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College basketball insider reveals preseason Big Ten power rankings

Sam Gillenwater08/09/22
Article written by:On3 imageSam Gillenwater

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The college basketball season is closer than we think. After nine of the league’s 14 teams finished above .500 last year, the Big Ten made its continued claim as the best conference in the sport. Ahead of the 2022 season, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein has released his preseason power rankings for the Big Ten.

As of now, Rothstein has the Indiana Hoosiers leading the way in the ’22-’23 season.

  1. Indiana Hoosiers
  2. Purdue Boilermakers
  3. Michigan Wolverines
  4. Ohio State Buckeyes
  5. Michigan State Spartans
  6. Illinois Fighting Illini
  7. Wisconsin Badgers
  8. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
  9. Iowa Hawkeyes
  10. Maryland Terrapins
  11. Northwestern Wildcats
  12. Penn State Nittany Lions
  13. Minnesota Golden Gophers
  14. Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Hoosiers had their best season in six years to start Mike Woodson’s tenure. They posted a 21-14 record, although just a 9-11 record in conference play. Indiana hasn’t won the Big Ten since 2016 but with Trayce Jackson-Davis and multiple other key pieces returning, they’ll have their opportunity to return to former glory both in the conference and in college basketball.

The rest of his Top-5 includes a familiar cast in the Boilermakers, Wolverines, Buckeyes and Spartans. That quartet combined for a 91-47 record last season. All four are viable programs under Matt Painter, Juwan Howard, Chris Holtmann and Tom Izzo and will have their chance at the Big Ten this season.

One of the bigger drop offs is Illinois at six. The Illini won the Big Ten regular season last year. However, multiple changes across the roster make them an intriguing question mark to this point. Wisconsin, Rutgers, Iowa and Maryland round out Rothstein’s Top-10.

The Big Ten’s bottom four teams from last year are Rothstein’s same four for this season. Northwestern, Penn State, Minnesota and Nebraska combined for a 52-72 record in 2022. With strong conference competition and few impactful changes, those four remains at the back of the pack entering the year.

The Big Ten put the most teams into the NCAA Tournament last year with nine. More overall bids means more bites at the apple for the conference to take home college basketball’s crown. With several competitors out of the Big Ten again, it’ll be another dramatic race to see which of the 14 takes the conference this time around.