Big Ten Basketball was looking to put at least 10 teams in the NCAA tournament before it was postponed last year. Can it duplicate that success in 2020-21?
Big Ten Basketball looked on their way to putting the most teams in the NCAA tournament in 2019-20 before COVID-19 shut everything down. They had legitimate title contenders in Michigan State, Maryland, and possibly Wisconsin. They had teams that nobody wanted to face in Michigan, Illinois, and Rutgers. They were looking to finally break their drought of national championships, but it will extend for another year, although this time it isn’t their fault.
Gone from the Big Ten is Cassius Winston, Anthony Cowan, and Lamar Stevens and they will be sorely missed. But the talent is still there in the conference and last year showed that maybe some of the bottom teams are finally catching up with the top of the class.
The season is going to be different this year and it will be interesting to see how every team adjusts. Will they get to play a non-conference schedule before they get to the Big Ten and if they can’t how will that effect play in the Big Ten?
Jumping right into conference play will be tough if that is what happens, but at least everyone will be in the same boat. That could help the older teams, which would seem to favor Wisconsin and Iowa, but don’t count out what Tom Izzo can do in East Lansing.
There are a lot of question marks heading into the season, but one thing we do know is it should be one of the best conferences in the country again and highly competitive. Can they get to the heights they were before the end of last season is to be seen, but buckle up because it should be fun.
But before we get to the games in a few months, we take a look at our preseason power rankings for the Big Ten.