The B1G Debate

Submitted by MGoLesher on March 2nd, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Right here, right now: Is the B1G a deep conference that has a lot of parody from top to bottom, or is it a weak conference with maybe one or two actually good teams? I know we have gone back and forth with the debate, but after seeing Nebraska/UI go to MSU and win, Penn State Sweep (!) Ohio, and Penn State come up just short against Wisconsin today, where does everybody stand? As for me, I think there are great coaches up and down this conference, and this conference is in the top three nationally. Obviously, the true test is to see how the B1G schools do in March.  




March 2nd, 2014 at 2:20 PM ^

I feel like it's a very good conference with maybe 4-5 teams that can go anywhere from "good" to "very good" (not sold on anyone being a "great" team yet, but then again, "great" teams prove themselves in March), then there's 3-4 other teams that are all pretty good, bordering on making the NCAA tournament or coming close, and then all of the other teams are at worst average. This is in contrast to other conferences that all have at least 2-3 teams that you would call bad or very bad. I don't think the Big Ten has any bad teams, hence the upsets galore. 

Blue Durham

March 2nd, 2014 at 2:21 PM ^

I think the Big Ten is very good top to bottom, maybe the best in the country, but it does not have a dominant team.

I think the conference's overall record in the NCAA tournament will be over 500, but it wouldn't surprise me (and I actually suspect) that there will not be a Big Ten team in the final four.


March 2nd, 2014 at 10:32 PM ^

Tournament; whether by design or not this team plays successful ball. We have that 'it' factor. I think Wisconsin is special as well and could make it into the Final Four; I know they went through that tough stretch but since then they have righted the ship and have been undefeated since and playing some real good ball.

Truth be told if Appling's wrist gets better the Spartans might also be in the 'special' category; say what you want about the injuries and the whining but mentally that really messed with them and if they get healthy and put together a run in the Big Ten Tournament, watch out for them.

While I wouldn't say Iowa is dominant, if they learn how to play some defense they could make some noise in the tournament as well.


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:21 PM ^

As a whole, I think the ACC is the best conference this year, followed by the Big Ten, then the Big 12. ESPN would like you to believe that the Big 12 is the best conference, but I'm not buying it. Kansas is obviously a great team, OK ST and ISU are good teams as well. Other than that I think the conference is mediocre.


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:41 PM ^

The interesting thing though is that the Big 12, by some accounts, is projected to send the most teams of any conference to the Tournament in March. On other sites, the Big 12 and Big 10 will send the same number of teams. For example, at TeamRankings, they project these:

1) Big 12 - 6.2 projected bids

2) Big Ten - 5.7 projected bids

3) Pac-12 - 5.5 projected bids

4) ACC - 5.3 projected bids

5) Atlantic 10 - 5.0 projected bids

Representation by conference falls of precipitously soon after this by most projections. 


March 2nd, 2014 at 6:21 PM ^

Seriously? I just looked at the ACC standings and that seems nuts to me. That league is hot garbage from Pitt on down, including Pitt. And Carolina, despite having some talent, is still shaky. They built their in-conference streak playing all that flotsam and jetsam from that league. 

Cali Wolverine

March 2nd, 2014 at 2:26 PM ^

...nice coaching...but the BIG was way stronger last year and was head and shoulders the beat conferenc in the country. This year ACC is much stronger than BIG.


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:30 PM ^

I know Izzo and his whining are ripe for satire. 

And I'm still laughing at the idea of Derrick Nix working at a Sizzler. 


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:35 PM ^

From top to bottom, I think the B1G is the best. However, there isn't an 'elite' team like a Kansas, Cuse, UF, Zona, etc, or the 'star' or 'brand' power of Duke. Thus depending on your perception, it may not be as strong.


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:36 PM ^

It may not even have to be an issue of a top heavy idea vs deep conference idea. 

I believe that it is just the grind of playing physical Big-10 basketball against a group of very good coaches just about every game.

There is very little room to coast into a game "expecting" a win. 

Yeah the top teams haven't looked like an elite team against every team in the Big-10 this year. And yeah the bottom teams have looked terrible at times, but have also looked like they could hang with anyone sometimes. 

If I were to give a straight answer, I would say that the Big-10 has 2 or 3 very dangerous teams for the NCAAT, and 2-4 more that could possibly upset someone they aren't supposed to. 

And I predict that a Big-10 team will go to the NIT Championship game. 

Lucky Socks

March 2nd, 2014 at 2:36 PM ^

I think this is a great conference.  But I don't think that we have a team that can win a National Championship.  Last year, we had Michigan, IU, MSU, and OSU with rosters and athletes I could see winning it all.  This year, our best bets are Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Iowa - which I believe are each a step down from last years foursome.  I could see 4 teams in the Sweet 16, and 3 in the Elite 8 again.  But I wouldn't bet on any in the Final Four.  

For us personally, I love what we've accomplished (JMo and Horford have delivered everything we could have asked) but I can't help but think we might be a Mitch McGary away from a National Championship team.  

Wisconsin has beat some really strong teams, so they can obviously do it.  But beating Florida in December isn't as impressive.  It's my opinion that, at that point, Wisconsin is closer to their ceiling while a 'Florida' is only stratching their potential.  I just think they'll lack the athletes at some point.  

MSU.  Injuries, man.  Yeah, I know it's a running joke but it's also true.  They have the roster to do it, but injuries and chemistry...and maybe just not being as good as advertised make me pause.  I think it's possible the Fed investigation waking some skeletons in the closets of potentially key players might have an effect on psyche outside of injuries.  

Iowa.  Can't win a close game.  Can't play defense.  I do think they have a shot to get hot though.  Lots of bodies.  Some athletic, some big, some veteran.

Personally I'l be pick between Florida and Duke to win the NC.  And to answer your question directly, yeah I think the conference is great.  But you're ultimately measured by how far your teams go in the tournament. 


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:43 PM ^

I am not with you at all on your NC picks. 

Florida, I still remember us murdering them, and Duke seems like a good not great team to me. 

You can have those two and I'll take Kansas and someone else. Embiid's health has me worried about that team, but if that kid is healthy, I think that's the most talented team, hands down, in the country. 


March 2nd, 2014 at 6:16 PM ^

I'm surprised to see people buying into Carolina here. I marginally root for NC and I'm not sold at all on them. I think they kind of are right in that good not great range. They built a lot of this ACC run on middling ACC teams. 

And Duke losing to Carolina (even though they'll have the chance to repay that at Cameron) just leaves me further unsold on Duke. 

I think Cuse, despite their recent struggles, is still very legit, and I'm very intrigued by Virginia. 

I've watched a bunch of Pitt games this year and yuck. Looking at the ACC standings that league is way top-heavy. I think they would get murdered if we re-held the challenge next week. 


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:40 PM ^

I've thought the Big 12 was the most talented conference since very early in the season.

But no one can match the coaching depth in the Big Ten - these are some of the better coaches in the nation, and it extends way down in the standings. 

So I think there's a reality to the idea of this being a top to bottom conference. Because all the teams are so well-coached and have a plan, they are all capable on any given night. 


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:45 PM ^

Florida and Duke have safe resumes, surely not in the league of Wisconsin. 

I personally think it's Kansas and Arizona then everyone else in that next group where matchups come into play. 


March 2nd, 2014 at 2:59 PM ^

Only on Mgoblog do I read the word "Parody" in this context and think "well shoot, there goes this thread" instead of just understanding what the OP meant and ignoring it.