Big Ten Survey: The most surprising men's hoops team so far is ...

Big Ten Survey: The most surprising men's hoops team so far is ...

The Big Ten men’s hoops season is just starting to gain momentum, and we’ve already seen some twists and turns. We also have seen some surprises. On that note, I asked several media members who cover the league what they felt was the most surprising team in the Big Ten thus far.

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Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Despite the loss at MSU, I have to give that honor to Minnesota and head coach Richard Pitino. The Gophers were a train wreck last season, finishing 2-16 in the league and 8-23 overall. Despite an ugly loss Wednesday at MSU, Minnesota (15-3, 3-2) has more league and overall victories than it did all of last season. Appears to be the most improved team in the league.

Robin Washut, HuskerOnline.com: I’ve really been impressed with what Chris Collins has built at Northwestern. The Wildcats have the pieces and the veteran backcourt to not only make a serious run at the NCAA Tournament but possibly finally win a game in the Big Dance. Nebraska would be a close second given the fact that it’s 3-1 in the league despite everyone picking them as the worst team in the Big Ten coming into the season.

Kyle Austin, Mlive.com: Minnesota. The Gophers’ gaudy non-conference record wasn’t a mirage this year as it has been previous years under Pitino. Amir Coffey has been a revelation and the Gophers have already shown that they can play with anyone in this conference.

Tom Kakert, HawkeyeReport.com: I have to go with Minnesota. Coming off a rough year, expectations were low for the Gophers and they are playing well with road wins at Purdue and Northwestern. Their non-conference schedule was pretty soft but their start in league play has really been impressive and surprising.

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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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