The Big Ten Has a Big First Round, Tying the Record for Teams Moving On in the NCAA Tournament

By Johnny Ginter on March 23, 2019 at 11:39 am

Ohio State wasn't the only Big Ten team kicking ass in the first round of the NCAA tournament; six other teams ended up with a win, which tied a record set twice by the Big East.

Some were skeptical about the logic behind putting so many Big Ten teams in the tourney, but it's an approach that's paid off, at least in terms of internal metrics about the relative strengths and weaknesses of college basketball teams nationally.

"We've been saying all year long that it's the most competitive league in the country, top to bottom," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after the 10th-seeded Hawkeyes beat Cincinnati 79-72. "And you sort of expect Big Ten coaches to make those kinds of statements, but the reality is we actually believe it. And so I think it's proving it."

Well, "proving it" to others might have to mean winning a national championship (something that the conference hasn't done since 2000, and no, Maryland in 2002 does not count), but the first round of March Madness was a good start.

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