Ok. Let's see. Big Ten. Michigan State blown out by North Carolina, albeit without one starter. So many ugly losses, including so many suffered by Michigan, Ohio State, Illinois, etc. So what is the media cranking out. They have been working on the idea that nine teams should get into the big dance. They join the Big East in their cranking, manic media machines. Why not? The NCAA Selection Committee does not really care about merit. They have no interest in upsets, or showing that the big money making machine conferences are much less than claimed. Instead, pack the tournament in order to "show" that the out numbered cannot reach the final 32, much less the final 8.
What are the merits?
The Big Ten has all of three teams in the top 35 in the country in RPI. Assuming you simply ignore their record among themselves, their principal opponents, who are you left with?
Northwestern, RPI 70? Sure, they are deserving of an NIT berth.
Minnesotta, whose RPI is at least within the top 65 teams. But wait. Who did they play in the non-Big Ten schedule?
Concordia-St. Paul, Bowling Green, Georgia St., Colorado St., Eastern Wash., North Dakota State, Virginia, Cornell, South Dakota St., Louisville, SE Louisiana, and High Point. Leaving aside the fact that they beat Louisville after a trip from Mississippi to Arizona that had them at the airport around dawn the day they had to play Minnesota with no buses to take them to their hotel, there is nothing there. Virginia won four of sixteen games in the ACC.
Ok. Then who gets in from the Big Ten.
Answer. Three teams, maybe four, if you are legitimately looking at the strength of the Big Ten and their past performance.
Will the reality set in for those Big Ten supporters who choose the invitations to the Big Dance? No chance. They will get at least seven teams and these teams will obtain their usual unsuccessful results.
If Michigan State advances to the final sixteen, it will be because of their scheduling by the Selection Committee. Nothing else will advance them beyond there.
The politics of college basketball march on.