Buckeyes off the top line this past weekend.

The next tier of Big Ten teams is made up of the Indiana Hoosiers and the Michigan Wolverines, which Glockner tabs as No. 4 seeds in his current projections. Those two are followed by the Wisconsin Badgers— a No. 5 seed— and the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Purdue Boilermakers, which both come in as No. 10 seeds.

One or more of these teams may fall out of the bracket come March, but this rosy projection should lend some comfort to fans of Big Ten teams on the bubble.

For more on Illinois basketball, visit SB Nation's Illinois blog Hail To The Orange. For more on Northwestern basketball, visit SB Nation's Northwestern blog Sippin On Purple. For more news and notes around the country, visit SB Nation's men's basketball news hub.