Congratulations, college basketball fans, it is just about that time! While most of the country is still locked into football action, hoops fans can already hear the squeak of high-tops on hardwood floors across the country.

Some fanbases even got an early peak at their teams this past weekend. While teams traditionally hold closed scrimmages during the preseason, groups of teams (including Tennessee-Michigan State and Kansas-Illinois) hosted live scrimmages and broadcasted those events as a way to raise funds to benefit those impacted by the Maui wildfires.

Of course, those early looks should be taken with a grain of salt, but it’s a sign that college basketball season is indeed upon us. As we get set for another dramatic season of upsets and madness, here is Tradition’s look at how far every B1G team will go in the 2023-24 season.


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Coach: Brad Underwood
2022-23 record: 20-13 (11-9 in B1G)

Illinois will try to get past the inconsistencies that plagued the team from 3-point range a season ago. The departures of Jayden Epps and Skyy Clark via the transfer portal are disappointing, but it’s possible Illinois added pieces that will help address the shooting woes from outside. Marcus Domask is a veteran scorer with a 36% shooting stroke from 3-point range, and Quincy Guerrier is another veteran who improved his shooting touch while at Oregon. Terrence Shannon Jr., Coleman Hawkins and Dain Dainja return from last season, and Shannon and Hawkins will especially need to be elite in order for the Illini to reach their goals. I might be higher on the Illini than others, but Brad Underwood has a chance to get this group to click in Champaign.

Prediction: NCAA Tournament


Coach: Mike Woodson
2022-23 record: 23-12 (12-8 in B1G)

Indiana might have the toughest task in terms of replacing the lost production of any team in the B1G this season. Trayce Jackson-Davis and his daily double-double are off to the NBA, and second-leading scorer from last season Jalen Hood-Schifino is also gone. Xavier Johnson does return for a veteran leader at guard, and Mike Woodson tried to address the outgoing production as best as possible by adding 5-star freshman Mackenzie Mgbako and former 5-star big man Kel’el Ware via the transfer portal. A lot rests on those two players living up to their potential, but missing the NCAA Tournament after back-to-back trips to March Madness would be a small disaster for Woodson.

Prediction: NCAA Tournament


Coach: Fran McCaffery
2022-23 record: 19-14 (11-9 in B1G)

Iowa is penciled into an NCAA Tournament in part because the program has made 4 straight trips to the big dance (not counting the canceled 2020 tournament), but the path this season is more difficult. There is no Murray brother on the roster with Keegan and Kris tearing up the NBA. Tony Perkins, Payton Sandfort and Patrick McCaffery are back for another season for a bit of continuity while 4-star freshman Pryce Sandfort could provide some minutes early on. Veteran big man and Valpo transfer Ben Krikke also arrives to help replace some of the production of Kris Murray and Filip Rebraca down low.

Prediction: NCAA Tournament


Coach: Kevin Willard
2022-23 record: 
22-13 (11-9 in B1G)

Kevin Willard’s squad relied on experience last season with a quartet of seniors leading the way. The good news is the Terps get a pair of players back for a 5th season in Jahmir Young (the team’s leading scorer a year ago) and Donta Scott. Julian Reese will try to take another step forward in his development, and Jordan Geronimo is a B1G veteran prepared to provide depth. With that veteran core in place, Maryland should be competitive in just about every game on the schedule.

Prediction: NCAA Tournament


Coach: Juwan Howard
2022-23 record: 18-16 (11-9 in B1G)

Even if you are optimistic about Michigan, there’s no getting around the reality of losing Hunter Dickinson, Jett Howard and Kobe Bufkin from a program that was already underwhelming. That trio includes the only players to average double figures for the Wolverines last season. The good news here is that Michigan does have a veteran presence with players like Jaelin Llewellyn and Terrance Williams returning and an incoming transfer class of Olivier Nkamhoua, Nimari Burnett and Tray Jackson. If Tarris Reed Jr. and Dug McDaniel can take a step forward while the program gets some competitive minutes from true freshman George Washington III, the Wolverines could be competitive this season. However, the ultimate goal for Michigan this season looks like a development year, but Howard must do his best to avoid severe embarrassment or he might be looking for a new job.

Prediction: NIT

Michigan State

Coach: Tom Izzo
2022-23 record: 21-13 (11-8 in B1G)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Tom Izzo’s group could be the B1G’s best shot at getting a team to the Final Four. In fact, this year’s group has all the markings of a prototypical Izzoa squad with veteran leaders in the backcourt while containing depth and talent on the wings. Joey Hauser is the only significant contributor gone from last year’s team with Tyson Walker, AJ Hoggard, Jaden Akins, Malik Hall and Mady Sissoko all returning. Izzo also added an elite group of freshmen led by 5-star big man Xavier Booker with 4-star PG Jeremy Fears and the elite athleticism of Coen Carr also included. The development of Booker might be the biggest key to MSU’s title aspirations this season, but Izzo has a group that is as deep and experienced as anyone in America.

Prediction: Final Four


Coach: Ben Johnson
2022-23 record: 
9-22 (2-17 in the B1G)

For a program that won 2 league games a season ago, things have to improve… right? Ben Johnson’s team does return leading scorer Dawson Garcia which is a major win, but Minnesota did lose Jamison Battle to Ohio State and Ta’Lon Cooper to South Carolina as transfers. The Gophers did pick up some pieces in the transfer portal (including PG Mike Mitchell Jr. out of Pepperdine) and signed 4-star freshman Cam Christie. Unfortunately, this team has a lot to prove before the Gophers are considered a competitive program in the ultra-deep B1G.

Prediction: Out of the postseason


Coach: Fred Hoiberg
2022-23 record: 16-16 (9-11 in the B1G)

Nebraska had its best season to date under Fred Hoiberg last year with 9 conference wins (the most by the Huskers since the 2017-18 season) and a 16-16 overall record. Now the question is can Hoiberg capitalize on that momentum? Keisei Tominaga does return to the program after an electric second half of the season a year ago, but there are some holes on the roster. Former Iowa PG Ahron Ulis joins the program via the transfer portal to go with another set of veteran players in Josiah Allick and Brice Williams. How everything fits together remains to be seen, but it’s hard to see the Huskers suddenly making a jump into the top half of the B1G with the current pieces in place.

Prediction: Out of the postseason


Coach: Chris Collins
2022-23 record: 22-12 (12-8 in B1G)

Northwestern was undoubtedly the surprise story in the B1G last season after tying Indiana for second place in the regular season. Can they replicate that success will be the question. Chase Audige is gone, and that’s a big void for the program to fill no matter how you slice it. The loss of Robbie Beran to the ACC also hurts, but Ty Berry and Brooks Barnhizer return in key roles. Veteran transfer Ryan Langborg from Princeton might be the key addition to the program as a player who can shoot the ball from deep while Justin Mullins is also a threat from range. Ultimately, the Wildcats will go as far as Boo Buie can carry them with his scoring ability.

Prediction: NIT

Ohio State

Coach: Chris Holtmann
2022-23 record: 16-19 (5-15 in B1G)

It’s hard to have a worse year in the B1G than Ohio State had last season, especially for a team with some talented pieces in place. Brice Sensabaugh and Justice Sueing are gone, but the good news is young plays like Bruce Thornton, Roddy Gayle and Felix Okpara earned some meaningful experience last season. Zed Key provides some stability for that group, and Chris Holtmann’s squad landed veterans Jamison Battle and Dale Bonner via the transfer portal. Holtmann and the Buckeyes will need some minutes from some of the freshman group of Taison Chatman, Devin Royal and Scotty Middleton, but I think there is enough here to make a run.

Prediction: NCAA Tournament

Penn State

Coach: Mike Rhoades
2022-23 record: 23-14 (10-10 in B1G)

Micah Shrewsberry took a veteran group and put together a special run at Penn State a year ago. Unfortunately, neither Shrewsberry nor that veteran group are around this season as Mike Rhoades steps in as head coach after a tenure at VCU. Rhoades overturned the roster with the type of transfer portal work that has become customary in college basketball, but the level of unknown for this group is high. Puff Johnson (UNC), Nick Kern (VCU), Ace Baldwin (VCU), Zach Hicks (Temple) and Qudus Wahab (Georgetown) are some of the transfer pieces that could shine this season. It’s possible Rhoades has the perfect mix to get the Nittany Lions back into the Big Dance, but the B1G is not the kind of league where you put your money on this type of team in Year 1.

Prediction: Out of the postseason


Coach: Matt Painter
2022-23 record: 29-6 (15-5 in the B1G)

Purdue was one of the most dominant teams in the country during last year’s regular season, and consensus National Player of the Year Zach Edey is back for another year. As a true sign of Matt Painter’s stability, the Boilermakers added a total of 2 players in the offseason. The team returns its top 4 contributors from a season ago, and an extra year of experience should do wonders for Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith. As long as Edey is in the middle, Purdue will be in the mix for the league title, but there’s undeniably a level of skepticism surrounding West Lafayette. That’s just the nature of the beast when you lose to a 16-seed in March.

Prediction: Elite 8


Coach: Steve Pikiell
2022-23 record: 
19-15 (10-10 in the B1G)

Rutgers stood on the cusp of a 3rd-straight NCAA Tournament a season ago but the Scarlet Knights found themselves on the outside looking in when Selection Sunday came around. The good news is Cliff Omoruyi (tied for the team lead in scoring last year) returns, and Omoruyi is also an athletic big man and rim defender. An area of concern will certainly be 3-point shooting for a team that only shot the deep ball at 32% last season and lost its two biggest 3-point shooting threats in Cam Spencer and Paul Mulcahy. Rutgers did add veteran point guard Noah Fernandes out of UMass, and his shooting touch should help the offense, but it’s fair to wonder if Fernandes alone is the difference-maker between NIT or the NCAA Tournament.

Prediction: NIT


Coach: Greg Gard
2022-23 record: 20-15 (9-11 in the B1G)

Wisconsin missed out on the NCAA Tournament a season ago despite 20 overall wins, certainly a rarity under Greg Gard. The big problem was conference play with the Badgers finishing 9-11 and below .500 in the league for the first time since a 7-11 performance in 2017-18. The good news here is that Gard’s group has a lot of continuity from last season with Chucky Hepburn, Steven Crowl, Connor Essegian, Tyler Wahl and Max Klesmit all returning. The Badgers also added AJ Storr out of the portal, a Big East All-Freshman last season after averaging 8.8 points and shooting 40% from 3-point range. Storr joins a team that was already shooting 34% from 3-point range last season, so Wisconsin should have the depth and balanced inside-out attack that can compete in the B1G. After missing the big dance last season, the Badgers have a shot to rebound in a big way.

Prediction: Sweet 16