1. Michigan (14-0, 3-0)
The Wolverines are the new favorite based on their nonconference victories over North Carolina and Villanova, but they still have to play Michigan State twice.
2. Michigan St. (12-2, 3-0)
The Spartans looked like the team that has title aspirations by crushing Northwestern by 30 points, but the bigger test comes Saturday at Ohio State.
3. Ohio State (12-1, 2-0)
The Buckeyes’ 6-9 sophomore, Kaleb Wesson, is turning into one of the Big Ten’s best big men, but how will he do Saturday against Michigan State space-eater Nick Ward?
4. Indiana (12-2, 3-0)
Romeo Langford is not only the Big Ten’s top freshman, but arguably the best in college hoops not named Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett. Still, the Hoosiers go as far as Juwan Morgan takes them.
5. Maryland (11-3, 2-1)
The biggest win on the first night of Big Ten games in 2019 was when the Terrapins held down home court with a 74-72 victory against No. 25 Nebraska.
6. Minnesota (12-2, 2-1)
The Gophers return five players who played in the NCAA tournament two years ago and that experienced showed in their first win at Wisconsin since 2009.
7. Wisconsin (10-4, 2-1)
The Badgers lost to Western Kentucky and the Gophers this week, but Ethan Happ and Co. won’t panic.
8. Nebraska (11-3, 1-2)
Two road Big Ten losses by a combined nine points to Minnesota and Maryland.
9. Purdue (9-5, 2-1)
Can the Big Ten Player of the Year come from a bottom-half team? Carsen Edwards (25 points per game) is a one-man show.
10. Iowa (11-3, 0-3)
Tyler Cook is having a career year, but even his big game Thursday (24 points) couldn’t stop Purdue from blowing the Hawkeyes out.
11. Northwestern (9-5, 0-3)
They need a point guard and a sidekick for Vic Law.
12. Penn State (7-7, 0-3)
They beat Virginia Tech but lack consistency so far.
13. Rutgers (7-5, 0-2)
Some budding confidence here. How far will that carry it this year?
14. Illinois (4-10, 0-3)
Brad Underwood’s rebuilding project is taking a little longer than expected.