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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4. Ohio State Buckeyes - 9-2 (1-1)

After last season's disaster, it''s clear that the Buckeyes have bounced back. They won the Emerald Coast Classic earlier, beating Alabama and Santa Clara. It hasn't all been great, as the team choked an 18-point lead in a loss to Penn State.

One thing that has happened for Ohio State is the young guards taking the needed leap. Bruce Thornton (18.0 ppg and 4.3 apg) has been playing at an all-league level, while Roddy Gayle (14.7 ppg and 3.5 apg) has also been great as sophomores. Minnesota transfer Jamison Battle has been a double-digit scorer on the wings and an effective replacement for Brice Sensabaugh.

The center duo of Felix Okpara and Zed Key have collectively been good at the five-spot, while top-50 freshman forwards Devin Royal and Scotty Middleton have started out slow out the gate. The good news is that this is a very good shooting team, giving Ohio State's offense a high floor overall.

The Buckeyes have games against New Orleans and whoever West Virginia trots out there at this point to end the month. After that are games against Rutgers and Indiana to get back to league play. If they can stop blowing big leads, this could be a threat for a top-tier spot in the Big Ten.