big-ten-power-rankings

This week was crazy. What else is new in this gauntlet of a conference? Is the Big Ten better than the ACC this year? Are Wisconsin and IU not making the tournament? Is Purdue a contender or inconsistent? How did Minnesota lose at Illinois? There are so many questions every week in this conference, and it’s awesome. Even though a lot of things change in this conference every week, Michigan is still the best, and Michigan State is still the second best, even though they had two tough road games this week. Frankly, the teams in this conference are tougher to power rank every subsequent week. Here’s another attempt.

Big Ten Power Rankings: January 18th, 2019

1

Michigan

17-0 (6-0)

Last: 1
It was another week in the Big 10, and another week of Michigan running the table. A 20 point victory over Northwestern is just another example of how dominant this Wolverines team is.

  • Win against Northwestern 80-60

2

Michigan State

16-2 (7-0)

Last: 2
Sparty keeps rolling, with two road wins this week. They haven’t lost since Nov. 27. Do-it-all point guard Cassius Winston leads the league in assists per game, is 7th in points per game, and is 4th in 3-point percentage.

  • Win at Penn St. 71-56
  • Win at Nebraska 70-64

3

Maryland

15-3 (6-1)

Last: 3
The Terrapins are on a terror as of late, winning six in a row. Games on the road against both Michigan State and Ohio State this upcoming week will prove just how good this Maryland team is.

  • Win against #25 Indiana 78-75
  • Win against Wisconsin 64-60

4

Iowa

15-3 (4-3)

Last: 8
Since its double-digit defeat to Purdue, Iowa has since won four straight in conference play, and has averaged a whopping 84 points in the process.

  • Win against Ohio State 72-62
  • Win at Penn State 89-82

T5

Purdue

11-6 (4-2)

Last: 9
Purdue started the season hot, barely lost to ranked Virginia Tech and Florida State, lost by double digits to arguably the best team in the nation in Michigan, then won a close one against a talented Maryland team. Ok, big deal, Purdue is surely still a Big Ten contender; they lost to very good opponents. Unfortunately, then they fell against Texas and Notre Dame, two teams that are not very successful this year. Yet, in the last 4 conference games, Purdue is 3-1, the loss coming against Michigan State that seemed like a blowout on paper; however, the game was mostly within reach for the Boilermakers, even with Carsen Edwards shooting 3-16 from the field and Matt Haarms picking up 4 fouls in 9 minutes. This gave freshman Trevion Williams a chance to shine, and in 21 minutes, he scored 13 points and grabbed 12 boards. Purdue is coming off a massive road victory against Wisconsin, and an impressive stomping of Rutgers in West Lafayette. Can Purdue stay hot against a reeling Hoosiers team, who have lost three in a row?

  • Win at Wisconsin 84-80
  • Win against Rutgers 89-54

T5

Nebraska

13-5 (3-4)

Last: 10
Well, folks. Nebraska showed this week why the computers call them a top-15 team, with a comprehensive win at IU, followed by a competitive loss against mighty Michigan St. Fun fact: the Huskers currently are 3rd in the conference in attendance, averaging 15,582 per game (WIS #1, IU #2).

  • Win at #25 Indiana 66-51
  • Loss against #6 MSU 70-64

7

Wisconsin

11-6 (3-3)

Last: 4
The Badgers are 1-4 in their last 5 games. Three of the four losses were against conference opponents. Two of them were in Madison against Minnesota, who just got pounded by Illinois, and Purdue, which doesn’t seem like a bad loss now because the Boilermakers currently look pretty good. Home losses are rough, however, and winning on the road in the Big Ten is really hard. There’s no need to panic if you’re Wisconsin. If they win against Michigan on Saturday, that victory goes a long way in March.

  • Loss at Purdue 80-84
  • Loss at #19 Maryland 60-64

8

Indiana

12-5 (3-3)

Last: 5
The Hoosiers’ losing ways in conference play continued Monday after an ugly loss at home to Nebraska. Indiana shot just 2-14 beyond the arc in the defeat. For the Hoosiers’ season to change, three-point shooting has to improve.

  • Loss at #19 Maryland 78-75
  • Loss against Nebraska 66-51

9

Ohio State

12-4 (2-3)

Last: 6
Ohio State was #16 *in the country* just last week. Since, OSU has lost three in a row. Part of the problem? The Buckeyes have just six (6!) total blocked shots in Big Ten play. For a point of reference, Juwan Morgan has eight on his own.

  • Loss at #23 Iowa 72-62

10

Minnesota

13-4 (3-3)

Last: 7
Oof. What happened in Champaign on Wednesday? The Gophers’ complete no-show put a major damper on what had been a solid start to conference play. Another bad performance against Penn St. on Saturday could result in some serious changes in Minneapolis.

  • Win against Rutgers 88-70
  • Loss at Illinois 95-68

11

Northwestern

10-7 (1-5)

Last: 11
Since the calendar flipped to 2019, Northwestern has lost three of four, with each loss coming by double digits. Their only win was a nailbiter at home over Illinois. Senior standout Vic Law (17.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG), who has a “lower body injury,” might miss the Wildcats’ game vs. IU on Tuesday.

  • Loss at #2 Michigan 60-80

12

Rutgers

8-8 (1-5)

Last: 12
After a potential season shifting victory against a ranked OSU team, Rutgers lost by double digits to Minnesota and Purdue, both on the road. The Scarlet Knights fell back down to earth, and conference play doesn’t get any easier in the Big Ten.

  • Loss at Minnesota 70-88
  • Loss at Purdue 54-89

13

Illinois

5-12 (1-5)

Last: 14
Thanks to shooting over 50 percent from both the field and behind the three-point line, the Fighting Illini earned their first conference victory in stellar fashion against Minnesota Wednesday.

  • Win against Minnesota 95-68

14

Penn State

7-11 (0-7)

Last: 13
PSU not only had a chance to pick up their first win in the conference, but they also could have potentially become relevant if they defeated MSU or Iowa. Unfortunately, they fell short both times. Nevertheless, looking forward, freshman Rasir Bolton has great potential. He’s fantastic at the free throw line and hits about 35% of his threes.

  • Loss against #6 Michigan State 56-71
  • Loss against #23 Iowa 82-79