Blog Entry

Ignore the Big 10 at your Own Demise: A treatise

Posted on: March 9, 2009 1:09 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2009 3:26 pm

I feel that we need to put this out there, not because this is a new topic but because it is a runaway topic.  How do I know? My wife was listening in to the MSU- Purdue post game from CBS and asked me "Why do those guys not like the Big 10?. 

During the '4 question' part of the discussion, the comment was made, that "Surprisingly, . . . I do think that the Big 10 should be in the discussion about a #1 seed.  They have an impressive resume, but ---- the Big East and the ACC are so dominant over them."  her question was "what is surprising about a team that wins a major conference by 4 games and might be considered to get the top seed?"

Why are so many down on the Big 10?  Defense. Writers and Networks hate it, nearly as much as  fans from opposing schools.  But it wins. 

Here is an NBA example that you may remember-  In 2004 the Pistons made it to the NBA Finals against the Lakers.  The discussion was not who would win the title, but whether the Lakers would win in 4 or 5 games.  For a week.  If you remember, that was won by the Pistons in 5.  With Defense.  Since then, the NBA and writers and fans have done all they can do to deride that kind of play.  I will never forget the deflation ESPN and Sportcenter had as the Pistons cruised.  They were really down on that style.

Fast-Forward to 2009 and the Big 10.  The same dynamic is happening.  The Big 10 has become a defensive quagmire, probably due to officiating that 'lets the bigs play.'  Whatever, but Outside of the Big 10, everyone hates it.  Or is jealous.  The Big 10 plays defense.  Hard. 

Michigan beat Duke.  Michigan is not that good.  Illinois beat Louisville, and the Illini are not that good.  Yes, UNC thrashed MSU earlier this year, but Suton was out, Raymar was sick, and Delvon Roe was coming off of 2 knee surgeries a few months earlier.  They were riddled with problems.  There is some equity between the two conferences. 

Beyond that, it is incomprehensible that the same team that DESTROYED Pitt last year (with speed and defense) minus Neitzel but plus Draymond Green, Korey Lucious, and Delvon Roe (a better team) is not considered even on their par.  They out rebounded them 33-20.  Bobby Knight picked Pitt as a lock, as did many others.

I watched the Duke UNC game and I paid attention to the guards and where they picked each other up.  They lay WAY back on the point guard when defending.  Also, I saw that the defenses keep the paint well defended, but give up the 12-18 footers much easier. 

The result is less turnovers. Good for TV.  More Scoring.  Good for TV.   Dominant (help) inside play, complete with double and triple teams.  TV loves the blocks, and dunks, the only way to score with 4 men in the paint. 

We shall see if defense matters.  My feeling is that it does a little bit.











Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: March 12, 2009 12:58 pm

Ignore the Big 10 at your Own Demise: A treatise

I am not here to say that the nominating committee concerns themselves with ratings of the games.  I do believe that Non- Big 10 writers, coaches, and fans (the B10 IS out numbered remember) are quick to dismiss defense.  You can't statistically quantify it as easily as offense.  On offense you get PPG, TO, ASS, ASS/TO, FG%, FT%, 3PT% and more.  Defense? BLKS and STLs.  Rebounds go any way, O ro D so they wash.  So if I am a writer who is trying to quantify Creighton vs. Northwestern, or the Big East vs. Big 10,  I will look at offensive categories.

They are influenced by the media though, so the media does hold of power in this equation.  EXAMPLE:  Memphis's style of play.  But really, who have they beat of consequence this year?  Tennessee (22) is the best team they have beaten, and Gonzaga (30) is the next best.  They lost to (0-2) all of the better teams they played, Xavier (15) and Syracuse (17).  This is not a #1 seed.

As the Big 10 gobbles up as-large bids, writers are puzzled and bothered to find out that there is a style of play that doesn't fit the stats matrix.

I agree- BUT - if the Spartans win Friday, they are a lock for a #1, since the end of the finals (Sunday at 5:30PM?) will be when the committee is already finished filling the field. 

So GO SPARTYS!!!!!!!



Since: May 11, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2009 11:35 pm

Ignore the Big 10 at your Own Demise: A treatise

Well stated Breaston.  All this time I was the only paranoid one.  I cannot wait to see what happens when State gets a chance at full strength tocplay against 1 or 2 of the top ACC and Big East teams.  The thing no one even wants to address is the MSU record against the top 50 RPI rated teams, 12-2.  This dwarfs anything that any top 15 team accomplished this year.  A number #1 ranking should be a lock if they win the BIG TEN Tourney.  The only thing that could screw that up is the composition of the selection committee.  I wonder how they think, TV ratings or solid team play even if it means boring?




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