Maryland is picked to finish 10th in the unofficial Big Ten basketball preseason poll, announced today via the Columbus Dispatch. The Terps are just one point behind No. 9 Indiana.
Wisconsin was a unanimous choice at the top among the 27 participating writers to win the B1G in 2015, a team that returns most of the players who propelled the Badgers to a Final Four appearance last season. Likewise, Rutgers was an unanimous choice at the bottom of the poll.
So why isn't this an "official" Big Ten media poll? For the answer to that, we turn to Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch for an explaination:
The conference will release the media's picks for All-Big Ten and player of the year, but asks that we vote only for our top three choices in the team standings. Because it's the politically correct thing to do, you know?
We say, "Deal with it."
So, for the umpteenth year, a couple dozen of us -- 27 of us -- who cover Big Ten teams decided to assign every team a place in preseason. This season, for the first time, that list stretches 14 places.
So there you have it. Since the Big Ten won't do an official 1-14 preseason poll, the media does an unofficial one. Here's the full poll:
Results, with first-place votes in parentheses and total points:
1. Wisconsin (27), 378
2. Ohio State, 322
3. Michigan State, 305
4. Nebraska, 299
5. Michigan, 286
6. Minnesota, 226
7. Iowa, 214
8. Illinois, 196
9. Indiana, 163
10. Maryland, 162
11. Purdue, 95
12. Penn State, 84
13. Northwestern, 78
14. Rutgers, 27
I think Maryland is a little low, but from an outside perspective, you might understand why many who aren't familiar with the Terps would rank them there, especially after how Maryland finished last year and with the five-transfer exodus that followed after the season.
Realistically, I think Maryland will end up closer to the upper half than the bottom. But if some of the freshman struggle, you can definitely imagine a scenario where Maryland ends up in the lower half of the conference.
What do you think? Where will the Terps finish in their first B1G season?