The Big Ten was once synonymous with college basketball betting greatness. The best coaches, the best players, the best teams in the NCAA odds could all be found in the Big Ten. But over the past decade or two this conference has slowly declined, to the point where there was little fear of playing a Big Ten team in the NCAA tournament.
But times change and the Big Ten’s aura is back. This year, with the exception of the Big East, no conference in basketball betting has been as dominant and as talented as the Big Ten. It has once again climbed into the ranks of the elite conferences in NCAA odds, arguably for the first time since the days of the Fab Five at Michigan.
In fact, basketball betting odds are very good that there will be at least one Big Ten team in the Final Four and very likely a Big Ten rep in the NCAA odds finals.
Only the Big East and the Big 12 have more teams in the 25 rankings (5 apiece) than the Big Ten’s four ranked teams. And that changes almost weekly as the Big Ten has had between 4-5 teams a week in the rankings.
This year the Big Ten is so competitive it’s hard to pick one dominant team in the conference. Two teams that have been at the head of the class all year and are likely the favorites to reach the Final Four are Michigan State and Purdue.
The Spartans are currently ranked 11th in the country but have some big wins under their belt and are likely a 2 seed when the tournament begins. The Boilermakers have worked their way up the #4 ranking after some recent key wins and have an outside chance of receiving a #1 seed when the Tournament committee meets.
And that’s to say nothing about teams like #9 Ohio State or #14 Wisconsin that could just as easily fight their way to at least an Elite Eight berth or perhaps even more.