‘Ashamed of Them D**n Selves’- Stephen A. Smith Blasts the Big Ten Conference After March Madness Struggles

Published 03/25/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
Mar 19, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes forward Zed Key (23) and guard Duane Washington Jr. (4) react as they leave the court after overtime loss to the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Bickel-USA TODAY Sports


March Madness 2021 has been absolutely nuts. All brackets made for the tournament by the fans were busted before the second round, with a host of upsets rocking the tournament. However, it seems that most of the upsets seem to affect one conference, and that is the Big Ten.

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The Big Ten was the presumed ‘best conference‘ heading into this tournament and were given 7 teams in the tournament. However, teams like Iowa, Rutgers, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Purdue have already been eliminated. Most of those losses were massive upsets, and Stephen A. Smith has blasted the conference.

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Yeah, they are better than this and I appreciate you saying that. Max Kellerman, you too coach, I don’t want to hear a damn thing about them beating up on each other.

“When we talk about basketball and basketball players, what you hear consistently is that you go out there, you practice consistently with repetition because it prepares you for competitive play. When you don’t practice and you don’t go against competitive competition that you may be ill-prepared.

“So the way I look at the Big Ten and anybody that disagrees should be ashamed of them damn selves. What do you mean they beat up on each other? The fact that you balled against competition within your conference should make you better prepared for the NCAA Tournament.”

March Madness: How does the Big Ten collapse rank all-time?

Mar 12, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard reacts from the sideline in the game against the Maryland Terrapins in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This may just be the biggest single-conference collapse in recent history. Outside tournament champions, the Michigan Wolverines, every Big Ten team has already been sent home from the dance. Michigan is the saving grace of the conference and will go up to try and win the tournament.

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The Big Ten had four one and two seeds, and Michigan is the only surviving team of the bunch. Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio State were the other two. At least Iowa won one game before losing, unlike Illinois and Ohio State.

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The 1-5 record that the Big Ten has gotten in the second round rank as one of the worst performances by a conference since 1985. Hopefully, Juwan Howard’s men can salvage the conference and make a deep run into the tournament, as they were expected to.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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