Go Home, Conference Play, You're Drunk

Andy Lyons

Trying to make any sense from the season so far.

Indiana defeats Wisconsin, then loses to Northwestern, both in Assembly Hall.

Nebrasketball beats Ohio State in Lincoln as part of a 4 game Buckeyes losing streak.

Northwestern wins 3 Big Ten games without scoring 60 points in regulation in any of them.

Iowa is the 3rd highest ranked team in conference.

Michigan and Michigan State are the only undefeated teams left in conference play.

The only team below .500 for the season is also the only team searching for its first Big Ten win. That team is Penn State. (OK, that one makes a little bit of sense.)

If all of the above seemed completely logical to you, I recommend you either head to Vegas or to a psychiatrist. Possibly both. Because if you had said at the start of the year that we would be here at this point of the conference season, almost no one would have believed you. (Sorry, Penn State fans.) And yet....

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(If I have to explain to you why Indiana is highlighted on here, go read any of my other articles.)

In order of ranking as listed above, some of the games that prove the conference is drunk and approaching drunj very fast (all commentary and win/loss records as of Wednesday prior to any games tipping off):

  • Michigan State is 0-1 in games where their opponent scored more than 78 points, and 18-0 in games where their opponent scored 78 or fewer.
  • Michigan hasn't lost since December 14th. If not for that loss, Michigan would be undefeated in the Midwest since November 17th.
  • Iowa's only loss is to the team directly below them in the Big Ten standings.
  • Wisconsin's two losses are to the teams ranked 2nd and 10th in the B1G.
  • Minnesota has beaten three teams below them, and lost to three teams above them.
  • Purdue's only game against a team above them was a loss to Minnesota.
  • Northwestern owns two road wins on the season. At Indiana....and at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Ohio State started the season 15-0 (2-0). They have since gone almost 3 weeks without a win.
  • Illinois has not won a conference game where they scored less than 75 points.
  • Indiana is 1-1 against teams ranked #3, and 0-3 against any other top 25 team, this season.
  • Nebraska has more wins against the State of Ohio (1) than they have against the states of Massachusetts, Alabama, Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana combined.
  • Penn State has not won a conference game when they score 76 points or fewer. Conversely, they have only lost three games all season where their opponent has scored 76 points or fewer.
Part of me wants to hope that the craziness will end soon and we can figure out just what the conference will look like in March. The other part of me says that this is the year for YOLO #TeamChaos4Lyfe. One way or another, there's lots of time left in conference play for just about anything to happen. And this year, it just might.
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