The preseason top 25 has a distinct Big Ten flavor.
Six of the conference's 14 teams — that's nearly half to you math whizzes out there — landed a spot in the preseason AP poll when it was released Monday afternoon.
Maryland is the No. 3 team in the country, the highest-ranked squad from the Big Ten. The Terps have unbelievably high expectations thanks to a loaded roster that includes Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Melo Trimble, as well as fellow returning star Jake Layman. Plus, Mark Turgeon added highly rated freshman Diamond Stone and Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon to an already loaded supporting cast. It's expected to be a big season for the Terps, with many projecting them as a Final Four team. A preseason No. 3 ranking confirms those expectations.
Michigan State comes in next at No. 13. The Spartans were a Final Four team last season and should again be right in the thick of things for a Big Ten championship behind team leader Denzel Valentine.
Indiana is ranked No. 15 in the country and also has high expectations with almost all of last season's impact players back in the fold. Yogi Ferrell has been among the Big Ten's best for the past two seasons and figures to turn in another solid campaign.
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Wisconsin, last season's national runner-up, is expected to take a step back after losing Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker to the NBA along with starting guards Josh Gasser and Traevon Jackson. But the pollsters think enough of Bo Ryan's Badgers to have them at No. 17 in the country. Returners Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig have a lot to do with that.
Purdue came in at No. 23, and that ranking could get much higher depending on how well the Boilermakers' loaded roster performs. The front court is menacing behind a pair of seven-footers in A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas, plus big-time freshman Caleb Swanigan. And there are guards who can defend and score with the best of them, including last season's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Rapheal Davis.
Michigan rounds out the conference's ranked teams at No. 25. It was a disappointing campaign for the Wolverines a season ago as star guards Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton were both sidelined most of the season with injuries. But both are back this season, as is Zak Irvin and a bevy of younger players who got valuable experience last season.
Iowa also received votes in the preseason poll.