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Big Ten History: Three Teams Ain't Never Done It Before

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Plus, Illinois-Arizona highlights!

USA TODAY Sports

Three Big Ten teams have a chance to to make the Final Four. Wisconsin plays Arizona, Michigan plays Kentucky, and Michigan State plays UConn. If Jim Delaney's dreams come true, it'd be the first time since 1985 that three teams from the same conference made the National Semifinals and the first time ever for the Big Ten.

In 1985 it was the Big East with Georgetown, St. John's and the champions, Villanova. That conference doesn't exist anymore.

Before the Big Extinct in 1985, the 3-peat feat kind of happened in 1970, when three independent teams--Jacksonville, New Mexico State and St. Bonaventure--earned the right to get slapped around by UCLA. This really isn't the same thing at all. Forget I mentioned it.

Point is, this would be big time. It'd guarantee a Big Ten team in the championship, open the door for an all-Big Ten final (which hasn't happened since 1976), and dramatically tip the scales towards, at least, a Big Ten winner. The last B1G team to take the dance was Michigan State in 2000, and 14 years is far too long for the best conference in the land to go without nourishment.

Championship participants...

2013: Michigan lost
2009: Michigan State lost
2007: Ohio State lost
2005: Illinois cemented their legacy as the greatest NCAA team to not win the championship
2002: Indiana lost

And, because we Illinois folk are such nice people, allow me to deaden the Arizona spirit a bit. It's the least I can do.

Sorry 'bout ya, Lute.