The big four of the Big Ten.
Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin were all on the list when the AP top 25 preseason poll debuted Thursday. The Spartans — named the unanimous favorite to win the conference title at Big Ten basketball media day — are the highest-ranking member of the conference, sitting at No. 2 in the country. They trail only the Kentucky Wildcats.
Fellow Great Lakes State squad Michigan also ranks in the top 10, coming in at No. 7 following last season's appearance in the NCAA championship game. Ohio State is not much further down, ranking No. 11, and Wisconsin is No. 22 heading into the first week of the college hoops season.
Two more Big Ten teams, Indiana and Iowa, popped up high in the others-receiving-votes category, with the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes effectively ranked Nos. 28 and 29, respectively.
Most of the Big Ten tips off the 2013-14 season Friday, Nov. 8, with nine of the conference's 12 teams in action, including the above-mentioned Spartans, Wolverines, Badgers, Hoosiers and Hawkeyes. Ohio State starts things Saturday, Nov. 9, against Morgan State.