Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: Minnesota, Northwestern and Nebraska rise in latest power rankings

Illinois v Purdue
Illinois v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Relatively speaking, the college basketball season isn’t new. Games have been played for more than two months, including virtually the entirety of nonconference play. These two months have shown us a lot about this sport already, though there are plenty more things to be unveiled in the weeks and months ahead.

Conference play is only just getting underway, and this is when we’re going to see the best and worst from some of these programs. Nonconference play can be drastically different for similar teams in the same conference, but it’s the same battle once the calendar hits January. At this point, nothing matters but those conference rivals on the schedule and that’s certainly true in the Big Ten.

This conference will look very different when it adds four teams from the Pac-12 next season, but our focus is on right now. The fourteen teams currently in the Big Ten will battle continually in the coming weeks, though we already know a few things about these teams. It’s clear who the best team in the Big Ten is and who some of the other contenders are.

Today’s task is ranking the teams in Big Ten Basketball based on where they currently stand. We’ve only seen a couple of conference games from each of these teams, meaning we’re still considering their nonconference slates quite a bit. We’ll be considering how these teams are playing most recently but also looking at the total picture of their season. Some teams have greatly disappointed while others are exceeding expectations. Without further ado, let’s attack an early January ranking of these Big Ten teams.