Yeah! Iowa’s ranked 20th! Iowa is ranked TOO DAMN HIGH.
So what if I was here 24 hours ago telling you to raise expectations. I’m here to remind you Iowa ain’t played nobody PAWLLL and are not actually the third best team in the conference like the voters said.
The last time I did these was October 30th aka preseason.
14. Illinois Fighting Illini; 1-2 (Last Time: 14)
Since we last met: Illinois is in Maui and put on a good showing against Gonzaga last night in a six-point loss. They also lost to Patrick Ewing and Mac McClung at home so it’s hard to use the huge Evansville win as much of a boost over their prior ranking of LAST. However, if they beat ISU later today they immediately become first in these rankings.
13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights; 3-1 (LT: 12)
Since we last met: They lost to St. John’s by a wide margin but whooped up on Fairleigh Dickinson, Drexel, and Eastern Michigan. They held the EMUs (not their real mascot though it should) to four first half points. FOUR!
12. Penn State Nittany Lions; 2-1 (LT: 9)
Since we last met: You’re lucky you’re ranked this high! Penn State beat North Florida and Jacksonville St. before losing to Max’s DePaul Blue Demons in the Gavitt Tipoff or whatever it’s called. You can’t lose to DePaul and hope to be ranked inside the top 10! Could they be struggling to fill the vacuum a la Iowa and Peter Jok with Tony Carr’s departure?
11. Northwestern Wildcats; 3-0 (LT: 11)
Since we last met: Northwestern has played New Orleans, American, and Binghamton and dispatched them accordingly.
10. Minnesota Golden Gophers; 3-0 (LT: 13)
Since we last met: Beat Omaha, Utah, and Texas A&M. Two Power 5 wins! Jordan Murphy: still good!
9. Maryland Terrapins; 5-0 (LT: 6)
Since we last met: They’ve traveled to Annapolis for a win against Navy but four other home games have been pretty routine. Delaware made it close (a six-point margin) even though it was never really that interesting. Anthony Cowan is looking like he’ll be their iron man, once again.
8. Iowa Hawkeyes; 4-0 (LT: 12)
Since we last met: At first blush, Iowa’s Oregon and UConn wins seem to be the best of the bunch. And they might be! But Bol Bol is a baby giraffe and the Ducks just got done flying from Eugene. Their wings were so tired! The Huskies were coming down off of that sweet, sweet, Old Big East (TM) high the night before. Iowa’s played so well they haven’t even been tested!
7. Wisconsin Badgers; 3-0 (LT: 7)
Since we last met: I sports hate Wisconsin basketball more than any college sports team but my god, Ethan Happ has really fine-tuned his Neo-like ability to hack the KenPom Matrix. Once again, he is in the top 10 of kPOY and frankly, it must stop. DOES THE ALGORITHM NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT FREE THROW PERCENTAGE.
Anyways, they beat a Xavier team which peaked last year and then Chris Mack decided to hop to the bad side of the Ohio River which says everything about the Badgers’ best win.
Also, Buzzcut Brad.
6. Purdue Boilermakers; 4-1 (LT: 3)
Since we last met: Clearly this team relies on Carsen Edwards a little too much. He’s shot 10+ threes in all 5 games. Seems like a lot. Also, I didn’t realize graduating from an Ivy League school in 3 years aged you 100.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes; 4-0 (LT: 8)
Since we last met: Chris Holtmann has taken his KBD-less squad on the road twice to Cincinnati and Creighton and won. That’s pretty cool. I’d say those are the best wins anybody has and it’s only moved them up to fifth!
4. Indiana Hoosiers; 3-1 (LT: 5)
Since we last met: They whooped up on Mark Titus’s Chicago State Cougars and our own Jordan Hansen’s Montana St. Bobcats and even took it to Marquette before a thrilling road loss to Arkansas. This is really the only team I’m judging on talent and not results because Bud Walton Arena is a tough place to play.
Romeo Langford will be the runner up to Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
3. Nebraska Cornhuskers; 4-0 (LT: 4)
Since we last met: Now here’s a team who hasn’t played anybody and was so mediocre last year that a 13-5 (!!!) conference record couldn’t get them into the tournament.
2. Michigan State Spartans; 3-1 (LT: 2)
Since we last met: Lost to Kansas in the Champions Classic despite not being a champion since before KenPom.com was born. They’ll inevitably go through a slump before kicking it into gear before proclaim “Izzo will have them ready when it matters” only to be upstaged by his counterpart in Ann Arbor. AGAIN.
1. Michigan Wolverines; 5-0 (LT: 1)
Since we last met: Better men would casually note that I had them as the best team in the conference and move on but I’m not them. I shall gloat. They ROASTED Villanova in Philly! George Washington and Providence didn’t stand a chance. John Beilein is a humble genius who hired a guy to break college basketball. Ignas Brazdeikis is Charizard-Mo Wagner. Charles Matthews and Zavier Simpson are tremendous. Swaggy Poole is Swaggy Poole.
And that’s that. Tell me why I’m an idiot!
Next time: December 5th-ish