Take a look at the probable NCAA Tourney seedings...
Ohio State (7)
Then take a look at the B1G hoops standings...(not a typo, Northwestern has the fourth best conference record currently)
You're going to have to come to one of two conclusions at this midway point of the B1G season:
Either (1) The conference is far deeper than one could have possibly imagined, as any team can beat any team on any given night, as we've seen so far...
Or (2) The conference is far weaker than we possibly imagined, as any team can beat any team on any given night.
Option (2) looks more like a realistic thought. Why?
The B1G's unranked, NIT- joining masses are more than capable of beating anyone in the conference. That speaks more to sustained mediocrity and lack of exceptional teams than tremendous depth.
The standard bearer, MSU, is talented but perpetually injured.
The early positive buzz around Wisconsin and Ohio State has been squashed; each team has a tremendous weakness that will stop them from pulling a high NCAA seed, one being unable to play consistent D, one unable to score the basketball.
Of course this could be standard overreaction to the across-the-board difficulty of playing in the B1G. But if you want to continue the "B1G Best Hoops Conference" national reputation, there has to be some strong teams, some lead dogs that carry that reputation. Right now, almost all the teams look middle of the road.
The counterpoint to this argument? There is no "Best Conference in College Hoops" in 2013-14. The Big 12's early leader, Oklahoma State, has five conference losses. The Pac12 has five teams at 5-4 in conference play; that same Pac12 has seven (7) teams picked to be in the NCAA Tourney. Could it be that we were so spoiled by last year's bumper crop of awesomeness that we see what's truly a "deep" B1G conference and instead believe it's mediocre?