Eleven Questions About the Big Ten's Postseason

Ben JohnsonContributor IMarch 9, 2009

The Big Ten regular season has wrapped, and the conference tournament tips off Thursday in Indianapolis. With Selection Sunday just six days away, it’s time to ask the tough questions.

1. Does Michigan State Deserve a No. 1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament?

The Spartans don’t have a plethora of high profile non-conference wins. They beat Texas but lost to Maryland and were stomped by North Carolina. They are fourth in the RPI, but they need to make it to the Big Ten Tournament final to have a realistic shot at a No. 1 seed. (Dickie V is on ESPN Radio as I write this, saying that the Spartans have no chance, even if they win the conference tournament.)

2. Will Northwestern Make the NCAA Tournament for the First Time in School History?

No. A win at Ohio State and a win or two in the Big Ten Tournament, and the Wildcats would have had a compelling story. But they lost at Ohio State, and they’re not going to win the conference tournament.

3. Will a Team from the Big Ten’s Bottom Half Make a Run to the Conference’s Championship Game?

No, not this year, not even Michigan.

4. If the University of Chicago Was Still in the Conference, Would They Beat Indiana?

Yes. They would have swept the season series.

5. Will B.J. Mullens Be Ohio State’s Third Consecutive Big Man To Be “One-and-Done”?

Yes. A friend of mine explains it like this: A true seven-footer is like a high school lefty who can throw 90 miles per hour. Their skills don’t matter; they are in high demand based on genetic makeup alone. Hey, it’s better to be lucky than good.

6. How Many Big Ten Teams Will Go Dancing?

The Columbus Dispatch says eight, and ESPN’s Joe Lunardi agrees. I’d love to see that happen, and the conference is deserving, but will the committee really give the Big Ten more bids than both the Big East and the ACC? I think seven is more likely. Even though Penn State has a lower RPI, Michigan will end up on the outside looking in (see: No. 3).

7. Is Purdue Pete Still the Big Ten’s Lamest Mascot?


8. When Is the Last Time Penn State Made the NCAA Tournament?

2001. (Joe Paterno was only 96 years old.)

9. If Toledo Was a Member of the Big Ten, Would They Beat Indiana?

Yes. They would have swept the season series.

10. Why Don’t All the Conference Teams Paint the Big Ten Logo Just Below the Foul Line?

Seriously, why don’t they? It looks cool!

11. Why Doesn’t the Big Ten Rotate the Tournament Between Multiple Cities?

They are idiots. Rotating the tournament between Indianapolis, Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Milwaukee...okay, maybe not Milwaukee...would bring a nice economic boost to those cities and let more fans in on the fun. They should do this with the women’s tournament too.