big-ten-power-rankings

Ah, March. Is this not the best time of the year? The titans at the top fight for the league crown, those in the middle posture for tournament positioning, and those at the bottom, playing their final games of the year, try to spoil the seasons of those above them. Last-ditch efforts by teams across the league have resulted in some surprises, such as IU knocking off #6 MSU on Saturday, Minnesota knocking off #11 Purdue, and Northwestern snapping a ten-game losing skid by beating Ohio State. With the conference tournament merely five days away, see how the teams stack up as we head down the stretch.

Big Ten Power Rankings: March 8th, 2019

1

Michigan

26-4 (15-4)

Last: 3
After being knocked down by Michigan State at home in late February, Michigan has a chance at redempetion in East Lansing Saturday in a cruical match-up that one would think would be for the Big 10 Regular Season Title.

  • Win at No. 17 Maryland 69-62

2

Michigan State

24-6 (15-4)

Last: 1
If Purdue somehow loses at Northwestern, and Michigan State defeats its in-state rival Saturday, the Spartans win the conference and don’t have to share. Whether or not Purdue loses, MSU went into Ann Arbor and stunned the home crowd. After losing to the Hoosiers for the second time, Izzo and his crew bounced back and easily defeated a reeling Nebraska team. Is the answer to Nick Ward’s absence Kenny Goins, who’s been shooting a blistering 38% from deep? We’ll see Saturday.

  • Loss at Indiana 63-62
  • Win against Nebraska 91-76

3

Purdue

22-8 (15-4)

Last: 2
The Boilermakers lost their chance at securing the outright Big Ten regular season title after a tough loss in Minneapolis against the desperate Gophers. Purdue did obliterate the Buckeyes in the game prior, and firmly stay a threat to not only win the Big Ten Tournament, but also make a run to the Final Four.

  • Win against Ohio State 86-51
  • Loss at Minnesota 73-69

4

Wisconsin

21-9 (13-6)

Last: 4
The Badgers bounced back from their double overtime loss to the Hoosiers with a tough win over Penn State and a much more emphatic one over Iowa. Senior forward Ethan Happ pulled down 14 boards against Iowa, which puts him 3rd in Big Ten history, behind OSU’s Jerry Lucas and current Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy.

  • Win against Penn State 61-57
  • Win against Iowa 65-45

5

Maryland

21-9 (12-7)

Last: 5
The Terrapins first started BIG 10 play winning 7 of their first eight games. Recently, Maryland has now lost its last three of five match-ups including an ugly loss to Penn State where the Terps were just 11% from the three-point line.

  • Loss against No. 9 Michigan 69-62

6

Minnesota

19-11 (9-10)

Last: 8
The Gophers undoubtedly picked up their biggest victory of the season this recent Tuesday against Purdue on an emotional senior night, especially for Jordan Murphy, who picked up a nice double-double that game. Senior Matz Stockman from Norway played 24 minutes that game and blocked 7 shots, while Amir Coffey put up 32 points. Stockman’s ability to rotate in could be huge for the Gophers to seal a tournament spot.

  • Win against No. 11 Purdue 73-69

7

Indiana

16-14 (7-12)

Last: 12
In a shocking turn of events, the Hoosiers have won its last three straight in conference play. What makes this even more suprising is the fact that Romeo Langford has averaged only 13 points in the process.

  • Win against No. 6 Michigan State 63-62
  • Win at Illinois 92-74

8

Iowa

21-9 (10-9)

Last: 6
Competitve is one word that won’t ever be used to describe how Iowa has closed out conference play. In it’s last three contests, Iowa has been outscored by 56 points.

  • Loss against Rutgers 86-72
  • Loss at No. 21 Wisconsin 65-45

9

Penn State

13-17 (6-13)

Last: 10
After starting Big Ten play with ten consecutive losses, Pat Chambers’ squad has turned their season around, with wins in six of their last nine. The Nittany Lions currently rank #41 per KenPom, which is higher than the Pac-12’s #1 team, Washington.

  • Loss at No. 19 Wisconsin 61-57
  • Win at Rutgers 66-65

10

Ohio State

18-12 (8-11)

Last: 7
After dominating Iowa in Columbus, Ohio State had a major chance to lock themselves in for March. Unfortunately, they lost by a bunch on the road to Purdue, which is ok, because Purdue is really good. You’d think that a team that is close to sealing themselves into the NCAA tournament would do anything to win, especially against teams they are significantly better than. Unfortunately, the Buckeyes lost at Northwestern by 18 points. Fortunately, this Sunday against Wisconsin on senior night, OSU has a chance to seriously bounce back and get into the tournament.

  • Loss at No. 14 Purdue 86-51
  • Loss at Northwestern 68-50

11

Rutgers

14-15 (7-12)

Last: 11
While Rutgers remains one of the Big Ten’s biggest surprises this season, further cemented by their huge win in Iowa on Saturday, some offensive issues persist for the Scarlet Knights. They rank 13th in the Big Ten in PPG, 14th in FT%, and 13th in FG%. IU should look out for sophomore guard Geo Baker, who will look to explode at Assembly Hall after going 0-10 against Penn State on Saturday.

  • Win at No. 22 Iowa 86-72
  • Loss against Penn State 66-65

12

Illinois

11-19 (7-12)

Last: 9
Poor free throw percentage was just one factor in the Fighting Illini’s loss to Indiana Thursday night. Illnois was just over 50% behind the line in its 12th loss in league play this season.

  • Win against Northwestern 81-76
  • Loss to Indiana 92-74

13

Northwestern

13-17 (4-15)

Last: 14
After losing 10 games in a row in the best conference in basketball, Northwestern finally picks up a win at home against Ohio State, a team surely deserving of a bid in March. Dererk Pardon led the team to victory and might do so again on senior night against the Boilermakers. Pardon, Law and the other seniors could truly enjoy the night by spoiling Purdue’s conference title hopes. It may seem like a lost cause, but Kenpom ranks the Wildcats above potential tournament teams like Temple or UC Irvine.

  • Loss at Illinois 81-76
  • Win against Ohio State 68-50

14

Nebraska

15-15 (5-13)

Last: 13
It really is unfortunate that a team with pretty decent expectations for the first time in a while, fails to meet them largely due to an untimely injury to a key, senior starter. The Cornhuskers have hit rock bottom and have no chance at dancing. At one point this year, they were ranked and looked poised to compete with the best of the best in the conference. Hopefully, they have a great senior night against Iowa on Sunday, as the Husker fans say goodbye to Copeland, Watson, and Palmer.

  • Loss to No. 9 Michigan State 91-76