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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3. Wisconsin Badgers - 8-3 (1-0)

Things started out shaky at first for the Badgers, being a few minutes away against Robert Morris from a 1-3 start to the season. They've been great ever since, beating everyone outside of top-ranked Arizona, getting wins over SMU, Virginia, Michigan State, and a top-5 Marquette squad.

It helps that a healthy frontcourt duo of Tyler Wahl and Steven Crowl are having a big impact, both averaging in double figures. But the big lift has come from newcomer AJ Storr, who leads the team with 13.7 ppg. Freshman John Blackwell (9.6 ppg) has also given them a big lift in his first year as well in the backcourt.

There still are warning signs of the kind of ceiling for Wisconsin, as they have six scorers on the roster. That doesn't include Connor Essegian, who averaged 11.7 ppg as a freshman but has been left out of the rotation completely. The emergence of Blackwell has pushed him off to the side but his shooting could be needed in Big Ten play if they even get into a slump.

The Badgers have just one game left in the non-con before league play gets going. But it's against the same Chicago State team that defeated Northwestern this month. After that are home games against Iowa and Nebraska to give them a real path to a 3-0 start in the standings.