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How does the Big Ten stack up in Kenpom’s preseason ratings?

We talk Northwestern rated third in the conference, the surprisingly deep SEC, and whether rutger makes the leap in the 2017-18 basketball season.

NCAA Basketball: Big 10 Media Day Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Have you definitely given up on slow-paced, low-scoring football after this weekend? Can we interest you in more slow-paced, low-scoring basketball instead?

Welcome back to the Shootyhoops Slowdown, our preview series for Big Ten basketball in 2017-18. We opened up the proceedings last Thursday with our “what to expect” piece, now we march onward with team previews starting Monday with Penn State.

In the meantime, though, it was brought to my attention that Kenpom has released his 2017-18 preseason ratings! We’ve got those aggregated for you:

B1G Kenpom Ratings, 2017-18 Pre-Season

Rk Team KP'18 KP'17 '17 W-L
Rk Team KP'18 KP'17 '17 W-L
2 Michigan St 10 40 20-15
21 Purdue 17 19 27-8
20 Northwestern 18 38 24-12
wisconsin 31 21 27-10
Michigan 32 20 26-12
Minnesota 36 37 24-10
Penn St 40 87 15-18
Maryland 41 46 24-9
Iowa 54 71 19-15
Indiana 65 44 18-16
Ohio St 78 73 17-15
Nebraska 98 107 12-19
Illinois 104 66 20-15
Rutgers 125 135 15-18

Further comparing the averages by conference, the Big Ten slots in at 5th of the 6 major conferences, solidly ahead of the Pac-12 but well behind the leading Big XII. A bit surprising to see the SEC that high, too, but the rising fortunes of Texas A&M and Tennessee have pulled the South’s premier conference ahead of even the ACC.

Kenpom by Conference, Averages

Conference Average
Conference Average
Big XII 18.58
SEC 15.12
Big East 15.05
ACC 14.51
Big Ten 13.53
Pac-12 10.73

B1G Thoughts

  • Despite the polls’ love of Michigan State, Kenpom isn’t so sure. Do the intangibles really account for an 8-place difference?
  • Northwestern is in the KP Top 20. I...what? Trail Purdue in this poll, though.
  • Penn State makes the biggest jump from 2017’s final rankings, while Illinois takes the largest tumble. The numbers are skeptical of a quick rebuild in Chambana.
  • As usual, wisconsin and Michigan lurk, with their glacial paces and standard identities (efficient defense and offense, respectively, with questions on the other side) keeping them aloft.
  • Less love for Minnesota than expected. Perhaps they can take some pointers from Maryland fans on the standard Kenpom complaints.
  • The 54 ranking for Iowa belies what Kenpom thinks is a solid all-around team. The Hawks can and probably should make the NCAA Tournament jump this year.
  • As usual, I don’t know what to think of Indiana or Ohio State. Insert your own commentary as necessary.
  • I’ll set the over/under for “spots Nebraska drops by the end of the non-con” at 30 places.
  • There’s rutger, lurking on the cusp of competence yet again.
  • Of the Big Ten teams, just one plays in the top 50 teams of AdjT (Iowa, 45th at 75.2 possessions per game), while 5 are in the bottom 100.



Which Big Ten team outside the Top 50 makes the biggest jump by the end of 2018?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    (101 votes)
  • 24%
    (81 votes)
  • 7%
    Ohio State
    (25 votes)
  • 3%
    (12 votes)
  • 10%
    (35 votes)
  • 22%
    (75 votes)
329 votes total Vote Now