Social media has plenty to say about the Big Ten's disastrous March Madness


To say it’s been a rough few days for the Big Ten, considered by most to be the strongest conference in college basketball, would be an understatement. Cue the Stephen A. meme.

Up until Friday at about 3 PM ET (that’s when Ohio State tipped off against Oral Roberts), the Big Ten appeared indestructible. Nine of the conference’s 14 member schools qualified for the dance headlined by top seeds Illinois and Michigan (Iowa and Ohio State both checked in as No. 2 seeds). The Big 10 also accounted for four consensus All-Americans including first-team selections Luka Garza and Ayo Dosunmu.

Three days and a slew of upsets were all it took for the Big Ten to become social media’s favorite punchline. Iowa’s loss to seventh-seeded Oregon Monday dropped the Big Ten to 6-7 for the tournament with only Michigan and Maryland (both play tonight) still standing. Ohio State? Maybe next year. Purdue? One and done. Illinois? Keep trying. Rutgers? Not in this lifetime. Wisconsin? Surely you jest. And then there’s the MSU Spartans presented by Rocket Mortgage (that’s really their name), who were gone before the check even came, falling to UCLA in the First Four.

Iowa and Illinois weren’t the only powerhouse schools to exit March Madness early this year. Texas and Virginia experienced similarly rude awakenings while West Virginia and Oklahoma State were also bounced sooner than expected. With fewer games played because of COVID, it seems we may not have known these teams as well as we thought we did. The same could also be said of the selection committee, who clearly under-seeded Loyola while probably giving the Tennessees and UConns of the world too much credit. But even amid the strange circumstances of this year’s tournament, the Big Ten’s no-show in Indy has been remarkable to watch.

Predictably, many on social media have relished the opportunity to dance on the Big Ten’s grave, clowning the conference for being all bark and no bite.

I do love a good SpongeBob meme. There’s still time for the underachieving Big Ten to redeem itself, but if the Wolverines lay an egg tonight (beating SEC champ LSU, particularly without Isaiah Livers, is no given), you can bet the Twitter hyenas will be out in full force.

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