Final Four: Big Ten loses 12th straight basketball title game as Purdue falls to UConn

Final Four: Big Ten loses 12th straight basketball title game as Purdue falls to UConn

Purdue lost to UConn in the NCAA championship game Monday. That meant the Big Ten lost too, which has become something of a trend.

Monday's game marked the Big Ten's eighth straight loss in a men's national championship game, with the conference's last title coming from Michigan State in 2000. The Big Ten has also lost four women's championship games in that span, the most recent coming Sunday with Iowa's loss to South Carolina.

That adds up to an 0-12 record since Tom Izzo's group cut the nets, with eight different schools taking an L, though current member Maryland can at least brag it won a championship in 2002 when it was part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The full list (women's games in italics):

2001: Purdue loses 68-66 to Notre Dame
2002: Indiana loses 64-52 to Maryland
2005: Illinois loses 75-70 to North Carolina
2005: Michigan State loses 84-62 to Baylor
2007: Ohio State loses 84-75 to Florida
2009: Michigan State loses 89-72 to North Carolina
2013: Michigan loses 82-76 to Louisville (win has since been vacated)
2015: Wisconsin loses (68-63) to Duke
2018: Michigan loses (79-62) to Villanova
2023: Iowa loses 102-85 to LSU
2024: Purdue loses 75-60 to Connecticut
2024: Iowa loses 87-75 to South Carolina

Purdue continued the Big Ten’s run of championship losses. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Per OptaStats, that's three times longer than the next longest streaks of four straight championship losses (Big Ten 1961-1969, SEC 2000-2004 and Pac-12 2001-2010). In that span of time since the 1999-2000 season, UConn alone has won 13 combined men's and women's championships, with only one championship game loss.

UNC, Kansas, Duke, Florida and Villanova have also both won multiple men's championships, while South Carolina, Tennessee, Baylor and Notre Dame have done the same on the women's side.

It's a streak that defies basic variance. Obviously, the most natural way for a conference to win a championship is for a power program to have everything come together, but it's hard to deny the Big Ten's traditional powers, such as Indiana and Michigan State, have faded in the last couple decades.

It's also worth noting every single one of the men's losses have come against a No. 1 seed, which is a streak of bad luck by itself. The Big Ten is the richest conference in the country and has obviously seen success in other sports, but success in basketball has proven to be a different challenge.


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