B1G basketball can be all-out war. Some games feature teams that barely eclipse 60 points, if they even surpass that number. Some games turn into an offensive shootout, however, where teams fly up and down the court each scoring 70-80+. The best conference in the nation is also the craziest conference in the nation. Without further ado, here’s our B1G Power Rankings.
1) Michigan 17-1(4-1): Upcoming: Purdue (1/24), @Illinois (1/27) After a dreadful performance against Ohio State, the Wolverines bounced back and looked incredible at Minnesota. Tim Hardaway Jr. was phenomenal in the effort, as was Trey Burke. The Wolverines definitely looked like National Title contenders and look to improve this week at home against Purdue and on the road against Illinois.
2) Michigan State 16-3(5-1): Upcoming: @Wisconsin (1/22), @Indiana (1/27) Since opening B1G play with a loss at Minnesota, Michigan State has reeled off five straight wins. The Spartans shut down the Ohio State offense, as they pulled out a 59-56 win at home. The first place Spartans continue to improve and will have a tough week ahead, which includes a visit to Assembly Hall. If they perform well this week, we’ll get a better idea of how good this team can be.
3) Indiana 16-2(4-1): Upcoming: Penn State (1/23), Michigan State (1/27) Ever since putting up 52 in the first half against Minnesota, the Hoosier offense has gone silent. Holding them to 59 points, Wisconsin beat IU for the 11th straight time, and Northwestern held them to 67 points. In the last three games, Indiana’s bench has scored a whopping 11 points. This recent slump has caused Hoosier Nation to sweat a little, but they’ve won all three B1G road games and have a chance at two home wins, including one over MSU, this week.
4) Wisconsin 13-5(4-1): Upcoming: Michigan State (1/22), Minnesota (1/26) Beating Indiana on the road was huge for Wisconsin. Slowing the game to a snail’s pace, the Badgers held off a late push from the Hoosiers and left with a victory. Then, they proceeded to lose to Iowa on Saturday. Minus Indiana, Wisconsin began with an easy B1G schedule. Since they have IU’s number, it’s hard to tell how good they really are. We’ll find out soon as they begin a mini-gauntlet this week.
5) Minnesota 15-3(3-2): Upcoming: @Northwestern (1/23), @Wisconsin (1/26) For two consecutive games, Minnesota has allowed 80+ points. Yikes. They’re averaging 15.6 turnovers a game in conference play and teams are feeding off that. The team seems at a bit of a crossroads at they try to assert themselves among the best of the best. Luckily for the Gophers, these two losses came against Michigan and Indiana, which almost gives them a pass. They’ll have to capitalize in their upcoming games if they want to restore some confidence.
6) Ohio State 13-4(3-2): Upcoming: Iowa (1/22), @Penn State (1/26) After a huge home win over Michigan, Ohio State fell short on the road against Michigan State on Saturday. With a record of 1-4 against top 25 opponents, the Buckeyes look to be no legit threat in the Big Ten race. The Buckeyes desperately need someone to step up, as Deshaun Thomas is the entire offense. A relatively easy week awaits OSU, which gives them a chance to fix some issues.
7) Iowa 13-5(2-3): Upcoming: @Ohio State (1/22), @Purdue (1/27) Dubbed a Big Ten sleeper once again by many, Iowa has yet to live up any expectations. They picked up a much needed win over Wisconsin this week, however. If they can remain healthy, they can still make some noise in the conference. A tough test, which could help their NCAA résumé, awaits them when they go to Columbus to take on Ohio State. If the Hawkeyes can neutralize Deshaun Thomas, they can escape with a nice win over the Buckeyes.
8) Purdue 10-8(3-2): Upcoming: @Michigan (1/24), Iowa (1/27) Purdue took advantage of an easy week, which included a break from conference play. The Boilermakers continue to rebound exceptionally well. If they are to play Big Ten spoiler and pull off a few upsets, rebounding will have to continue lift them to victory. Coach Matt Painter is slowly improving his team as he rebuilds for the next couple seasons. Purdue will look to keep it competitive at Michigan before looking to win at home against Iowa this week.
9) Northwestern 11-8(2-4): Upcoming: Minnesota (1/23), @Nebraska (1/26) What a week for the Wildcats. They began it with a 14-point road win against Illinois and ended with a valiant effort in an eight-point loss against Indiana. Reggie Hearn is Northwestern basketball. They go as he goes. As the season progresses, Northwestern will continue to slowly improve, but this may be the high point of their season.
10) Illinois 14-5(1-4): Upcoming: @Nebraska (1/22), Michigan (1/27) Recently, Illinois has been flat-out bad. A blowout loss at home against Northwestern just makes it all worse. They can’t buy a basket lately, especially from beyond the 3-point arc. Due to their recent struggles, a win over Nebraska isn’t certain anymore. Although they’ll face Michigan at home, Illinois might lose that game by 20+. What started as a great year for the Illini has slowly morphed into a nightmare.
11) Nebraska 10-9(1-5): Upcoming: Illinois (1/23), Northwestern (1/26) In a battle between the bottom two in the conference, Nebraska ruled the day and beat lowly Penn State. Their next game has shades of last year’s Nebraska/Indiana game. A home game against a recently struggling team that started the year hot. Will they beat Illinois? Probably not, but don’t rule out the possibility.
12) Penn State 8-10(0-6): Upcoming: @Indiana (1/23), Ohio State (1/26) Penn State wraps up our rankings once again. The Nittany Lions have absolutely nothing going for them. With a trip to Indiana upcoming and Ohio State set to come to town, Penn State just hopes to leave with a couple moral victories this week. Another season of ineptitude for the Nittany Lions rolls on.