How competitive is this year's Big Ten tournament going to be?
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo summed it up when he said to the Detroit Free Press referring to the number of ranked teams headed to Chicago, "This is way bigger than some Final Fours I've been in."
That might as well be the slogan for this upcoming week's conference tournament.
Five teams head to the United Center among the country's Top 25 and four others are within a game of .500 in Big Ten play. A few of the top seeds (Wisconsin, Michigan State) sputtered to the finish of the regular season while teams like Iowa and Purdue have a real shot at making the semifinals on Saturday.
As Izzo said: "I've got a lot of people I'd like to get a shot at, but at the same time, this thing is filled with landmines."
Which players will be able to navigate those "landmines" and whose play will have the biggest impact on the Big Ten tournament? Which point guards are the most invaluable, and which upperclassmen need to demonstrate leadership heading into the postseason?
Let's breakdown the 10 biggest X-factors heading into the most competitive conference tournament in the country.