The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Big Ten better than the rest

    Ever since I was a little guy, I have always been super pumped for the Big Ten basketball season to begin. Like, crossing-off-days-on-the-calendar-with-my-red-sharpie pumped.

    I’m not talking about all those non-conference games against teams like Idaho, Rice or Chaminade. No, the games of the season when it comes down to the brutal, pick and roll, grind-it-out 45-44 wins for the Badgers.

    That is exactly what happened Saturday when Wisconsin played Minnesota at the Kohl Center. Seriously, that was the score at the end of the game.

    Some people might say those games are unbearable to watch, and I disagree wholeheartedly. What could be better than a close game down the stretch where every bucket and every free throw counts? Not much I’d say.

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    That brings me to my biggest point here: the Big Ten is the best conference in basketball.

    Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio State are all contenders to not only make the tournament, but make a legitimate run.

    The Big Ten currently houses five nationally ranked teams including Michigan and Indiana, the number one and three team in the nation, respectively.

    Michigan State needs to be in the discussion solely based on Tom Izzo alone. The dude knows how to win tournament games. Who knows how, but he is constantly a thorn in Wisconsin’s side for sure.

    Teams like Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota might have more to prove just because they are a little raw and have been inconsistent in conference play, but again, all of that can change with a couple good wins.

    The conference is deep. If we are going by ridiculous logic, the third to last team in the conference, Iowa is better than the #1 team (Michigan) in the nation. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

    Iowa beat Wisconsin.
    Wisconsin beat Minnesota.
    Minnesota beat Michigan State.
    Michigan State beat Ohio State.
    Ohio State gave Michigan their one and only loss. Boom.

    I’m not saying that this is foolproof science by any means, but it proves my point that anything can happen in this conference and the upcoming games in the Big Ten should not be ignored.

    I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season plays out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more than one team makes the trip to Atlanta, Ga. to play in the Final Four come tournament time.

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    Big Ten better than the rest