Will Big Ten finally win NCAA tournament?

20-one a long time back, Tom Izzo and Mateen Cleaves linked arms at heart court docket and viewed the actively playing of “One Shining Moment” alongside one another. Cleaves wore a clipped national championship web all-around his neck. Tears of pleasure ran down his experience.

It was the end result of Michigan State’s second, and the Significant 10 Conference’s tenth, national title in the then-sixty two-yr-aged event.

It was also the commence of one of the most spectacular streaks in university sports.

No crew coming out of the Significant 10 has won it considering that.

This isn’t some feel piece examining all the things that have absent into this drought. There will be no complaining about demographic shifts or underperforming programs.

None of that applies. This is truly an inexplicable quirk. Poor luck. Poor night. Whichever. It just retain happening.

Which is why there is no reason for the league not to crack through this yr, when it has 9 men’s tourney teams, which include a report 4 among the top two seeds in each and every location — No. 1s Illinois and Michigan, and No. 2s Iowa and Ohio State.

The full event is even becoming played in and all-around Indianapolis, the league’s non secular household, which include first-round online games on the campuses of Indiana and Purdue. Izzo even joked he was going to end by Purdue mentor Matt Painter’s house for brunch one morning.

Merely put, this has to conclude at some issue.

The Big Ten conference logo is shown on the floor during a college basketball game between Rutgers and Illinois on March 12. (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Significant 10 meeting symbol is demonstrated on the ground for the duration of a university basketball activity concerning Rutgers and Illinois on March 12. (Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire by using Getty Illustrations or photos)

The Significant 10 is exceptional at basketball, almost every single yr. The universities invest heavily in the activity. High-high quality, even Corridor of Fame coaches, continue to rate the sidelines, while young revolutionary types find employment there.

Enthusiasts fill arenas. The Significant 10 Community provides enormous revenue checks. Midwestern high universities continue to churn out great amounts of talent. Mediocrity is not tolerated — three non-NCAA tourney universities are replacing coaches this yr.

This isn’t football, waxing on about how Minnesota as soon as won three national championships — in the 1930s.

The Significant 10 has had its possibilities. In the 19 NCAA tournaments considering that MSU won it all (there was no event in 2020), 112 league teams have been given event bids, 13 have attained the Ultimate Four and 7 have played in the national title activity.

None has won on Championship Monday.

It tends to make no sense.

There is no argument that the Significant 10 was the most competitive and high-conclude meeting in America this yr. A league-report 9 teams are in the NCAAs — Illinois, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Maryland and Michigan State.

“This is the best league,” Illinois mentor Brad Underwood mentioned.

It attributes 5 of the top fourteen all round seeds — Illinois (three), Michigan (four), Ohio State (six), Iowa (seven), Purdue (fourteen). That is a good deal of bullets in the chamber.

And a good deal of battle-analyzed teams, even the non-high seeds, who may get a jolt from not obtaining away from the meat grinder.

“I do not experience concerned of … any person since we truly have played the best teams in the region on a night-in, night-out basis,” mentioned Izzo, whose 11th-seeded Spartans are actively playing UCLA in the enjoy-in activity Thursday.

Michigan State went just 15-12 this yr, but 9 of the losses were to Significant 10 teams that attained the NCAAs, 6 of them to the over-talked about top seeds. The Spartans also beat Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State.

“I’m not anxious,” Izzo mentioned.

That is the Significant Ten’s mantra this yr, specifically when an unbeaten Gonzaga, a plainly gifted but to some degree untested crew, is the event most loved.

“I feel our league has well prepared us, and all people else in this league, for what is coming,” Iowa mentor Fran McCaffery mentioned. Five of the Hawkeyes’ eight losses are to No. 1 or 2 seeds.

Will that make a difference? You under no circumstances know. This is a single elimination event, the “best” crew doesn’t always earn and the Significant 10 has figured out how to eliminate in just about every single conceivable faction.

In 2005, North Carolina edged out an iconic, then-37-1 Illinois club (Deron Williams, Dee Brown) in the finals. Florida did the same to a Greg Oden-Mike Conley Jr.-led Buckeyes juggernaut in 2009.

Wisconsin slayed a then-unbeaten Kentucky crew in 2015, only to run out of gasoline two evenings later on in opposition to Duke. A 2009 Michigan State club maximized itself to the title activity just before an all-time good Carolina club buzz-sawed it. John Beilein acquired Michigan to the finals twice, just missing each times. Indiana, then a 5 seed, shocked everyone to access the finals in 2002, but an outstanding Maryland crew (then of the ACC) stopped it.

There is no pattern. UNC, Duke and Connecticut have each and every won three titles for the duration of this extend. Florida and Villanova two each and every. The ACC has won eight, the Significant East 7, the SEC three and the Significant 12 one.

The full Significant 10 … none.

That was then. What comes now?

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