Big Ten's best in the NCAA tournament

Big Ten's best in the NCAA tournament

With seven teams in the field — and six seeded seventh or better – the Big Ten has a chance to set the league’s all-time record for wins (15) in an NCAA tournament. A look at the five top performances in terms of wins:

1989 (15-4)
You remember that Lou Henson’s Illini joined interim coach Steve Fisher’s Wolverines at the Final Four in Seattle, Michigan eventually winning a national title. You might not rememember that Indiana and Minnesota reached the Sweet 16.

2000 (14-4)
Michigan State produced the Big Ten’s most recent national title but only after slipping past Dick Bennett’s slow-paced Badgers in the national semifinals (53-41). Wisconsin reached the Final Four by denying Gene Keady and Brian Cardinal in a regional final.

1992 (13-5)
This was the tournament Ohio State and Jim Jackson were in line to win. Except the Buckeyes lost to the Fab Five — in their freshman season — in a thrilling regional final that needed overtime to settle. Michigan and Indiana made the Final Four, the Wolverines losing to Duke in the title game.

1987 (12-5)
Illini fans can’t shake the loss to Austin Peay in the first round. Indiana fans don’t want to forget Keith Smart’s game-winning jumper that beat Syracuse to give Bob Knight his third and final NCAA title.