Another week, and once again the Badgers have ascended in the Power Rankings thanks to a stellar six game winning streak. With only a week remaining until the Big Ten Tournament, it is crunch time across the conference as teams strive to improve their position in the conference heap.
With that in mind, lets rundown the updated Big Ten Power Rankings to check-in with where each team stands in the conference after another week of play.
1) Maryland Terrapins (23-6 overall, 13-5 B1G, last week: 1st)
Despite a home loss to Michigan State, the Terrapins maintain their top spot in the updated Power Rankings. Holding a one-game advantage over a Michigan State, Illinois and Wisconsin, Maryland has remaining games at Rutgers and home versus Michigan as they aim to win the regular season crown.
2) Wisconsin Badgers (19-10 overall, 12-6 B1G, last week: 4th)
The Badgers have leapt up the standings from No. 7 just two weeks ago, all the way up to No. 2 this week. Michigan State is also very deserving of this position, but Wisconsin has won six straight games, and is playing their best basketball of the season.
3) Michigan State Spartans (20-9 overall, 12-6 B1G, last week: 5th)
The Spartans are now in a tie for second place in the conference pecking order after taking down Maryland on the road last week. Tom Izzo’s crew had a tough stretch a few weeks ago, but have rebounded nicely with three-straight wins.
4) Illinois Fighting Illini (20-9 overall, 12-6 B1G, last week: 6th)
Illinois has won their last four games, and are also tied up with Wisconsin and Michigan State in the Big Ten standings. The Illini have two tough games remaining on their schedule at Ohio State and versus Iowa, so it will be interesting to see how they finish.
5) Iowa Hawkeyes (20-9 overall, 11-7 B1G, last week: 2nd)
After splitting their games last week, the Hawkeyes dropped three spots in the Power Rankings. A big win over Penn State though keeps them just above the Nittany Lions. Iowa is currently in fifth place in the official standings, but they are a team that could surprise in the conference tournament.
6) Penn State Nittany Lions (21-8 overall, 11-7 B1G, last week: 3rd)
The shuffle continues. Penn State has been up and down the rankings frequently this season, but have lost three of their last four games. With only two games left on their schedule, they will need some help to finagle their way back into a double bye in the Big Ten Tournament.
7) Ohio State Buckeyes (20-9 overall, 10-8 B1G, last week: 8th)
Ohio State has now won three games in a row, including big wins over Maryland and most recently Michigan. The Buckeyes have one of the better resumes in the conference for the NCAA Tournament, but they are currently three games behind. Badger fans should be rooting for OSU down the stretch, as they still have both Illinois and Michigan State on their schedule.
8) Michigan Wolverines (18-11 overall, 9-9 B1G, last week: 7th)
Back-to-back losses really hurt the Wolverines, who were surging a week ago. Michigan is still in line for a ticket to the Big Dance, but they have not helped their seeding lately.
9) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (18-11 overall, 9-9 B1G, last week: 9th)
Rutgers maintains the No. 9 spot after losing their only game of the week to Penn State. The Scarlet Knights have really stumbled over the past few weeks, losing six of their last eight games. Not great.
10) Indiana Hoosiers (18-11 overall, 8-10 B1G, last week: 10th)
Purdue has beaten Indiana in both of their matchups this year, so the Boilermakers could have some beef with this pick, but Indiana has a much better tournament resume. The Hoosiers finish with home games against Minnesota and Wisconsin to round out their regular season schedule.
11) Purdue Boilermakers (15-14 overall, 8-10 B1G, last week: 12th)
Purdue won their only game of the week, but it wasn’t enough for them to vault much higher in the newest Power Rankings. The Boilermakers are on the outside looking in according to most NCAA Tournament predictions. They will need to create some magic in conference tournament to have a chance.
Not up to snuff:
Minnesota, Northwestern, Nebraska.
Minnesota is now under .500 for the season, so enjoy your new home in the basement...Gophers.