A couple years ago I posted something about the effect of a new arena on a MBB team -- it dramatically and demonstrably increases that team's winning. I had studied the annual records of Staee, OSU, and Wiscy. Each of them had middling records prior to each of their new hoops arenas, then within 2-3 years of opening Breslin/VCA/Kohl, a dramatic uptick in annual wins occurred. Staee was the perfect test case -- Heathcote was the coach for years before and after Breslin opened, so the difference certainly had a lot to do with the new arena. OSU was the opposite; I think Ayres was let go right about the time VCA opened. But there was no question, the new arena really helped the overall record for each team.
UM could be said also to benefit from the "remade" new arena, as our team's competitiveness has increased around the same time as the "new" arena. Obviously Coach B's growing influence has a lot to do with that. But you can sell your team to recruits based on the soon to be opened arena, and I would think Mitch and GRIII could well be part of the benefits of the remodeling (at least indirectly -- a recruit can have confidence in a program's legitimacy by having a spankin' kickbutt arena). Another team you can say also is benefitting from remodeled arena is Iowa -- had been really bad for years, Carver-Hawkeye got a multimillion remodelling job in 2011, and now a couple years later the team is getting much more competitive. Again, however, the contemporaneous coaching change makes this a less-than-perfect test case.
So now we have Nebraska as the new example. Last year, watching them, I said that they were 2 years away from being ranked, given their new arena opening and their new coach. I'm still thinking I was right. They are a BITCH to play in Lincoln now; they just can't play on the road, yet. But at some point next year, they could well be 10-1 or 11-2 or something and get ranked, and then end up 9-9ish in the B1G.
Am I making this up, or would anyone agree that the new arena in Lincoln is going to help create a Minnesota-ishly quasi-dangerous MBB team over the next few years. And what's that say about the future competitiveness of Illinois, Purdue, PSU, etc., who are stuck in old arenas.