Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 6, 2015

Fourteen seasons have passed since the Big Ten has won a national championship in basketball. Really. Look it up. You have to go back to the 1999-2000 season, when Mateen Cleaves and the famed ?Flintstones? led Michigan State to the championship with a win over Florida.

Since then, the Big Ten has gone to the title game five times-and lost: Indiana to Maryland in 2002; Illinois to North Carolina in 2005; Ohio State to Florida in 2007; Michigan State to North Carolina in 2009; Michigan to Louisville in 2013.

How long ago was that title by Tom Izzo?s team back in 2000? The championship game was played in the now-razed RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Tonight?s game will also be played in Indy but in Lucas Oil Stadium. Liken the the RCA Dome, The Indianapolis Hoosier Dome is now a memory.

If that doesn?t make you feel old, maybe these recollections of 2000-which dawned with the world braced for catastrophic events to be triggered by the Y2K Bug–will.

So, sit back, connect to the Internet with your AOL account (send an I.M., if you want) and take a trip to the Year 2000-no flying saucer is required.

Back in 2000, America became all-to-familiar with the term ?hanging chad,? the bubble went bust, the St. Louis Rams (Yes, the ST. LOUIS RAMS, for heaven's sake!) ruled football, Tiger Woods was still Tiger Woods and ?Survivor? helped begin the nation?s addiction to reality TV. (Remember Richard Hatch?). Bill Clinton was U.S. president and the Olympics were in Sydney, Australia.

So, here's a quick snapshot of how times have changed since 2000:


  • Gallon of gas: $1.26 (2000); $2.39 (today)
  • Stamp: 33 cents; 49 cents
  • Ticket to the movies: $5.39; $8.30
  • Average monthly rent: $675; $853
  • Dozen eggs: 89 cents; $2.37
  • Loaf of bread: $1.72; $2.45

A couple of other staggering figures: The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl ad has gone from $2,100,000 to $4,500,000 and an ounce of gold from $279 to $1,250.


  • Tom Izzo was in his fifth season as Michigan State head coach.
  • A.J. Guyton (Indiana) and Morris Peterson (Michigan State) were co-Big Ten Players of the Year.
  • Bo Ryan just completed his second-to-last year as coach of Milwaukee.
  • Current Badgers Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig were five years old.
  • Kenyon Martin won national player of the year and was No. 1 pick in NBA draft.
  • Jeff Hornacek won the NBA Three-Point Contest
  • The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers, 4-2, in the NBA Finals.
  • Larry Bird was the coach of the Pacers.
  • Michael Jordan had yet to suit up for the Washington Wizards.
  • The NBA's Grizzlies were still in Vancouver.


  • No. 1 song: "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
  • No. 1 movie: Erin Brockovich
  • No. 1 TV show: Survivor


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About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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