There is no question about it.  The Big Ten without discussion is the best American league right now with four teams among the top 10 teams in the rankings.  Currently, Indiana and Michigan are clear national title competitors and the Illinois team has shaken the country as much as any other so far.  On the other hand, the sad part of the league is having Penn State and Northwestern hoping to make some kind of progress now that they have lost their stars for the season due to injury.  All these facts will cause more separation between the pretenders and contenders in the Big Ten and will probably result in six teams heading to the NCAA finals this coming Mach.

Here are some statistics for the Big Ten:

  • Some of the teams that are on the right track now are Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan State and Minnesota

  • Teams that still need to work to get there: Iowa and Wisconsin

  • Teams which are almost out: Nebraska, Purdue, Penn State and Northwestern

  • The team that is not as good as its records is Illinois.  This team has got off to a hot start by coming back from Spokane with a great win against Gonzaga and also by winning the Maui Invitational.

  • The team that has been better than its record is undoubtedly Purdue, but it is still fine-tuning to continue without Lewis Jackson and Robbie Hummel.

  • The player who needs to step-up: Indiana is showing a lot of talent at the moment; however, Tom Crean needs his senior forward to create and produce against the elite teams.

  • Player of the year favorite: Cody Zeller from Indiana entered as the favorite to win Big Ten and National Player of the Year; however, he hasn’t really been leading.  On the other hand, there is Trey Burke from Michigan, who has been the best point guard in the country so far.  So the competition is still on.

  • The three games that everyone must see:
  1. Michigan at Indiana (Feb. 2nd)
  2. Indiana at Michigan State (Fen. 19th)
  3. Michigan State at Michigan (March 2nd)

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