Big Ten Well Represented In Preseason Rankings
Oct. 30, 2009
With the men's basketball season less than two weeks away, the Big Ten was well represented in the preseason Associated Press poll. Six programs rank in the top 25, the most by any conference in the nation, with two of those schools among the poll's top 10.
Michigan State will enter the 2009-10 campaign ranked second overall in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls after advancing to the NCAA Championship Game last season. The Spartans will look to make their sixth NCAA Final Four appearance in the last 12 seasons under head coach Tom Izzo, who in his 14 years at the helm has guided each of his recruited four-year players to a Final Four. Michigan State was tabbed the conference's preseason favorite by media members.
Defending Big Ten Tournament champion Purdue also cracked the top 10 in both major polls, checking in at No. 7 in the AP and USA Today rankings. The Boilermakers return all five starters and nine letterwinners from a squad that advanced to the NCAA Championship round of 16 last season. Head coach Matt Painter's squad was chosen to finish second in the conference standings.
Michigan earned a No. 15 ranking in both major polls, with Ohio State close behind at No. 16 in the AP rankings and No. 17 overall in the coaches poll. The Buckeyes return all five starters, along with 10 letterwinners, after finishing in a tie for fourth place in the Big Ten standings and earning their third NCAA Championship berth in four seasons.
Minnesota is the Big Ten's fifth top-25 team in both polls, rated 25th by the media and 18th by the coaches after compiling 22 wins and advancing to the NCAA Championship last year.
Rounding out the conference contingent was Illinois, voting in at No. 23 in the AP rankings.