(Photo Credit: IndianaHQ)
Indiana was without a doubt the star of another quiet week in Big Ten Basketball. Despite leading just 92 seconds in its game against Butler Saturday, a last-second three pointer from Rob Phinisee led to the Hoosiers’ tenth win of the season, At the end of the day, however, Michigan is still the team to beat in the conference for at least another week. Which teams have crept up closer to the Wolverines in our rankings? Well let’s find out.
Big Ten Power Rankings: December 21st, 2018
|Ever since their single possession victory against Northwestern, the Wolverines have looked more vulnerable compared to how they started the season. They still maintain the top spot in our stacking of teams; however, make no mistake that they are going to face a challenging Big Ten gauntlet that will certainly earn them a loss somewhere along the way.
|The AP ranked 10th team in the nation are getting impressive production out of their junior trio of Ward, Langford, and Winston. They are individually each averaging over 16 points per game and the Spartans are 5th in the nation in adjusted offense.
|Expect the Badgers to head into the new year 11-2 with games against both Grambling and Western Kentucky left to play in 2018. Ethan Happ is currently number 1 in the latest Kenpom Player of the Year predictions.
|Indiana has 5 top 50 Kenpom wins and continue to find a way to make it happen at the very end of games under the guidance of Archie Miller. The Hoosiers end their 4-game single possession victories with a blowout against Central Arkansas.
|The Buckeyes have two tier A wins from their road victories early in the season against Cincinnati and Creighton. Their sole Tier B win was against Illinois in the United Center. Ohio State keeps rolling but they have not dramatically improved their resume after their initial pair of road victories.
|Nebraska’s victory against Oklahoma State at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, SD continues to build the overall Big Ten resume for the season. With James Palmer Jr. playing the second most minutes by any individual player in the Big Ten, Nebraska has sneaked into the AP Top 25.
|A quiet week for Richard Pitino’s Gophers as they have not played since the time of the last writing. Minnesota hosts North Carolina A&T tonight (Friday) and will play Mount St. Mary’s on the day before New Year’s Eve.
|Who are the Terps exactly? None of their wins stand out, but they were very competitive in their losses at home to Virginia and at Purdue. Big Ten season will tell us more about Maryland than any other team in the conference.
|Iowa carries their two losses from Big Ten play. They wrap up a perfect non-conference slate, but will be tested right when the jump back in to the conference re-start. Can they avoid an 0-4 start by winning at Purdue or at home against Nebraska?
|Even with five losses on the season, Purdue still sits at 19th in the nation at Kenpom mostly due to their single superstar guard Carsen Edwards. The Boilermaker cast has not been doing Carsen any favors as they lost to Notre Dame on the back of Edwards’ 27 point performance.
|The Wildcats host Oklahoma tonight (Friday) in another resume building opportunity for the Big Ten. With two close losses to Indiana and Michigan, the Wildcats are certainly the most dangerous team with an 0-2 conference record.
|After a post-season NIT championship last season, Penn State has not been the same team without the services of Tony Carr. Although they continue to play at a very high level defensively, the Nittany Lions need to work on closing out games and adding to the correct column.
|Seton Hall’s Myles Powell sank six threes in a victory against Rutgers Saturday. The loss marked the first time this season that the Scarlet Knights have lost consecutive games. Rutgers looks to close out its non-conference schedule with wins against Columbia and Maine.
|While Brad Underwood’s team may have a disappointing record on the same, they are still a Top 100 Kenpom team entering the break led by their backcourt of Frazier and Dosunmu. Illinois will look to sneak some wins in the Big Ten confernence.