After the half way point of the Big Ten season I was feeling pretty good about my preseason picks. Looking at the rest of the season schedule I thought I had a chance to hit almost all of them within one or on the head. In the end they weren't awful, but there were some definite misses at the end of the year that surprised me. Here's an evaluation of the picks I made back in November.
Indiana finished 14-4 first place (predicted 13-5, 3rd)
My worries about the IU defense turned out to be over estimated. IU did a very good job of hiding the deficiencies of Hulls and Watford, and Oladipo was just great. The job he did guarding Burke today was spectacular.
OSU finished 13-5 second place (predicted 12-6, 4th)
This team was pretty much what I thought they would be. Deshaun Thomas scored like we all knew he could. The rest of the team defended well and scored enough to get the job done.
MSU finished 13-5 second place (predicted 14-4, 1st)
Appling did not quite live up to the player I thought he would be this year. He did lead the Spartans in scoring, assists, and steals, but he also struggled with turnovers and perimeter shooting. I feel like the injuries to Trice hurt this team as they don't have much guard depth and his play would have allowed Appling to play more 2 guard. Still, watch out for this team in the post season as always.
Michigan finished 12-6 fourth place (predicted 14-4, 1st)
The question I have about MI is, have they been figured out, or did they just have some bad luck? The losses at UW, at OSU and today vs IU are all games they could have won with just one slightly better bounce of the basketball. I do think the mid season ankle injury to Jordan Morgan affected this team. While McGary emerged in his absence, Morgan is the only defensive presence on this team. In a year without a clearly dominant team, I still think this team has about as good a chance as any to make a run in the NCAA.
UW finished 12-6 fourth place (predicted 12-6, 4th)
Great defense, inconsistent offense. Finished where I figured they would.
Iowa finished 9-9 6th place (predicted 9-9, 7th)
Pretty much what I expected. Better defense in year 2 lead this team into the middle of the Big Ten. Barring a few Big Ten Tourney wins this team looks like it will fall short of my prediction of an NCAA birth.
Minnesota 8-10 finished 7th (predicted 10-8, 6th)
Minnesota turned out to be not "for real". Mbakwe returned and played well, but the rest of the team wasn't very improved over last year.
Illinois 8-10 finished 7th (predicted 7-11, 8th)
Illinois was much better in the preseason than I or probably anyone predicted, but they came back to earth in Big Ten play. No inside game was just too much to overcome in a rough big ten season.
Purdue 8-10 finished 7th (predicted 7-11, 8th)
You knew Painter would get his team to defend, and a young Boilermaker team will be trouble next year.
Nebraska 5-13 finished 10th (predicted 2-16, 11th)
This was just a miss on my part. This team was way more competitive than I thought they would be. We'll see if they can keep it going.
Northwestern 4-14 finished 11th (predicted 7-11, 8th)
With all the injuries I don't feel so bad about this missed prediction.
PSU 2-16 finished 12th (predicted 1-17, 12th)
This was an easy one. No Fraizer=no good.
Overall I only missed the final records of 4 teams by more than one game. MI, Minn by 2 games, Nebraska and Northwestern by 3. The big miss is IU as the champ.