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Big Ten Basketball Is Overrated

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The Big Ten is rated as the best conference by the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), a primary tool used by the selection committee. That is not unique, and I would say that every objective ranking system I have seen has the Big Ten at #1 based on the results this year. Ken Pomeroy’s and Jeff Sagarin’s ratings both have the Big Ten with 4 of the top 9 teams, and 8 of their 12 teams inside the top 50.

Consensus would seem to pretty solidly put the Big Ten at #1 looking at the depth and average rating of the conference. So why do I think they are probably overrated? Because almost every team rated as the “best conference” is overvalued based on a relatively small sample size of results, most of which occurred in November and December.

Before I get into some...

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