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.


  1. The second Clarkson V. SLU game was BS. SLU had 11 different power plays in the last 42 minutes of play. Clarkson had 2. Even the old men in the rink were telling the officials off.

  2. Picking the 1 seed to advance in the semi-finals, who does that? Absolute shocker. I know all the NCHC writers are picking UMD to avoid being called homers, oh no!

    • With how inconsistent this gophers team plays I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose, but the league as a whole is below average so I wouldn’t be surprised if they win the tournament either.

    • That’s why they play 60 minutes instead of 40. Looking good for two periods means nothing when you get rocked in the third period.


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