The Big Ten and Avengers: Infinity War have a lot in common. The Big Ten makes a lot of money, but wins no titles. Marvel movies make a lot of money, but win no Oscars. We’ve all spent way too much time watching both. In fact, the only meaningful difference I can think of is that nobody bitches when the Avengers all head off to New York City.
In anticipation of Friday’s premiere, here are the fourteen Big Ten basketball programs as MCU characters:
Ohio State: Tony Stark
Apart from both of them having a ton of money, Tony Stark was able to build the first prototype of the Iron Man suit in a cave with a box of scraps.
Michigan State: Thor
Tom Izzo is from the upper peninsula, which is like the Scandinavia of Michigan. Nothing can really touch Thor so long as he wields his magical hammer. Take his hammer away, though, and things could get dicey.
The younger brother of Thor who is allegedly less loved. Loki tries to seize Odin’s throne, tries to use a tesseract to take over the world, and tries to make Sister Jean cry by ending Loyola’s magical run. Loki is never the one standing on top at the end—there’s always a handsome hero who thwarts him—but he can rest assured that he’s the fan favorite who overshadowed his big brother and completely stole the show.
Iowa: The Hulk
“You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”
Illinois: Steve Rogers
Steve Rogers has given up his identity as Captain America. Illinois has given up its identity as a good basketball team. Plus they both have that patriotic shield thing going on.
Indiana: Nick Fury
Nick Fury was the heart and soul of the Avengers, but now it seems that Samuel L. Jackson is not (officially) appearing in Infinity War. Indiana was once the class of the conference, but now it seems that they are not appearing in the postseason, relegated only to a minor cameo role.
Northwestern: Doctor Strange
On November 4, 2016, Doctor Strange debuted in theaters. One week later, the 2016-17 Northwestern Wildcats debuted in Welsh-Ryan. Doctor Strange went on to make over 600 million dollars. Northwestern went on to make the NCAA tournament. Plus Benedict Cumberbatch is known for playing really smart guys that are socially aloof. That seems like a pretty good fit.
Maryland: Spider Man
Spider Man isn’t part of the Avengers. He’s off over in his own films.
Wait, Marvel got the rights to Spidey back? Yasssss.
(For that last joke, I wanted to use a picture of Maryland defeating an ACC opponent in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, but did you know they are 0-4 as a Big Ten school in that event? Wtf, Terrapins?)
He’s a white guy who can shoot.
Nebraska: Guardians of the Galaxy
A bunch of misfits come together to save the galaxy. And by “the galaxy”, we mean Tim Miles’ job.
Purdue: Black Panther
The Wakandans use vibranium to develop advanced technology and isolate themselves * from the world by posing as a Third World country.
Minnesota: Ant Man
Ant-Man shrinks, just like Minnesota’s roster.
Penn State: X-Men
OK, so the X-Men don’t appear in the MCU, but they have found success in some other films.