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Big Ten Basketball Scheduling: Is it keeping the conference from an NCAA Tournament Title?

Maryland’s Kevin Willard has some thoughts on the matter. But is he right?

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Green Akers: Oh cool, we’ve got another complete fucking clown in this league:

beezer07: “The B1G doesn’t win titles because its schedule is too hard” would make sense if the titles weren’t concentrated among like 6 non B1G teams.

BuffKomodo: The Big Ten title drought has way more to do with the lack of All-American guards and coaching fuck ups. Scheduling may be on the list of reasons but it’s in the mid double digits, perhaps triple digits.

misdreavus79: Let’s be real, if Maryland had gotten 7 home games to start the season (instead of the other way around), Willard wouldn’t be saying shit.

Also, apparently he pulled this schtick at Seton Hall, too.

Kind of...: The Big Ten’s title drought is also just a fluke. 0-14 in Final Four appearances; 0-7 in title games since then. Statistical fluke. Bad timing in some cases.As for Willard, he has a 2-5 NCAA tournament record. Would he be 0-5 without the Big East’s scheduling help?

MNW: So basically we’re going for a kind of 2010s SEC football thing here? “AIN’T GOT THE STUFF IN THE BIG TEN PAWWWWWWL LOOK AT ALL THEM ‘BAMA TITLES anywaygovolsimmahangupandlissen” stuff?

Cool, bud. Glad piss-pounding DePaul and St. John’s didn’t tucker your ol’ Big East clubs out.

Larry31: The hot take is the Ermann tweet, probably intended to increase Ermann’s visibility. Ermann’s actual article goes into more depth and Willard makes some valid points.

To his point, the inconsistent recuperation time between games is definitley an issue. This includes game time, 9 pm versus 7 pm, day of the week (Tu-Th mid-week game with a Sa-Su weekned game) and away versus home. You can almost predict the upsets based on the extra day’s rest and lack of travel betwwen one opponent and the other.

Now, to credit the Big East’s much fairer and balanced scheduling on Villanova’s National Championship success? That’s a bridge too far, not to mention being disrespectful to Jay Wright.

I applaud any coach who brings up valid complaints. Willard brings it, and definitely doesn’t do the passive-aggressive whining thing. Agree or not, at least he is saying it loud and clear. Willard did a saavy thing by praising Painter and Izzo as top notch coaches who should have National Championship success, but don’t because, in his opinion, the teams are too beat up by the end of the season.

The one thing he didn’t say was the Big Ten’s wacky and unfair scheduling [not just Maryland, all teams reap benefits and get punished by it] is the cost of making more money. It’s probably wise that he didn’t bring this up.

Nevertheless, if you accept Willard’s premise that the wacky scheduling is grueling and wears the teams down by the end of the season, then the Big Ten is sacrificing post-season success for more revenue by maximizing televison broadcasting and streaming exposure.

To be fair to Willard, let’s continue to monitor the Big Ten’s NCAA performance since it invoked the 20-game conference schedule five years ago. My recollection is the Big Ten’s NCAA tournament performances have declined since they intituted the 20-game conference schedule.

misdreavus79: On the Big Ten title drought: Only recently has the Big Ten failed to get multiple teams past the first weekend. Let’s not forget that Wisconsin made two final fours back to back, one of which was a title game appearance. Michigan State has also made several final four appearances, with some leading to the title game. Michigan was how close to a title in 2013? Illinois has another appearance, albeit a lot farther out. The Big Ten has had no problem competing “as a conference.”

In fact, the Big Ten has a lot more variety in who makes it out. How many Big East teams have reached the final Four again? You’ll have to go all the way back to “when the Big East had football” to find a team other than Villanova.

On Maryland’s horrendous, good for nothing “three” road games in a row: You play 7 home games in the last two months of the season, three of which are consecutive (and actually consecutive, not the “one home game now, two more a month later” variety). If you want Maryland to get special treatment, maybe take Maryland to a point where they deserve special treatment. Win more than one Big Ten title in your entire time in the conference, and hold a better-than-.500 record against a team with zero NCAA tournament appearances in 11 years, and then we can talk about giving Maryland special treatment.

Because let’s be real, Willard isn’t complaining about scheduling. Willard is complaining about Maryland not getting the easiest path to a No. 1 seed.


Does Kevin Willard have a point?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    (59 votes)
  • 23%
    Sure, but he ain’t the guy to be making it.
    (39 votes)
  • 28%
    Yeah, but he goes a little overboard.
    (47 votes)
  • 11%
    Absolutely, 100%, go Terps.
    (18 votes)
163 votes total Vote Now