Note: projections will not include my predictions for the Big Ten basketball tournament, nor any March Madness predictions.
1. Wisconsin Badgers 15-0 (2-0) + projected 15-3 in Big Ten basketball = 28-3 #1 seed in NCAA Tournament
Perhaps the most underrated and overlooked program in the country right now.
2. Ohio State Buckeyes 15-0 (2-0) + projected 14-4 in Big Ten basketball = 27-4 #1 seed in NCAA Tournament
Another consecutive sweet 16 and more looks likely.
3. Michigan State Spartans 13-1 (2-0) + projected 13-5 in Big Ten basketball = 24-6 #3 seed in NCAA Tournament
A couple signature wins. Kentucky is #18, and now with the win over Louisville, they’ll shoot up the chart. Road win at Texas was a superlative resume builder too.
4. Iowa Hawkeyes 12-3 (1-1) + projected 12-6 in Big Ten basketball = 23-8 #5 seed in NCAA Tournament
Looked really good at Wisconsin, in what is as tough a game as they’ll have this seen.
5. Illinois Fighting Illini 13-2 (2-0) + projected 11-7 in Big Ten basketball = 22-9 #8 seed in NCAA Tournament
Illini are #10 in the nation in RPI. Took care of PSU handily for once. Which is refreshing as they always struggle with the lowly Lions.
6. Indiana Hoosiers 10-5 (0-2) + projected 9-9 in Big Ten basketball = 19-12 #11 seed in NCAA Tournament
looked really awful at home to Michigan State. This could be a really down year for Crean and Crimson
7. Minnesota Golden Gophers 12-3 (1-1) + projected 9-9 in Big Ten basketball = 19-11 NIT/NCAA Tournament bubble
Their RPI is 50, and they seemed to destined to do the same they always do, give us plenty of “NCAA bubble” watch stories come March.
8. Michigan Wolverines 10-4 (2-0)+ projected 9-9 in Big Ten basketball = 18-12 NIT
The ankle injury to Glenn Robinson III was not serious, but this team is still without Mitch McGary. The losses will come when they play the league’s better teams. And Kate Upton will jump off the bandwagon. If she hasn’t already.
9. Purdue Boilermakers 10-5 (0-2) + projected 8-10 in Big Ten basketball = 17-14 NIT
Not the greatest start to conference play. Boilers are 144th in the nation in field goal percentage.
10. Nebraska Cornhuskers 8-6 (0-2) + projected 5-13 in Big Ten basketball = 13-16 NOTHING
Better days are ahead for this program. I don’t exactly when those days will come, but things will improve. After all, Tim Miles is witty and possesses good comedic timing. It’s got to count for something, right?
11. Penn State Nittany Lions 9-6 (0-2) + projected 4-14 in Big Ten basketball = 13-18 NOTHING
They can score; especially from the backcourt. They just can’t defend and their front line is weak. One of the league’s powers will come to State College and lose though. It happens every year. It’s a very difficult place to get to and the pain-the-ass-commute will make some visiting road teams sluggish and they’ll fall.
12. Northwestern Wildcats 7-8 (0-2) + projected 2-16 in Big Ten basketball = 9-22 NOTHING
Chris Collins is having a Tim Beckman like debut season. (Here’s more detail on that)
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments discussing, Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Bears and Bulls on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks