The Big Ten conference has been one of, if not the most, elite conferences in the country. With five ranked teams and five teams with 20 or more wins, the Big Ten conference is poised to send up to seven teams to the NCAA tournament this year.
As it has become evident, however, that the Big Ten carries just as much quality as quantity. Perennial powerhouses such as Ohio State and Michigan State have been as advertised, and Michigan has surprisingly performed at a high level familiar in years past.
Not to mention the resurgence of Indiana University, as they have proven to be a consistent top 25 team in the nation as well, marking the biggest turnaround of any BCS conference team in the nation.
Wisconsin, despite a slow start, has returned to its traditional high level of play and has had victories over top teams, most notably Indiana and Ohio State.
As Big Ten conference games kicked off, we witnessed that every Big Ten team is competitive despite what their record shows. Northwestern, – currently on the bubble for the NCAA tournament according to ESPN Bracketology – defeated Michigan State back in January when they were ranked No. 7 in the nation.
Also, Nebraska, who is currently second to last in the Big Ten conference, picked up a victory against then No. 13 Indiana. It has not been an easy ride for the normally dominant teams in the Big Ten. From top to bottom, any team in the Big Ten can compete with each other on the same level.
The in-conference battles we have witnessed prove that Big Ten teams can compete with each other, but they can also compete nationally as well. Michigan has a non-conference victory against then No. 8 Memphis, and we all remember the stunning last second win that then unranked Indiana had over No. 1 Kentucky.
The Big Ten has proven that it should be taken seriously and that several teams in the conference can compete for a national title. The Big Ten is set to send up to seven teams to the tournament, which is second most for any conference in the nation to the Big East.
Despite the Big Tens tremendous regular season success, none of it will matter unless these teams perform and represent the conference come March. Selection Sunday is steadily approaching with the tournament to follow, and the Big Ten is poised to make a B1G run.