After the season the Northwestern Wildcats had last year, you would think that they would be the worst or at least second worst team in the Big Ten entering the 2013-14 college basketball season, but hold on just a second.
In a power ranking by ESPN, Seth Greenberg has the Wildcats coming in at No. 9. Although this is still a pretty bad ranking and likely would indicate that Northwestern has no shot at a conference title, it could be worse.
There are 12 teams in the Big Ten.
This is a team that finished in second to last place in the conference standings just a season ago, with a 4-14 record. It also finished with a 13-19 record overall.
The one major thing that Northwestern has going for it and could be a big reason why it won’t be the worst team in the conference in the upcoming season is the return of Drew Crawford.
Crawford barely played last year thanks to an injury, but he will be back for his final year in college hoops. In the 2011-12 season, Crawford averaged 16.1 points per game. If he can do that in the upcoming season or be even better, Northwestern could pull off some upsets in conference play.
The Wildcats have never made the dance and who knows if that will happen anytime in the near future. Still, Crawford is an exciting player to watch and at least Northwestern isn’t being considered as the worst team in the Big Ten. According to the power ranking by Greenberg, that honor goes to Nebraska.