32 Conferences in 64 Days: Big Ten

The Big Ten has been considered the best conference in the nation the last few season. the conference will be in the race for that title again while getting the most NCAA bid. I do not see a clear cut favorite in this league and I dont think anyone team will be dominate enough to be in the 1 seed race. With no clear leader it will be a fun season in the Big Ten.

  1. Wisconsin (2 seed #6 overall)
  2. Iowa (3 seed #11 overall)
  3. Michigan State (4 seed #15 overall)
  4. Illinois (5 seed #18 overall)
  5. Ohio State (5 seed #19 overall)
  6. Michigan (5 seed #20 overall)
  7. Rutgers (6 seed #22 overall)
  8. Indiana (8 seed)
  9. Purdue (10 Seed)
  10. Minnesota (first four out)
  11. Penn State
  12. Maryland
  13. Nebraska
  14. Northwestern
  1. Wisconsin- The Badgers had a down season for Wisconsin standards last season but was still a solid Big Ten team that become out heading into March to get back up into the top 4 seed conversation.  Greg Gard’s 2020-21 squad will remind you of Big Ten football, a line up with all seniors that plays awesome defense. It might not be the sexy option to watch but this team will have the best defense in the Big Ten and have enough offense to win the conference.
  2. Iowa- Hawkeye fans are still yelling about Luke Garza not winning the national player of the year last season. I do not agree with them because Toppin deserved it, but they do have a case to disagree. Garza coming back makes Iowa a top team in the Big ten and the nation. If hey can keep their guards healthy (both injured for time last season) they can win the league.
  3. Michigan State- How does the Spartans respond from losing Cassius Winston who was one of the best 4-year players that Tom Izzo has ever had? They will reload and be one of the top teams in the Big Ten. Joshua Langford who they lost for the season early in 2019-20 is back and he will have to step up if Izzo’s team will have their usual success. They are a top 25 team but won’t be around the top 10 like they usually are. 
  4. Illinois- The Fighting Illini caught the eye of the average college basketball fan when they seemed to come out of nowhere to be a tournament team and upsetting teams in conference play left and right. They return all their starters and have Adam Miller a freshman expected to break into the starting lineup. Ayo Dosunmu will be in the Big Ten POY race and the Illini is my dark horse for the Big Ten title.
  5. Ohio State- The Buckeyes are the biggest wild card in the Big Ten. They lost a ton of talent including the Wesson brothers. But they bring in huge transfers. Seth Towns from Harvard got all the talk this offseason, but I believe that Justice Sueing from Cal will have the bigger impact. If they can all mesh, I could see Ohio State being as high as a top 15 team but there is risk of being on the bubble as well.
  6. Michigan- Just like their archrivals there is a lot of unknowns about the Wolverines. Coach Juwan Howard has had success so far in Ann Arbor. They lose Zavier Simpson but Isaiah Livers and Franz Wagner are back. If Livers can stay healthy this season than Michigan will be a quality Big Ten team and safely in the tournament.
  7. Rutgers- Piscataway was rocking last season with all the hype that Steve Pikiell’s squad brought to campus. The Scarlet Knights were a legit NCAA tournament team and fans must have been heartbroken when the Big Dance was canceled. Returning their whole roster should get those fans excited again. I don’t think they are a top team in the conference, but they should be dancing in March.
  8. Indiana- The Hoosiers played with fire last season losing some games late in the season and getting very close to the bubble. Fans should be excited for this Indiana team especially when Trayce Jackson-Davis didn’t even test the NBA draft waters when he was considered a possible one and done player.  They should be dancing in March but they have to be careful because a couple of losses again will put them right on the bubble.
  9. Purdue- Losing Matt Haarms hurts this Boilermakers squad but they do have a bunch of production coming back. The biggest question mark is their role players. The top 5 players are solid but after those 5 its all freshmen. If they can get the young guys to step up then Purdue will be a tournament team. They will be sweating on Selection Sunday, but they will be on the correct side of the bubble.
  10. Minnesota- In a weaker Big Ten, The Gophers would have been in the tournament last season they had the talent. They were on the wrong side on the losses that would have gotten their resume to be good enough. Will Pitino’s squad be good enough to get the Big Ten a record 10 bids? They have the talent to make it but with other power 6 conference getting better they will be on the wrong side of the bubble at the end of the day.
  11. Penn State- The Nittany Lions were hurt the most by March Madness not happening in the Big Ten. Like Rutgers they would have been a tourney team which would have broken a missed postseason skid. The difference is that PSU was a senior heavy team especially Lamar Stevens who was arguably the best player in program history. They bring in some transfers and 3 starters, but it won’t be enough to match the production missed by Stevens being gone. Penn State will upset some top Big Ten teams but wont have enough to make it in March.
  12. Maryland- Mark Turgoen had the best team of his career last season. So why are they way down on the projections? Because they lose almost all of their production and do not replace it with enough talent to reach those levels. Transfers Galin Smith from Alabama and Jairus Hamilton from Boston College will need to step up for the Terrapins to have any chance to be successful in the Big Ten.
  13. Nebraska- The Cornhuskers will have another season at the bottom of the Big Ten with Northwestern. They do have some hope for the future with 6 non senior transfers coming in but I don’t think all that talent with mesh together in time for this season. Watch out for Nebraska in a year or two.
  14. Northwestern- The Wildcats lost three buy games last season (Merrimack, Radford and Hartford) which is not an ideal situation to be in when you are in the best conference in basketball. They have a young core that fans in Chicago will watch closely but I just don’t see it getting any better for them. There are 12 teams that could potentially go dancing in the Big Ten then 2 fighting not to come in last.

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