Making Big Ten Basketball Divisions: The Data

Let me start out by saying this: I am glad that the Big Ten decided against making basketball divisions. They are a bad idea. Each team plays each other at least once no matter what, so breaking the twelve teams into two divisions is fairly pointless. A second guaranteed game between traditional rivals would be nice, but the conference has survived without that since Penn State joined in 1993.

That being said, the process that the Big Ten used to break the football teams into divisions was pretty interesting. Rather than worry about geography, their first priority was competitive balance. Maintaining rivalries was the second most important consideration.

Since college students just recently returned to campus, it's a good time for an academic exercise. We are going to make Big Ten basketball divisions. Just like with football, competitive balance is the most important factor. Rivalry considerations will only be made to break ties between teams.

This will be a multiple post exercise; next week we'll propose some divisions and compare them. This first post is just to see how everyone stacks up. Click on to see the resumes for each team in the Big Ten since 1993, the same time period that was used to determine football divisions.

Note: I did not change the records for vacated seasons and titles (cheating paid off in this instance). Nebraska's stats are for the Big 8/12. The team's rank in a particular category is in parentheses. 

 

Illinois

Overall Record: 402-198 .670 (2nd)

Conference Record: 181-123 .595(4th)

Conference Championships: 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005 (3rd)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 2003, 2005 (tied for 2nd)

NIT Appearances: 2 (tied for 7th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 14 (3rd)

Final Fours: 2005 (tied for 3rd)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Indiana

Overall Record: 328-231 .587 (6th)

Conference Record: 161-143 .530 (6th)

Conference Championships: 2002 (tied for 6th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 0 (tied for 9th)

NIT Appearances: 1 (tied for 10th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 13 (tied for 4th)

Final Fours: 2002 (tied for 3rd)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Iowa

Overall Record: 314-255 .552 (9th)

Conference Record: 134-170 .441 (tied for 8th)

Conference Championships: 0 (tied for 8th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 2001, 2006 (tied for 2nd)

NIT Appearances: 5 (tied for 3rd)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 6 (tied for 8th)

Final Fours: 0 (tied for 7th)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Michigan

Overall Record: 324-254 .561 (8th)

Conference Record: 142-162 .467 (tied for 7th)

Conference Championships: 0 (tied for 8th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 1998 (tied for 6th)

NIT Appearances: 5 - 1997, 2004 Champs (tied for 4th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 6 (tied for 8th)

Final Fours: 0 (tied for 7th)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Michigan State

Overall Record: 413-187 .688 (1st)

Conference Record: 201-103 .661 (1st)

Conference Championships: 1998-2001, 2009-2010 (tied for 1st)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 1999, 2000 (tied for 2nd)

NIT Appearances: 2 (tied for 7th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 16 (1st)

Final Fours: 1999-2001, 2005, 2009-2010 (1st)

National Championships: 2000 (1st)

 

Minnesota

Overall Record: 327-244 .573 (7th)

Conference Record: 134-170 .441 (tied for 8th)

Conference Championships: 1997 (tied for 6th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 0 (tied for 9th)

NIT Appearances: 6 - 1998 Champs (2nd)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 7 (7th)

Final Fours: 1997 (tied for 3rd)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Nebraska

Overall Record: 306-265 .536 (10th)

Conference Record: 112-170 .397 (10th)

Conference Championships: 0 (tied for 8th)

Big 8 Tournament Championships: 1994 (tied for 6th)

NIT Appearances: 9 - 1996 Champs (1st)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 2 (11th)

Final Fours: 0 (tied for 7th)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Northwestern

Overall Record: 227-311 .422 (12th)

Conference Record: 76-228 .250 (12th)

Conference Championships: 0 (tied for 8th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 0 (tied for 9th)

NIT Appearances: 4 (6th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 0 (12th)

Final Fours: 0 (tied for 7th)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Ohio State

Overall Record: 374-209 .642 (5th)

Conference Record: 167-136 .551 (5th)

Conference Championships: 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 (tied for 1st)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 2002, 2007, 2010-2011 (1st)

NIT Appearances: 1 (tied for 10th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 9 (6th)

Final Fours: 1999, 2007 (2nd)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Penn State

Overall Record: 257-288 .422 (11th)

Conference Record: 100-204 .329 (11th)

Conference Championships: 0 (tied for 8th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 0 (tied for 9th)

NIT Appearances: 5 - 2009 Champs (tied for 3rd)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 3 (10th)

Final Fours: 0 (tied for 7th)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Purdue

Overall Record: 381-202 .654 (4th)

Conference Record: 187-117 .615 (2nd)

Conference Championships: 1994-1996, 2010 (4th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 2009 (tied for 6th)

NIT Appearances: 2 (tied for 7th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 13 (tied for 4th)

Final Fours: 0 (tied for 7th)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

Wisconsin

Overall Record: 387-191 .670 (3rd)

Conference Record: 186-118 .612 (3rd)

Conference Championships: 2002, 2003, 2008 (5th)

Big Ten Tournament Championships: 2004, 2008 (tied for 2nd)

NIT Appearances: 1 (tied for 10th)

NCAA Tournament Appearances: 15 (2nd)

Final Fours: 2000 (tied for 3rd)

National Championships: 0 (tied for 12th)

 

We'll be back next week to break down the stats and start dividing the teams into divisions. Feel free to start making your own divisions in the comments.

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