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Thursday, March 27, 2014


March Madness drives us to do crazy things. Like picking Creighton to make the Final Four on your bracket. Or rooting for a team you hate just because their win would improve your bracket standings. Or making picks based on the uniform colors of the team. Stuff like that.

Sometimes the crazy season of basketball compels us to seek out stats, more stats, and even more stats. We saturate our minds in hoops-stats for three days making up our brackets, and then what? Nothing but games to watch, no more stats to crunch.

Well, we've got the answer for you today! We have added up the B1G conference standings for both men's and women's basketball over the past seven regular seasons, and guess who sits at the top of the heap? The Michigan State Basketball programs have won more games than any other conference team in the last seven years of league competition.

2008-2014 Combined Regular Season Conference Standings
  1. 170-74     MICHIGAN STATE*****
  2. 162-82     OHIO STATE******
  3. 151-93     PURDUE*
  4. 134-110   WISCONSIN*
  5.   54-48    NEBRASKA
  6. 125-119   MICHIGAN**
  7. 121-123   IOWA
  8. 110-134   PENN STATE***
  9. 107-137   MINNESOTA
  10.   94-150   ILLINOIS
  11.   93-151   INDIANA*
  12.   72-172   NORTHWESTERN

*conference championships

The seven-year time-frame isn't arbitrary or "cherry-picking", but it's as far back as we can count with MSU on top of the composite league standings. We wanted you to know that Spartan success in basketball isn't just one team in one year (or two), but both programs combined over many years.

While Tom Izzo has been Head Coach for nearly two decades, this seven-year span neatly comprises the entirety of the "Suzy Merchant Era" at Michigan State. Merchant has proven to be the perfect complement to Izzo, as she understands her role and plays it to the hilt with class and dedication and teamwork.

This level of statistical dominance can't happen by luck or a short hot-streak by one team. Looking over the past seven years, you can see only one "down season" by the Spartan Men, and the Spartan Women have been consistently very good the whole time. This data is meaningful because the information-base is so broad that excellence rises to the top.

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