Josh: It’s time to reflect on another season of Big Ten hoops. I think the rest of college basketball has finally taken notice of something that’s been true for the past 18 months or so–the Big Ten is the best conference in college basketball. Still, you look at the conference today, you see two great teams, 3 pretty darn good teams, a team good enough to make the Dance, and then mediocrity. Heck, even a couple of pretty bad teams. I mean, it’s hard to say the conference underachieved, but here goes–the conference underachieved. Sure, this is still the best action you’ll find, and it’s not close, but we’re still talking about a league that’s probably going to get 6 bids, with only a couple of standout teams. Does that sound much different than the past decade, when the Big Ten wasn’t measuring up to the likes of the ACC and the Big East?
When the season dawned back in November, most experts felt Ohio State would win the crown. Well, the Buckeyes needed some late-season heroics to take a share of what was a three-way tie between themselves, Michigan State and Michigan. In between, there were a lot of highs and lows in an exciting Big Ten title chase. So here’s a look at my top 10 moments from the 2011-12 season.
You have questions, I have answers. I reach into my mailbag and address queries that deal with March Madness and spring football. What does Northwestern have to do to make the NCAA tourney? What’s on Purdue’s to-do list for spring ball? The answers to those questions and more are all here. Plus, this week I’m experimenting with a video question for my readers who are willing to try something new. Do you want give others your very own video prediction on the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament? Learn how easy it can be in this post.
The heart of the Big Ten Tournament could be the Hoosiers, but conference balance should translate into a wild tournament. Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t want bowls to be limited to picking seven-win teams. Fran McCaffrey is disappointed that Matt Gatens wasn’t first-team All-Big Ten and Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t want bowls to be limited to picking seven-win teams. What do these stories have in common? They’re all in my Daily Links for Wednesday. Dive in and have a look.
The 2012 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off at 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday with No. 8 seed Iowa taking on No. 9 seed Illinois at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (full bracket here). Before the action gets underway, I’m breaking down the first four games with an overview, key matchup and, of course, my prediction. Who do you like in the first four games? Vote inside.