Can the Pac-12 compete with the Big Ten? Is a WNBA G League possible? – Athletics

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Like many, as we enter the final weeks of 2021, I find myself reflecting and questioning, and yes, that applies even to women’s hangers.

I’ve spent parts of November thinking: Can anyone beat South Carolina? Which coach this season will most likely turn the bird on national television? What would a basketball landscape in college look like without Gary Blair? (This question is the hardest because I do not know the answer. He has been training college hops all my life.)

Every few weeks throughout the season, we open our mailbox at The Athletic to see what questions our readers are considering. And together we reflect.

Where do Veronica Burton and Northwestern fit into this year’s Big Ten / NCAA picture with the best Big Ten teams and others in the mix? – Johnny S.

At this point, with the evidence that has been given in games so far, Big Ten is the best power conference this season. At the top are Maryland and Indiana, Iowa is in third place (though I still want to see the Hawkeyes in good competition and am curious to see what they look like after this COVID break), followed by Michigan and Ohio State. I had Michigan State in sixth place, but now I think it could very well be the Northwesterns.

It can be hard to play in a strong conference because there will be losses and even the worst teams in the conference will find ways to win one here or there and the intermediate teams will have to avoid these disruptions. But the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee should reward the Big Ten this year with seven spots in the NCAA Tournament if the teams continue to play as well.

During the 2018 and 2019 NCAA tournaments, six Big Ten teams received bids on the dance, while the ACC had eight, the SEC had seven and the Pac-12 had six.


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