Big Ten basketball realignment still undetermined
Big Ten officials and coaches have yet to determine how Nebraska's addition will impact the league in men's basketball when the school begins league play in 2011.
"I think there’s a presumption that we’ll have 18 games," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said last week. "I think there’s a presumption that we’re not going to have divisions. I think there’s a presumption that we’ll have a postseason tournament where everybody goes to it.
"Beyond that, I think it probably looks like there’s seven teams plays twice and four teams you’d play once. How you do that, whether or not there’s going to be any rivalries protected, that’s sort of to be determined. All of that could change if there’s a strong movement among coaches and administrators, but I think that’s where we are."
The Big Ten shifted from 16 to 18 conference games in 2007-2008. Each year the schools play every school at least once and eight schools home-and-home. Unlike football there are no designated rivalries, although some schools have scheduled non-conference games against Big Ten opponents. In 2002, Indiana and Purdue played the non-conference "Duel in the Dome" in Indianapolis.
If the league decided to grant each school a designated home-and-home rival, here's how that could play out:
THE GOOD RIVALRIES
- Indiana-Purdue — Best basketball rivalry in the Big Ten
- Michigan-Michigan State — Probably No. 2 behind Indiana-Purdue
- Minnesota-Wisconsin — Fans from both states like to watch these teams compete in anything
THE SHOULDER-SHRUG RIVALRIES
- Illinois-Northwestern — Illinois-Iowa is more passionate, but that would mean two Northwestern-Nebraska games every year
- Iowa-Nebraska — This would throw Nebraska a cost-saving bone
- Ohio State-Penn State — Like the other two, it's based more on proximity than interest