Big Ten Bracketology 2011: Joe Lunardi Says Penn State Is In. . .For Now

We wondered earlier if the Penn State Nittany Lions could find their way into the NCAA Tournament field, and according to one of America's leading bracketologists, they're already there. . .for the moment. (Link courtesy of E$PN In$ider.)

Here's what Lunardi has to say about the Nittany Lions.

It's going to take some good fortune for our last two at-large teams -- the USC Trojans and Penn State Nittany Lions -- to stay in the field. For one, the Alabama Crimson Tide and/or UTEP Miners (or even the Boston College Eagles, more on that later) could pass them. For another, the bubble could very easily squeeze them out, given pending events in the WAC and Atlantic 10 tournaments.

So, for right now, Lunardi thinks that the Big Ten does, indeed, get seven teams into the Big Dance. Here's where he has them all ranked. . .right now, Lunardi is putting the teams on what is called an "S-curve," which basically ranks the teams all the way from 1 to 72, with teams from 69-72 being the first four teams out of the field.

Ohio State Buckeyes - #1 on the curve (which would make them a #1 seed)
Purdue Boilermakers - #13 on the curve (#4 seed)
Wisconsin Badgers - #16 on the curve (#4 seed)
Michigan State Spartans - #36 on the curve (#9 seed)
Michigan Wolverines - #39 on the curve (#10 seed)
Illinois Fighting Illini - #43 on the curve (#11 seed)
Penn State Nittany Lions - #49 on the curve (#13 seed, although I would wager they'd wind up in a play-in game for a 12-spot instead)

In a little more than 24 hours, we'll know what the entire field looks like, and we'll have the field right here for you at SB Nation Minnesota.

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