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Which Pac-12 program would be the best addition for Big Ten men’s basketball?

Not USC or UCLA, for obvious reasons.

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament First Round - Utah vs Stanford Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

We are living in a world of expansion. Conference expansion and realignment are all the rage right now. USC and UCLA are soon joining the Big Ten, making for some interesting road games for Maryland and Rutgers.

So, we are going to talk about which team we think would be the most interesting or fun to join the Big Ten from the “conference of champions” (Bill Walton cannot be chosen, but he is the answer). Obviously, this discussion does not include USC or UCLA since they are already locked in to join.

Last week, we did the Ohio State Athletics Department a favor and told them how they could fix the game day atmosphere at the Schottenstein Center, “AKA The Schott.” Connor said to extend the student section around the court similar to the Izzone, and Justin said to simply schedule better non-conference home games.

86 percent of the audience agreed with Connor, and 14 percent agreed with Justin, so Connor won in a nail-biter.

Here are the updated standings:

After 111 weeks:

Connor- 48
Justin- 47
Other- 12

(There have been four ties)

And here is the prompt for this week.

Today’s Question: Which Pac-12 program would be the best addition for B1G men’s basketball?

Connor: Stanford

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Quarterfinals - Arizona vs Stanford Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

As a stark opponent of conference re-alignment, my actual preference would be to send USC, UCLA, and any other non-midwestern school right back to the land from which they came. Conferences in college sports were meant to organize and pit regionally-relevant schools against each other. Now in 2023, we’ve gotten to a point where USC could take on Ohio State on a Tuesday night in the Big Ten and Creighton (located in Nebraska) could face St. John’s the following night.

But I’ll hop off the old man soapbox for a minute. Here’s why Stanford would be the best addition to the Big Ten out of the schools still remaining in the PAC-12 — they’re bad.

The Big Ten is already a brutal conference that’s miserably difficult to win outright. Ohio State’s last title came in 2012, and by adding to the Big Ten, it’s only going to get more difficult. The two teams that defected from the PAC-12 recently — USC and UCLA — not only have respectable football programs, but they also have better-than-average basketball programs.

USC has consistently been making the NCAA Tournament for the last several years, and with the implementation of NIL, its recruiting has improved drastically. UCLA is one of the historic blue blood programs in the country and made a Final Four as recently as 2021.

The Buckeyes haven’t won a league title in over a decade, and it got a lot harder by adding those two PAC-12 programs. To counter this, why not add a program that fits the Big Ten mold academically while also becoming the next candidate to be a conference doormat?

Jerrod Haase has gone 112-109 in his seven seasons leading the Stanford men’s basketball season, including a 14-19 record last season. Stanford has not made the NCAA Tournament in his seven seasons, although they had a good chance to make it in 2020 when they won 20 games, and then the postseason was canceled due to a global pandemic.

If he was at a more prestigious program where expectations were a bit higher, Haase probably wouldn’t have a job now. But even in the PAC-12, Stanford is annually predicted to be one of the bottom teams. Adding the Cardinal to the Big Ten would keep the stuffy, midwestern academic vibe consistent, and also wouldn’t (shouldn’t) make things harder on the Buckeyes to win the league title, as a team that is in a slightly better spot than Stanford right now.

I guess if we’re being forced to add a team, I vote for adding a team that would impact Ohio State the least, while also blending in with Northwestern and the Purdue’s of the world, academics-wise.

Justin: Washington

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament First Round - Washington vs Colorado Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, I am just rooting for chaos. Outside of USC and UCLA, there really isn’t any team, in my opinion, that really makes true waves. Arizona and Oregon are probably the best in terms of programs and talent, but they aren’t as fun or chaotic as Washington.

Washington has had some great players over the past decade. Markelle Fultz, Dejounte Murray and Matisse Thybulle have made it to the NBA and have had longevity in their careers there. So that would be fun to add that talent. Plus, if we are going to make Rutgers and Maryland travel to the West Coast, might as well add Washington to the list.

In addition, think about some of the uniform matchups. Washington’s uniforms are pretty cool and a nice contrast to those of Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State, amongst others.

Washington also lives in the happy medium that sometimes they are good, and sometimes they really aren't. So they wouldn't come to the Big Ten and be a powerhouse the whole time or a doormat, which I feel makes them a good addition.

Plus, Huskies.


Which Pac-12 team would be the most interesting to join Big Ten Basketball?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Stanford (Connor)
    (8 votes)
  • 51%
    Washington (Justin)
    (22 votes)
  • 30%
    (13 votes)
43 votes total Vote Now