Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: 5 storylines to watch as 2023-24 league play gets going

Big Ten basketball already has some early parity as the bulk of conference play approaches in January. Take a look at five early storylines to keep an eye on as things should heat up in the conference in 2024.

Purdue v Northwestern
Purdue v Northwestern / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Big Ten basketball is shaping up to be an exciting season once again. Though, it could be a long way away from the eight-bid conference that it was a season ago. The Purdue Boilermakers, Illinois Fighting Illini, and Wisconsin Badgers are the lone ranked teams in the Big Ten while the Michigan State Spartans are currently 0-2 in conference play.

It could be a down year for some teams in the standings as just four Big Ten squads remain unbeaten in early conference action. The Indiana Hoosiers are the surprise team leading the way currently at 2-0 while the Wisconsin Badgers, Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats are all 1-0.

The Indiana Hoosiers are 2-0 atop the Big Ten standings

Head coach Mike Woodson is out to make it three straight NCAA Tournament appearances in a row with the Indiana Hoosiers. They're 2-0 already with victories over Maryland at home and Michigan on the road to sit atop the early standings heading into January.

Malik Reneau, Kel'el Ware, Trey Galloway and Mackenzie Mgbako are all averaging double-figures while Anthony Walker continues to find his way as a key reserve off the bench. They've missed Xavier Johnson's presence in the backcourt since November, but they've managed to compete, nearly beating the Kansas Jayhawks in Assembly Hall back Dec. 16.

The Hoosiers have bounced back since then, winning three straight games. They'll visit Nebraska on Wednesday before hosting the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday afternoon in what should be a battle. At 10-3 on the season, it will be interesting to see where the Hoosiers end up in the conference standings over the next few months.