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Big Ten the big flop?
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On March 31, 2013 @ 11:00 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to another session of Bracket Briefing, our attempt to provide you with essential information on the Big Dance — highlighting the Florida Gulf Coasts of the college basketball world, and forecasting the Wichita State moments before they happen.
Teams left in the field: 6
Soundtrack: Before you read any further, take a listen to this morning’s jam of the day, which honors the Wichita State Shockers.
The first word: Less than a week ago, the Big Ten Conference was sitting pretty atop the college basketball world — featuring four league teams positioned in each region with a legitimate shot of reaching the Final Four. The scenario seemed unlikely, even though the conference has been strongly considered the toughest in the country based on depth and quality. But Ohio State’s stunning loss to Wichita State in the West Regional left Michigan — playing in a 2:20 p.m. clash against Florida — as the only Big Ten remaining, hence putting the league in jeopardy of being shut out from the Final Four. If the Wolverines lose today, as the Buckeyes did Saturday and Michigan State and Indiana did in their Sweet 16 clashes, does that mean the Big Ten’s season was a bust? Hardly. Yet with the Big East sending eight teams to the NCAAs and the potential to fit two teams in the Final Four, there’s backing to the overrated conference talk that would likely spark up from those outside of Big Ten country. Sure, the league has been lamented in success, but hardly decorated with the most important hardware. The last Big Ten national title? Michigan State’s 2000 team. Four teams have reached the national title game since then — Indiana (2002), Illinois (2005), Ohio State (2007), Michigan State (2009) — but they all came up short.
Quote to note: “Last year, we were watching all this on television. Now I’m looking at a hat that says ‘Final Four Atlanta’ with my team on it. … It feels good, and it feels even better that I could experience it with these guys who had to … [For more on Bracket Briefing: The big flop? Big Ten in danger of zero Final Four teams, click here.]
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