So, about that Big Ten divisions for basketball report
Apparently, ESPN’s Andy Katz jumped the gun on the report I referenced in the post below (Steve Alford to Mizzou, anyone?) that stated the following information on Big Ten divisions:
In men’s basketball, according to sources, the Big Ten is expected to play a 16-game conference schedule by taking a model similar to those used by the Big 12 and the Southeastern Conference. In those leagues, teams play each division opponent twice and then single games — three at home and three on the road — against teams in the opposing division.
“In basketball, they will start their own course,” Delany said. “The sport is structured completely differently.”
Our friend Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times also had this tidbit from the Big Ten’s teleconference:
Delany said the divisions do not apply to basketball, and that he does “not see any compelling reason,” to have divisions in basketball at all because the dynamic of the sport is so much different from football. He said if the league’s athletic directors decided they wanted divisions, he would be amenable to it, but that those would also be competitively balanced. The current divisions, which most notably, would provide a cakewalk for Michigan State with Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan, Nebraska and Minnesota as their division mates, would be “irrelevant,” as Delany put it.
So there we have it. No super, incredibly unbalanced basketball divisions as earlier reported. Dylan has a nice writeup over at UMHoops on why the Big Ten did the right thing by avoiding divisional misalignment for hoops. And with that, we can all go back to counting down the days to a Cody Zeller decision.