Overall Rank: #78
With four clear-cut big-dancers, the Big Ten oozes front-end quality. But with lower-seeded teams providing late season scares to perennial powers – see Michigan State barely escaping Penn State in East Lansing last week - look for some drama to unfold this Thursday thru Sunday in Indianapolis.
According to numerous outlets including FOX Sports' Jeff Goodman this is indeed the case, with the highly touted freshman forward out of Benin by way of Montrose Christian missing the remainder of the season with an undisclosed medical issue. Yarou played in the first two games of the season but was sent home from the Wildcats' trip to Puerto Rico due to a viral infection.
Betting odds are a great guide to college basketball entertainment. Unlike fans, who often ride the wave of media predictions, betting lines tend to be a bit more focused and can give you an objective picture of how teams matchup (though lines too can get caught up in the wave of human emotion).
Monday's a quiet day on the schedule with many sports fans paying attention to the Patriots/Saints game in New Orleans. But there's also the first game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge with Penn State visiting Virginia in what should be an even contest. Two of the better players in college basketball who aren't talked about often, PSU's Talor Battle and Virginia's Sylven Landesburg, will face off in Charlottesville with the Big Ten needing a good start in this event.
With six teams in CHN's preseason Top 25, and 3 more teams with NCAA Tournament hopes, no league has more depth than the Big Ten. And an improving Indiana into the mix, and this should be quite a season for Big Ten fans.