Sports Illustrated simulated the college basketball season 10,000 times using its College Basketball Projection System, then ranked every team from 1 to 351 based on its average efficiency. The rankings, which rank four Big Ten teams in the top 25, take into consideration each team’s roster, past performance, recruiting rankings, advanced AAU stats and projected team rotations, among other factors.
Wisconsin is the highest-ranked of all Big Ten teams at No. 8.
“Wisconsin, which finished 38th in efficiency last season—just like ’08-09 Butler—brings back 99 percent of its minutes played, and our projections think the Badgers can improve enough to chase their third Final Four in four years,” according to Sports Illustrated.
Purdue is ranked No. 11, Indiana is No. 15 and Michigan is No. 23.
“Our projections see Michigan (23)—and especially senior wing Zak Irvin—set up for a bounce-back year after an injury-plagued ’15–16 sunk the Wolverines to eighth in the Big Ten,” Sports Illustrated wrote.
Michigan State (No. 28), Maryland (No. 36) and Ohio State (No. 48) round out the rest of the Big Ten teams ranked in the top 50.