Wee big ten tournament weeeeeeeeeeee!
Here is a table of every team in the Big Ten Tournament finals game from 2003-2012. The only team omitted was the 2008 Illinois team, because although they made the finals of the tournament, they were a #10 seed and didn’t end up getting a tournament berth. In total, there are 19 teams.
So, to sum up the table, I sorted it by rank, and within each ranking section, recency. I color-coded each team to make it easier on the eyes (you’re welcome).
First, let’s look at something obvious. Ohio State has made the finals seven times in the past nine years, going 3-4 that stretch. In their three wins, they were ranked #1, #5 and #1 in the AP poll afterwards. In their four losses, they were #7, unranked, #6 and unranked in the AP poll after. After their wins, Ohio State made it to the Sweet 16 twice and lost in the National Championship once. In their losses, they’ve made it out of the first round two times: one time, they were eliminated the next round and the other time they made the Final Four. On average, once Ohio State made the Big Ten Tournament finals in the past nine years, they advanced 3.0 rounds, which is Sweet 16. Obviously, they’re expectations were never high when they entered the tournament finals unranked in 2003 and in 2009.
Other than that, there’s only a couple of things worth noting. One of those is this: in 2007, #1 in the country Ohio State played #3 in the country Wisconsin, defeating them 66-49. Ohio State played up to their expectations in the NCAA Tournament, eventually losing to Florida in the National Championship. Wisconsin, however, was upset in the second round by UNLV.
The other big surprise was Iowa in 2006. They finished off the season with a victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament championship, and got a 3 seed in the tournament. In their first game, they were upset by 14 seed Northeastern, 64-63.
Since 2003, teams who have at least made the Big Ten tournament have advanced 2.74 rounds, somewhere between the Round of 32 and the Sweet 16. Teams who won the Big Ten Tournament have advanced 3.2 rounds on average, somewhere between the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. Teams who have lost the Big Ten tournament average elimination after 2.22 rounds, between the Round of the 32 and the Sweet 16.