Wisconsin And Michigan State Are Proof That B1G Is The Best Conference
Unpredictability is one of the best parts of March Madness, and with only days to go from the championships, many fans are shocked at the presence of Big 10 schools in this year's Final Four.
In the beginning of the season, many critics predicted that the conference, usually associated with football, wouldn't have a significant role in this year's tournament.
Not only did they prove basketball is alive and well in the Big 10, they were also the most represented conference in the entire March Madness.
With seven schools from the conference getting in the tournament, and Wisconsin and Michigan State still alive in the Final Four, those critics are now eating their words.
Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky, like other Big 10 supporters, took to Twitter even to poke fun at those who doubted the conference after MSU's overtime victory over Louisville on Sunday in the East Region final.
Remember when everyone said the Big Ten wasn't that good this year? Yea, me too. — Frank Kaminsky III (@FSKPart3) March 29, 2015
The Badgers not only went to Twitter to prove a point, but also to welcome a fellow Big 10 school to the finals.
This is the first time since Illinois and Michigan State fought in the finals during 2005 that the Big 10 has had multiple teams in the Final Four weekend.
The Big 10 has not won a championship since 2000; although, Maryland did win in 2002 as a member of the ACC. The league has put at least one team in the last three Final Fours and five of the last six.
As such, there has been a lot of success over the last few seasons and plenty of reasons to get the conference going forward, not only this March Madness, with hope for the future also.
Big Ten in 2015: - Ohio State wins football National Championship - Michigan State & Wisconsin go to Final Four pic.twitter.com/Lq0Kq8Pw1j — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 29, 2015
At the start of the tournament, only two or three Big 10 schools were ranked in the national poll; now, two teams in the conference are preparing for the Finals weekend.
If both the Spartans and the Badgers pull out a win in the next game, there's a chance for a National Championship with both Big 10 teams.
Last time Wisconsin and MSU faced off was in the Big 10 Tournament and defeated them 80-69.
Before a possible Big 10 rematch, Wisconsin will have an opportunity to make the statement of the year when they face the overall one-seed, Kentucky.
Wisconsin started the tournament with the number one seed in the West, and constantly dominated to earn their spot in the Final Four. Of course, one key player for the Badgers is senior forward and notorious goofball Frank Kaminsky.
Number 44 currently is the Big 10 MVP for this tournament, and with good reason.
Kaminsky is leading the Badgers with 18.7 points on a 54.9 percent shooting, and an average of eight rebounds per game.
Another key player and Big 10 student is Travis Trice who plays for Michigan State. A leader both by actions and by his words, Trice is one of the driving forces for number seven, MSU's Cinderella story.
Compared to him not scoring a single shot in last year's Elite Eight, he now is looking at 15.3 points per game and is known for his three-pointers.
The famous MSU coach, Tom Izzo, has been quoted praising Trice for his attitude, and how he's one of the leaders on the team.
Both MSU and Wisconsin demonstrate the passion for athletics that the Big 10 holds within all the players, coaches and fans.
Although the Badgers and Spartans are rivals as far as this tournament is concerned, there is an undeniable sense of respect for one another when looking at these teams.
Being a part of the Big 10 means those universities support one another -- win or lose — despite any heated rivalries.
For Big 10 universities, success comes with honor. With outstanding performances on the court and plenty of showmanship with skills to match, both Wisconsin and MSU have done a great job representing the Big 10 this tournament.
If this year's March Madness is any indicator, basketball fans might show more faith in the Big 10 when it comes time for next year's brackets.