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The Steve Pikiell era at Rutgers has officially begun. The Scarlet Knights’ victory over Ohio State Wednesday marked not only Rutgers’ first win in conference play this season, but also its first win over a ranked Big Ten team since 2015. In other conference news, Michigan is still undefeated, and Maryland is quietly climbing up the ladder with three straight wins. How did Rutgers’ upset and Maryland’s streak shake up our rankings? Let’s find out.

Big Ten Power Rankings: January 11th, 2019

1

Michigan

16-0 (5-0)

Last: 1
Michigan has been spectacular all year. Why are they still #2 in the nation? We have no idea. They’re undefeated, stomped UNC and Villanova, and continue to win against conference opponents. The Big Ten is formidable, however, so even though Michigan looks like the easy choice for winning the conference, they may randomly lose a game or two that no one would have expected. All of us at IndianaHQ can’t wait until January 25th, when Michigan comes to Assembly Hall.

  • Win against #21 Indiana 74-63
  • Win at Illinois 79-69

2

Michigan State

14-2 (5-0)

Last: 2
MSU has consistently improved from their season-opening defeat against Kansas. Senior Matt McQuaid smothered Purdue preseason All-American Carsen Edwards, forcing him into 13 misses on 16 shots. Something to note: Sparty plays four out of its next five on the road.

  • Win at #14 Ohio State 86-77
  • Win against Purdue 77-59

3

Maryland

13-3 (4-1)

Last: 7
Maryland is not only one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten, but also in the nation. They’re coming off a huge 3 game, conference win streak. They face the Hoosiers at home on Friday night. Winning this game would make a huge impact on a potential tournament run. Maryland is a very balanced team with a stellar guard in Anthony Cowan Jr., and two solid big men in Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith, who also happen to be high-quality NBA prospects. This team is very dangerous.

  • Win at Rutgers 77-63
  • Win at Minnesota 82-67

4

Wisconsin

11-4 (3-1)

Last: T5
Ethan Happ led the Badgers Sunday to a much needed win Sunday with 22 points and eight rebounds. Happ is currently averaging a double-double this season with 19.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

  • Loss against Minnesota 52-59
  • Win at Penn State 71-52

5

Indiana

12-3 (3-1)

Last: T3
The Hoosiers lost a tough one in Michigan recently, slightly denting their chances to finish at the top of the conference. However, since Michigan is a fantastic basketball team, IU should remain confident, and try to defeat the Terrapins on the road Friday. Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan each picked up 2 fouls early against Michigan. This must not happen again, especially against formidable Big Ten opponents.

  • Loss at #2 Michigan 63-77

6

Ohio State

12-3 (2-2)

Last: T3
Yikes. The loss to MSU was not shocking, but the #14 Buckeyes followed that up with an uninspiring performance at Rutgers. Don’t look now…OSU could lose its next 5 (!) games.

  • Loss against #8 Michigan State 77-86
  • Loss at Rutgers 61-64

7

Minnesota

12-3 (2-2)

Last: T5
Minnesota’s last two games highlight the roller coaster nature of the conference this year. They played stifling defense to beat the top-25 Badgers, then got smoked in the second half at home vs. Maryland. The Gophers have five players averaging 10+ ppg.

  • Win at #22 Wisconsin 59-52
  • Loss against Maryland 67-82

8

Iowa

13-3 (2-3)

Last: 10
Just when we think Iowa doesn’t have a chance at making the tournament, they end up winning two key conference games against a tough Nebraska and Northwestern. In those two victories, Iowa shot 45% and 23.5% from 3 against Nebraska and Northwestern, respectively. Iowa is capable of winning the inside game if the threes aren’t falling. This team is good, they just need some consistency.

  • Win against #24 Nebraska 93-84
  • Win at Northwestern 73-63

9

Purdue

9-6 (2-2)

Last: 8
In every aspect of its loss against the Spartans, Purdue played just plain bad. The Boilermakers shot just 30% from the field, missed 10 free throws, and lost the battle on the boards by 13. These statistics need to change for Purdue to move up the rankings.

  • Loss against #8 Michigan State 77-59

10

Nebraska

12-4 (2-3)

Last: 9
IU’s opponent on Monday started the season 11-2, but has gone 1-2 in the new year. Regardless, the Cornhuskers will bring a top ten offense in the nation (#9 per KenPom) to Assembly Hall.

  • Loss at #25 Iowa 84-93
  • Win against Penn State 70-64

11

Northwestern

10-6 (1-4)

Last: 11
Chris Collins’ crew has some work to do. They play hard, but the Wildcats struggle offensively, ranking #126 in the country (according to KenPom). The combination of Vic Law, Ryan Taylor, and A.J. Turner are shooting a brutal 55-for-151 (36.4%) in Big Ten play.

  • Win against Illinois 68-66
  • Loss against Iowa 63-73

12

Rutgers

8-6 (1-3)

Last: 13
Rutgers earned its first Big 10 victory of the season Wednesday, and it could not have been bigger. Defeating the Buckeyes marked the first time the Scarlet Knights defeated a ranked conference team since January of 2015.

  • Loss against Maryland 63-77
  • Win against #16 Ohio State 64-61

13

Penn State

7-9 (0-5)

Last: 12
In order to compete against the top-tier teams in the conference, the Nittany Lions needs to improve their three-point shooting fast. Penn State shot just 4-20 from three in its loss against Wisconsin this week.

  • Loss against #22 Wisconsin 71-52
  • Loss at Nebraska 64-70

14

Illinois

4-12 (0-5)

Last: 14
Not much to say about the “fighting” Illini. Unfortunately, they find themselves in the deep pits of the conference. Freshman Ayo Dosunmu looks promising.

  • Loss at Northwestern 66-68
  • Loss against #2 Michigan 69-79
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