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
4 of 14

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers - 8-3 (1-1)

Reportedly, Minnesota suffered a blowout loss to Colorado State in a "secret scrimmage". And with a roster that looked suspect, to begin with, there was plenty of concern about how good or bad the team was going to be once the season started. But despite blowing a large lead at home to lose to Missouri, Coach Ben Johnson's team has largely looked good to this point.

Along with other losses to Ohio State and San Francisco, the Gophers do have a win over Nebraska, 76-65. They're currently on a three-game win streak, coming off scoring 101 points in a dominant win over IUPUI.

Even though he's missed a couple of games, Dawson Garcia is having his best year to date, averaging 18.2 ppg and 7.4 rpg. And there's been a good amount of depth going along with the forward, including freshman guard Cam Christie (11.6 ppg) and Joshua Ola-Joseph (10.5 ppg). Transfer guards Mike Mitchell and Elijah Hawkins have played well, with Hawkins ranking among the best nationally with 7.5 apg.

The Gophers won just nine games total in all of last season. They have the chance to surpass that before getting back to league play, taking on Ball State and Maine. Both teams have played better than expected so it might not be easy wins.