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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6. Northwestern (11-3, 2-1)

Every trip that Northwestern has ever made to the NCAA Tournament has come with Chris Collins as head coach, including their second ever trip last season. The Wildcats greatly exceeded expectations last season and might be on track to repeating matters this year, especially with their early accomplishments.

It hasn’t always been pretty. Northwestern lost at home in shocking fashion to Chicago State and got absolutely murdered by Illinois just last week. They were also the first team to beat Purdue back in December and they’ve picked up what are nice wins over Dayton and Michigan State at home. The record looks good and the offense has some great moments and the leadership on this team is a big reason why.

Boo Buie continues to be a star for these Wildcats while players like Brooks Barnhizer and Ryan Langborg keep pulling their weight as well. This has obviously not been a perfect two months by any means, but you’ll take the bitter upsets when paired with the amazing wins at home. Ignoring the anchor that is that Chicago State loss on the resume, Northwestern has proven that they can win against any team in the country, at least while at home. Will it continue when the going is tough on the road?