Exhibition Madness

College basketball season! It’s finally here!

Well, nurse kind of. Officially, buy viagra Big Ten men’s basketball will start Nov. 13, with all 14 B1G teams tipping off for real at some point next weekend. BUT, the AP released its preseason top 25 poll earlier this week, and six Big Ten teams landed on the list. To no one’s surprise, Maryland was the highest ranked in the conference, coming in at No. 3 nationally. The other ranked teams are Michigan State (13), Indiana (15), Wisconsin (17) Purdue (23) and Michigan just squeaking in at 25.

And even though the season hasn’t officially started yet, most B1G teams have already notched their first win. For instance, the Wisconsin Badgers put up 101 points and didn’t even allow their opponents, the UW-River Falls Falcons, even half that amount in an exhibition game Wednesday.

Fellow ranked B1G teams Maryland, Indiana and Michigan State also notched wins in exhibition games so far this week against small-name teams. Purdue and Michigan will play their own meaningless games before Monday.

So what do these wins tell us? Not a whole lot, since they’re played against the likes of the Southern New Hampshire Penmen and the Northern Michigan Wildcats, both Division II teams. Indiana took on arguably the most fearsome opponent among the ranked B1G teams — Ottawa University, a team that was ranked No. 1 for part of its season last year in Canada, according to the Indy Star.

Regardless of the opponent, exhibition games do give the public a first look at how any new freshmen/transfers handle themselves against people who aren’t their teammates. The Detroit Free Press seemed impressed with Coach Tom Izzo’s new recruits, and four of Wisconsin’s freshmen combined for 44 points and 27 rebounds, for instance.

The Illini play their first and only exhibition game Sunday against the big bad Illinois-Springfield Prairie Stars. And, even though it’s meaningless, I’m still looking forward to it.


About the author: Heather Punke. NCAA Basketball Correspondent. Heather is a Chicago transplant by way of Minnesota and Champaign, Ill. Even though she now resides in Wrigleyville, she still cheers for the Twins and the MN Wild, as well as her beloved Fighting Illini and whoever is on her fantasy football team that week. Heather earned a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Illinois and reported on Big Ten athletics during her time there. Now managing editor for a healthcare magazine, she is also a hedgehog owner and a competitive euchre player. You can follow her on Twitter at @hpunke

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