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One stat tells fans everything they need to know about the Big Ten’s horrific NCAA Tournament performance.
The Big Ten started the tournament with eight teams in the field. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, and Purdue all made the field.
Through the first two round and onto the Sweet 16, only one is still alive:
As pointed out by Matt Fortuna, the B1G literally had twice as many teams – Ohio State and Michigan – in the four team College Football Playoff field.
The Big Ten was 50% of the CFP and only 6.25% of the Sweet 16. That’s a very brutal look for the powerhouse conference.
The Big Ten should be embarrassed.
The Big Ten is a powerhouse conference with the richest media contract in the history of college sports. The only other conference capable of carrying itself at the same level is the SEC.
Yet, a B1G team hasn’t won March Madness since Michigan State did it in 2000. Wisconsin was also robbed in 2015 against Duke, but that’s a conversation for a different day.
This year, it’s been a bloodbath. Let’s take a look at the results:
- Michigan State: Advanced to the Sweet 16.
- Illinois: Lost to Arkansas in the opening round.
- Indiana: Blown out by Miami in the Round of 32.
- Iowa: Lost in the opening round to Auburn
- Purdue: Lost as a one-seed to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson.
- Northwestern: Lost to UCLA in the Round of 32.
- Penn State: Lost to Texas in the Round of 32.
- Maryland: Lost to Alabama in the Round of 32.
It’s a bloodbath, my friends. A complete and total bloodbath. The Big Ten can’t simply rest on the fact the conference is insanely rich and call it a day.
Yes, that’s fun to remind everyone of, but at some point, the fans need titles. Again, it’s been more than two decades since a B1G team won the title (see my point again about Wisconsin in 2015 as a quick refresher), and that’s comically bad.
The Big Ten is officially at a put up or shut up point when it comes to college basketball. No reason to take the conference seriously as a basketball power until it conducts itself in a fashion that requires it.
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Not that the Big 12 fared much better: only two teams out of the seven that made the field survived the first weekend – Texas and Kansas STATE (it should’ve been three, but TCU ran into an ongoing problem where they couldn’t make a foul shot in the second half, which really buried them against Gonzaga).
Mind you, it was not Kansas, the defending national champions, advancing to the Sweet 16, but Kansas State, who was picked last in the Big 12 preseason polls and is basically KU’s “little brother”. Let that sink in.