Badger Bits: Big Ten Comes Up Short Again

USA TODAY Sports

Reflecting on Monday's night's championship game and closing out the 2012-13 college basketball season.

Same story, different year.

For the fifth time since 2001, a Big Ten representative finds itself on the losing end of the national championship game.

For college basketball, last night's 82-76 Louisville victory over Michigan was a thriller -- exactly the way the NCAA needed to end the season. But for Big Ten fans, it leaves a bit of a sour taste in our mouths and a feeling of unfinished business.

There's no denying the fact Big Ten basketball reigned as king this season -- at least in my mind. Seven extremely quality teams made the tournament, with Michigan shining the brightest and making a run to the nation's biggest stage in college hoops.

But despite all the successes, the Big Ten desperately needed validation for this season. Yes, it had a representative in the title game, but people put a lot of weight on who actually wins it all -- for better or worse. The Big Ten hasn't won a national championship since 2000, and Big Ten football hasn't even won the crystal football since 2002! The fact it's been over a decade since the Big Ten conference has won in either of the two major college sports is embarrassing.

Regardless, last night turned out to be a heck of a matchup and reminded myself how much I love this game.

LINKS:

Despite Michigan losing Monday night, Tom Dienhart writes how this season is still considered a success for the Big Ten.

A quick wrap-up of last night's championship game.

He may have suffered two ACL tears in the last couple years, but Wisconsin running back Vonte Jackson expects to make an impact this season.

More running back discussion: As we expect, Melvin Gordon says he's ready to carry much more of the load this season.

And the latest from the mess at Rutgers.

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