B10 MBB is just plain tough

Submitted by mi93 on March 7th, 2013 at 11:24 PM

Many were falling out of chairs after UM went 1-3 during their nightmare stretch.  MSU just went 1-3 in theirs - and they had two home games to our 1.

If things Go Blue on Sunday, IU will have lost 3 of their last 4.  This conference is as good as any I've ever seen - comparable to the Big East of the mid-80s.  (how many of you are even old enough to remember that?)

I pray the B10 teams have enough in the tank after next weekend.  An all B10 Final Four would not only be an awesome finish to this season, but it's actually possible.  IU and UM are built for tournament (more than they are for the ultra-physical B10).  MSU is still coached by Izzo in March and OSU is looking very good right now.

What an awesome season!


Naked Bootlegger

March 7th, 2013 at 11:33 PM ^

I'm old enough to remember.   Those were the halcyon years of college basketball (in my eyes).  The Big East ruled.  Jerome Lane breaking backboards.   Epic Georgetown-St. Johns battles.   Even Providence (Pitino and Billy Donovan) was a tough nut back then.   Michigan in the Grant/Tarpley years should have matched up well with the Big East powers, but our tourney runs always came up a little..ahem..short.


March 8th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

Michigan's Tarpley-era teams came up "short" because Bill Frieder choked in the Tournament.  That is why "happy to be here" Steve Fisher was able to win Michigan's only NCAA Basketball Championship so far.  

Frieder was a terrible coach; his misuse of Antoine Joubert still pisses me off whenever I think about it.  Frieder took Joubert's biggest and most natural asset, his shot from "the rafters," away from him, and turned him into a mediocre player.  

There weren't very many people as happy as I was when Bo told Frieder to hit the road before the 1989 tournament.


March 8th, 2013 at 12:02 AM ^

the year the Big East was 3/4 of the FF as the pinnacle of coference dominance.  And it was one of the conference's weaker teams that won it all.  Ed Pinckney was awesome in the NC game.


March 8th, 2013 at 1:05 AM ^

What a great era for college basketball in general. TV coverage was really expanding in the late 80's. The major conferences all had top teams (where have you gone Pac10/12?). Most teams were built around seniors and juniors so you really knew the players across the country. Not saying other periods of time have not been great as well but I really enjoyed that decade, of course '89 doesn't hurt my perception.


March 8th, 2013 at 1:31 AM ^

Comparable to the Big East of the mid 80s?! 

Child, please!  I don't see any Patrick Ewings, Chris Mullins, Mark Jacksons, etc in this year's Big Ten.  Those Big East teams all had a few future NBA players and some big time stars.

Heck, the 1989 Big Ten was better than this year and there was much more talent in the league in the early 90s.


March 8th, 2013 at 1:39 AM ^

Have you heard of this sophomore named Trey Burke? I hear-tell he has numbers not eclipsed since MJ (Magic Johnson): 17/7! Oh, and he's around the same in POY voting as a guy named Oladipo. By the way, Oladipo is the second best player on his team. . . And Burke isn't even the leading scorer in the conference, though many project him as player of the year. The leading scorer goes to OSU, but he's not their best defender. Their best defender is a guy named Craft, and he's crafty. But Craft is not as good. . . (ad infinitum)

Not gonna neg you, but the B1G has some talent. I mean, the NPOY might not even win the Conference POY.


March 8th, 2013 at 1:49 AM ^

but i'd be shocked if any of the elite players in the big ten this year ever do something meaningful in the nba like make an all star team.

the big ten is the best conference this year by far, but this year in college basketball is lacking in overall star power and talent.


March 8th, 2013 at 7:45 AM ^

 I'm sorry man you can't compare the 80ies NCAA basketball to now. Everyone played in college, there where no 1 and dones or kids going straight to the nba from high school. Teams played defense and players had a mid range jumper lol.

 As for the player of the year, most of the best players in the NBA never won a college player of the year award.

 They'll be some nba stars from the current B1G to say there won't is ridiculous but,  you'ld  have prolly 3 big east teams from the 80ies go undefeated in this years big ten. Could just about pick any Georgetown team from the 80ies. I don't see anyone in the big ten close to being as dominant as Patrick ewing. Throw in Chris Mullins St. Johns teams, Syracuse had some pretty good teams, Seton Hall and even Villinova


March 8th, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

Not sure if serious.

Forget the Big East.  Go look at the 1989 Big Ten.


MSU finished 8th with Steve Smith.

Michigan was 12-6, averaged 90 points a game and had Rice, Robinson, Vaught, Mills and Higgins.  Iowa was 10-8 and loaded with talent.  The Flying Illini even lost 4 games, and they would have wiped the floor with the teams in the Big Ten this year.


March 8th, 2013 at 5:48 AM ^

The ESPN article implies that Kentucky is in danger of not making the NCAAs (which I find hard to believe, given that they've got 20 wins and are defending champs), but even Calipari is moaning:

"I am so disappointed in the job I've done with this team," Calipari said. "I've never had a team not cohesive at this time of year. Every one of my teams was cohesive. Every one of them had a will to win more than how they were playing. Every one of them had a fight. Well, if this team doesn't have that, that's on me. What in the heck did I do?"


Mr. Yost

March 8th, 2013 at 8:27 AM ^

I don't understand why they couldn't have spaced out the ridiculously tough games. Also there should be something on always playing at 9pm. I understand TV rating and money, but limit the # of times teams have to go in and do this.

That's tough to consistently do. Playing at 1 or 4pm on a Sunday is NOTHING like 9pm on a school night.

Anyway, the OP is right. We're all beat to shit. It's either going to make us untouchable in the tourney or we're not going to have anything left. Michigan still hasn't recovered from it's "gaunlet."

But again, you can somewhat predict the top teams in the conference. Hell, even if you just went by the previous year's standings so you didn't have to predict anything.

Space out these games. The fact that Michigan had to do what it did, 4 games in 10 days...3 vs. ranked teams and the other @ Wisconsin was unforgivable.


March 8th, 2013 at 10:47 AM ^

There's multiple reasons they can't space out the tough games. First and foremost, there are just too many good teams. When 5 teams are still very realistically contending for the league title the last week of the season and the next two teams are both capable of beating anyone in the conference, you just can't avoid the tough stretches. Secondly, you the schedules are made in advance and you never really know how good a team will or will not be. Early season, we all assumed MSU and Wisconsin would be having off-years. Lastly, does it reall matter? Everyone in the B1G has at least one tough stretch. It all more or less evens out.


March 8th, 2013 at 9:05 AM ^

I would think that there are quite a few little things as well which provide evidence of this being a tough conference, not the least of which is the distinct possibility of over half of the conference getting a tournament bid (7 of 12 is impressive, I think).

The Big Ten, at last check, also has the highest overall power rating collectively as a conference and more wins against the Top 25 than any other conference, and what is interesting about this is that a fair proportion (enough to be significant anyway) of those same matchups have been between teams in the Big Ten. 

I think the collective conference RPI is 0.583 as well (again, at last check), which is a great rating when it includes the likes of Nebraska and Penn State. 


March 8th, 2013 at 10:48 AM ^

The NCAA will never allow an all-Big Ten Final Four.  If it looks like it is going to happen, somebody in the Big Ten will get a lot of "controversial calls" against them and lose in the Elite Eight.


March 8th, 2013 at 11:31 AM ^

I just have to 1) Think of this as a good, several months long practice for the NCAA tournament and 2) LOL @ the guy who, before the year, started a thread saying he didn't see any losses on our schedule and we should be an undefeated team.


But mostly I focus on the first point.  After going through this insane conference, taking on most teams outside of the conference should be a cakewalk.


March 8th, 2013 at 12:33 PM ^

It's always hard to compare because a good chunk of the OOC games are at the begining of the year and teams change over the course of a whole season. That said, although the announcers and metrics all say the B1G is the best conference, I don't think the gap between the B1G and the rest of the country is that big. Aside from Michigan which won it's two OOC good match ups (NC ST, KSU, Pitt has been sliding recently), the OOC record for the B1G is good but not great. 

The B1G/ACC challenge was determined by one game.

MSU beat Kansas but lost to UConn and Miami (YTM),

Minny beat Memphis but lost to Duke,

OSU lost to Kansas and Duke with no big OOC win

Indiana smoked UNC and beat Georgetown but lost to Butler,

Illinois beat Butler and Gonzaga but lost to Missouri.

Wisconisn lost to Florida, Creighton, Virginia, and Marquette

The tourny will tell all, but like the records and turn over at the #1 spot have shown all season, it's a pretty even year across all of basketball.