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Wisconsin basketball: Power Rankings 2/24/20

An updated vantage point on the Big Ten race.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 23 Rutgers at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wisconsin has now put together a four-game winning streak, and leapt into a tie for second place in the conference. With only a handful of games remaining on each team’s schedule, the race for conference supremacy has grown tighter, and it has set up an intriguing battle for the top four spots in the league.

Lets rundown the updated Big Ten Power Rankings to check-in with where each team stands in the conference after another week of play.

(Here are last week’s Power Rankings)

1) Maryland Terrapins (22-5 overall, 12-4 B1G, last week: 1st)

Despite a road loss to Ohio State on Sunday, Maryland holds steady atop the Power Rankings. With a two-game lead the Terrapins are firmly in control of their own destiny and should take home the conference crown.

2) Iowa Hawkeyes (19-8 overall, 10-6 B1G, last week: 3rd)

Iowa slides up a spot in the Power Rankings this week after a win over Ohio State. The Hawkeyes have been a surprise team this season, and have won back-to-back games. With tough match ups against Michigan State and Penn State on tap for this week, Iowa will potentially swing up or down next week depending on how they fair.

3) Penn State Nittany Lions (20-7 overall, 10-6 B1G, last week: 2nd)

After two straight weeks in second place, Penn State drops a spot after dropping games to both Illinois and Indiana. The Nittany Lions are still the second highest ranked team in the conference, but the losses can’t continue to pile up, especially with Rutgers and Iowa games upcoming this week.

4) Wisconsin Badgers (17-10 overall, 10-6 B1G, last week: 7th)

The biggest rise of the week is the hometown team. The Badgers have won four straight games, and are playing their best basketball of the season. A tough game at Michigan is on the docket for this week, but they are now tied for second place in the conference, and have an easier schedule than most of their competitors jockeying for second place.

5) Michigan State Spartans (18-9 overall, 10-6 B1G, last week: 5th)

Michigan State stays at No. 5 in the Power Rankings after taking care of Nebraska last week. The Spartans have lost four of their last six games, and their schedule only gets tougher down the stretch. This week they host Iowa and go on the road to Maryland, followed by another road game at Penn State. Michigan State will need to figure things out quickly if they want to rise towards the top of the standings.

6) Illinois Fighting Illini (16-9 overall, 9-6 B1G, last week: 6th)

Illinois got a big win on the road over Penn State, but they are now a half game behind the Badgers and Spartans in the standings after dropping four-straight prior. Because of that, they stayed steady in the rankings this week. Games against Nebraska and Northwestern this week should help them climb in next week’s standings though.

7) Michigan Wolverines (18-9 overall, 9-7 B1G, last week: 9th)

Winners of five straight games, the Wolverines are on fire as of late. A big home game against Wisconsin is up next, can Michigan keep it going? Or will the Badgers end their run?

8) Ohio State Buckeyes (18-9 overall, 8-8 B1G, last week: 8th)

Despite standing a half game behind Rutgers in the standings, Ohio State was able to take down Maryland on Sunday to stay afloat at No. 8 this week. The Buckeyes have been playing much better basketball as of late, winning 6-of-8 games.

9) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-10 overall, 9-8 B1G, last week: 4th)

The Scarlet Knights took a precipitous fall this week after losing both of their games. Rutgers has really struggled this season on the road, and with games at Penn State and at home versus Maryland up next, they could be in store for further falling on the horizon.

10) Indiana Hoosiers (18-9 overall, 8-8 B1G, last week: 11th)

Indiana was able to win both of their games this week over Minnesota and Penn State to climb up a spot in the Power Rankings. The Hoosiers are currently a bubble team, so they will need to keep the positive momentum going if they want to punch their ticket to the Big Dance.

11) Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-13 overall, 7-9 B1G, last week: 12th)

Minnesota rises a spot in large part because of Purdue’s struggles. Minnesota is now on the outside looking in on the NCAA Tournament as things stand, and will need a big week to change that perception in a hurry.

12) Purdue Boilermakers (14-14 overall, 7-10 B1G, last week: 10th)

Purdue is like a sinking stone currently. The Boilermakers have lost their last four games, and are now out of the conversation for the NCAA Tournament as well. With only three games remaining, they would likely need to win all three games, and get some serious help in order to change their fortune.

Utter futility: Northwestern and Nebraska

I am at a loss for words.