With just a few weeks until the start of college basketball season, it's officially time to make some preseason predictions. The preview and prediction posts are rolling out on BTPowerhouse and other college basketball sites, but nowhere will you find #hotter takes than right here in this post.
With inspiration from ESPN's First Take and well respected analysts Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith (please click their names for great insight into their expertise), it's time to lay out what to expect for this Big Ten season.
2014-15 Big Ten "Hot Take" Predictions
1. Wisconsin Is Overrated
All we heard during the offseason was about how great the Badgers would be this year. Well, guess what? Wisconsin is vastly overrated. People want you to believe they're great, but last season was just a fluke. In fact, they failed to win either the Big Ten championship or the Big Ten Tournament during last season. You mean to tell me that a team that can't win its own conference is going to be expected to be this good? Just wait until they have to face the nation's top teams. Look, they couldn't even beat a Final Four team last season! Sure, they beat Florida at the beginning of the year, but the Gators weren't hitting on all cylinders yet. Plus, Bo Ryan has yet to secure a national championship. You don't expect a trend like that to just disappear.
2. Is Caris LeVert The Next Michael Jordan?
With an exciting first two seasons in Ann Arbor, Caris LeVert is emerging as a potential All-American player for the coming season. Maybe this is a tad early, but it might be time to start asking whether LeVert is the next Jordan. Just look at the similarities. For one, they both wear #23. They just look the same out there. Second, if LeVert goes pro as many expect this year, they both would have been in college for 3 seasons. With those two pieces of evidence, it's pretty much undeniable that they're the same player. Look out LeBron!
3. Tom Izzo Is On The Hotseat
Spartan fans will deny this, but the fact is that Izzo is on the hotseat. Sure, he has been tremendously successful at Michigan State, but come on, he hasn't even won a national championship since 2000. Fans aren't going to just sit by and tolerate seasons like last year. In 2013-14, the Spartans only won the Big Ten Tournament and made the Elite Eight. Maybe that would be tolerated at Northwestern, but I have well placed sources at the Buffalo Wild Wings in East Lansing that can verify my thoughts here. Izzo needs to produce. And now.
4. Nebraska Will Win The National Championship
This may be shocking to some, but I am frankly pretty surprised that more people aren't getting on board with this prediction. Since Petteway has been playing for the Cornhuskers, they've been a totally different team. I will tell you right now. All Petteway does is win games. He cannot be denied. He's revolutionized the system in Lincoln and he's changing the game. More coaches are going to have to look for transfers that can change the entire dynamic for the team. Nebraska should coast to the Final Four.
5. The Big Ten Is The Greatest Conference Evvvvvver.
People are going to tell you that conferences like the ACC and the Big 12 can compete with the Big Ten this season, but I don't think they understand the depth and talent in the Big Ten right now. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Big Ten went undefeated in non-conference games this season. This may seem bold now, but I'm willing to go out there and stake my reputation on this. Wisconsin and Ohio State will run Duke and Louisville off the floor in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge in a few months.
What are your #HotTakes for the coming season?