Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana on top of latest power rankings

Over a month into the season, which Big Ten Basketball teams have played the best as league play nears?

Illinois v Iowa
Illinois v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages
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5. Indiana Hoosiers - 7-3 (2-0)

The Hoosiers are a team whose resumes say can still be a top-5/6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, while the eye test (at least mine) and metrics say shouldn't even be in the NIT. The early struggles against the likes of Army, FGCU, and even Louisville combined with blowout losses to Auburn and UConn suggest they aren't good.

And then you have the near upset of Kansas this past weekend, without starting PG, Xavier Johnson. They're a team that's starting to mesh on the offensive end, eliminating the spacing concerns in the frontcourt. Oregon transfer Ke'lel Ware (16.1 ppg and 9.8 rpg) is having a big sophomore year, while Malik Reneau (14.6 ppg) has quietly been just as good.

One big development has been the play of Mackenzie Mgbako. The five-star freshman wing looked unplayable in the first few games of the season but is currently on a 5-game streak of double-digit scoring, including 14 pts versus Kansas. Guard Trey Galloway becoming a double-digit threat himself in the backcourt has been just as important since this team needs shooting options.

The next three games should be a good test of how much Indiana has grown. They should easily beat these teams (Morehead State, North Alabama, and Kennesaw State) but the key should be blowing them out instead of close outings like before.