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Is the Big 10 making a comeback?

Well, it’s still too early to tell.  What we do know heading into the season’s second weekend is this … no Bigbig_ten 10 team has lost – yet (Michigan plays Duke tonight, 11/21).  Of course, no one thought the Wolverines would upend UCLA in the 2K Sports Classic semifinals.  In another early-season matchup of power conferences, Illinois ended Vanderbilt’s 20-game home winning streak on Thursday.  We know that Purdue,Michigan State, and Wisconsin are pretty good.  Ohio State should be, depends on how well the young players mesh.  What we didn’t know to start the season was this …. could the middle-of-the-pack teams step it up and make the Big 10 worth mentioning as a power conference.

The early showings away from home by Michigan and the Illini suggest it’s not impossible.  The other team in the mix is Minnesota.  They too have some young talent and a proven coach.  If even two of these three can build on some early momentum, the Big 10 (or 11 or whatever) might actually send a fifth or, gulp, sixth team to the NCAA Tournament.

Early notes:  Manny Harris of Michigan showed why he’s a preseason all-Big 10 performer, scoring 15 michigan9points against UCLA.  DeShawn Sims added 18.  The Wolverines will need Harris to be consistent.  As for the Illini, Demetri McCamey scored 23 for the Illini.  He will be the team’s No. 1 option – at least until Alex Legion becomes eligible in mid-December.

ACC-Big 10 Showdown as a guage:  As for featured matchups …

  • Michigan @ Maryland 
  • Michigan State vs. North Carolina
  • Illinois vs. Clemson 
  • Purdue vs. Duke
  • Wisconsin @ Virginia Tech
  • Minnesota vs. Virginia

To show improvement, the Big 10 will need to win at least half of these games.  Strength is measured at the top, not the bottom.  Check back in about two weeks.  Yes, non-conference tilts between power leagues effects seeding and selection come March.

Categories: Conference News
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