Upon further review: How did our Big Ten predictions shake out?

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Upon further review: How did our Big Ten predictions shake out?

The 2015-16 Big Ten men’s basketball season officially came to a close early Sunday morning, with outright Big Ten champ Indiana getting eliminated by North Carolina in the East Region semifinal.

What better time to glance back over our shoulder and see what we all predicted five months ago. It’s a fun exercise, especially in an age of social media where fans can provide immediate – shall we say – feedback on our choices. My mail inbox alone was filled with plenty of objections – and that’s fine. Predictions are a crazy game – just have a look at your NCAA brackets.

Each of the fellows on our prediction panel love college basketball and we all watched plenty of between then and now. So here is a composite of picks that ran on BTN.com on Oct. 14, 2015. They include a number of projections from me and a number of my colleagues, including:

Our predicted order of finish for men’s basketball after the 2015-2016 season:

1. Maryland
2. Indiana
3. Purdue
4. Michigan State
5. Wisconsin
6. Michigan
7. Ohio State
8. Illinois
9. Iowa
10. Northwestern
11. Nebraska
12. Minnesota
13. Penn State
14. Rutgers

The actual finish:

Conference Overall vs
Conference Overall vs
W-L Pct Hm Rd W-L Pct Hm Rd Nt Top 25
14 x-Indiana 15-3 .833 9-0 6-3 27-7 .794 17-0 6-4 4-3 5-2
2 y-Michigan State 13-5 .722 7-2 6-3 29-6 .829 14-2 7-3 8-1 5-2
18 Maryland 12-6 .667 8-1 4-5 27-8 .771 16-1 4-6 7-1 2-5
12 Purdue 12-6 .667 8-1 4-5 26-9 .743 17-1 5-5 4-3 2-5
25 Iowa 12-6 .667 7-2 5-4 22-11 .667 13-2 6-5 3-4 5-5
Wisconsin 12-6 .667 7-2 5-4 22-12 .647 13-5 6-5 3-2 6-5
Ohio State 11-7 .611 7-2 4-5 21-14 .600 15-6 4-6 2-2 2-7
Michigan 10-8 .556 6-3 3-5 23-13 .639 13-4 4-6 6-3 3-9
Northwestern 8-10 .444 5-4 3-6 20-12 .625 14-4 5-6 1-2 0-7
Penn State 7-11 .389 5-3 2-7 16-16 .500 11-4 4-9 1-3 2-5
Nebraska 6-12 .333 3-6 3-6 16-18 .471 10-8 3-8 3-2 1-9
Illinois 5-13 .278 3-6 2-7 15-19 .441 8-9 2-8 5-2 2-7
Minnesota 2-16 .111 2-7 0-9 8-23 .258 7-10 0-9 1-4 1-4
Rutgers 1-17 .056 1-8 0-9 7-25 .219 7-11 0-11 0-3 0-5

Biggest hit: Indiana. We had the Hoosiers tabbed to finish second and they ended up winning the Big Ten outright. Making the work of Tom Crean even more spectacular was the fact he steered Indiana to the championship even after losing James Blackmon to injury.

Biggest miss: Iowa. BTN.com predicted the Hawkeyes would finish ninth, but Iowa surprised by finishing tied for third, and for a long time it looked like the program was going to win the Big Ten for the first time since 1979 before a late-season funk.

BTN.com predicted All-Big Ten team:

  • Melo Trimble, Maryland
  • Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
  • Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
  • Caris LeVert, Michigan
  • Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

Actual All-Big Ten team from the media and coaches:

  • Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
  • Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa
  • Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
  • A.J. Hammons, Purdue
  • Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin

We were pretty close, although Uthoff surprised us. BTN.com missed on LeVert, but his season was ruined because of injury. Another miss? Purdue’s A.J. Hammons dominated while BTN.com had Trimble on the squad. But he endured a sophomore slump of sorts.

Other BTN.com predictions:

  • Player of the Year: Melo Trimble, Maryland
  • Freshman of the Year: Diamond Stone, Maryland AND Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
  • Most underrated player: Malcolm Hill, Illinois AND Shavon Shields, Nebraska
  • Sleeper team: Northwestern
  • Big Ten NCAA teams: Seven
  • Will Northwestern make its first NCAA tournament? No

The takeaways here: Not only wasn’t Melo Trimble the Big Ten Player of the Year, but he wasn’t even first-team All-Big Ten. Also, not one of us saw Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ coming. Happ wound up winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Feeling nostalgic? Find all of our videos on our YouTube page, or in the playlist below.

***

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

About Tom Dienhart: BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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