Big Ten Conference: Complete Predictions for 2012-2013 Standings
Big Ten Conference Predictions
The Big Ten Conference has been strong so far in the 2012-2013 NCAA Basketball season. Currently, six teams from the conference are ranked in the Top 25. Going into Big Ten Conference play, seven of the twelve teams have two losses or less.
The Michigan Wolverines have a perfect record going into conference play. However, a strong conference could ruin their bid for a perfect season as the team will play several ranked teams twice over the next two months.
Last year, no Big Ten team had a better conference record than 13-5. With several National Championship contending teams emerging from the conference, expectations are for better records in Big Ten play. Analysts are looking for several of the top teams to improve on the league best 13-5 records posted by Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the 2011-2012 season.
Last season, the Big Ten sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament. Four of those teams advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. However, none of the Big Ten teams brought home the coveted National Championship. The Big Ten has not won a national title since Michigan State won in 2000. The conference has one of the best chances it has had in a while with six strong teams.
Here are my predictions on how the Big Ten standings will look at the end of the 2012-2013 season. Click through the slideshow to see how your favorite team might do. Disagree with my predictions or have your own thoughts to share, you can find me on Twitter or Google Plus.
12. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Big Ten Prediction: 3-15
Wins: Purdue, Penn State, @Iowa
Nebraska will struggle in the Big Ten in the 2012-2013 season. The team ranks 293rd in the NCAA with 61.7 points per game. Losses to teams like Kent State and UTEP show the Cornhuskers aren't ready for the competition in the Big Ten.
11. Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State 8-4
Big Ten Prediction 3-15
Wins: @Purdue, Purdue, Iowa
Penn State has four losses, including two to La Salle and Akron. The Nittany Lions will likely struggle with the competition in the Big Ten.
10. Purdue Boilermakers
Big Ten Prediction: 4-14
Wins: @Northwestern, Northwestern, @Wisconsin, Minnesota
Purdue ranks 21st in the NCAA with 41.4 rebounds per contest. Otherwise, the team is rebuilding from its recent years of success. The team will finish in the bottom half of the Big Ten Conference.
9. Northwestern Wildcats
Big Ten Prediction: 4-14
Wins: @Penn State, @nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State
Everything was going good for Northwestern to start the season. Then the team lost Drew Crawford to a season ending injury. Northwestern has never made it to the NCAA Tournament and it doesn't look like that streak will end in 2012-2013. The team recently lost to the University of Illinois-Chicago.
8. Wisconsin Badgers
Big Ten Prediction: 7-11
Wins: Penn State, @Nebraska, Illinois, @iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State
Wisconsin could sneak up on some teams and finish in the top half. I see the team falling back this year and posting a 7-11 record.
7. Iowa Hawkeyes
Big Ten Prediction: 9-9
Wins: @Northwestern, @Purdue, Penn State, @wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, @Nebraska, Purdue
The Iowa Hawkeyes are my Big Ten sleeper this year. The team only has two losses heading into Big Ten play. The team also ranks 18th in rebounds and 19th in assists nationally.
6. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Big Ten Prediction: 10-8
Wins: Norhwestern, @Illinois, @Northwestern, Nebraska, Iowa, @Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Penn State, @Nebraska
Minnesota comes into the Big Ten season with almost a perfect record. The team's sole loss came against number one ranked Duke University. Led by head coach Tubby Smith, Minnesota looks poised to make a run at the Big Ten title and already has strong wins against USC, Stanford and Florida State.
5. Illinois Fighting Illini
Big Ten Prediction: 11-7
Wins: @Purdue, Ohio State, Northwestern, @Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue, @Northwestern, Penn State, Nebraska
Illinois was one of several unbeaten teams to lose in the last week with a disappointing loss to Missouri. Illinois will struggle with big teams as the team ranks 150th in rebounds per game. The team also needs to improve its shooting (.445) that currently ranks 135th in the NCAA.
4. Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State 11-2
Big Ten Prediction: 13-5
Wins: @Minnesota, Purdue, @Iowa, Nebraska, @Penn State, Ohio State, @Wisconsin, Illinois, @Purdue, @Nebraska, Indiana, Wisconsin, Northwestern
Michigan State's two losses came to Connecticut and Miami. The team has impressive wins over Texas and Kansas and appears loaded to make a run at the Big Ten title. The Spartans won the Big Ten Tournament last year and could do the same again this year with a talented bunch.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State 10-2
Big Ten Prediction: 13-5
Wins: Nebraska, @Purdue, Iowa, @Penn State, Wisconsin, @Nebraska, Indiana, Northwestern, @Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan State, @Northwestern, Illinois
Ohio State has two losses, both to top ten ranked teams. The Buckeyes lost to Duke University and Kansas Jayhawks. Despite the losses, Ohio State looks like a team that could win the Big Ten. The team ranks in the top fifty in points, rebounds and assists per game.
2. Indiana Hoosiers
Big Ten Prediction: 14-4
Wins: @Iowa, @Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, @Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan State, @Purdue, Michigan, Nebraska, Purdue, @Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio State
Indiana started the year ranked as the best team in the NCAA. A loss to Butler is all that stands between Indiana and a perfect season and top ranking. The team will look to continue its strong season, led by National Player of the Year contender Cody Zeller, in the Big Ten season.
1. Michigan Wolverines
Big Ten Prediction: 16-2
Wins: @Northwestern, Iowa, Nebraska, @Ohio State, @Minnesota, Purdue, Northwestern, Ohio State, @Wisconsin, @Michigan State, Penn State
The Wolverines remain one of four undefeated teams in the NCAA heading into conference play. The team ranks in the top twenty in points and field goal percentage. A strong rotation of guards and forwards has also helped the team through injury troubles. I have the team losing to Indiana and Illinois, but the team could just as easily go undefeated throughout the 2012-2013 season. At the end, Michigan is the team I see winning the Big Ten.
Big Ten Standings
In conclusion, my Big Ten Standings look like this:
1. Michigan 16-2
2. Indiana 14-4
3. Ohio State 13-5
4. Michigan State 13-5
5. Illinois 11-7
6. Minnesota 10-8
7. Iowa 9-9
8. Wisconsin 7-11
9. Northwestern 4-14
10. Purdue 4-14
11. Penn State 3-15
12. Nebraska 3-15
Agree or disagree, hit me up on Twitter.