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2009-2010 College Basketball Preview: Big Ten

1. Michigan State Spartons Bold Prediction: The Spartons will make the National Championship.

Even though the Spartons lost a few players they still have Raymar Morgan and Kalin Lucas(right), two guys who have experience in the NCAA tournament. The Spartons have experience and talent and will challenge for a National Championship again.

2. Purdue Boilermakers Bold Prediction: The Boilermakers will surprise everyone. Expect a Final Four appearance. Robbie Hummel makes Purdue a top 5 team. He has a will to win and has amazing talent. If Purdue makes a Final Four appearance expect Player of the Year talk for Hummel.

3.Minnesota Gophers Bold Prediction: Expect a second round finish for the Gophers.

It's Tubby Time! The Gophers are becoming one of the better teams in the pretty challenging Big Ten. The Gophers believe they have found a star in Lawrence Westbrook. He'll team up with Trevor Mbakwe, a nice transfer, and the other Gophers to make a tournament appearance. Not much after that though.

4.Ohio State Buckeyes Bold Prediction:A first round exit for the Buckeyes.

The Buckeyes season ended early with a loss to Siena in the first round of the tournament. Except for standout junior Evan Turner the Buckeyes don't have enough evidence to change that. If they can get Zisis Sarakpoulos to open up down low they may get a second scoring option for Turner.

5. Michigan Wolverines Bold Prediction: A NCAA tournament appearance.

On paper the Wolverines look like a lock for the Big Ten Title. DeShawn Sims is a Big Ten player of the year canidate and Manny Harris is a decent number two scoring option. A decent recruiting means a bright future for the Wolverines. The Big Ten is a tough conference nowadays but Michigan will look pretty good.

6.Illinois Fighting Illini Bold Prediction:First round tournament exit.

Wanted:Another another scoring option for star guard Demetri McCamey. D.J. Richardson could be the Big Ten's best freshmen but Illinois will have trouble down low. Realistically, all the Illni need to do is get an impact forward and they will be a lock in the Top 25.

7.Northwestern Wildcats Bold Prediction: A long run in the NIT.

The 'Cats have fans believing now. Kevin Coble will finally get more help from top shooter Alex Marcotullio and guard/forward Drew Crawford. The Wildcats will be improved, expect another strong season in Evanston.

8. Wisonsin Badgers Bold Prediction: NIT Final Four apparence.

Wisconsin left their fans hanging after a second round loss to Xavier and two other losses: scorer Marcus Landry and rebounding power Joe Krabbenkoft. A bright spot: Trevor Hughes points per game will improve without Marcus Landry. As bad as 20 wins last year for Badgers fans was this season will be even worse.

9.Indiana Hoosiers Bold Prediction:Weak NIT appearance.

Last year was last year for the Hoosiers. After winning just 6 games last year and going 1-17 in the Big Ten the Hoosiers stacked up their weak roster with young players like guard Maurice Creek and Jordan Hull. Also Georgetown transfer Jeremiah Rivers is now eligible.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions Bold Prediction: Sweet 16 in NIT.
The Nittany Lions had a considerable dream season if they wanted to win the NIT tournament. Now they are looking for a NCAA tournament appearance. Taylor Battle, a bruising guard and Andrew Jones gives the Lions a few scoring options, but not enough for a true season.

11. Iowa Hawkeyes Bold Prediction:10-15 wins.

Iowa won a respectful 15 games last year but went a bad 5-13 in Big Ten play. Freshmen Jake Kelly and Matt Gatens are under huge pressure practically leading the Hawkeyes. The Big Ten is too tough for the Hawkeyes, out of conference play is their only hope.

Bold=All Big Ten Team

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