When you think 2012-13 Big Ten hoops, what crosses your mind?
Do you flip through a plethora of Trey Burke highlights?
Do you think about Indiana/MSU/OSU all under-performing in the NCAA Tourney?
Do you think about four teams ranked in the Top 10 at times?
Do you think about the unfulfilled promise of Minnesota and Illinois?
Do you remember the constant stream of NBA-level talent that showed up on your TV every day? The seemingly never-ending matchups of powerful teams?
2013 wasn't short on highlights and successes, Michigan falling just short of the ultimate prize. But 2013 did nothing to dent the concept that B1G basketball is the best conference, Top to Bot...er if you took the best ten teams of any conference. Will 2014 be the same?
You just can't hemorrhage Hulls, Watford, Burke, Oladipo, Zeller, Hardaway, and Deshaun Thomas...and not expect those teams to operate on a similar level. These were veterans, players everyone knew in B1G Land. That said - An easy argument can be made that Wisconsin, Iowa, MSU, and Purdue will all be improved this year.
When I originally looked into the B1G for 2013-14, I wanted to write a "things probably won't ever reach the 2012-13 level again." But that's stupid. Maybe the hype machine won't be in overdrive like last year, but top level teams have already shown major signs of improvement. Wisconsin scored 50 points in a half. Let's see the trends -
Wisky: ALL THOSE POINTS
Purdue: untested, but c'mon, they've improved
OSU: This is the year!!
Michigan: They'll get there eventually. Shootin' struggles.