Big Ten Power Rankings: Indiana All Alone at the Top

My god, look at that smirk. - USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State had a chance to take hold of the Big Ten's No. 1 spot, but Victory Oladipo and Indiana brought their game to East Lansing.

The top six teams are yet again unchanged, even though Michigan State did lose twice last week. Tom Izzo better be happy his team embarrassed Michigan not too long ago, otherwise the Spartans would be falling fast in the rankings. Things are starting to settle down in the Big Ten and the outcome of the regular season is beginning to settle.

RECORD (Overall, Big Ten) LAST WEEK (Change) COMMENTS
1. INDIANA HOOSIERS 24-3,
12-2
1 (--) Indiana has temporarily silenced all doubters with its 72-68 victory over Michigan State in East Lansing. With the win has come the apparent anointment of Victor Oladipo as the next Michael Jordan. Don't be too quick to hand the Hoosiers the Big Ten regular season championship just yet, though. Tom Crean's club still has games against Ohio State and Michigan looming.
2. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS 22-6,
11-4
2 (--) Michigan State had a rough week, falling twice in a row for the first time this season. Just when everyone was ready to crown the Spartans as the best team in the Big Ten, they go and get whipped by Indiana on Tuesday and Ohio State on Sunday. Michigan State still has a very talented backcourt with Keith Appling and Gary Harris, but Tom Izzo's squad is hitting its slump just at the wrong time.
3. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES 23-4,
10-4
3 (--) Michigan thoroughly handled a somewhat dangerous Illinois team at home on Sunday, winning by 13 points. Trey Burke continued his fantastic 2012-13 sophomore campaign by dropping 26 on the Fighting Illini. The Wolverines had all of last week to rest and reenergize for the final stretch of the season, and now they have plenty of talent to make a late-season surge to the top spot.
4. WISCONSIN BADGERS 19-8,
10-4
4 (--) Wisconsin had an easy schedule with just one game last week at nearby Northwestern on Wednesday, where the Badgers were able to dominate the injury-riddled Wildcats. The Badgers have a very favorable schedule to end the regular season, but have a huge match-up against Michigan State in East Lansing in two weeks. Any hopes the Badgers have of winning the regular-season Big Ten title hinge on a victory there on March 7.
5. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES 20-7,
10-5
5 (--) Ohio State showed up last week with two impressive performances. The Buckeyes clobbered Minnesota at home on Wednesday by 26 points and then shocked Michigan State on Sunday with a critical eight-point victory. Deshaun Thomas continues to be the heartbeat of Thad Matta's team. As Thomas goes, so too does his Buckeyes team.
6. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI 20-9,
7-8
6 (--) Illinois proved it is just a middle-of-the-pack team in the Big Ten instead of the surging force it seemed to be just a week ago with a 13-point loss to Michigan on Sunday. The Fighting Illini still have a decent shot to make the tournament in March and have a good enough backcourt with Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson to maybe pick up a win or two in the Big Dance.
7. IOWA HAWKEYES 17-10,
6-8
8 (+1) Iowa makes a statement last week by killing Minnesota, but then follows it up with a four-point loss to Nebraska in Lincoln. Come on, man! Nebraska? Iowa is just playing for pride now and building for next season.
8. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS 18-9,
6-8
7(-1) I think it is safe to say that Minnesota's tournament hopes are now out the window unless it makes an unbelievable run in the Big Ten Tournament. The Golden Gophers looked like they might be getting back their edge with an overtime win against Wisconsin, but Tubby Smith's crew has lost two straight games since then, including a 26-point pounding at the hands of Ohio State last Wednesday.
9. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS 13-14,
6-8
10 (+1) Purdue snapped its three-game losing streak on Sunday, courtesy of the Northwestern Wildcats. The Boilermakers better relish their victory, because it might be their last of the season with games left against Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota.
10. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS 13-14,
3-10
11 (+1) One game, one win last week for Nebraska. The Cornhuskers got a nice win on Saturday over Iowa thanks in large part to an 18-point performance from junior guard Roy Devyn Marble.
11. NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS 13-15,
4-11
9 (-2) Northwestern was unable to come away with a win in either of its two games last week, extending its losing streak to five. The Wildcats have talent on their roster but just are too small and have way too many injuries to overcome this season.
12. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS 8-18,
0-14
12 (--) And the beat rolls on. Yet again Penn state could not pick up that illusive first Big Ten win of the season by losing to Illinois on Thursday in its only game of the week. Nittany Lion fans will have to circle March 7 on their calendars, because that is Penn State's most realistic chance of getting a conference win against Northwestern.
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