All of these teams played bad teams since I last met you here. They lost some of those games. But they won more of them!
Conference play restarts tonight!
HONORABLE MENTION: LIBERTY FLAMES; 11-4 (Last time: Off the board)
Steve Alford is no longer the coach of UCLA and we can thank Liberty for being the team which finally did him in. For that, I am inducting Liberty as an HONORARY MEMBER of the Big Ten. Frankly there’s a case to have them in the conference anyways, considering how some of these teams have played this season.
FIGHTING ILLINI; 4-9 (0-2) (LT: 14)
Their best win this season is East Tennessee State and their second best win is losing to Gonzaga by 6.
13. RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS; 7-5 (0-2) (LT: 12)
They went 1-3 in New York City’s version of the Big Five against St. John’s, Fordham, Seton Hall, and Columbia. The one was against Columbia in overtime.
12. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS; 7-6 (0-2) (LT: 13)
I still have no idea what to think of this team. The analytics like them – 47th according to KenPom! – but the win against Virginia Tech should only take them so far. They wanted Bama, got Bama, and lost to Bama.
11. NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS; 9-4 (0-2) (LT: 11)
They only beat Chicago State by 42 points, smh.
10. MARYLAND TERRAPINS; 10-3 (1-1) (LT: 10)
I was prepared to put Maryland ahead of Minnesota and Iowa but then I realized they lost at home to Seton Hall. One Loyola (Marymount) shy of the Triple Crown.
9. IOWA HAWKEYES; 11-2 (0-2) (LT: 8)
Only beating Bryant by 5 has to account for something. Getting Garza back will be yyyuge, Dog.
Seth Davis on November 19th after 2k Classic ($): Iowa is 15th
Seth Davis on December 31st ($): “I’m not sure why a home win over Iowa State and neutral-court victories over Oregon and UConn merit a place in the Top 25.”
The only thing better than an overreaction is the adjustment to said overreaction.
8. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS; 8-5 (1-1) (LT: 7)
As always, fuck cancer.
7. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS; 11-2 (1-1) (LT: 9)
KenPom hates Minnesota – well, as much as they hate any Big Ten team and it’s easy to see why. They’ve played just two away games – both double digit losses – and a third at U.S. Bank Stadium. I’m just now learning the Thanksgiving tournament they won was in Vancouver. That’s neat.
6. WISCONSIN BADGERS; 10-3 (2-0) (LT: 4)
WHY AM I STILL YELLING TEAM NAMES. I DON’T KNOW BUT IT’S TOO LATE TO STOP.
Wisconsin lost to Marquette and Western Kentucky on the road.
5. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS; 11-2 (1-1) (LT: 6)
Nebraska just keeps humming along with wins against powerhouses Creighton and SW Minnesota State.
4. INDIANA HOOSIERS; 11-2 (2-0) (LT: 5)
They had a couple tight wins over border rivals Louisville and Butler. Can they keep pulling out the close ones? Currently 4-1 in games decided by three points or less.
3. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES; 12-1 (2-0) (LT: 3)
Snuck one out against Bucknell but bet against Chris Holtmann at your own peril.
How did Iowa get the one bad Butler coach out of the last like 6?
2. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS; 11-2 (2-0) (LT: 2)
If Tom Izzo guides the Spartans to a 8-0 start in conference play, Nick Ward or Cassius Winston will be held out for precautionary measures at Iowa and/or Purdue. Those road losses will throw everyone off the scent which allows Michigan State to peak in March instead of January.
1. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES; 13-0 (2-0) (LT: 1)
I read this KenPom tweet as “Michigan has a 25% chance of finishing undefeated” then I go and see they only have a 0.1% chance of finishing undefeated and immediately realize how dumb I am.
2 years ago, Michigan had the 4th best offense and 69th best defense (nice). Now they have the 23rd best offense and the 4th best defense. 69 divided by 23 is 3. 2 to the third power is 8. Michigan will lose in the Elite Eight by 4 points.
NEXT TIME: NOT SURE! I’M GETTING MARRIED IN TWO WEEKS