NCAA Tournament

#501      
Peoria, IL in a van down by the river
Unless KU plays much better in the 2nd half (currently down 15), the Big 12 will also only have one team in the final 16

Make it 19 at half
 
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#503      
How many good athletes do you see on any of the big ten teams? Illini completely out quicked Michigan and handled them easily. The game is good shooters and good athletes now. Illinois was quick by big ten standards but not by national standards.
This was especially jarring in the Oregon game against Iowa. Oregon was like a track team compared to Iowa.
 
#504      
I don't think the Big Ten was overrated. As Bilas said, they underperformed. You take these mid majors that upset B1G teams, and put them in the B1G for a full conference slate....... none of them would even sniff the tourney because they would all have losing records. It's March madness and anything can happen in a win or go home situation.
 
#505      
My updated Final 4..

Loyola
Baylor
Gonzaga
Alabama

And Alabama beats Baylor for Championship...

Alabama playing best, IMO, has great talent and Nate Oates is exceptional, adaptive coach (ref win over Maryland switching his lineup)
 
#506      
Nate Oates is the example of analytic offensive philosophy.

“Three, free, or key” and he titles it in that order. I don’t know if I’ve seen them take any tough 2s in the limited time I’ve seen them all year.

Clearly you have to have shooters and finishers on your roster to go all in this way, but I find them to be kind of mathematical experiment that’s working.
 
#507      
Baltimore, MD
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So apparently we need to rebrand the conference as the Big 14 if we want any success in the NCAA tournament going forward. 😭😭😭
 
#511      
I can't help but think the narrative on the B1G changes, ever so slightly, if we had just held serve. It would've still been criticized, but at least there would have been a strong "great top 2 teams, decent rest of the league" argument. Man that loss still stings. Loyola was the best team we would've faced until the Final 4 and we failed that 1 test miserably. Still can't get over it.
 
#512      
I gotta say, the vaunted Big 12 aren't doing that well, either. Just a weird tournament.
I read that the first weekend this year had the most upsets ever. So, clearly something unusual is happening. I suspect the weird schedule all season led to a number of incorrect seedlings, and the “bubble” environment in Indy caused some teams to not be ideally prepared for games. Yes, I understand that “everyone had to deal with it,” but not all responded the same.
 
#513      
I don't think the Big Ten was overrated. As Bilas said, they underperformed. You take these mid majors that upset B1G teams, and put them in the B1G for a full conference slate....... none of them would even sniff the tourney because they would all have losing records. It's March madness and anything can happen in a win or go home situation.
Listening to a radio show in the Southeast and the commentators believe Big Ten is still the best conference... their take is that B10 teams beat each other up and wore each other down.

I thought that was an interesting take from outside B10 country. Ayo and face mask agrees...
 
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#514      
Listening to a radio show in the Southeast and the commentators believe Big Ten is still the best conference... their take is that B10 teams beat each other up and wore each other down.

I thought that was an interesting take from outside B10 country. Ayo and face mask agrees...
The B1G teams also spent the previous weekend in Indy. Some teams never left. Could familiarity have bred a touch of complacency? Maybe it just didn't click w/o the travel? Who knows?
Really weird season. A single elimination tournament's results are just one data point to judge the strength of conferences. I believe the B1G had a lot of really good teams, very few doormats. If NCAA held a much smaller tournament with best of 3 series' the results throughout history would be WILDLY different. We would have a better idea of who the best team was from year to year, but it would probably be less fun on aggregate.

The NCAA tournament is special BECAUSE it is so volatile. Get in and get hot, or go home.
 
#520      
All year long, the Big 10 teams hear people calling the League the best in the country. Over and over. Sport radio guys, bloggers, regular fans. And all the guys on the floor begin to believe that. And, being a top-level brand of competition, they spend the entire regular season beating each other up. Night after night. Big game after big game. They dominate the rankings every week. But they also “spend” themselves and use up their energy.

And then... comes tournament time. And teams from the “lesser” or more ignored conferences are thrilled to be there on the big stage. It’s everything to them. It’s a chance to show they belong. It’s a chance to let people know they are “players” too. And they treat contests with Big 10 teams like their biggest game of the year (and for many of them, it is).

But the Big 10 teams don’t take these “lesser” programs seriously enough. They don’t prepare enough. They don’t bring the same level of passion to the floor before the ball jumps. They get complacent and satisfied. And before they know it, their tourney games with these “lessors” start to get out of hand and they have no answer for it and too quickly they go home looking lost and confused.

This season is a wake up all for the Big 10... or it should be. There are great ballers out there coming from everywhere. The old legacy Blue Bloods are leaking and creaking and grasping to hold on to their lofty perches. But the mid-majors and the “football” conferences and the once-great leagues like the Pac 12 are smelling Blue Blood in the water and they are pouncing. They aren’t going way and they like their new found riches.

This creates a great opportunity for the Orange and Blue. A seat as the Big Table is right there in front of them for the taking. They’ve got some real momentum and buzz and mojo and right now and they need to capitalize on it. They can either seize the moment and grab a Big Chair now or they risk slipping back again and letting these “lessers” and football schools shove them off to the side.

I think the Illini leadership knows this. These guys have done a remarkable job of taking a program from mediocrity to a Number One seed in a quick flash of time. With more development from the on-court raw talent already in house plus the additional of some nice shiny new pieces, that Illini seat at the Big Table is there for the taking.

And please, maybe a little less Big 10 hype and save more energy and preparation and passion for the tournament that really means something.
 
#521      
As far as opinions go, I am looking forward to Loyola getting blown out this weekend by OSU. Then maybe all this #1 defense and Moser is the second coming talk will go away. They got beat handily by Wisconsin for gods sake. Outside of our game they played exactly 1 top 50 team. And they lost. Anyway. Carry on as best you can.