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Big Ten Breakdown: 2012-2013

BY MEN'S BASKETBALL BEAT

Published November 15, 2012

The Daily men’s basketball beat predicts how all 12 teams will finish in the Big Ten this year.

1. Indiana

Key Returners: Sophomore forward Cody Zeller, senior forward Christian Watford

Key Losses: Forward Tom Pritchard

Marquee non-conference games: Nov. 27 vs. North Carolina

What it has to do to please its fan base: Win a national title

2. Michigan

Key Returners: Sophomore guard Trey Burke, junior guard Tim Hardaway, Jr.

Key Losses: Guard Zack Novak and guard Stu Douglass

Marquee non-conference games: Nov. 21 vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 27 vs. North Carolina State, Dec. 15 vs. West Virginia

What it has to do to please its fan base: Make it to the Elite Eight

3. Ohio State

Key Returners: Junior guard Aaron Craft, junior forward Deshaun Thomas, junior guard Lenzelle Smith, Jr.

Key Losses: Forward Jared Sullinger, guard William Buford

Marquee non-conference games: Nov. 28 at Duke, Dec. 22 vs. Kansas

What it has to do to please its fan base: Make it to the Final Four

4. Michigan State

Key Returners: Junior guard Keith Appling, sophomore guard Branden Dawson, senior center Derrick Nix

Key Losses: Forward Draymond Green

Marquee non-conference games: 66-62 L vs. Connecticut on Nov. 9, 67-64 W vs. Kansas on Nov. 13, Dec. 22 vs. Texas

What it has to do to please its fan base: Make it to the Sweet Sixteen

5. Wisconsin

Key Returners: Fifth-year senior Jared Berggren, senior forward Mike Bruesewitz, sophomore guard Traevon Jackson

Key Losses: Guard Jordan Taylor, guard Rob Wilson, junior guard Josh Gasser (to season-ending ACL injury)

Marquee non-conference games: 74-56 L vs. Florida on Nov. 14, Nov. 23 vs. Creighton, Nov. 28 vs. Virginia

What it has to do to please its fan base: Make it to the Sweet Sixteen

6. Minnesota

Key Returners: Senior forward Trevor Mbakwe, senior forward Rodney Williams, Jr., sophomore guard Andre Hollins

Key Losses: Forward Ralph Sampson III

Marquee non-conference games: Nov. 22 vs. Duke, Nov. 27 at Florida State

What it has to do to please its fan base: Qualify for the NCAA Tournament

7. Northwestern

Key Returners: Senior guard Drew Crawford, sophomore guard Drew Sobolewski

Key Losses: Forward John Shurna

Marquee non-conference games: Nov. 27 vs. Maryland, Dec. 4 at Baylor

What it has to do to please its fan base: Qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history

8. Iowa

Key Returners: Junior guard Roy Devyn Marble, senior guard Eric May, junior forward Melsahn Basabe

Key Losses: Guard Matt Gatens

Marquee non-conference games: Nov. 27 at Virginia Tech, Dec. 7 vs. Iowa State

What it has to do to please its fan base: Qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006

9. Purdue

Key Returners: Senior guard D.J. Byrd, junior guard Terone Johnson

Key Losses: Forward Robbie Hummel

Marquee non-conference games: Dec. 15 vs. Notre Dame

What it has to do to please its fan base: Qualify for the NCAA Tournament

10. Illinois

Key Returners: Senior guard Brandon Paul, senior guard D.J. Richardson

Key Losses: Head coach Bruce Weber

Marquee non-conference games: Dec. 8 vs. Gonzaga

What it has to do to please its fan base: Qualify for the NCAA Tournament

11. Penn State

Key Returners: Senior guard Tim Frazier

Key Losses: Forward Billy Oliver

Marquee non-conference games: Nov. 15 vs. North Carolina State, Nov. 28 vs. Boston College

What it has to do to please its fan base: Finish above .500

12. Nebraska

Key Returners: Senior forward Brandon Ubel

Key Losses: Guard Bo Spencer, guard Toney McCray, center Jorge Brian Diaz

Marquee non-conference games: Dec. 15 at Oregon

What it has to do to please its fan base: Four conference wins and late-season momentum