#8 Michigan State Above, #19 Michigan Middling in Congested Big Ten


michigan vs michigan state

The Big Ten may not have the greatest concentration of Final Four contenders in the nation, according to college basketball public betting data, but it certainly has the highest number of likely NCAA Tournament and NIT teams.

In terms of league title contenders, you have to start in the state of Great Lakes Splendor, with the two teams who met in last season’s conference title game. Right now #8 Michigan State is above everybody else in the league, sitting pretty at 5-0 in conference play. #19 Michigan is in the congested middle, at 2-2, but with an 11-4 overall record

Both the Wolverines and the Spartans earned a #2 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, and you can expect both to be leading contenders again this March. It’s a good time to be running a betting guide in Michigan as both of the local Big Ten powerhouses are expected to make some noise this March madness.

michigan state vs michigan

Michigan State currently have the seventh best national title odds at  +1700 while Michigan aren’t far behind, sitting 10th at +2300. MSU have won the last four meetings between the two schools, who have developed a fierce rivalry that’s gone well beyond interstate 96, and now become nationally relevant.

Of course, the Big Ten is league that’s a whole lot more than “the Michigans.” In the most up to date standings after Saturday’s action, only three games separate 12 of the 14 teams. And if you look at the NCAA’s NET rankings, nine teams are in the top 36 and 11 are in the top 50.

In other words, every league game is tough, and anybody can beat anybody. It’s an old, tired cliche, but it’s very true here. “There’s so much parity, it’s a monster this league- every time you step on the floor you better be sharp, or you’ll be embarrassed,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said after losing 62-57 at Northwestern today.

“You can go out and play well and still be on the wrong end; especially on the road.”

The loss dropped the Cornhuskers to 2-3 in conference play.

It was the Wildcats’ first conference win of the year, and it was a hard fought contest that went down to the final seconds. “Understatement of the year is it was a big win for us.” said Northwestern coach Chris Collins, whose team led by as many as 18 points but saw his opponents with a chance to tie in the final minute.

“You see those guys playing music, throwing water, chest bumping- hopefully that will go a long way. It’s fun for me to see young guys getting better before my eyes. It was great to see those guys having fun.”

All in all, today’s result in Evanston, as well as the Saturday slate of games in general, are indicative of what the conference race is going be like this winter.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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  1. thanks for great article

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