The Big Ten is the best conference in college basketball with four teams in the AP Top 25—Indiana (No. 1), Michigan (No. 3), Michigan State (No. 8) and Ohio State (No. 10).
As the month of February unfolds, any of those four teams could win the regular season championship.
And, if things get absolutely insane in the last five weeks, you could throw Minnesota (No. 24) and even Wisconsin into the title conversation too.
Let's take a quick look at the Big Ten's Midseason Award winners.
Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe is leading the Big Ten in rebounding (8.5 RPG) and is second in blocked shots (1.8 BPG).
The 6'8", 245-pound senior is a low-post defensive force who has no trouble matching up with anyone in the conference.
Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Close pointed this out about Mbakwe:
"He's rebounding like crazy and does a good job of anchoring their defense, and he's scoring as well. He gives them a lot of toughness and leadership."
Indiana's Victor Oladipo leads the Big Ten in steals (54 total; 2.5 SPG; currently No. 15 in the nation).
IU opponents must be aware of where Oladipo is at all times in order to prevent him from pinching a pass or picking someone's pocket off the dribble.
His defensive intensity is contagious, helping his Hoosier teammates to step their defensive game up a notch.
Trey Burke is a dynamic point guard who not only scores a truck load of points, but also helps his teammates get theirs.
Burke not only leads the Big Ten in assists (7.2 APG), but he is also the best in terms of assist-to-turnover ratio (3.77).
Jordan Hulls is the best long-distance bomber in the Big Ten.
The 6'0" hometown hero has hit almost half (53-for-108; 49.1 percent) of his shots from beyond the arc.
Hulls' ability to knock down three-pointers keeps the floor spaced and the driving lanes open for his Hoosier teammates.
How many college hoops wings shoot over 64 percent from the field?
Answer: Virtually none.
Because of his ability to get to the rim and score in traffic, Oladipo has the best overall FG percentage (64.4 percent) in the Big Ten.
Deshaun Thomas has the rare combination of size and shooting touch.
At 6'7" and 225 pounds, Thomas is velvety smooth from the line, knocking down 82.3 percent of his free throws.
In fact, this is one of the areas that he needs to learn to leverage more. Rather than just getting to the line 3.6 times per game, Thomas would help himself and the Buckeyes if he could double that number.
Will Sheehey is the top sixth man in the Big Ten
The 6'7", 200-pound junior forward gives more than spark off of the IU bench.
He legitimately provides starter-type production (9.9 PPG; 3.8 RPG) while playing less than 22 minutes per game.
There is zero drop-off for the Hoosiers when Sheehey is in the game.
Big Ten All-Freshmen Team
Yogi Ferrell (Indiana) 6'0", 178 lbs—7.7 PPG; 2.8 RPG; 4.5 APG
Nik Stauskas (Michigan) 6'6", 190 lbs—12.4 PPG; 3.0 RPG
A.J. Hammons (Purdue) 7'0", 280 lbs—11.2 PPG; 6.8 RPG
Glenn Robinson III (Michigan): 6'6" 210 lbs—11.6 PPG; 5.7 RPG (Midseason Freshmen of the Year)
Gary Harris (Michigan State): 6'4", 205 lbs—12.8 PPG; 2.6 RPG
All five of these first-year phenoms have stepped in and played a major role on their corresponding teams.
GR3 is the best of the bunch, and is the most likely player of this list to enter the 2013 NBA Draft and get picked in the first round.
Tom Crean has done a masterful job of bringing the Hoosiers from being a good team last year to being a legitimate national title contender this year.
Crean has built on the success of the 2011-12 squad and taken IU (20-2; 8-1 Big Ten) to the top of the conference standings and the No. 1 ranking in the Week 14 AP Poll.
Midseason All-Big Ten Team
Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State): 19.9 PPG; 6.1 RPG
Trey Burke (Michigan): 18.1 PPG; 3.1 RPG; 7.2 APG
Brandon Paul (Illinois): 17.4 PPG; 4.6 RPG; 2.9 APG
Cody Zeller (Indiana): 16.3 PPG; 8.3 RPG; 1.4 BPG
Victor Oladipo (Indiana): 14.0 PPG; 5.8 RPG; 2.3 APG; 2.5 SPG
This is a perimeter-strong group, filled with players who could all be drafted in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Burke is clearly the best PG in the conference. Paul and Oladipo are dynamic wings that haven't reached their potential yet.
Thomas may be thought of as a combo forward, but his ability to score the ball makes him lethal.
Zeller makes the game look easy. With more touches and more FG attempts (only nine per game), his scoring average would be significantly higher.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. (Michigan)
Christian Watford (Indiana)
Keith Appling (Michigan State)
Andre Hollins (Minnesota)
Aaron Craft (Ohio State)
Trey Burke is the engine that makes Michigan run.
He is one of the best point guards in the nation. Period.
With him leading the team in scoring and assists, UM has a genuine shot at making it to the Final Four and winning it all.