(Disclaimer- this blog topic does not include wrestling. The Big10 owns wrestling. Has and will forever. Iowa especially. Much respect.)
Don't shoot the messenger. This isn't a troll blog. It's a legit question. I'm not the sports expert around here, I'm just the DJ. And I realize full well that making a statement like "The Big10 is overrated" while living in Chicago can and will get you killed. That's why I'm simply proposing the question. Big difference.
It seems like this question gets asked every year, not just when the Big10 flops in the tournament, but when debating the College Football Playoff.
"The Big10 deserves more respect"
"The Big10 shouldn't have to fight to get just one team into the playoff when they play a season-long playoff schedule, and conference championship"
The Ohio State always has enough to compete outside the conference with the SEC powerhouses, but continues to fall short. Outside of their National Championship in 2014, it's been pretty bleak.
Basketball hasn't faired much better on the national stage.
The Big Ten was the best conference in college basketball during the regular season according to all the experts and analytics.
They were awarded 5 of the top 16 seeds in this year's tournament as a result.
With Iowa getting its doors blown off by Oregon this afternoon, Michigan and Maryland* are the only ones remaining.
The Big Ten had two #1 overall seeds in Michigan and Illinois, two #2 seeds in Ohio State and Iowa, and a #4 seed in Purdue. And don't forget Michigan state who blew a halftime lead in a play-in-game loss to UCLA, and Rutgers who just lost to Houston yesterday.
Michigan, who plays LSU +5 tonight at 7:10, and Maryland, who plays Alabama -5.5 tonight at 7:45, are the only Big10 representatives remaining.
Do you know the last time a Big10 team won a national title? It was Michigan State in 2000.
Want to know a stat even more eye-opening? According to RealGM, the Big10 has produced only 12 total first-round-picks in the NBA draft in the last 6 years. For perspective, in last year's draft alone, the SEC produced 6 first-rounders.
Does this mean that there isn't the talent in the Big10 that we're lead to believe? Year after year?
All season long we heard how NBA-ready Illinois' Ayo and Kofi are. Yet they were manhandled by a mid-major yesterday.
Ohio State looked completely outmatched by Oral Roberts on Friday. Purdue had nobody they could rely on when they needed a basket.
And yes, I know the argument for Big10 basketball loud and clear. It's the same one we hear every year about football.
They play the toughest schedules and beat the shit out of each other all season so they're never 100% come bowl/tournament time.
But playing devil's advocate here, if that's the argument couldn't you hypothetically argue the inverse just as easily?
Couldn't these teams seem a lot better than they are because they're playing conference-heavy schedules?
Not saying that being the last one standing in the NCAA tournament is the only way to validate an entire conference, but shouldn't a conference as good as we're told the Big10 is have more teams advance past opening weekend?