We’re 1.5 rounds in to the 2021 NCAA Tournament and only three of the Big Ten’s nine representatives are still alive. And if there’s one person you know is going to rip the conference over that, it’s Paul Finebaum.
During a radio spot for WJOX in Birmingham, the SEC analyst made it clear that the regular season does not matter when it comes to college basketball. He pointed out that March (Madness) is where all of the important things happen. Finebaum believes that fans won’t look back on what their teams did in the regular season if they get axed in the middle of the Tournament.
“It doesn’t really matter in basketball what you do in the regular season,” Finebaum said, via 247Sports. “If you bomb in March, you’re a disaster. That’s just the way it’s always been, where football is different. Notre Dame beat Clemson in the middle of the season, and even though they looked bad down the stretch and losing in the rematch and losing to Alabama, they still had something to hang their hat on. I don’t think too many Michigan fans, if they get knocked out today, are going to be showing the video of our win over Ohio State on the second Sunday in February. March matters. It matters the most. And this is where careers are made.”
The nine schools representing the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament was the most of any conference. But as of writing they don’t have a single representative in the Sweet 16.
Michigan State was the first domino to fall, losing in the First Four to UCLA. But while they were just a fringe team, the heavy-hitters quickly followed.
No. 2 Ohio State were stunned by No. 15 Oral Roberts on the first day of the First Round. No. 4 Purdue were similarly knocked out by No. 13 North Texas later that day.
While Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Illinois all took care of business in the First Round, disappointment awaited them on Sunday. All three of those schools were beaten on Sunday in what was an 0-3 day for the Big Ten.
Is Paul Finebaum right about the Big Ten?