Big Ten Is Running the College Basketball Show
Going back to January 7, the Ohio State Buckeyes have lost four straight Big Ten games — a rare occurrence. When the Buckeyes’ losing streak commenced, they were ranked third in the country; now, they’re No. 17. They’ve shown more than a few weaknesses these past four games, like losing back-to-back to unranked teams, but the struggles can also be ascribed to a very tough Big Ten.
Now that the college basketball season is about 20 games in and more than half over, it’s tough to think that a ranked team can still be overrated or that a sub-.500 team might be dramatically underrated. Since the conference season started in late December, it has yet to disappoint.
The Big Ten has been a perfect example of parity amongst teams. Just look at Nebraska: Its 1-4 conference record is second to last. But the Cornhuskers lost a home nail-biter against Michigan on January 9 that went down to the last shot falling just short and then defeated the 17th-ranked Buckeyes at home on January 20. Whether it’s Nebraska or winless Penn State, the Big Ten’s “bad” teams emphasize the conference’s depth and quality of play.
Winning in general has proved to be no small task this season, but winning on the road even more so, something true of college basketball as a whole. The major basketball conferences that have continually had the most ranked teams this season and been the most consistent from top to bottom (the ACC, Big Ten, and Big 12) currently have a road win percentage of just 42.3 percent. Alone, the Big Ten checks in a hair less at 42.1 percent.