Around the Big Ten Basketball: Week 11
Host Logan Bourandas, alongside Ben Geller and Josh Portney, look into this week in Big Ten basketball. They dive in to some of the best games of the week and discuss the Big Ten’s chances in making March Madness.
It’s the new year, and conference play is in full swing for college basketball. With a season full of parody and no dominating force, no one knows how things will end up come March. With that being said, it’s time to take a look around the Big Ten and see how things are shaping up so far.
The Big Ten has been filled with uncertainty to start the season with only one dominant team, two clear bottom-feeders, and a whole lot of question marks. The dominant force so far has been Michigan State, which is led by senior guard Cassius Winston. The Spartans are having a very good season, as they have posted a 13-4 overall record and an impressive 5-1 record in conference play. The Spartans appear to be the best team in the conference this season.
As for the two bottom-feeders, those titles go to Northwestern and Nebraska, which look to be staying home come March. Both teams are well below .500 in both their conference record and overall record. They appear to be the only two Big Ten teams that have nearly no shot at making the NCAA Tournament.
For the other 11 teams in the conference, no one seems to know where any team will finish, and no one knows which teams are contenders and which ones are pretenders.
Ohio State looked to be one of the best teams in the country after dominating North Carolina in Chapel Hill, but the Buckeyes have lost their last four games and are tied for last place in the Big Ten.
The Fighting Illini of Illinois have been the hottest team in the conference as of late. They’re winners of their last three and are ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2014.
Iowa and Penn State have both recently fallen out of the rankings after being ranked for a few weeks, as both teams got off to an impressive start but have been mediocre since conference play has begun. This is evident from their 2-3 conference records.
Rutgers was a team that some believed would be ranked after having a few impressive wins, including home wins over then-ranked Penn State and Wisconsin. However, the Scarlet Knights remain unranked and sit at fifth in the conference standings following the loss to Illinois.
The biggest story in the Big Ten so far has been the number of quality teams. Although there may be only one dominant team, there could be as many as 12 teams that hear the name called on Selection Sunday. Will 12 teams make it into the big dance? Probably not.
Nonetheless, the Big Ten is incredibly competitive this season, as some teams like Rutgers and Indiana have been better than expected, while teams like Maryland and Ohio State have been a little disappointing. It’s anyone’s guess as to how the Big Ten will look when it’s all said and done. One thing can be said for certain: the Big Ten will be fun to watch in the coming months.
Mitch Broder is a sophomore majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email him email@example.com.