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No Surprises Here: Indiana, Zeller Lead B5Q's Preseason Big Ten Basketball Picks

It's unanimous -- Nebraska will finish last!

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Andy Lyons

Along with the rest of the known universe, Bucky's 5th Quarter is predicting a Big Ten championship for Indiana in 2012-13, as well as Player of the Year hardware for sophomore big man Cody Zeller.

It gets worse, too. We concur with the Big Ten media's straw poll last month that predicted a first under Bo Ryan: Wisconsin finishing below fourth place in conference play. However, as a group, B5Q likes Ohio State more than Michigan, which barely edged out Michigan State for third. We also expect Iowa to finish above Minnesota, and Northwestern above Illinois. Nebraska beats out UW-Whitewater for 12th place.

As for other individual awards, there were three unanimous picks on our All-Big Ten squad, but not enough deviation to even fill up a second team. The B5Q staff either doesn't like to spread the ball around -- with no preseason votes for guys like Trevor Mbawke, Brandon Paul, Keith Appling, Christian Watford, Tim Hardaway Jr., or Aaron White -- or we just really looove the status quo.

Luckily we all got excited about naming Sheboygan's own Sam Dekker as the league's Freshman of the Year.

B5Q's Big Ten Conference Predicted Standings

(First-place votes in parentheses)

  1. Indiana (7) - 137 pts
  2. Ohio State (3) - 128
  3. Michigan (1) - 118
  4. Michigan State (1) - 112
  5. Wisconsin - 104
  6. Iowa - 81
  7. Minnesota - 69
  8. Purdue - 59
  9. Northwestern - 49
  10. Illinois - 38
  11. Penn State - 29
  12. Nebraska - 12

All-Big Ten First Team

*unanimous selection

Cody Zeller, F, Indiana*
DeShaun Thomas, F, Ohio State*
Trey Burke, G, Michigan*
Tim Frazier, G, Penn State
Aaron Craft, G, Ohio State

Others receiving votes:
Jared Berggren, F, Wisconsin (3), Ryan Evans, F, Wisconsin (2), Drew Crawford, G/F, Northwestern (1), Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin (1)

Player of the Year

Cody Zeller, F, Indiana (5)

Thomas (3), Burke (3), Craft (1)

Freshman of the Year

Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin (7)

Yogi Ferrell, G, Indiana (2), Gary Harris, G, Michigan State (2), Ronnie Johnson, G, Purdue (1)


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