Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/9/13
If there is a time for the Big Ten to exert their dominance in basketball, this is it! The conference has just suffered another poor football season, has been hit by scandal, and its teams continue to lose bowl games (2-5 in bowls this season). It is time for Big Ten basketball to rise to new heights; it’s time for the Big Ten to produce a national champion. The Big Ten has always been well represented in the NCAA tournament, with a couple of teams having the ability to stay on the dance floor for a while, but this season is unlike many others. Michigan State and Ohio State are not the only legitimate contenders for a national championship. This is a conference full of teams that have the ability to get not only to the Sweet 16, but the Final Four. Nearly a quarter of the top 25 spots belong to the Big Ten, with six teams currently ranked. Michigan (2), Indiana (5), and Minnesota (8) are all potential no.1 seeds.  Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois are teams I wouldn’t bet against, either. If there is a conference that has the ability to get three teams in the Final Four, it’s the Big Ten. This is no attempt to discount the other strong teams or conferences in the country, but the strongest teams that these top-25  Big Ten schools will face this season are each other. This is a conference that needs something big and positive to happen. These schools have the ability to get the Big Ten its first national champion in basketball since Michigan State won it in 2000, and the first national champion in a major sport since Ohio State’s 2002 football squad. The conference has put solid teams on the court for years, but it’s time for something bigger and better. Will one of these teams rise to the top, or just be the latest letdown in the struggling conference?
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