Will the BTT semis be better than the Final Four?

Submitted by gebe659 on February 6th, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Tough to think of better match-ups than the ones you can get with Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

I've never seen a basketball conference be this good.



February 6th, 2013 at 10:27 AM ^

Good god the conference is strong this year. Minnesota AND Illinois were top-10 teams at one point and both have fallen off the face of the map. They'd probably both STILL be top-10 if they played in literally ANY other conference.


February 6th, 2013 at 10:39 AM ^

I doubt that.  Illinois has fallen back into their "if God didnt want me to shoot the ball he wouldnt have delivered to my hands" offense and Minnesota simply doesnt have enough shooters to stay with elite teams.

I watched the Illinois game on Sunday and my only thought was how much I would HATE to coach a team that selfish with the ball.  No ball movement, no picks and seemingly no plays. Just rise and fire and soon as the ball touches your hands no matter where you are on the court.


February 6th, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

Illinois probably not. If Richardson and Paul aren't on, they literally have almost no chance of beating a team.  Minnesota would probably have a pretty good record right now.  They've only lost to one weak team (Northwestern) so far this season.  Along with this, the only team to beat them on their home court so far has been Michigan.  I'm sorry that I can't rip Minnesota for losing on the road to Indiana and at home to Michigan.  By the end of the year they will have a good record and get a pretty good seed in the NCAA Tournament.


February 6th, 2013 at 10:34 AM ^

I think the real question is if the B1G semis and the Final Four will feature the same four teams. Which looking at the last couple weeks would not be a surprise.

State Street

February 6th, 2013 at 10:41 AM ^

I have no idea, but I do know that Big Ten Basketball this year is making SEC Football look like the over 50 softball beer league down by the park in terms of competitiveness.


February 6th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

Depending on the draws, I don't think an Indiana-Michigan matchup is out of the question. I'm excited to see how we'll match up with MSU when we play them. It's never "fun" to play Izzo's team, but it will be a yet another good barometer for where we are. 


February 6th, 2013 at 10:49 AM ^

Weirdly, although everyone says we have the best conference and one of the best ever... we aren't going to send all that many teams to the Dance.  The Big East had 11 one year (that is, 11 of their conference's 23,313.8 teams); I think the ACC or B1G had 8 or 9 in one year; but this year we're only likely to send 6 teams.  The top 6 are so good, the bottom 6 have no breathing room and aren't going to claw their way into the Dance.  (And Purdue's OOC was so dismal that, even if they go 9-9 in-conference, it might not get them into the Dance.)


GOING TO BE IN:  (1) good guys, (2) IU, (3) bad guys in scarlet, (4) bad guys in green, (5) Minnie, (6) Wiscy.


Purdue -- OOC was abysmal.  Would need to upset IU at IU (hahahahah) or something on that order, plus end up with winning conference record.  /notgonnahappen

Illinois -- opposite of Purdue.  Great OOC (Zags in Seattle!) but abysmal in conf play.  See ya.

NU (purplse) -- every 1 good win matched by 2 losses.

Iowa -- no good wins.  Will need to pull a major upset at end of season.

NU (red) -- they obviously have no chance, but I thought I'd just say, they play stellar defense for 60% of all the time and, if they get a shoot or two the next couple of years, they will be like Purdue, the team you never ever want to play needing a win.



February 6th, 2013 at 11:33 AM ^

I think if Illinois gets to 8 Big10 wins they get in.  The Butler, @Gonzaga, and OSU wins will carry alot of wait.  They should get to 7 if they win the games they will be favoured in.  I think even 7 could do it if the bubble is weak.


February 6th, 2013 at 10:55 AM ^

"Best ever" is a bit much. The Big East and ACC have had some great years, and the B1G is in no way guaranteed to even have a team in the title game. Best conference in the country this year? Absolutely. Best ever? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.


February 6th, 2013 at 3:01 PM ^

It depends on how you read the questions.

Will the quality of games/teams be better or will the event be better.

Nothing tops March Madness- so the event will be better- no matter the participants in my opinion.

Now... the games and teams very well may be better.  We have seen a lot of low seeds get to the final four- which is exciting but means the final four may have non-elite teams in it potentially.  Indiana and Michigan are 1 or 2 seeds.  MSU and OSU are 2-6 seeds- likely 3 or 4 seeds.  Wisconsin is a 3-8 seed most likely a 5-6 seed, and Minnesota is a 5-9 seed most likely a 6 seed or so (estimates for end of the year- not current).

Wisconsin and Minnesota would not be terribly exciting- but if it is the current top 4 all in the final 4 for the big ten that is nuts.  They could all make the final four!  So I would say there is a small but decent chance the quality of games and teams may be better for the final 4 in the big ten- but its almost blasphemous to say anything could top the final four or march madness as far as an experience.


February 6th, 2013 at 10:58 AM ^

just the fact that we won't have to listen to dickhead vitale during the big ten tourney will make  it better.just watched the final 15 minutes of last nt. game and had to listen to that babbling nutsucking idiot.  i wonder  who he was  pulling for? 


February 6th, 2013 at 11:06 AM ^

This is a really strong conference. Illinois has so many good wins that I think they squeeze in. We should be easy for 7, and maybe 8 if Iowa can pull off a win here or there.


The Big Ten Tournament is going to be terrifying. No doubt. Better than the Final Four? Well that depends on which teams make the Final Four obviously. It won't be 4 Big Ten teams. I'm sure of that. But remember, a conference is thought to be amazing strong if it can produce even just TWO Final Four teams. I would hope out of our Top 6 teams, one of them should be able to stumble into the Final Four, and it wouldn't be surprising if 2 got there. I think the best teams in the nation for the most part make it to the Final Four, where the best basketball is played. (Usually.) But in terms of sheer excitement? God the BTT might give me a heart attack. I couldn't make it through last night's game, and I might have to do that THREE DAYS IN A ROW? Good golly.


February 6th, 2013 at 11:20 AM ^

Illinois will be tight. Right now, they're 2-7 in the conference, but they have wins over Gonzaga, OSU, and Butler. They need to hold serve against the teams in the lower half of the league (games remaining: Purdue, @NU, PSU, UNL, @Iowa) and pull off at least one win against the top tier of the Big 10.

Their main problem is that all of their games against the top tier, save Thursday's game against IU, are away (games remaining: IU, @ Minny, @Michigan, @OSU). Would 7-11 in conference, without a top 50 RPI win since January (though @ Iowa would be a good win) be enough? If the bubble is soft and they win at least one game in the B1G tournament, maybe.

If they miss the tournament, they're going to rue blowing that 10 point halftime lead at Sparty. That would have had them pretty solidly in.


February 6th, 2013 at 11:34 AM ^

Bubble talk used to stress me out beyond all reason, because we were always on it. But looking at it from the other side now, I am fascinated to see how the committee treats Illinois. I would imagine they're going to be one of the more polarizing bubble teams in recent memory. Most experts seem to say if they can get to 8-10 in the conference, the strength of the conference will pull them in. But they'll need a road upset for that to happen as you pointed out. Otherwise, does a 20-12 team with a 7-11 conference record deserve to get into the Tourney? I'd say yes, even at that level. The Big Ten is just too good not to take that in an expanded field.


February 6th, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

The other team that's likely going to be an interesting bubble discussion is Iowa. Right now, they're 14-8 (3-6), but this is their remaining, surprisingly soft, schedule:


02/06/13 at Wisconsin * TV Madison, Wis. 8:06 PM
02/09/13 vs. Northwestern * TV Iowa City, Iowa 3:36 PM
02/14/13 at Penn State * TV University Park, Pa. 8:00 PM
02/17/13 vs. Minnesota * TV Iowa City, Iowa 1:06 PM
02/21/13 at Nebraska * TV Lincoln, Neb. 8:00 PM
02/27/13 vs. Purdue * TV Iowa City, Iowa 7:36 PM
03/02/13 at Indiana * TV Bloomington, Ind. 6:30 PM
03/05/13 vs. Illinois * TV Iowa City, Iowa 6:06 PM
03/09/13 vs. Nebraska * TV

If they beat Minnesota and Illinois at home, certainly not out of the question, lose the away games to Wiscy and Indiana, and win the remainder, which are pretty soft, that puts them at 21-10 and 10-8. That almost certainly gets them in. They might even be able to drop one of the Minny or Illinois games. Their problem, though is that they don't have any really good wins, with their best being either Iowa State or Wisconsin. That Illinois-Iowa game is going to be huge in determining which Big 10 team is first in line for the committee.


February 6th, 2013 at 11:11 AM ^

Yeah, it's good, but we're all of a sudden adopting the SEC football mentality where "no one can compete with usTM!". I'm quite certain Duke and Kansas could beat anyone in the B1G so it's ridiculously unlikely that 4 B1G teams will make it to the final four

Also, to people suggesting B1G basketball is vastly better than SEC football. The SEC did have 4-5 teams in the top 10 this year regularly. SEC football was probably just as competitive as B1G basketball. Plus, when you get past the top 6, the B1G isn't actually that great. Maybe we should all calm down a bit. We're excellent this year, but it's not like we're necessarily even the most competitive conference of the last 10 years

But yeah, the B1G's having an excellent year


February 6th, 2013 at 11:59 AM ^

I don't think the Duke team that is currently taking the floor (ie, without Kelly) would stay within single figures of MSU, Michigan, or Indiana. Beyond Plumlee, they're just not athletic or defensively tough enough. They might stay close to OSU, but that's because OSU plays close games. And Kelly is currently still unable to put any weight on his foot.

If the ACC was at it's normal strength, Duke would be looking at a 4-5 seed.

Avant's Hands

February 6th, 2013 at 12:34 PM ^

To be fair, the SEC was pretty atrocious after the first 5-6 teams this year. I think our basketball season is a very good match for this year's SEC football. Remember there are a lot more college basketball teams and it's more common for "mid majors" to be ranked. Plus, more conference games means more chances to lose, especially with the uneven schedule which has really bit us in the ass this year (although with a win over Wisky we would make that scedule totally worth it).


February 6th, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

The BBT semis will be the best preview of the FF avaiable. But I'm expecting (or at least hoping) the FF is even better.

But we got some things to work on tween now and either of those.


February 6th, 2013 at 12:17 PM ^

The ACC and Big East have had years like the Big Ten is having this year.  Looking over historical data, though, the Big Ten is the most likely to get multiple teams in the Final Four, doing it seven times since 1976.  

Mr. Yost

February 6th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

The B1G has 4 teams that can hang with anyone in the nation. I was joking, but I said cancel the rest of the season and let these 4 have a round robin then play a 7-game series/4-team playoff.


February 6th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

It'll be interesting to see how those top 4 are seeded if they continue to hold serve on their home courts (probably a stretch but it's occurred so far).

Could we see 2 1-seeds and 2 2-seeds?


February 6th, 2013 at 1:39 PM ^

Until the B1G starts winning the NATIONAL TITLES than we should try and be all S-E-C chanting it.

Granted its harder to win it in NCAA BB but the B1G hasn't one many titles in the last 30 yrs let alone last 10. Hopefully we can string together several FF appearences as a conf and spinkle in a few titles.

Nobody gives a shit what you were ranked in Feb or how many teams you had ranked in Feb. It's all for nothing if the Big Ten doesn't win the title. They have to this year and with four legit final four quality teams they have a good of a shot as anyone.

Dream scenario is 5 in the elite 8 and 3 in final four. Big Ten champ.

FWIW, I'd rather UM NOT play a big ten team if possible. Esp late in the tourney, Def do not want OSU. They are UM's worst matchup.


February 6th, 2013 at 7:14 PM ^

This reminds me of Big East 2009 when Pitt, Louisville, and UConn were all 1-seeds with Marquette, WVU, Syracuse, and Villanova also getting bids.

The B1G can have a legit shot of 2 #1 seeds (Indiana and Michigan) with a few others in that 2nd tier (OSU, MSU, maybe Minnesota/Wisconsin)