February 22, 2011

NCAA Basketball: The Big Ten Conference – Conference map, with venues, capacities, and 2009-10 average attendances; and teams’ Big Ten titles and NCAA Tournament histories.

Filed under: NCAA Men's Basketball,NCAA/bk->Big Ten — admin @ 11:26 am

2010-11 Big Ten Basketball

ESPN/NCAA Basketball.
Big Ten standings at ESPN site, here.
Big Ten athletics site/2011 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, here.

AP Poll (from ESPN site).
The AP poll for Week 16 (Feb. 21) has Duke #1 (up from 5th), Ohio State #2 (=), Kansas #3 (down from 1st), Pitt #4 (=), and Texas #5 (down from 4th). [Btw, the San Diego State Azrecs are #6, so one might want to keep an eye on that Cinderella story.] Other Big Ten teams beside Ohio State in the top 25 are: Purdue at #8, and Wisconsin at #12.

Bracketology column by Shawn Siegel at, from Feb. 21, here. Siegel projects these 5 Big Ten teams into the Tournament, if the season ended now…a #1 seed: Ohio State; a #2 seed: Purdue; a #4 seed; Wisconsin; a #10 seed: Illinois; and a #12 seed: Michigan State.

The Big Ten has existed as a sporting institution since 1896. The original sport the conference teams competed in was, of course, gridiron football. The first season that basketball was featured as a competition was in 1905-06. That makes this the 106th season of Big Ten Basketball. The first champion was Wisconsin, who went 6-1 in 1905-06. For the first 92 seasons, the regular season winner was champion (and there were several instances of dual champions or three-way co-champions). The Big Ten took a long time to finally get around to having a tournament to decide their basketball champion…not until 1998. The first champion of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament was Michigan, but that title has been vacated by the NCAA, because of a string of violations that fall under the aegis of The University of Michigan basketball scandal. Titles and statistics listed in the profile boxes on the map page all call into account the vacated titles and statistics of each team…besides Michigan, five other Big ten schools’ basketball programs have run afoul of NCAA regulations…Illinois; Michigan State; Ohio State; Purdue; and Wisconsin have also had Big Ten basketball titles and/or statistics vacated.

The Big Ten Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament is held at a neutral site. In 2008, the tournament began a five-year residence at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. [Indianapolis is 52 miles (83 km.) from Bloomington, Indiana where the Indiana Hoosiers are located.] Ohio State won the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, beating Minnesota by 39 points.

As far as national championships go, there are five Big Ten basketball teams with NCAA Basketball Tournament titles. [The NCAA Basketball Tournament began in 1939.] Top of the list in the Big Ten is Indiana, who have won 5 national basketball titles (their last in 1987), putting the Hoosiers tied for third on the all-time list. [The top 4 are: UCLA -11 titles; North Carolina - 7 titles; Indiana and Duke - 5 titles.] The other Big Ten teams which have won NCAA Basketball Tournament titles are…Michigan State, with 2 titles (last in 2000); Michigan, in 1989; Ohio State, in 1960; and Wisconsin, in 1941.

A noteworthy present-day achievement of a Big Ten basketball program is Michigan State’s 12 consecutive selections for NCAA Tournament bids. The Spartans’ dozen-straight March Madness appearances (1999 to 2010) is the third-longest active streak, behind only Kansas (with 21 straight March Madness appearances), and Duke (with 15 straight March Madness appearances),

A brief history of the Big Ten…
The Conference was not officially called the Big Ten until 1987. Before that, its official name was The Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives, but it had been popularly known as the Big Nine, then the Big Ten, almost throughout it’s whole history.The Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives was founded on February 8, 1896. It was the first collegiate sports conference in the United States. The conference initially (for 3 years or so) became known as the Western Conference. It’s original schools were Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin.
In 1899, Indiana and Iowa joined, and the conference became popularly known as the Big Nine.
Michigan left the conference in 1908 (for a time); Ohio State joined in 1913. When Michigan re-joined in November 1917, the conference started to be known as the Big Ten.
The University of Chicago decided to de-emphasize athletics, and their football team left the conference in 1939. By 1946, that school’s athletic program was out of the conference entirely, and the conference once again became known as the Big Nine. Three years later, 1949, Michigan State joined, and it was the Big Ten again.

Again, throughout this whole time, the conference was still officially known as the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives. The conference did not shed this anachronistic name until 1987, when the Big Ten was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. Three years later, in 1990, Penn State joined, making the conference an 11 team organization, but it was decided to keep the name Big Ten (after all, it’s foolish to mess with an established brand name}. The conference slyly acknowledged their then-11 school make-up, though, by having a logo which showed the number 11, in the blank spaces to either side of the T in Ten [you can see that logo at the lower left on the map page].

Ex-Big 12 school Nebraska is now set to join the Big Ten, and the conference has a new logo {here}. A lot of people hate it, but I am reserving my hate for the ridiculous names that the conference has given for their two new football divisions…Legends and Leaders. Legends and Leaders? Sentimental hogwash. Those names are just embarrassing. From the Big Lead, Dec. 13, 2010, ‘New Big Ten Division Names Are “Legends” and “Leaders,” Awful.’ From ESPN, via AP, Dec.17,2010, ‘Big Ten may rethink Legends, Leaders‘.

Nebraska doesn’t join Big Ten sports until each sport’s 2011 season. Currently, this is the 2010-11 season in college basketball. But in anticipation of this, I decided to include a profile box for the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ basketball team. Their profile box is at the far lower right of the map page.

Each team’s profile box includes…primary logo; full name of school; location of main campus, basketball venue; year of the school’s establishment; year of the establishment of the school’s varsity basketball team; undergraduate enrollment; Big Ten Basketball titles (and year of last title); seasons spent in Big Ten Basketball; NCAA Basketball Tournament titles (and year of last title); NCAA Final Four appearances (and year of last Final Four appearance), and total number of NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances (and year of last appearance). Plus I squeezed in each team’s coach, and years he has spent coaching there. Then there is an interior photo of the team’s arena. Above the photo is the team’s 2009-10 average home attendance. Finally, I have included a photo of the team’s most recent away basketball jersey that I could find. I stuck with away jerseys. Some schools don’t even seem to make their men’s basketball team’s home white jerseys avialable for purchase on the Internet. The one exception was for Purdue – I used Purdue’s alternate, old gold-colored jersey.

On the map are the city locations of the teams. At the lower left of the map page are the final standings for 2010 Big Ten Basketball; a listing of the 4 Big Ten teams that were nationally ranked by the AP last season (Ohio at #5, Purdue at #10, Michigan State at #13, and Wisconsin at #16); as well as a listing of the Big Ten teams that qualified for the 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament (the aforementioned 4 teams plus Minnesota), their seeding in the tournament, and how far the team went in the tournament. As mentioned, the Ohio State Buckeyes won the 2010 Big Ten Basketball Tournament, beating Minnesota. That’s the 2nd Big Ten Tournament victory for Ohio state in 4 seasons. The Big Ten team that had the most successful March Madness run was Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans, who made it to the Final Four, losing to Butler by 2 points in the Semifinal.

At the very bottom left of the map page are 2009-10 average home attendances, venue capacities, and percent capacities. Wisconsin not only led Big Ten Basketball in attendance, but the Badgers had the 6th-highest average attendance nationwide in NCAA basketball in 2009-10. Wisconsin also played to sell-out crowds every game, making them one of only 6 college basketball programs to play to full capacity last season. [The other 5 teams that played to 100%-capacity or higher last season were Kentucky, Kansas, the Big Ten's Michigan State, Duke, and Gonzaga.] {My 2009-10 NCAA Basketball attendance map, here.}

Photo credits -
Illinois…Assembly Hall photo by Mark Jones, at Illini official site, here. Jersey,
Indiana…Assembly Hall photo from, here. Jersey from, here.
Iowa…Carver-Hawkeye Arena photo by Dan O’Brien at his blog, from this post. Jersey from, here.
Michigan…Crisler Arena photo from Basketball Arenas, here. Jersey from, here.
Michigan State…Breslin Events Center photo from, here. Jersey from, here.
Minnesota…Williams Arena photo by Dlz28 at, here. Jersey at, here.

Northwestern…Welsh-Ryan Arena photo from, here. Jersey from, here.
Ohio State…Schottenstein Center photo from, ‘Was building the Schottenstein Center a big Mistake‘.
Penn State…Bryce Jordan Center photo from, here. Jersey from, here.
Purdue…Mackey Arena photo from Purdue University via Bloomberg Businessweek site, ‘Purdue: A Virtual Tour‘. Jeresey from, here.
Wisconsin…Kohl center photo by Pbrown111 at, here. Jersey from, here.

Nebraska…Bob Devaney Sports Center photo from, here. Jersey from, here.

Thanks to Big Ten athletics official site, Men’s Basketball page, here.

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