With the season just over two months away, it’s finally time for the preview magazines to make their way to newsstands. Athlon is one of the more popular publications and their preview has finally surfaced at stores as we head into the fall.
So with their publication finally available for sale, that also means their conference predictions, preseason top 25 and postseason predictions are all available as well. While Athlon Sports isn’t too high on any of the Big Ten teams besides Michigan State (2nd), three other teams still made the preseason top 25. Those teams are all pretty safe choices, with Minnesota (16th), Purdue (18th) and Northwestern (24th) making the cut.
Besides the four previously mentioned teams, Athlon also has four additional teams reaching the NCAA Tournament. Those teams also include Michigan, Wisconsin, Maryland and Iowa. That of course means Athlon Sports doesn’t see a few notable teams like Indiana and Ohio State making the tourney this season.
I don’t think it’s any surprise that Athlon has Michigan State winning the Big Ten. That could be up for some debate if Miles Bridges didn’t return, but the Spartans are the best Big Ten team heading into the 2017-18 season and have a legitimate shot at a national title this spring.
As for their predicted order of finish in the conference, that can be seen below:
Athlon's Big Ten Basketball Predictions:— Bryan Steedman (@crazytoledo) September 2, 2017
All things considered their conference predictions aren’t too crazy and pretty much fall in line with what a lot of people have been saying so far this offseason. There’s probably some people that will want to shuffle the middle around and maybe a few people that would drop Northwestern a spot or two, especially fans of Michigan, Maryland and Wisconsin. Oh, and speaking of Wisconsin, something about being crazy to pick Wisconsin outside of the top four.
So that being said, what do you think about Athlon’s Big Ten predictions? All things considered they seem pretty reasonable for late summer picks.