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Big Ten Tournament Bracket 2011: Michigan State Takes On Iowa

The 2011 Big Ten tournament began earlier this afternoon with the Minnesota vs. Northwestern game. 25 minutes after it comes to an end, the Michigan State basketball team will take on Iowa in a matchup between the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds.

The Spartans enter this game with a 17-13 record. They are squarely on the bubble, and a loss to the Hawkeyes would send them to the NIT and end a 13-year NCAA tournament streak. While most bracketologists out there have the Spartans in the Big Dance right now, they are considered one of the last four teams in the field. A loss to an 11-19 Iowa team would put them out of the field of 68 teams and burst their bubble all in one fell swoop.

Michigan State has played Iowa twice this season. The first meeting came back on Feb. 2 and was a stunning 20-point win for Iowa. It was smack dab in the middle of MSU's in-conference meltdown, where it lost six of eight games from mid-January to mid-February. The second meeting between these two teams came just last Wednesday. MSU won by 19 points at home and will look to do the same in Indy later today.

If Michigan State beats Iowa, it will advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, where it would play Purdue, the No. 2 seed. (A look at the full bracket is below.) Whether or not only a win over Iowa would be enough to get the Spartans in the NCAA tournament remains to be seen, but they need at least one victory while in Indy to even have a shot at going dancing.

No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 8 Northwestern/No. 9 Minnesota

No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 5 Illinois

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No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 7 Michigan State/No. 10 Iowa

No. 3 Wisconsin vs. No. 6 Penn State/No. 11 Indiana

For more on the 2011 Big Ten tournament, check out SB Nation Detroit's StoryStream.