The Big Ten’s reputation as the best conference in college basketball this season took a serious beating in the first 24 hours of the NCAA Tournament.
No. 2 seed Ohio State and No. 4 Purdue both suffered stunning losses on Friday to Oral Roberts and North Texas, respectively. Add Michigan State’s loss to UCLA in the First Four on Thursday and the Big Ten is just 1-3 so far in NCAA Tournament action, with 9th-seeded Wisconsin providing the league’s only win. Remarkably, all three of the defeats came in overtime, making things all the more heartbreaking.
For much of the season, the Big Ten was lauded for its depth and high-end talent. Nine of the league’s members made the tournament, and four of those teams were among the top eight seeds in the entire field. Now, with one of those top eight seeds out and two other members of the conference going home with them, the internet had a field day trashing the league’s status.
More like bLg
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) March 20, 2021
"Always bet against the Big Ten in the NCAA tournament" remains good advice
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 20, 2021
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 20, 2021
Lemme check on the Big Ten real quick… pic.twitter.com/cKajCWixwb
— Josh (@TheZagaholic) March 20, 2021
Conference NET ranking:
Big Ten is the best basketball conference in the country in 2021
Scott Drew coaching tree: pic.twitter.com/N177NvATHm
— Kevin Goll (@KGatEB) March 20, 2021
Big Ten so far pic.twitter.com/zA7Mp7jprV
— Inside the Hall (@insidethehall) March 20, 2021
If there’s any good news for the Big Ten, it’s that three of its best teams, including both of its top seeds, have yet to play. At this point, though, the conference is going to be relying on Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa to salvage its reputation. One of those teams has a pretty significant injury concern, which might make the conference’s hopes look even shakier in the later rounds.
The post Twitter crushes Big Ten after series of early upsets appeared first on Larry Brown Sports.
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