Pickin’ the Big Ten semifinals: March 18, 2016

The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes advance from yesterday’s quarterfinals. That means that Drew Claussen went 2-0 (1.000) and I went 1-1 (.500) in our picks.

Drew: 79-53-19 (.586)
Paula: 80-52-19 (.593)

Big Ten championship tournament

This year, the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul., Minn., hosts the Big Ten tourney. Penn State plays Michigan at 4:00 p.m. and Ohio State plays Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. Games are Central Time and are televised by the Big Ten Network.

No. 3 Penn State vs. No. 2 Michigan

Drew: I’m going to pick a rested Michigan team to beat Penn State again. Wouldn’t mind seeing an upset, but I think Michigan is the favorite that will advance to the finals.

Paula: The Nittany Lions beat the Badgers yesterday, 5-2, to advance to this semifinal game. Last weekend, Michigan swept Penn State in Ann Arbor, 7-1 and 6-1. I don’t think the score will be that lopsided today, but I also think the Wolverines will prevail.

Drew’ pick: Michigan 6-3.
Paula’s pick: Michigan 4-3.

No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Minnesota

Drew: The Buckeyes have come close to beating the Gophers multiple times this season. I think they get it done when it really counts.

Paula: I love that Drew believes in my old friends from Columbus and I love that his picks set up an all-CCHA final tomorrow. Minnesota swept Ohio State this season with four one-goal games, three of which went to overtime. The Buckeyes needed overtime to beat Michigan State yesterday, 4-3, a game in which OSU looked pretty dominant except for the three second-period power-play goals they gave up. In goal, Christian Frey made some fancy saves. Last weekend, the Gophers split at home with Wisconsin but did enough to take the regular-season title. I think this game will be dandy. I think Minnesota makes it a 5-0 year vs. Ohio State, though, when all is said and done.

Drew’s pick: Ohio State 5-2.
Paula’s pick: Minnesota 4-3.