Unbalanced Big Ten scheduling will impact race for conference title; Gophers predicted 14th and have 2nd most difficult BT schedule

BleedGopher

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per William:

Conference scheduling is tough. Especially in the Big Ten which has 14 teams and doesn’t play a round-robin format. We know each Big Ten team will play their counterparts at least once, but who you play twice can really alter how your record looks heading into March.

Here we take a look into some of the notable Big Ten schedules and see why they matter.

This chart gives a perspective into teams projected Big Ten finish and their conference strength of schedule. The projections are via Bart Torvik.

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Some things stand out when looking at this. First, it has to be that Northwestern and Minnesota, who are both projected to finish at the bottom of the Big Ten, have the two toughest schedules. Second, the Illini are a clear outlier in the top half of the conference, projected to finish second but with the easiest conference schedule.

Using Bart Torvik’s rankings in conference schedule difficulty, let’s see how some of the notable conference schedules for the 2022-23 season.

Note: No. 1 is the hardest schedule in the conference where No. 14 is the easiest.

2. Minnesota (Proj. finish: 14th)​

Home: Indiana, Iowa, Penn State
Away: Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State
Home/Away: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin

Comments: Playing Illinois, Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin home and away is never a recipe for success. The Nebraska home and away could give the Gophers a chance at a couple of wins.


Go Gophers!!
 

topos

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If two freshmen this year are formidable contributors, we are a middle-of-the-pack big ten team. I know that's a big ask of frosh in the BIG 10, but the consensus 14th picks are a tad annoying when our roster is in much better shape than last year, even with the injuries.
 


MNJay

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Conference record/standings don't matter as much anymore. And when we're a tourney lock, I always root for us to lose as early as possible in the Big Ten Tournament, as rest and health for the NCAA is what's important.
 

leib0039

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As mentioned above, if you are projected last you hurt your own SOS in theory, cant play the last ranked team so that plays a small part.

That said, I do wonder why they dont consider an NFL style system. Lets go to when we have 16 teams, play everyone once, 15 games that leaves 5 games, can we not base it off of standings for last year? Not only helps teams at the top and the conference to get more marquee games but helps teams at the bottom to win more.

Like say 1st place team their next 5 are:2nd/4th/8th/10th/12th
Team in 2nd gets: 1/5/7/9/11 from the year before
16th teams gets like: 5th/8th/9th/12/15

or whatever order you determine, like the NFL, ok these games are set, then if you finish 4th you play the other 4th place teams next year. You are still getting at least 1 game and year and a home/away just rotates there.
 


SanDiegoGopherFan

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That Johnson and staff were able to compete last year with the lack of talent they had. Middle of the pack finish should be the floor.
 

howeda7

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This usually isn't as significant as they make it out to be. It's also about when you play teams too. We only won 4 games last year and half of them were against teams that made the NCAA tournament.
 

60's Guy

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I don't agree with the strength of schedule analysis but if we do finish in the bottom four there had better be additional roster circumstances why. We can be/should be middle of the pack just playing sound basketball with the talent we have today.
 

fan of Ray Williams

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Conference record/standings don't matter as much anymore. And when we're a tourney lock, I always root for us to lose as early as possible in the Big Ten Tournament, as rest and health for the NCAA is what's important.
Dang, MNJay, how often has that happened since you’ve been a fan?
 



gophereric30

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Dang, MNJay, how often has that happened since you’ve been a fan?
Lol I mean how many times in last 30 seasons have we finished .500 in big ten. Seems to me even when we do that were praying for a win in big tourney just to get us safe.
 


TurtleDunklin

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As mentioned above, if you are projected last you hurt your own SOS in theory, cant play the last ranked team so that plays a small part.

That said, I do wonder why they dont consider an NFL style system. Lets go to when we have 16 teams, play everyone once, 15 games that leaves 5 games, can we not base it off of standings for last year? Not only helps teams at the top and the conference to get more marquee games but helps teams at the bottom to win more.

Like say 1st place team their next 5 are:2nd/4th/8th/10th/12th
Team in 2nd gets: 1/5/7/9/11 from the year before
16th teams gets like: 5th/8th/9th/12/15

or whatever order you determine, like the NFL, ok these games are set, then if you finish 4th you play the other 4th place teams next year. You are still getting at least 1 game and year and a home/away just rotates there.
I would much prefer to use the 5 remaining for rivalry style games instead. I think it adds more having home and homes with rivals as opposed to random teams decided by previous seasons.
 

MNJay

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But to be fair, in 2017, we did get a starter injured in the first round of the BTT and he missed the NCAA game.
Exactly. The only thing the Big Ten Tournament accomplished was to get Akeem Springs injured for the entire NCAA.

And fighting & clawing and grueling it out didn't do any good for Iowa last year. Nobody cares. All anyone cares about is that they lost in the 1st round of the NCAA.
 



Holy Man

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Exactly. The only thing the Big Ten Tournament accomplished was to get Akeem Springs injured for the entire NCAA.

And fighting & clawing and grueling it out didn't do any good for Iowa last year. Nobody cares. All anyone cares about is that they lost in the 1st round of the NCAA.
Iowa choked in the NCAA. It had nothing to do with being worn out. They play a high risk high reward style which took them to heights and the depths in a week. Playing a few games a week ahead of time should make no difference. If you’re into four or even five, maybe it makes a difference but not two or three.
 

MNJay

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Iowa choked in the NCAA. It had nothing to do with being worn out. They play a high risk high reward style which took them to heights and the depths in a week. Playing a few games a week ahead of time should make no difference. If you’re into four or even five, maybe it makes a difference but not two or three.
It's simply my opinion. If the Gophers are already a lock for the NCAA...I root for them to lose as early as possible in the Big Ten Tournament. I see no benefit whatsoever in playing 4 grueling games right before the NCAA.
 

Holy Man

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It's simply my opinion. If the Gophers are already a lock for the NCAA...I root for them to lose as early as possible in the Big Ten Tournament. I see no benefit whatsoever in playing 4 grueling games right before the NCAA.
The Gophers being a lock for the tournament is about as close to a purely theoretical position as anyone can get. It has happened but so infrequently that the point is almost irrelevant.
 

EG#9

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I'll just say I hope I am not reading any excuses here for a 7-13 type conference season where people are saying asinine things like "we were picked to finish last".
 

USAF

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Conference record/standings don't matter as much anymore. And when we're a tourney lock, I always root for us to lose as early as possible in the Big Ten Tournament, as rest and health for the NCAA is what's important.
Ridiculous.
 

MNJay

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Ridiculous.
It's an absolute fact that teams are no longer selected according to order of conference finish.

As for not wanting the Gophers to play 4 grueling games on Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun before starting the NCAA on Thurs... that's my opinion. I think you're brainwashed by the media & the hype if you think that's good for the team.
 

USAF

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It's an absolute fact that teams are no longer selected according to order of conference finish.

As for not wanting the Gophers to play 4 grueling games on Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun before starting the NCAA on Thurs... that's my opinion. I think you're brainwashed by the media & the hype if you think that's good for the team.
First of all, I give AF about winning the B1G. It matters.
And four grueling games? Even if it DID happen, they have plenty of time off, like other conference tournament winners.
I think you're brainwashed into thinking everyone should only care about the NCAA tournement, and not the 30 games before it
Ridiculous.
 

combes1

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I don't agree with the strength of schedule analysis but if we do finish in the bottom four there had better be additional roster circumstances why. We can be/should be middle of the pack just playing sound basketball with the talent we have today.
Have you done an in-depth comparison of the talent on the other Big Ten teams?
 

MNJay

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First of all, I give AF about winning the B1G. It matters.
And four grueling games? Even if it DID happen, they have plenty of time off, like other conference tournament winners.
I think you're brainwashed into thinking everyone should only care about the NCAA tournement, and not the 30 games before it
Ridiculous.
Times change. The unbalanced schedules and the conference tournament make winning the Big Ten irrelevant.

The NCAA Tournament is all that matters.
 

Outsider

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Times change. The unbalanced schedules and the conference tournament make winning the Big Ten irrelevant.

The NCAA Tournament is all that matters.
Built would like to have a chat with you! Winning the Big Ten is irrelevant, Nah it’s a pretty big accomplishment and is very difficult to do. Consistency over that length of time is tough to do.
 

USAF

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Times change. The unbalanced schedules and the conference tournament make winning the Big Ten irrelevant.

The NCAA Tournament is all that matters.
As i said...ridiculous.
 

MNJay

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As i said...ridiculous.
Maybe a few on here can remember who 'won' the Big Ten last year. But no one else does. I guarantee you don't know who 'won' the other major conferences.

But everyone knows the NCAA results.
 

60's Guy

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Have you done an in-depth comparison of the talent on the other Big Ten teams?
Well, I bought Mel Kipers guide several years ago. I think I learned the formula but I’m not willing to share any specifics without a lifetime annual subscription. If you are interested I can send you the link but just a heads up we don’t take American Express yet. Short answer: Yes sir, exhausting, extensive, exclusive analysis went into my comments….sprinkled with a dose of optimism.
Happy you wanna agree with me 🥸
 

SelectionSunday

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Winning championships matter, regular season or conference tournament. And especially for programs like ours, which hasn't won one since 1997.

But yes, the NCAA Tournament matters more.
 




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