big-ten-power-rankings

(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)

It’s been quiet in the Big Ten since the weekend, but Saturday and Sunday featured a full slate of action that influenced the most recent edition of power rankings. A wild tripleheader on Saturday featured Michigan St. notching a nice win in Gainesville, IU scrapping by Louisville, and #16 Wisconsin going down in OT at #21 Marquette. Who rose and who fell this week? Time to dig in.

Big Ten Power Rankings: December 14th, 2018

1

Michigan

10-0 (2-0)

Last: 1
Another high-major opponent, another double-digit win for #5 Michigan. Per KenPom, the Wolverines sport the most efficient defense in the country. Looking ahead, IU takes on Michigan twice in January, the first of which is on the 6th in Ann Arbor.

  • Win against South Carolina 89-78

2

Michigan State

8-2 (2-0)

Last: 2
Even though it was close, MSU pulled through against a tough road opponent in the Florida Gators. Team leaders Nick Ward and Josh Langford along with Xavier Tillman off the bench showed that this team isn’t going down on the road like they did against Louisville. This team continues to show its depth and is definitely one of the best Big Ten teams.

  • Win at Florida 63-59

3

Ohio State

8-1 (2-0)

Last: 2
After a successful opening week of conference play, Ohio State had the week off before match-ups with Bucknell Saturday and Youngstown State Tuesday.

  • No games since last ranking

4

Wisconsin

8-2 (2-0)

Last: 2
The stat-line that sticks out most for Wisconsin in its lost against Marquette is the fact that the team shot just 21 percent from beyond the arc. That statistic was quickly forgetten about Thursday when the Badgers scored 68 points in the first half against Savannah State alone.

  • Loss at Marquette 69-74 (OT)
  • Win against Savannah State 101-60

5

Indiana

8-2 (2-0)

Last: 5
Ranked for the first time under Archie Miller, IU has already recorded 4 wins against KenPom’s top-50, and the Hoosiers could tack on another on Saturday. Their 51.4% field goal percentage leads the Big Ten.

  • Win against Louisville 68-67

6

Minnesota

9-2 (1-1)

Last: 8
Ever since the massive victory against Nebraska, Minnesota has continued winning. Even though those wins were against Arkansas State and North Florida, wins are wins, and losing to opponents that you are heavily favored against weakens your cause as a potential top 5 Big Ten team. Team leaders Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey are continuing to produce, and freshman Daniel Oturu is making his mark on opponents. This team can be dangerous in the future no question.

  • Win against Arkansas State 72-56
  • Win against North Florida 80-71

T7

Nebraska

8-2 (1-1)

Last: 10
If only Nebraska won the triller at Minnesota earlier in the year, they could maybe find themselves in the top 20. However, Nebraska unleashed their anger against non-conference opponent Creighton, winning by 19 due to a stellar James Palmer Jr. and solid performances by Issac Copeland Jr. and Thomas Allen. If Allen continues to improve, Nebraska can definitely use its depth to launch themselves into the top 5 of the Big Ten. We’ll see if they can handle a Big 12 opponent in a few days against Oklahoma State.

  • Win against Creighton 94-75

T7

Maryland

9-2 (1-1)

Last: 7
The Terps had a strong week, including a suffocating defensive performance on Saturday against last year’s Final Four darlings, Loyola-Chicago. Maryland does not play until Dec. 22, when they take on Seton Hall in College Park.

  • Win against Loyola-Chicago 55-41
  • Win against Loyola-Maryland 94-71

9

Purdue

6-4 (1-1)

Last: 6
Carsen Edwards can only do so much. Despite scoring 40 points against Texas, the Boilermakers lost already for the fourth time this season. Purdue’s supporting cast needs to contribute more for results to change.

  • Loss at Texas 68-72

10

Iowa

7-2 (0-2)

Last: 9
Iowa got some much-needed rest after a win over in-state foe Iowa State last Thursday. Emerging junior forward Tyler Cook has recorded 15 or more points in their last three games against Wisconsin, Michigan St., and Iowa St.

  • No games since last ranking

11

Northwestern

7-3 (0-2)

Last: 11
Northwestern is off to an unfortunate start in Big Ten play, losing by 2 to Indiana and Michigan. That being said, a loss against DePaul could have easily shattered this team’s confidence going forward. However, Vic Law and AJ Turner put up tons of points while Derek Pardon rejected 4 shots, leading Northwestern to victory. Going forward, if Vic Law can continue to lead and if AJ Turner can stay hot from beyond the arc, Northwestern can definitely make an appearance in March.

  • Win against DePaul 75-68

12

Penn State

5-4 (0-2)

Last: 12
Freshman guard Rasir Bolton had 27 points in 31 minutes in Penn State’s win against Colgate Saturday. This was the fifth game in a row that Bolton scored in double figures.

  • Win against Colgate 76-65

T13

Rutgers

5-4 (0-2)

Last: 13
Rutgers might have just experienced its worst loss of the season, losing to Fordham Saturday. This mark Fordham’s first win against a BIG 10 opponent since 2001.

  • Loss at Fordham 70-78

T13

Illinois

3-7 (0-2)

Last: 14
The Illini put an end to a 3-game skid with a narrow win over UNLV on Saturday. The fastest-playing team in the conference will try to string together some wins before coming to Bloomington on Jan. 3.

  • Win against UNLV 77-74

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