Is this the year the B1G snaps its title drought?

Submitted by ypsituckyboy on March 13th, 2018 at 11:47 AM

As most know, the last time the B1G won the national champsionship was in 2000, where a group of not weird guys took home the title. Michigan's 1989 banner is the most recent beyond that.

Given the relatively flat field this year, I'm thinking the B1G has a good shot at a title. I think the league was clearly top heavy and that the best of the B1G will be tough outs. Both Michigan and Purdue defend very well, have good guard play, and bigs that create mismatches. MSU has a few lottery picks, and I think with the season on the line Izzo will start playing a bit more small ball (JJJ at the 5 and Bridges at the 4) in order to put the most dynamic lineup out there.

Can't say I have any of them winning it all in my bracket, but I could easily see two B1G teams in the Final Four.

What say you?

 

Comments

MGoStretch

March 13th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

The love they're getting in the media has me completely mystified.  This is a team that suffered one of the greatest first round upsets in the history of the tournament last year, went 2-4 against tournament teams this year, and somehow everyone thinks they're going to morph into the Harlem Globetrotters because "izzo".  Makes no sense to me, but boy would that be delightful to see Bucknell put an early end to that nonsense.

ST3

March 13th, 2018 at 3:05 PM ^

They have talent. The few times I have seen them play, they almost seemed disinterested. Think of them falling behind Northwestern by 27. But when they were engaged, they were capable of outscoring Northwestern by 38. We may just be a bad matchup for them. The key for them is for Izzo to get them playing together and figure out how to hide Winston's defensive deficiencies. I will not be surprised if they make it to the final four. And I hate them with a white hot passion.

MGoStretch

March 13th, 2018 at 4:24 PM ^

On a positive note, if they do hypothetically put it all together (I optimistically contend they will not), Duke is still waiting for them and is one of the few teams in the tourney that looks as good (frankly, better) as msu does on paper.  Oh, and coach K absolutely owns izzo.  So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

MGoStretch

March 13th, 2018 at 5:16 PM ^

I stand corrected, but my overall point still stands.  This isn't a team that is coming off a national championship that returns all of their starters.  It's a team that hasn't shined on any big stage over the past few years that "experts" are expecting will flip the switch and find their alpha identity that has eluded them the entire season. I just don't see any evidence to support that happening.

umich1

March 13th, 2018 at 11:53 AM ^

I wonder what story ESPN has primed and loaded if MSU reaches the final four.

Purdue faded down the stretch.

OSU is overrated.

I don’t want to jinx the last remaining B1G team.

Perkis-Size Me

March 13th, 2018 at 12:04 PM ^

I doubt it. MSU is talented but vastly overrated. They have to escape a region with #1 Kansas and #2 Duke, and Coach K has Izzo's number like Tressel and Meyer have had Michigan's. I think MSU bows out in the Sweet Sixteen against Duke. 

OSU will be good under Holtmann but they're not there yet. They faded down the stretch and I don't peg them getting past the first week. 

Purdue could possibly make the Final Four, but again, another team that faded down the stretch and I don't see them getting past Villanova in their region. I think Michigan provided the perfect blueprint to beat Purdue: let Haas get his (because he's going to anyway) and defend the three point line like no other. 

I'm not getting my hopes up about Michigan either. There is something to be said for a team that gets hot at the right time, and UConn has won all of its recent titles by coming out of nowhere at the end of the season and just getting hot. Could Michigan do it? Possibly. But they don't have a do-it-all Kemba Walker type of player right now who literally takes over every single game. They could make the Final Four, but they'd almost certainly be dealing with UVa's Monstar defense in the semi-finals. I don't know how anyone beats that. 

To answer your question, I think the drought continues this year. 

Perkis-Size Me

March 13th, 2018 at 1:48 PM ^

Pretty sure he was healthy against Michigan, and we saw how that game turned out. 

Definitely possible that he could go off, and Purdue has the talent to make it to San Antonio, but I'm not banking on them getting past Villanova. If we swapped regions I'd feel better about their chances. But I think they bow out in the Elite Eight against Villanova, if not sooner. 

TK

March 13th, 2018 at 12:49 PM ^

This is going to be unpopular but I feel like we need to let “the block” go. It happened with 5 mins left when we were down 3 and we lost by 6. It didn’t happen when we were up by a point with 5 seconds to go. It was a missed call. It didn’t definitively cost us the game like everyone likes to claim. Maybe it was the momentum shifter and we would have come back. We will never know. I do think we should have the title if Louisville vacated but that’s another story.

TrueBlue2003

March 13th, 2018 at 5:04 PM ^

and you're correct, but objectively it was about a 10-15% swing in win probability (difference between being down 5 after a made FT vs down three on a fast break off a block).

The swing in, I hate to call it "momentum", but the mental effect could have been big too. That block would have been huge for the team's energy.  Instead, it was a disappointing gut punch and a stoppage in play.

Yinka Double Dare

March 13th, 2018 at 12:15 PM ^

Only 4 of us. OSU ain't winning unless KBD goes full Glen Rice on the tourney. Purdue hasn't looked the same since Vince Edwards got hurt (and he hasn't looked the same since he came back; maybe the extra week off will help and they contend?). Izzo's shown no inclination to give the lineup with Bridges/Jackson as the 4/5 that allows his best players to play their best college positions; maybe he finally will and they manage to get past Duke. I love our team, but the looming UNC matchup seems tough and it's hard not to have the nagging feeling that the free throw shooting will cost us dearly at some point. 

TrueBlue2003

March 13th, 2018 at 5:06 PM ^

if they beat Gonzaga.  Huge.  And I would not be surprised if they lost in the first round.

Credit to Holtmann for squeezing everything out of that team that he could but they're fading and have largely been figured out.

BeatOSU52

March 13th, 2018 at 12:49 PM ^

But as long as it's not MSU nor OSU.  So besides Michigan, I only hope Purdue wins it all, but they can never see to even get to the final 4 as long as I've been alive.