Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: Grading each team's 2023-24 non-conference performance

The end of the non-conference portion of the 2023-24 college basketball season is near, meaning it is time to grade how each Big Ten team has fared in non-conference play.

Zach Edey, Fletcher Loyer, Lance Jones
Zach Edey, Fletcher Loyer, Lance Jones / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Indiana Hoosiers: C

Is Indiana good? Is Indiana bad? Is Indiana just…okay? 

Standing at 9-3 (2-0) on the season with zero bad losses (UConn, Auburn and Kansas), it would look as if the Hoosiers have had a solid non-conference slate.

Unfortunately, the more you dig, the more holes you find with how this team has fared in the first two months of the season.

Ranked 5th in the country in “Luck”, according to KenPom, the Hoosiers struggled to put away Florida Gulf Coast, Army, Wright State, Louisville and Morehead State in non-conference play. 

Is it impressive that the Hoosiers closed the game on a 20-4 run to beat Morehead State, or is it unimpressive that they needed that 20-4 run just to win by one? 

Either way you look at it, the metrics are not too fond of Indiana, placing the Hoosiers in the 80’s in BartTorvik and KenPom, respectively. And despite a 2-0 record in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers will have work to do if they want to get into the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year under Mike Woodson.

Indiana hosts Kennesaw State on Friday, Dec. 29 to close out their non-conference slate.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights: B-

Rutgers may have lost their first game of the season, but a 68-61 loss to the 11-1 Ivy League favorites Princeton Tigers isn’t that bad of a loss.

After winning five straight, including a 71-60 win over Georgetown, Rutgers would proceed to lose by 18 at home to Illinois and 19 on the road at Wake Forest.

To follow up their two poor offensive performances, Steve Pikiell’s Scarlet Knights went into Newark to knock off Seton Hall -- a team that just beat the reigning National Champions by 15 -- by a final score of 70-63.

It seems as if this team will fall under the category of the past two teams in Piscataway: A tough, defensive-oriented squad that can get cold from behind the arc, ultimately leading them to The Bubble come Selection Sunday.

Unlike the rest of the Big Ten, The Scarlet Knights have an opportunity to grab a crucial non-conference victory, as they will face Mississippi State in Newark on Saturday, Dec. 23 followed by a matchup against Stonehill on Saturday, Dec. 30.