Is this Michigan league losing?

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<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "The non-conference season of university basketball has finally ended. "data-reactid =" 27 ">The non-conference season of university basketball has finally ended.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "To help you get rid of the after-holiday haze and the lousy mouth of losing in your football playoffs, we'll offer you some mid-season recap to allow you to follow all of the most important conferences from the country."data-reactid =" 28 ">To help you get rid of the after-holiday haze and the lousy mouth of losing in your football playoffs, we'll offer you some mid-season recap to allow you to follow all of the most important conferences from the country.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Who was the best player in the biggest leagues?"data-reactid =" 29 ">Who was the best player in the biggest leagues?

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Who is about to get a candidacy for an NCAA tournament?"data-reactid =" 30 ">Who is about to get a candidacy for an NCAA tournament?

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "What did we learn about the hierarchy of conferences? "data-reactid =" 31 ">What did we learn about the hierarchy of conferences?

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "What remains for us to discover?"data-reactid =" 32 ">What remains for us to discover?

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "We divide everything here."data-reactid =" 33 ">We divide everything here.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Today, let's take a look at the Big Ten."data-reactid =" 34 ">Today, let's take a look at the Big Ten.

<h2 class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "MID-SEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ethan Happ, Wisconsin "data-reactid =" 35 "> THE GREAT PLAYER OF THE YEAR OF MIDSEASON: Ethan Happ, Wisconsin

It's not hard to draw a parallel between Happ's success this season and Wisconsin's return after the first season of the program without an NCAA tournament in two decades. Happ released figures last year – 17.9 points, 8 rebounds and 3.7 assists – but it was tough and things never seem to happen to her as easily as they did. 39, were in his first season in Madison. He and the Badgers did not seem to fit well in a more demanding role in terms of use, with a support cast unable to do much.

Now, though, Happ does nonsense and the Badgers roll. The 6-foot, 10-inch playing pivot looks like the national player of the year, averaging 19.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.2 blocks per game, while pulling at 56.9% of the soil. He dominates the game by being excellent in almost all phases. It's no coincidence that Wisconsin is now 10-3 with a 2-0 lead to play in B1G. Happ may not be attracted to scouts in the NBA – he only fired three goals this year – but he is without a doubt one of the best college basketball players.

THE BIGGEST FIRST TEAM

  • ETHAN HAPP, WISCONSIN
  • CARSEN EDWARDS, PURDUE: Boilermaker leader has a decent argument for first place here given his season. Edwards leads the Big Ten with 25.8 points per game as he played a bigger role in West Lafayette and prospered. He draws nearly 40% of the distance of 3 points and distributes 3.5 assists per game.
  • JAMES PALMER, NEBRASKA: Palmer's efforts are one of the main reasons the Cornhuskers seem ready to tackle the drought that has lasted for four years in NCAA tournaments. The 6-foot-6 athlete resumes its racing pace after being transferred from Miami after a decisive season last year, averaging 19.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1, 2 flights and 2.8 assists per game.
  • CASSIUS WINSTON, MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartan general had a great season to help the Michigan state register an 11-2 record with a 2-0 record in B1G. He does it all with 17.5 points and 7.5 assists per game.
  • BRUNO FERNANDO, MARYLAND: The second year has seen a lot of growth this season and his game is starting to match his for his menacing 6-foot-10, 240-pound frame. He averages 14.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, while shooting 70.2 percent of the floor.
  • <h2 class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "POSTERIOR PREDICTIONS"data-reactid =" 53 ">POSTERIOR PREDICTIONS

  • NCAA: Michigan, State of Michigan, Wisconsin, State of Ohio, Indiana, Nebraska, Purdue, Maryland, Iowa
  • SLOW: Northwestern, Minnesota, Penn State
  • OTHER / NO POSTSASON: Illinois, Rutgers
  • THREE THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED

    1. MICHIGAN IS A NATIONAL TITLE CONTAINER

    We were expecting the Wolverines to be pretty good this season, after their surprise appearance in the NCAA tournament title. It is never wise to bet against John Beilein, and Michigan, despite the defeats of Mo Wagner, Duncan Robinson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, still had talent on training. What Michigan is doing now, well, that's a big surprise.

    The Wolverines are absolutely formidable opponents, who roast and assert themselves as a contender for the national title. They have more than alluded to this fact when they crushed Villanova in November and that they then went on with victories against Providence, Northwestern, Purdue and North Carolina to head for 2019 with a perfect 13-0 record .

    The Michigan defense is about as good as it is, with only 41.4% of attacks against 2 for opponents, with an effective percentage of 43, an 11th place in the country. The Wolverines also keep their opponents away from the offensive shot and the free throw line, a proven formula of defense excellence. Offensively, they play the Beilein offensive methodically, taking care of the ball and shooting. They may not be overcrowded, but the Wolverines are filled with Charles Matthews, Jordan Poole, Zavier Simpson, Jon Teske and sensational freshman Ignas Brazdeikis.

    The Wolverines seem well aligned for a third title match against Beilein. It may be the moment when they are the last team standing at the top of a ladder with hand-cut nets.

    The story continues

    2. It did not take long before ARCHIE MILLER TO TURN THE INDIANA

    It's not hard to imagine that last year, Archie Miller was not very entertaining. In his first year as an Indiana coach, the Hoosiers scored 16-15 and 9-9 in the Big Ten after Miller spent the previous four years in the NCAA Tournament in Dayton. There was not a long list of doubts about Miller's long-term viability in Bloomington, but a tough year including a four-game, three-game Big Ten defeat may have made the timeline look a little longer.

    Or the Hoosiers would discover it immediately, as it would seem they did it.

    Romeo Langford, a talented 5-star lander, clearly played a key role in the first year, averaging 17.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, with a 50.3% success rate. soil (but 21.3% on average to more than three attempts). per match). He was not alone, however, because Juwan Morgan was spectacular while the Hoosiers have a defense among the top 20.

    3. THE B1G IS BACK

    The Big Ten have spent a few years in nature. The 14-team extension may have been a boon for the league, it has not been a success on hardwood. Since the move in 2014-15, the Big Ten have not ranked among the top three KenPom, and they have been fifth twice. They have an average of six teams per year in NCAA tournaments and have not had a seed since second place in Wisconsin in 2015. They had only five teams with one seed or more in that period. They also played their conference tournament in Washington, DC, and redesigned the conference program in December to take place in New York. So it's bad enough for a league that has long boasted of its prowess in basketball.

    This season is announcing as a fit back.

    The league currently has two of the top five KenPom teams (Michigan and Michigan State), while 11 are ranked in the top 50. Rutgers and Illinois are the only teams that will really struggle to face it while Minnesota are the third team behind the top 50-62 with wins against Washington and Nebraska on the resume.

    The Big Ten is back in the main.

    THREE STORIES TO FOLLOW

    1. CONTINUATION AT A SEMEN

    The Big Ten did not have the No. 1 seed in three seasons, but the conference now has two teams competing in the mix to secure one in Michigan and Michigan State. Can the Big Ten go from drought to flood this season with a pair of seed?

    It could be difficult for the league to get two top seeds: Duke, Virginia, Gonzaga, Kansas, North Carolina and Nevada. All the steps to build seed # 1 last two months, but it's certainly not impossible. The Wolverines and Spartans will be encouraged by the fact that the Big Ten will provide a plethora of wins in the quadrant one this season, and the conference's reputation seems to be on the rise, which can sometimes be as important as the numbers. If both teams can compile huge winning totals – and perhaps divide their seasons series with each other – it's not hard to think of single-line scenarios.

    2. COACHING SITUATIONS

    There did not seem to be any coaches whose seats were really hot at the start of the season, but a few situations deserved to be watched.

    The first is Richard Pitino in Minnesota, where the Hall of Famer's son competed in a single NCAA tournament (with a first-round loss) in five seasons with a sports director who did not hire him and a new president University Pitino seems to have quieted many discussions about his work with a nice start to the 11-2 season, but it remains to be seen whether a defeat against Boston College in November will be perceived as a hiccup or an alarm light .

    Pat Chambers has been 0-on-7 since joining the NCAA tournament during his stay at University Park, although the Nittany Lions won the NIT title last season. Still, few coaches can have this high water mark in seven seasons and come to work for an eighth. Chambers won against Virginia Tech this season, but the defeats against DePaul and Bradley, as well as courtesy of Maryland, Indiana, N.C. State and Alabama, suggest that problems remain.

    Fran McCaffery missed two consecutive NCAA tournaments in Iowa City, and the Hawkeyes' best season during his tenure was a seven-seeded outing and a first weekend outing after being ranked among the top five at one point in 2015-16. but a new contract and a major buy-back kept all the questions about his job security at bay. Their 11-2 start this season with wins against Oregon and the state of Iowa have the same effect.

    There was only one NCAA tournament in six seasons for Tim Miles in Nebraska, and it was held in 2014. With a brand new arena, expectations in Lincoln are even greater. But after just missing the tournament last year, thanks in large part to the decline in the B1G and the good beginnings of this year, it looks like things are going in the right direction.

    3. HOW MUCH IS GOOD OHIO CONDITION

    The Buckeyes have only one defeat of the season, a home defeat against Syracuse and a series of nice wins but no huge wins on their resume with Ws against players like Cincinnati, Creighton, Minnesota and UCLA canned coach ).

    The statistical profile of Chris Holtmann's team is solid: KenPom is in the top 40 in both attack (35) and defense (22), while the second year, Kaleb Wesson, enters one of the players the most difficult to defend from the conference.

    The way all this will come to fruition as the schedule increases – starting with the state of Michigan on Saturday – will be one of the most exciting things to see in the Big Ten. The five Iowa games, against Maryland, against Purdue, Nebraska and Mcihigan, to finish, January will say a lot.

    THREE PREDICTIONS

    1. ETHAN HAPP IS A FIRST AMERICAN TEAM

    The Badgers' great man will have fierce competition all over the country, but if he continues to publish numbers like he is today – and throughout his career, he will – as Wisconsin continues its resurgence, it will be impossible to keep him away from the top five players in the country.

    2. AT LEAST EIGHT OF DANCE

    Only a year after losing four teams in the NCAA Tournament – a minimum of 10 years – the Big Ten will result in at least eight teams in the Big Dance. Even with the increase in membership, this is a historic feat for one of the country's most historically-rich conferences.

    3. THERE WILL BE A TOURNEY CHAMPION SURPRISE

    We are going to spend a ton of the next two months and more talking about Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin as the first Big Ten teams, but that will be another Deep League team. Indiana or Nebraska – this will reduce nets at United Center during the conference tournament.