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Big Ten, not Big 12, confirmed as the premier conference in ’14

Mar 29, 2014, 1:31 AM EST

Michigan State v Virginia Getty Images

Throughout the 2013-14 season, the Big 12 was consistently mentioned as the nation’s best conference. Starting with the newcomers at Kansas, followed by Oklahoma State’s returning core, the impact of transfers for Iowa State, and rounding out with the surprising play of Kansas State, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, succeeding in the Big 12 was a difficult task.

The NCAA tournament is the greatest equalizer in the sport, and through the initial five days, the tournament proved that we should have all been espousing and praising the Big Ten, rather than the Big 12, this season. Following Sunday’s Elite 8 games, there could potentially be three Big Ten teams in the field, the first time a trio from one conference has made the Final Four since 1985. Meanwhile, the Big 12 has no representatives left in the field. Despite leading Division I in RPI, strength of schedule, non-conference RPI and strength of schedule, no Big 12 remains among the eight finalists. Adding to the statistical fire is the Big 12 led the nation in non-conference winning percentage (.797, which was .461 in the NCAAs), and Big 12 teams defeated 40 AP top 25 in 2013-14 (6-7, though, in the past five days; h/t Patrick Vint).

Despite the run of the three Big Ten teams to April’s first weekend, it seems like the Big Ten was undervalued and underappreciated during the regular season, a strange proposition considering what the conference returned and hype should have been sky high. But the midwest-based conference has the chance to do something no other league has accomplished in nearly 30 years, a remarkable feat since the trio spent conference play knocking each other about league play.

  1. cubb1 - Mar 29, 2014 at 4:59 AM

    The tournament is not even over and you have CONFIRMED the Big 10 as the premier conference? Matt Giles, you are a moron.

  2. packhawk04 - Mar 29, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    How many big 12 teams in the elite eight? How many big ten teams in the elite eight?

    Confirmed.

  3. barkleyblows - Mar 29, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Big ten is overrated, just like every year. Now maybe if the started winning championships.

  4. spartyfi - Mar 29, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Only 1 team wins the title. The best team, not the best Conference. How’s that so hard for the above commenter to get?

  5. witchrunner - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Let’s face it, this is the nature of sports reporting. Three of the final 8 from the Big 10. That sounds impressive and it’s why they play the game. Of course, next week’s headline may be “SEC establishes itself as the Premier Conference in the country as two of it’s own battle for the Championship!”

    • thegloriousone - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:03 AM

      The headlines will more likely read “SEC tourney choke reminiscent of BCS Championsip game”.

  6. inhokewetrust - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Love the big 10…but now shows MICHIGAN is dominate…HAIL HAIL MICHIGAN….and state

    • virginiainc - Mar 29, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      Big Blue Nation coming at you.

  7. onlyoneleft - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    I will agree with this one.

  8. virginiainc - Mar 29, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    So did someone pay for this story? Because I cannot remember the Big 10 actually winning an NCAA men’s championship in recent memory. I used to live in Iowa City but since I moved to Kentucky I find it amazing to live in a state which actually wins championships instead of gets close to winning.

    • spartyownsyou - Mar 29, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      You obviously don’t understand the pretense of the article

      • oruacat2 - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:26 PM

        We understand it just fine, but thanks.
        The writer just proclaimed the Big Ten as “the premiere conference for 2014″ because it might get three teams into the Elite 8.
        Meanwhile just a few days ago on this very same site another writer boldly proclaimed that just because the SEC got three of its teams into the Sweet 16 (at that point, still possible to get all 3 into the E8) we should still consider it a weak conference.
        So which is it?

  9. musketmaniac - Mar 29, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    after Dayton beats Florida, that’s wins over Ohio state, Syracuse and Stanford. more impressive than the entire big ten

  10. a10fan85 - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    Maybe I went to college a long time ago, but how is…
    “…led the nation in non-conference winning percentage (.797, which was .461 in the NCAAs),” possible?
    Back in my day, if two non-conference teams played, the OVERALL winning percentage would ALWAYS be .500. But this year it was .461??? I just don’t get this new math.
    Did I miss something?

  11. oruacat2 - Mar 29, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    This is funny as hell. Just a few days ago I was told, by another writer on this site, that having 3 SEC teams in the Sweet Sixteen was no reason to rethink its status as a “weak” conference.

  12. inhokewetrust - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Possible 3 BIGTEN teams in final 4….conversation over

    • oruacat2 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      Possible 2 SEC teams in the title game.
      Conversation NOT over.

  13. yourdaytonagent - Mar 30, 2014 at 7:46 PM

    Nice try. The SEC only got 3 invitations but they have 2 out of 4 teams in the final four. What does the Big Ten have????? Oh only 1 team? Hmmmm!

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