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54 Days to B1G Basketball: Street & Smith’s Predict Michigan State to Win Conference

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Shocking, right?

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Kansas vs Michigan State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Another college basketball preview, another prediction for Michigan State to take home the Big Ten title this winter.

The third publication to call for Michigan State is Street & Smith’s (formerly the previews published by Sporting News), which really isn’t a surprise. Either is the publication calling for Rutgers to finish last. It should also be mentioned that while the three main publications (S&S, Lindy’s, Athlon) all have the same teams in the top four, they all have Minnesota, Northwestern and Purdue located in different orders.

Street & Smith’s predicted Big Ten order can be seen below:

  1. Michigan State
  2. Purdue
  3. Northwestern
  4. Minnesota
  5. Iowa
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Maryland
  8. Michigan
  9. Penn State
  10. Indiana
  11. Illinois
  12. Nebraska
  13. Ohio State
  14. Rutgers

In comparison to the prior two previews that have already hit newsstands, the biggest outlier is either Iowa or Michigan. Iowa was predicted to finish eighth by Athlon and Lindy’s, but Street & Smith’s is calling them to finish fifth. On the flip side, they aren’t so hot on Michigan, predicting them to finish eighth. The other two publications have the Wolverines landing fifth in conference play.

One of the takeaways from all three publications is there’s a lot of hype for both Minnesota and Northwestern, something that would have seemed kind of crazy at this point last year. Also, no previews so far really seem to think Illinois, Indiana or Ohio State will have a quick start with their new coaches.

Of the 14 teams in the conference, Street & Smith’s has four Big Ten teams in their preseason top 25. Those teams are Michigan State (3rd), Purdue (20th), Northwestern (22nd) and Minnesota (23rd). It once again appears that the media thinks Michigan State will be the only legitimate contender from the Big Ten this season.

Anyway, agree or disagree with Street & Smith’s predictions? While there’s been some variance in the preseason predictions seen so far, no publications have made any outlandish projections yet.

And once again, it appears the Spartans are set to reign supreme this winter.