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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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Who's the early favorite to win the Big Ten regular season title?

Purdue Boilermakers

It's hard to count out last year's regular-season and conference tournament champion given they have Zach Edey. Whenever he's on the floor and healthy, they're arguably the best team in college basketball. Even with their loss to Northwestern, at 1-1 in the standings, the Boilermakers are in good shape heading into the bulk of conference action. They'll travel to Maryland on Tuesday night and then host Illinois on Friday night to get their January schedule started.

Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern isn't just a one-man show. Outside of Boo Buie in their backcourt, the Wildcats currently rank second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (63.1 points per game) and they already hold a victory over conference-favorite Purdue. Ty Berry is another senior guard to keep an eye on as well. He went off for 21 points and four assists against the Boilermakers. Look for his production to grow in conference play. They'll visit Illinois on Tuesday then host Michigan State on Sunday to kick off January.

Wisconsin Badgers

Don't count out the Wisconsin Badgers. Head coach Greg Gard has already put together the 49th-best scoring defense (64.9 points per game) with this year's squad and they've already gone into hostile territory at Michigan State to secure a conference victory.

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They've won eight of their last nine games since starting the season 1-2. AJ Storr, Steven Crowl, and Tyler Wahl have found their stride and freshman John Blackwell is finding his veteran legs as a key reserve.