What is happening with Big 10 basketball?

Submitted by BigBlue02 on January 29th, 2011 at 11:27 PM

I understand that throughout an entire season, good teams run into trouble against lesser competition. But I can't figure out the Big 10. Indiana beats Illinois. Michigan State beats Minnesota and Wisconsin and then loses to us. Wisconsin turns around and gets beaten by Penn State today. I can't figure out if the Big 10 is really that deep or really that shitty. Now one upset to a top B10 team is acceptable and understandable, but it seems like any team at the bottom of the conference could beat any team at the top. When I look at, for example, the Big East, I just can't see Depaul or South Florida beating any of the top teams. Any thoughts MgoCollegeBasketballFans?


Snidely Doo Rash

January 29th, 2011 at 11:34 PM ^

Parity and fewer top level players have lowered the level of play across the board.  The big east and big ten are the last bastions of decent hoops...and Duke and UKal if you can handle the grease.    Big ten is fierce right now and I like this team's fight, Go Blue  


January 29th, 2011 at 11:36 PM ^

OSU is obviously top dog, but after that it's a little hard to tell.  MSU is going through some struggles like we haven't seen in awhile.  PSU has beaten a few top 25 teams this year, so their win over Wisc. isn't as big of an upset as it would've been the last few years.  Seems like the B10 has a lot of average/above average teams this year but once you hit the tourney, it all goes out the window.  I would expect MSU, Illinois, and Wisconsin to all do pretty well in the tournament.


January 29th, 2011 at 11:39 PM ^

It just shows how basketball and any other sport has become more prevelant in our society and even those players who aren't as highly regarded are still pretty damn good so a team of good,yet not elite players can beat a better team on any night


January 29th, 2011 at 11:42 PM ^

but all it takes is one guy getting hot from the underdog and a cold night from a top player on the other team and an upset is easily possible. In football, an upset takes much than one guy playing well and an opposing player not. It's fun to watch a game and actually not know whos going to win


January 29th, 2011 at 11:43 PM ^

I've wondered about this a lot lately, especially after Friday.  Indiana and Michigan have been down for a long, long time now.  However, both squads have been showing signs of life lately and suprising some teams.  The traditional "huge home-field advantage" is still in place but that karma appears to be wearing a little thin in some quarters.

General talent parity as more schools say "Me too!" and join the hunt for top basketball talent.  More demand for top players on more teams equals a lot of non-game breakers playing quality minutes at more schools.  The B1G is hardly immune to this change.

It does make the season more entertaining when a team can beat any other team on any given day.  In the long term, a return to traditional "dynasty powers" is good for the prestige of the conference, but I'm enjoying the roller-coaster present.  Hopefully Michigan can become one of those new dynasties.


January 29th, 2011 at 11:46 PM ^

Big 10 is a mess.  It's OSU and then there's everybody else.  Purdue and Wisconsin is probalby the next best teams after OSU.  Not much separation between #4 to #9 IMO.


January 30th, 2011 at 12:05 AM ^

The difference in the B10 right now is coaching.  Can't say much about the PSU and Iowa coach, but the other 9 coaches are top notch.  That means on any given night, the other team has a shot.  Talent will eventually win out over the long haul of the season, but night to night, a coach can make a big difference.


January 30th, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

A few examples that I noticed:

  • They defended the inbounds play under the basket much better
  • JB called time out to stop MSU runs really quickly...much more so, I think, than usual
  • Novak and Douglass are taking 3-point shots from a few feet behind the 3-pt line, where they are more likely to be open than if they are right at the line


January 30th, 2011 at 1:10 AM ^

I've been wondering the same thing. Just taking a look at our team, we've come pretty close to beating a lot of good teams, but we don't necessarily do any better against somewhat lesser teams. Maybe we're seeing in basketball what kind of goes on in football in that the Big Ten beats up on each other. It's crazy, and I'm not saying I love it, but it makes watching sports really interesting just knowing on any given day something amazing can happen.


January 30th, 2011 at 1:51 AM ^

people would chalk this parity up to 'the tremendous depth of the conference'

but since we're the big 10, it's probably because everyone is equally big, slow, and gritty. not enough SEC speed


January 30th, 2011 at 8:00 AM ^

There is some decent parity in the league that explains some of it, but in college hoops it has seemingly always been the Big East then everyone else.  This year the B10 has been up-and-down at times, but I still think it is the second-best conference in America and would be a little better if teams like MSU played more consistently/had more realistic expectations to begin the season.  


January 30th, 2011 at 9:00 AM ^

Insane parity

PSU actually looking good at times, OSU playing several close games (including a 4 pt win over Michigan), Purdue being inconsistent, et cetera

It's just a lot of craziness going on right now and I love it



January 30th, 2011 at 9:30 AM ^

On Sunday morning (Wisco will be moving down later today), Pomeroy's B10 numbers looked like this:

Name Pomeroy Ranking
Ohio St. 0.9839 1
Purdue 0.9584 10
Wisconsin 0.9658 8
Minnesota 0.8763 43
Illinois 0.9343 18
Michigan St. 0.9051 34
Penn St. 0.8534 49
Northwestern 0.8394 54
Michigan 0.8182 61
Indiana 0.8135 65
Iowa 0.7309 89

Six teams are between 43 and 65. That's basically even - against each other they will be favored at home and an underdog on the road. There's a bit of a chicken-egg problem here, as conference teams trading wins and losses push team rankings towards one another. However, every team in the conference had a good OOC record - some of those wins were even over good opponents - and I think this is deserved parity. I think there are about 8 good to really good teams in the conference. Home court advantage plays into this, and certainly B10 coaching is at least as good as it's ever been. Shoot, Northwestern only lost by a point at home last night to OSU, and that was with Shurna on the bench.


Some tourney-worthy teams are going to stay home as a consequence, but this is a great year to watch conference hoops - the quality is there just about every single night.

Flying Dutchman

January 30th, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

I love the Big 10 this year.   I do despise the Kentucky-of-the-Big10 effect that Ohio State bring with all their one-and-done's (seriously, name 4 OSU players).   

But we have good teams with good players beating each other fair and square.  The Wisco loss at Penn State was a great example.    As long as a bunch of Big 10 teams get in to the dance in March, they will fare well.

Best part about this year's conference is that Sparty isn't on top.   Sit down, little guy.


January 30th, 2011 at 1:46 PM ^

name 4 OSU players?  

Considering Diebler, Lighty, Buford and Lauderdale have been there seemingly forever, any Big 10 fan should be able to name them.

I also assume Jared Sullinger is relatively well known.

As for the Big Ten, I think the only real surprise is Illinois losing @ Indiana, and maybe Michigan winning at MSU.

Penn State has 4 senior starters, so the occasional win isn't a surprise.  NW is a decent team with a style that can give some teams trouble.  Overall, the level of coaching in the Big Ten is very good.