When will the national media learn that the Big Ten is an overrated basketball conference? Every year, we hear about how great the Big Ten is, and they fail to do anything close to impressive in the tournament. Since 2003, the Big Ten has only had six teams in the NCAA Final Four. The last Big Ten team to actually win a tournament was Michigan State in 2000. Of course, once again, the Big Ten found the Indiana Hoosiers ranked as the best team in the land entering the 2012-13 basketball season.
Let’s be honest – since most of the really great basketball players stick around for only one season, there’s a reason why parity has become such a concern in college basketball. That is why teams like George Mason, Butler (twice) and VCU have crashed the Final Four. The storied program of Indiana hasn’t reached the Final Four during this stretch. Butler, also located in Indiana, has had significantly more tournament success than the Hoosiers (and in an even bigger stroke of irony, those Bulldogs handed the Hoosiers their first defeat).
While there’s a lot of basketball left to be played, Tom Crean certainly has done a solid job rebuilding the program. But to rank the Hoosiers as the top team in the land is a bit premature. Granted they appeared in the Sweet 16 last season before getting smoked by the eventual National Champion Kentucky Wildcats, but that certainly isn’t a reason to give them the top ranking in the land to enter the season.
Regardless of how I feel, until a Big Ten team actually does something in the NCAA tournament, I will consider this an overrated conference. And while the nation wants to see the rebirth of the Indiana Hoosiers, let’s not go crazy quite yet. They have a lot of work to do. I’m not saying that Indiana isn’t a solid basketball team, but to consider this the best team in the land entering this season really isn’t fair.