Big Ten Basketball’s surge of dominance led by Michigan


Robin Buckson

Michigan Seniors Isaiah Livers and Chaundee Brown Jr. celebrate a basket.

Carson Woods, Staff Writer

   The 2020-2021 college basketball season has already been full of surprises, but the Big Ten’s dominance so far this year is still the biggest shock for many. Due to COVID-19, the season has seen many cancellations and postponements of games. Most teams are used to playing in bustling arenas full of thousands of fans cheering them on, but this year they must rely on their bench players to create energy and noise. The so-called “bench mobs” in the Big Ten conference might be a reason for their early success this season. 

   In the past, college basketball has been dominated by the SEC and ACC conferences, with powerhouse teams such as Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina. This year, when you look at the AP rankings it might look a little different. Most years there are a few Big Ten teams who manage to stay at the top of the rankings. In the latest rankings, the Big Ten has six teams in the top 25 with four of those being in the top 15. Michigan and Iowa have shined the brightest in the Big Ten this season by both consistently staying in the top 10. In the latest update of the rankings, Michigan came in at number four while Iowa came in at number seven.

   With head coach Juwan Howard only being in his second season, the dominance of Michigan is one of the biggest surprises this year in the Big Ten. Michigan is currently in the middle of a two-week ban from athletics due to COVID-19 protocols, but before they were postponed they were one of the hottest teams in the nation. Michigan is averaging nearly 80 points per game, while only allowing an average of 65. The Wolverines are led by freshman Hunter Dickinson, who has made an immediate impact with his skillful 7-foot frame. The Wolverines are a young team with great leaders like Mike Smith, Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner.

   The Big Ten is the most challenging conference in college basketball at this point in the season. With so many great teams in the conference, the Big Ten will be expected to make a deep run into March Madness and contend for a National Championship. Led by teams like Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin the Big Ten will be a force to reckon with in the future.