ESPN continued its preseason tradition earlier this morning of releasing its first set of “no longer way too early” rankings heading into the 2016-17 college basketball season. It’s an intriguing list that sets the table for what’s to come this year.
The Big Ten found itself well represented on the list with five teams being ranked, including two in the top 10 and four in the top 15. Obviously, that speaks to just how exciting this season should be for Big Ten fans.
Here’s a full look at the Big Ten teams list below.
Big Ten Teams In 10/6 ESPN Top 25 Rankings:
- #8 - Wisconsin Badgers
- #10 - Michigan State Spartans
- #12 - Indiana Hoosiers
- #15 - Purdue Boilermakers
- #22 - Maryland Terrapins
There certainly was nothing surprising about seeing the top four teams make the cut, but many were skeptical of the Terps landing at No. 22 in the rankings. Maryland lost four starters this offseason and replacing them will be a major challenge.
Personally, I am must less skeptical of the Terps. I had them ranked fifth in my way too early Big Ten power rankings and I expect Maryland to be a nationally relevant team. There’s going to be inconsistency with the youth, but Maryland still has a proven star in Melo Trimble and a boatload of talent. It should find ways to win.
For the other teams, these rankings project what should be a loaded Big Ten schedule for this upcoming season. In particular, the battles between Michigan State and Wisconsin along with the rivalry between Indiana and Purdue look outstanding. If any of the other Big Ten teams trend up, this could be a huge year.
If you’re interested in reading the full rankings, you can see them here.