College Basketball – The Big Ten Circle of Parity

The only thing missing in the big parity circle of the Big Ten basketball season was for Penn State to beat someone. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for Michigan, that win eventually came, meaning the every team in the best conference in College basketball has lost to someone in it this season.

The Big Ten has 5 teams in the Top 25, including the number one Indiana, and some predict they’ll be putting 7 teams, more than anyone else, into the NCAA Tournament this season.

So Penn State beat Michigan 84-78 to put them at 1-14 this season in the conference. Michigan are 10-5 in conference play, having beaten Ohio State as their entry to the circle. Ohio State have the same record in conference play, but are ranked 12 places below the Wolverines in the AP Top 25, and get their entry thanks to their win over Purdue on the road.

On to Purdue, who are 6-9 in conference play. The Boilermakes have lost four of their last five games, but enter the circle with a 65-56 away win at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are tied for second-worst in the conference at 4-11, but do have their win over Northwestern to brag about. The Wildcats are also 4-11, but still make the list thanks to their win over Minnesota.

The Golden Gophers, soon to be back in the top 25, are 7-8 in conference play, but have beaten Indiana recently. To get into the flowchart comfortably, we show their win over Illinois. The Fighting Illini are also 4-5 in conference play, but are one of the few teams to beat Indiana (74-72) this season. The Hoosiers are leading the conference with a 12-3 record, and their most impressive win so far has to be at Michigan State.

The Spartans are flying under the radar, as always, but they are probably slightly inferior to the Hoosiers, getting in to the circle upon their win against Iowa, who are also 7-8 in the conference. The Hawkeyes get in thanks to their win over Wisconsin, who are a nightmare to play at home, losing only twice at Madison. They get in thanks to their win over Penn State, completing the cycle.