Facebook hadn’t been invented yet, Zion Williamson didn’t exist, Mad Cow Disease was the “pandemic” of the time, and Y2K is what so many thought would be the end of modern civilization. The year 2000 feels like it was so long ago, but it feels even further away for Big Ten hoops fans. Twenty-three years ago, Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans won their second national title in program history. But, it was also the last time the Big Ten won the Big Dance.
The Big Ten Tournament kicks off this week in Chicago, as 14 teams will compete for a conference tournament title. Over the last 20-plus years, the winner of this tournament has been the only net a Big Ten team has cut down. And if it wasn’t for the Spartans’ upset win over the Florida Gators in 2000, the league’s drought would be even longer as Michigan’s national title win from 1989 is the only one that precedes Michigan State’s.
With Purdue (No. 5) being one of the best teams in the country all season, and the best team in the Big Ten by a country mile, it feels like the league’s dreams now rest on the Boilermakers’ shoulders. And as we get ready to enter March Madness, here’s a look back at the teams that have won it all since the Spartans did it in 2000.