big-ten-power-rankings

The government might be shut down, but the Big Ten grind keeps rolling on this January. Remarkably, not a single team in the 14-team league ranks outside the top-110 in the KenPom ratings, which means there is not an easy game to be had. #2 Michigan saw its unbeaten run end in Madison, Nebraska lost as an eight-point favorite at Rutgers, and just when you thought you had seen it all, Aaron Falzon came off the bench and stunningly hit six threes to help Northwestern defeat IU. The Hoosiers have lost five in a row, while MSU and Purdue are trending up. How did the rest of the conference do? Let’s dive into the rankings.

Big Ten Power Rankings: January 24th, 2019

1

Michigan State

18-2 (9-0)

Last: 2
You can never count out any Tom Izzo team. Since a pair of non-conference losses to Kansas on opening day and to Louisville in the Yum Center, the Spartans have been on a tear since. They remain the lone undefeated Big Ten team, and they are playing as well as any team in the nation, let alone the Big Ten.

  • Win against #13 Maryland 69-55
  • Win at #19 Iowa 82-67

2

Michigan

18-1 (7-1)

Last: 1
The Wolverines are looking more and more vulnerable after their first loss of the season. They required a buzzer beater in order to defeat an upward-trending Minnesota team. The Wolverines open up this upcoming week with a visit to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, where Indiana fans typically pack the house for highly-ranked opponents.

  • Loss at Wisconsin 64-54
  • Win against Minnesota 59-57

3

Maryland

16-4 (7-2)

Last: 3
Three of Maryland’s four losses look really good. They lost to Virginia, Purdue, Seton Hall, and Michigan State. Even though losing to MSU on the road was slightly disappointing, they cannot lose sight of their next two games, which are at home against Illinois and Northwestern. Anthony Cowan Jr. shot 3-12 against MSU, so he is definitely looking to bounce back.

  • Win at Ohio State 75-61
  • Loss at #6 Michigan State 55-69

4

Purdue

13-6 (6-2)

Last: 5
What a week for the Boilermakers, registering two impressive double-digit wins. Interestingly, Matt Painter’s crew leads the Big Ten in three point rate (not 3PT%); a startling 46.3% of their field goal attempts are threes. In fact, in their win at OSU on Wednesday, they shot 24 twos (made 11) and 24 threes (made 12!). Purdue currently ranks 8th in the country per KenPom.

  • Win against #25 Indiana 70-55
  • Win at Ohio St. 79-67

5

Wisconsin

13-6 (5-3)

Last: 7
The Badgers’ win over #2 Michigan easily took honors as the conference’s most impressive win of the last week. Senior superstar Ethan Happ became the first Big Ten player since IU Hall of Famer Alan Henderson in 1995 to record 1,900 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Wisconsin’s matchup at Nebraska on Tuesday should be one to watch.

  • Win against #2 Michigan 64-54
  • Win at Illinois 72-60

6

Iowa

16-4 (5-4)

Last: 4
It seems like Iowa wins and loses the games they are supposed to win and lose. However, they still only have 4 losses. Three of them were against ranked opponents, and the other one was at Purdue, who should be ranked in the top 25 once again. Iowa’s next three games are at Minnesota, home vs Michigan, and at Indiana. If they take 2 of the next 3, they will definitely be in good shape.

  • Loss against #6 Michigan State 67-82

7

Nebraska

13-6 (3-5)

Last: 6
Nebraska has been up and down and continues to reside in the lower-middle of the Big Ten without much deviation. Their loss to Rutgers just recently was interesting, as the Huskers had some momentum after the win at Indiana. The combination of James Palmer Jr. and Isaiah Roby, while possibly not the most talented or most efficient, is certainly one of the most effective pairs in the Big Ten.

  • Loss at Rutgers 76-69

8

Minnesota

14-5 (4-4)

Last: 10
The Golden Gophers’ loss to Illinois last week, which was not close, gave Brad Underwood’s team their only win in the Big Ten. But with four players averaging double figure scoring, Minnesota was able to rebound from that performance to achieve a single point victory over Penn State and just a single possession loss at Michigan.

  • Win against Penn State 65-64
  • Loss at #5 Michigan 57-59

9

Northwestern

12-7 (3-5)

Last: 11
Chris Collins got revenge on Archie Miller and the Hoosiers with a big home win against Indiana. The Wildcats have a ceiling higher than most anticipate, but they have yet to have the entire team hit on all cylinders at the same time. Ryan Taylor, Vic Law, and Aaron Falzon have proven to be tremendous deep threats on the right night.

  • Win at Rutgers 65-57
  • Win against Indiana 73-66

10

Ohio State

12-6 (2-5)

Last: 9
Ohio State and Indiana are in a side-bet situation to see which team can race to the bottom the quickest. Chris Holtmann has not yet been able to find a formula that works for the Buckeyes, who are now on a 5-game losing streak.

  • Loss against #19 Maryland 61-75
  • Loss against Purdue 67-79

11

Rutgers

9-9 (2-6)

Last: 12
Over the last couple weeks, coach Steve Pikiell and his team have turned the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) into a tough place to play. Emerging forward Eugene Omoruyi fought through a knee injury to record eight points and six rebounds, inspiring his team in a win over Nebraska on Monday. The Hoosiers visit the RAC on Wednesday night.

  • Loss against Northwestern 57-65
  • Win against Nebraska 76-69

12

Indiana

12-7 (3-5)

Last: 8
The Big Ten is rough. It is always hard to win on the road in this conference. During this 5-game losing streak, 4 of the games were on the road in Michigan, Maryland, Purdue, and Northwestern. The first three are really good (Kenpom has Purdue 8th, but they’re unranked, no idea why), and Northwestern is no joke. The Hoosiers finally get to go back home. Michigan has looked somewhat vulnerable recently, so if IU’s offense can make some well-needed adjustments, this team may get its mojo back.

  • Loss against Nebraska 51-66
  • Loss at Purdue 55-70

13

Illinois

5-14 (1-7)

Last: 13
After a stunning victory against the Gophers, the Illini could not keep the winning going. They were blown out by Iowa and failed to hold on against Wisconsin. Freshman Ayo Dosunmu has made 10 of his last 31 shot attempts.

  • Loss at Iowa 95-71

14

Penn State

7-12 (0-8)

Last: 14
If anyone needed additional evidence that the Big Ten is loaded this season, how about this? A victory at winless-in-the-conference Penn State (#74 in the country) still qualifies as a Quad 1 win per the NCAA NET rankings. PSU will try to get off the schneid in conference play with a home game vs. Rutgers on Saturday.

  • Loss at Minnesota 64-65
new-shop-indiana-white-red-skate-hoodie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *