We've all heard the stereotype: the Big 10 is a plodding basketball conference full of big slow guys and short on electric athletes. The brand of basketball is a slow one, and scores are in the 50s more than they are in the 70s. At the risk of confirming this stereotype, I decided to dive into the numbers.**
Possessions (Conference Games)**
Big 12: 67.58
Big East: 67.41
Pac 10: 65.19
Big 10: 63.04
Or, to put this graphically,
The Big Ten was slow, but not as much as the ACC was fast. Surely this will dishearten some Big Ten fans, but should it? Some people think that the culprit behind the slowness is physical defense. Others think that it's doubt in the offense. These are theories, not facts, mind you, but one thing every Big Ten conference fan should remember is that slow does not equal bad. In 2005-06, for instance, the Big Ten was again the slowest of the BCS conferences. But it was also #1 in RPI.
Now, let's see how the stereotype holds up over the past 5 years or so:
Pretty well actually. The Big 10 has been slow for a while now, but the root cause evades me. Any ideas out there?
That said, every BCS conference falls within 63 to 68 possessions, with the exception of the ACC. While it's possible that those 2 possessions that the Big Ten lacks makes all the difference in the world, I happen to think Big Ten ball looks about the same as the basketball everyone else is playing. Except the ACC.