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Big Ten men's basketball should be full of elite talent and teams again in 2021-22, with Michigan, Purdue, and Ohio State looking like the early favorites.
Favorites: Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue
Contenders: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Rutgers
Purgatory: Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin
Basement: Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State
NebraskaHead coach: Fred Hoiberg (3rd season)
2020-21 record: 7-20 (3-16)
Conference finish: 14th
It was a brutal year for Nebraska in 2020-21. COVID-19 absolutely ravaged it, and by the time the Cornhuskers had any hope of stringing together some momentum, they were in the thick of their conference schedule in one of the deepest leagues of all time. They were dead on arrival.
There will plenty of roster turnover yet again, and Lincoln will hope that means an improvement from last year. It also means predicting how it will all gel is tough.
Hoiberg brings in the No. 18 class in the nation, including five-star shooting guard Bryce McGowens, who will ideally make an immediate and important impact. Additionally, Alonzo Verge Jr. (Arizona State), Keon Edwards (DePaul), and C.J. Wilcher (Xavier) have entered the fray via the transfer portal.
This might be the season it comes together enough for a tournament bid, but Nebraska’s absolute ceiling in the conference is likely eighth, which would be fantastic for the program but not enough to get it outside of this category.