The Big Ten’s national title drought is now at 18 seasons. Another men’s basketball season for the Big Ten has come and gone without a national championship after Michigan lost to Villanova 79-62 in the National Championship Game on Monday night in San Antonio.
The Big Ten sent only four teams — Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Ohio State — to the 2018 NCAA Tournament, and they were all viewed as national title contenders at various points in the season. Michigan was the final team standing form the group, but the Wolverines’ 14-game winning streak — and season — ended as Villanova pulled away in the second half.
Michigan State’s national championship in 2000 was the last time a Big Ten team won it all in men’s basketball. The Big Ten is 0-7 in the National Championship Game since that Spartans title.
Indiana (2002), Illinois (2005), Ohio State (2007), Michigan State (2009), Michigan (2013 and 2017) and Wisconsin (2015) have made the title game in the last 18 seasons, but all have come up short. Maryland, a current member of the Big Ten, won the 2002 national championship, but while a member of the ACC.
The current national championship drought is the longest in Big Ten history. The conference’s second-longest cold spell was 15 seasons, from 1960-75.
The Pac-12 is the only other Power 5 conference with a longer national title drought in men’s basketball. No Pac-12 team has won it all since Arizona in 1997 (when the conference was the Pac-10). Since Michigan State’s title in 2000, the ACC has claimed seven national titles, the Big East has six, the SEC has three and the Big 12 and American Athletic Conference each have one.
The Big Ten has claimed five NIT titles since its last NCAA Tournament, including Penn State’s championship last week.