#6. Michigan State Spartans 11-3, 1-2
The Spartans found out quickly that Caitlin Clark happens to everyone. Their loss to Iowa also showed two things about Michigan State. First, they can score on any team in the conference—four of Michigan State's five starters average ten points per game or more. Theryn Hallock is a shade under ten points, averaging 9.4 points per game. However, they have holes defensively. They lack size, with only one player over six feet, but their ability to score makes them a threat.
#5. Minnesota Golden Gophers 11-2, 1-1
The Gophers and first-year head coach Dawn Plitzuweit benefitted from an easy non-conference schedule. Considering the Gophers won 11 games last year, they've already shown improvement by matching last year's win total. Their losses are to two of the best college basketball programs in the country, UConn and Iowa. They'll be tested in the conference, but Mara Braun getting 20 points every night could keep them in many games.
#4. Nebraska Cornhuskers 10-3, 2-0
The 'Huskers and first-year head coach Amy Williams are seeing precisely what they want to see in a program they are trying to build. Senior guard Jaz Shelly is one of the more consistent players in the Big Ten. She has help this year. Junior center Alexis Markowski has made a significant leap as an offensive player and is a double-double machine. Nebraska should improve on its 8-win conference record from 2022 and pull a couple of upsets along the way.