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
6 of 14

9. Michigan Wolverines 6-5 (1-1)

Three straight games with 89+ points that included a win over St. John's gave what ended up being an overly optimistic look at how good Michigan was. They ended up losing 5 of 6 games right after, including to Long Beach State and a blowout defeat to Texas Tech in the ESPN Events Invitational.

The Wolverines do have one of the best pairs in Big Ten Basketball in Dug McDaniel and Olivier Nkamhoua. McDaniel has been on a breakout sophomore campaign, leading the team with 17.9 ppg and 5.0 rpg. Nkamhoua, the senior transfer from Tennessee, is having his best year yet in college, producing 16.5 ppg and 7.3 rpg.

The team has gotten good offense from the supporting cast, with both Terrance Williams and Nimari Burnett in double figures on the season. The problem has been on the defensive, where they easily rank at the bottom in most categories. And it's been really bad against power conference opponents as well.

The Wolverines will need to change it in a hurry, as they take on Florida up next in a neutral site battle. And after that is a game against a McNeese State team that has power conference talent. They could use those games to get back on the bubble picture.