The regular season has come to a close. Now each Big Ten team is getting ready for what should be a great conference tournament.
With that in mind, lets rundown the last regular season iteration of the Big Ten Power Rankings to check-in with where each team stands in the conference heading into the conference tournament.
1) Wisconsin Badgers (21-10 overall, 14-6 B1G, last week: 2nd)
Eight straight wins, and a share of the Big Ten regular season title pushes the Badgers to the top spot for the first time this season. The No. 1 overall seed in the B1G Tournament, no one is playing better basketball in the conference than Greg Gard’s squad.
2) Maryland Terrapins (24-7 overall, 14-6 B1G, last week: 1st)
Just over a week ago Maryland held a two game lead in the conference race. That fell apart rather quickly for the Terrapins, who needed a big win on Sunday in order to claim a share of the conference title. Maryland has the best overall record in the conference, but they have lost three of their last five games.
This family FOUGHT— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) March 9, 2020
They earned this moment ❤️ pic.twitter.com/tEO9MxZDMo
3) Michigan State Spartans (22-9 overall, 14-6 B1G, last week: 3rd)
Michigan State was able to win their last two games of the regular season to secure a share of the conference title as well. One of the more talented rosters in the Big Ten, Michigan State has rebounded from a rough stretch during the latter half of conference play. The preseason pick to win the conference was able to live up to the hype, and will be a dangerous team this March.
4) Illinois Fighting Illini (21-10 overall, 13-7 B1G, last week: 4th)
The Fighting Illini had a tremendous season, and finished just a game behind Wisconsin, Maryland, and MSU in the final regular season standings. Freshman Kofi Cockburn has an amazing name, and a better game on the court as a rim protector. Illinois has risen and fallen over the course of the Big Ten race, but they are still positioned nicely for a chance to shake things up in the conference tournament.
5) Ohio State Buckeyes (21-10 overall, 11-9 B1G, last week: 7th)
Ohio State has consistently risen up the Power Rankings over the past few weeks. The Buckeyes have won four of their last five games, including wins over Maryland, Michigan, and Illinois. Ohio State may be No. 7 seed in the conference tournament due to tie-breakers, but they are playing the best of the teams that finished three games back in the conference race.
6) Iowa Hawkeyes (20-11 overall, 11-9 B1G, last week: 5th)
The Hawkeyes have stumbled a bit over the last week, but they have still been one of the better teams over the course of the conference season. Luka Garza has been the lifeblood of their team, and he gives them a shot in any game upcoming.
7) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (20-11 overall, 11-9 B1G, last week: 9th)
Rutgers hops up a couple spots thanks to consecutive wins to wrap up the regular season over Maryland and Purdue. The Scarlet Knights were a nice surprise this season, and will be one of the NCAA Tournament representatives for the conference come selection Sunday.
8) Penn State Nittany Lions (21-10 overall, 11-9 B1G, last week: 6th)
The Nittany Lions were ranked third in this arbitrary list two weeks ago, but have lost five of their last six games to free fall down to eighth. Penn State is still a team destined to make the NCAA Tournament, but their seeding may depend on how well they do in the conference tournament.
9) Michigan Wolverines (19-12 overall, 10-10 B1G, last week: 8th)
Michigan continues to fall back down the rankings after splitting their two contests this week. The Wolverines had a hot start to the season, but cooled off quickly in conference play.
10) Indiana Hoosiers (19-12 overall, 9-11 B1G, last week: 10th)
Indiana is firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament according to most metrics. The Hoosiers will need to help themselves out in the conference tournament, or their bubble may just burst this week.
Purdue and Minnesota have fallen out of the Power Rankings, as neither team is in contention for a tournament berth unless they win the conference. At this point, that seems far fetched.
Northwestern and Nebraska have locked up this location for the better part of the season. The key may have been lost several weeks ago.