A lot has happened in the Big Ten over the past week!
Michigan State lost in historic fashion at Purdue. Wisconsin beat another ranked team on the road. Illinois seemingly has found their mojo, while Ohio State can’t seem to find the bottom of the hoop.
After a topsy-turvy week in the conference, lets breakdown where each team stands as basketball season continues to heat up.
Here are the top games to watch this week.— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) January 9, 2020
College basketball viewing guide: January 9 - 15 https://t.co/TEQXs7IY9G pic.twitter.com/Xpkj037eci
(Here are last week’s Power Rankings.)
1) Michigan State Spartans (13-4 overall, 5-1 B1G, last week: 1st)
The top team in the conference just lost to Purdue by 29 points on Sunday. The Spartans were dominated from the tip. The good new for them is that the road loss was their first of the season. Michigan State also beat Minnesota last week, and now have a relatively long break before playing the Badgers on Friday. Stellar timing for a reason to be motivated, am I right?!?
2) Illinois Fighting Illini (12-5 overall, 4-2 B1G, last week: 8th)
Illinois has won three straight games, including two this past week over Wisconsin and Rutgers since losing to Michigan State two weeks ago. Ayo Dosunmu has consistently been one of the better players in the conference, and he has the Illini playing well. With some of the other top teams in the conference losing, Illinois leapfrogs into the second position.
3) Maryland Terrapins (13-3 overall, 3-2 B1G, last week: 4th)
The Terrapins are one of the most talented teams in the conference, regardless of the fact that they lost at Iowa recently. Maryland will need to figure out how to win on the road at some point, but Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith are two of the better players in the league. Wisconsin will welcome them in just a few days, hopefully they will continue their road game struggles.
4) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (12-4 overall, 3-2 B1G, last week: 9th)
Rutgers is one of the best teams in the conference. Yes, I just said that.
The Scarlet Knights are coming off of a loss to Illinois, but they rattled off six straight victories, including wins over Seton Hall, Penn State, and Wisconsin. Ron Harper Jr. is living up to his father's name, as Rutgers is will have a nice change to bolster their tournament resume over the next few weeks.
Micah Potter for Prez. Brad Davison for secretary of defense.— Matt Belz (@savedbythebelz) January 11, 2020
Wisconsin basketball: Penn State recap https://t.co/AWs3SKQrYf pic.twitter.com/HRR3bDDxue
5) Wisconsin Badgers (10-6 overall, 3-2 B1G, last week: 7th)
After a rocky start to the season, Big Ten play has been ok for the Badgers. Wisconsin has beaten two ranked teams now on the road in conference, and will look to secure another ranked victory over Maryland this week. The Badgers slightly edge out Indiana here because of a head-to-head win.
6) Indiana Hoosiers (13-3 overall, 3-2 B1G, last week: 11th)
Benefiting from a relatively easy non-conference schedule, Indiana jumped out to an undefeated season prior to a loss at Wisconsin. After back-to-back losses to Arkansas and Maryland, Indiana has gotten back on schedule with wins against Northwestern and Ohio State.
7) Purdue Boilermakers (10-7 overall, 3-3 B1G, last week: 10th)
The Boilermakers earned a huge win over Michigan State this past weekend, propelling them up the power rankings. Even though they lost to Michigan, Purdue, I believe, is playing better basketball at this moment. Matt Painter and company have a nice top five win over Virginia to hang their hat on as well.
If you thought the Badgers hoops team was unpredictable allow me to introduce you to Purdue. They just beat MSU by 29 points one week after scoring 37 points total in a 26-point loss to Illinois.— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 12, 2020
8) Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-7 overall, 3-3 B1G, last week: 12th)
Minnesota came out the gates slow, losing three of their first four games. Since then, the Gophers have been formidable. With recent wins over Ohio State and Michigan, they barely edge out Michigan because of the tie-breaker.
9) Michigan Wolverines (11-5 overall, 2-3 B1G, last week: 6th)
Michigan has a rollercoaster of a season so far. The Wolverines have top-10 wins over North Carolina and Gonzaga, but have also lost some heart breakers against Oregon, Louisville, Michigan State, and most recently Minnesota. Michigan is one of the more talented teams in the conference, but they have lost four of their last seven games.
10) Penn State Nittany Lions (12-4 overall, 2-3 B1G, last week: 2nd)
Penn State has sputtered as of late thanks to consecutive losses to Wisconsin and Illinois. Wins over Iowa and Maryland have really helped them, but they will need to get back on track quickly to keep pace in the conference.
11) Iowa Hawkeyes (11-5 overall, 2-3 B1G, last week: 5th)
Coming off of a big win over Maryland, Iowa is back in the thick of things. The Hawkeyes have had some great wins this season, but have also had some clunkers, most notably a loss to Nebraska. Luke Garza is playing the best basketball of his career inside, can the big man steer the ship upwards in the conference standings?
12) Ohio State Buckeyes (11-5 overall, 1-4 B1G, last week: 3rd)
Ohio State has beaten Villanova, North Carolina, and Kentucky this season, but have now lost four straight games. The Buckeyes have seemed out of sorts, especially in Big Ten play. One of the better rosters in the league, Ohio State is going through some growing pains currently. Can they turn it around?
They say that opposites attract but I’d argue that like-minded groups tend to flock to each other. #B1G pic.twitter.com/EsMn6TKJWp— Bucky's 5th Quarter (@B5Q) January 12, 2020
13) Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-9 overall, 2-3 B1G, last week: 13th)
Nebraska holds two conference wins over Purdue and Iowa, but have also recently lost to Northwestern. One of the least skilled teams in the Big Ten, Fred Hoiberg has his work cut out for him to get Nebraska back into contention.
14) Northwestern Wildcats (6-9 overall, 1-4 B1G, last week: also receiving votes)
The geeks have really struggled this season. Last week they didn’t even make the power rankings list, but a win over Nebraska made them relevant again. Northwestern is the clear bottom of the pack, with losses to Radford, Hartland, and Merrimack...woof.