MBB: Now That It's Over, Which BIG Team Had The Best Season?

Submitted by MaizeMN on April 8th, 2014 at 12:24 AM

Now that the season has concluded, I'm wondering what the MGoPundits feel about the season.


Michigan: BIG regular season champions, BIG tourney runner-up, Elite 8.

Wisky: Final 4, beat us handily once and clearly the trolliest of trolls coach not from the LP of Michigan.

Sparty: Big Tourney Champs, E8 and the trolliest of LP troll coaches.

ohio: 1 and done in the tourney, but should be given the macaroni statue due to its 4 year level or Craft-dom.



Mr. Yost

April 8th, 2014 at 9:48 PM ^

Because we lost McGary and we beat UK with McGary, without question.

The answer is...

1. Michigan - CLEARLY (win the conference by 3 games, runner up in the tournament, Elite 8)
2. Nebraska
3. Wisconsin
4. MSU
5. Iowa
6. Minnesota (jumps NW based off of NIT run)
7. Northwestern
...then everyone else.

Gucci Mane

April 8th, 2014 at 12:29 AM ^

Michigan won the big ten by three games. All three has similar ncaa tournaments. Michigan clearly had the best season. If you want to argue that msu was the best team when healthy there's no way I could prove you wrong, but if that was the case they wouldn't have lost to uconn.


April 8th, 2014 at 12:36 AM ^

because of the big ten regular season, but I think the teams were about even at season's end. As a fan, I'd rather have Michigan's season than Wisconsin's or MSU's.

A State Fan

April 8th, 2014 at 12:38 AM ^

I'd go
1. Michigan
2. Wisconsin
3. MSU

MSU won the least important of the three achievements. I think final four is the most important achievement, but Michigan's season was too good to beat.


April 8th, 2014 at 12:57 AM ^

That's kind of the point though isn't it? Unless you win it all is your season a success compared to a team that won the league outright by 3 games? Would you trade another final four appearance for the Big Ten title? In other words, would you trade M's results this season with Wisconsin's results?

I don't think there are right or wrong answers to these questions. Each of the three top teams in the B1G can hang their hats on something. Gun to my head though I'd rather have the B1G title than a final four appearance. 


April 8th, 2014 at 5:32 AM ^

For better or worse, the NCAA tournament trumps all.  When we look back 10 years from now, last year will be considered a better season for us than this year.  1992 / 1993 stand out more than 1985 / 1986.  

That's just the way it is.  Those Final Four banners are where your eyes drift when you walk into the arena.


UM Indy

April 8th, 2014 at 8:48 AM ^

It's all about getting to the Final Four.  Winning a regular season conference championship is outstanding, but practically speaking it's simply an accomplishment that puts you in better position to get a good seed in the tournament and get to the Final Four. 


April 8th, 2014 at 10:28 AM ^

Maybe it depends on the situation? I wouldn't trade the Big Ten title this year for the Final Four, but Michigan made the Final Four last year and hadn't won the Big Ten outright in 25+ years. I think that did a lot more to establish Michigan as an elite program here to stay than another good but not great Big Ten season followed by getting hot in the tournament. Besides, Wisconsin lost to the same team we did, they just got to to face them later.

HOWEVA, Wisconsin under Bo Ryan has won multiple Big Ten titles but never made the Final Four, getting the label of a great regular season team that flames out in the tournament. Would Wisconsin trade another great regular season and tourney flameout for this Final Four trip? I don't think so.


April 8th, 2014 at 11:17 AM ^

I can see your last point, but losing in the Elite 8 is hardly a flameout. To me, two things make Michigan's season better:

1) Regular season banner means beating your rivals throughout the year - that's really fun to watch, and a regular season win over Sparty will be remembered longer than your average tourney win over a team you rarely play.

2) Final 4 is great, but what's so magic about getting bounced in the semi finals vs. quarter finals? You're still not playing on the last day of the season. Not saying it's not a major achievement, but it's not an "automatically trumps everything else" achievement.

3) Wisconsin had a really, really rough stretch in midseason. That had to be tough on a fan. Michigan was pretty rough around the edges to start the season but you got to watch them grow into a really dominant offensive team, and win consistently. There were no stretches of despair once conference play started. As a fan, I'd say Michigan's season was more fun to watch.


April 8th, 2014 at 11:36 AM ^

One extra round means more when it's a difference between the Final Four and the Elite 8. If it was the difference between the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, I'd be more inclined to agree. 

I still think it's Michigan, but it is not as easy of a question as many of you seem to think it is.

03 Blue 07

April 8th, 2014 at 3:43 PM ^

@LG: Pretty easily. To someone who advocates that it's Wisconsin, like me, Final Four is far more important in the equation than it is to someone like you. I realize it's just "one more round," but I like its higher stakes and the fact that it rewards teams performing the best while under the most pressure. Further, since it occurs at the end of the season, it is the end of the journey, so to speak. It's a gut feeling backed up by some logic for me; I imagine your position comes from a similar place. 

rob f

April 8th, 2014 at 1:34 AM ^

I can't understand how winning just one more NCAA Tournament game (Wisky went 4-1 while Michigan and MSU went 3-1 in the tourney) trumps winning the regular-season B1G Championship by 3 games.  It totally devalues the regular season in favor of a tournament format that randomly rewards teams that match up well via the luck of the seeding/draw. 

In other words, is UConn really the best team or did they just take advantage best of how they matched up vs. the 6 teams they beat?  Congratulations to them on their championship, they deserve all the credit in the world for their achievement, but I see a team that would have finished 4th or lower (possibly much lower) this season in the B1G.

So back to answering the OP's question---Michigan, by far, had the best season.  And they secretly did it while (shhhhhhhh!) overcoming a serious injury to arguably their best player.


April 8th, 2014 at 9:56 AM ^

That sucked that we didn't beat Indiana on the tip-in to split the B10 title but it was damn near unanimous that we would take our run to the title game over IU's outright B10 title and Sweet 16 exit. I think Michigan had a great season and I am very proud of it. However, it seems pretty homerish to say that we had a better year than Wisconsin. It was really very close. They had a better preseason (easily). We had a better conference season (easily). They had a better postseason.


April 8th, 2014 at 10:12 AM ^

Its all about perspective but the two years aren't all that comparable. Indiana was arguably the most talented team in the Big Ten last year, won the conference than flamed out in the Sweet 16 while Michigan went to the championship game.

This year Wisconsin had a really easy Big Ten slate and still lost to a Michigan team without McGary by three games, and went to the Final Four over the Elite 8. Final Four is of course better than the Elite 8 but not by the same margin that Championship game is greater than Sweet 16.

Michigan fans will say Michigan had the better year, Wisconsin fans Wisconsin, but saying you wanted Michigan's run last year doesn't mean you have to say Wisconsin's this year is better.


April 8th, 2014 at 11:42 AM ^

Because most people have a lot more long-term memories of a 5-6 game tournament run for their team than they do of an 18-game Big Ten regular season.

I didn't see the A2 bars packed with people hugging each other after we clinched it outright in Champaign. I did last year after we beat Florida, however.

Go Blue in MN

April 8th, 2014 at 1:33 PM ^

but by the time we beat Illinois the BIG title was a foregone conclusion.  Not so in the NCAA tourney.  We and the players got to enjoy our conference domination over a period of two months.  I agree with the poster earlier who said that neither Michigan nor Wisconsin would trade based on them both reaching an accomplishment they had not achieved in many years.

03 Blue 07

April 8th, 2014 at 3:48 PM ^

I'm with you, Nema. To me, in reality, the whole season (which I watch intently) is really dwarfed by those three weeks of the NCAA tournament. It is the barometer, and more than 50% of the equation of how a season is judged when you're trying to be a player on the national stage year in, year out. Say what you will about Izzo and the fact that he doesn't fare well in Final Fours despite making a ton of them, but to me the Final Four is the measuring stick for a program like ours. And, though his record isn't great w/r/t what MSU does when the arrive at the Final Four, you gotta be at the dance at the end to win it, and consistent Final Fours, over consistent Big Ten championships (to me) would be the platonic ideal of where I'd like the program to be. 


April 8th, 2014 at 6:52 AM ^

I think a final four banner is equivalent to a conference championship...

I go wiscy one, michigan two because Wiscy had a tremendous begining of the year (they were one of only two teams to beat Florida).  Wiscy also smashed us once and lost to us once.  They beat Arizona and Baylor in the tournament too (I know you can only play who you play but those two teams were better than anyone we beat outside of wiscy and MSU)

IF you look at the season as a whole I would take big victories over 5 or 6 top programs and a final four over a big ten championship and only a couple victories over top programs and an EE.


but hey, agree to disagree rest of the world.