Couldn’t Scott Barnes have lied? C’mon, Mr. NCAA Selection Committee Chairman. Did you really have to admit that Wisconsin would have been a No. 1 seed regardless of how the Big Ten tournament played out?
OK, OK. We appreciate the honesty. And it’s not as if the United Center spectators will ask for a refund. The Badgers’ rally from 11 down against Michigan State was scintillating.
Bottom line, the Big Ten was a giant winner Sunday.
Not only did the conference stage an epic title game, its regular-season champion earned a No. 1 seed in a down year. And the Big Ten’s seven bids tied the Big 12 for the most of any conference.
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More winners and losers:
Winner: Indiana. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the Hoosiers as the first team out, but they breezed in as a No. 10 seed. At No. 37 on the NCAA’s seed list, Indiana was two ahead of Ohio State.
Loser: Those who wanted coach Tom Crean to get canned despite his $12 million buyout. Unless the Hoosiers get humiliated by Wichita State on Friday, it’s hard to imagine Crean having to find a new home.
Winner: Wisconsin. The Badgers earned their first No. 1 seed. That means they won’t have to face Kentucky until the Final Four, and they’d do it on full rest, for what that’s worth.
Loser: The Big Ten tournament trophy. We love Benet’s Frank Kaminsky, but could he have looked any creepier while he, um, caressed the trophy?