B1G BB Power Rankings

B1G Power Rankings — Week 50

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.

 

 

 

B1G Power Rankings – Week 40

Three top 25 battles. An unbeaten goes down. Only a handful of road victories. You know that they say, “Just another week in the Big Ten.” New Rankings. New number one. Let’s jump right in.

1) Indiana 15-1(3-0): Upcoming: Wisconsin (1/15), @Northwestern (1/20) The Hoosiers are back in the one slot. In their last two Big Ten games, Indiana is outscoring their opponent 96-56. Obviously, as evident by the second half of their game against Minnesota, the second half point differential is a totally different story. The first half is clearly where they win their games. Since Big Ten play began, the Hoosiers have trailed a grand total of 2:29, including not trailing once against a top ten team on Saturday. Indiana may have looked shaky in the second half, especially from the free throw line and lack of bench scoring, but as Zach Osterman stated on Twitter, “Noon games are weird.” Hoosiers look to gain sole possession of first place in the Big Ten this Tuesday.

2) Michigan 16-1(3-1): Upcoming: @Minnesota (1/17) Untested young squad losing their first conference road test? Shocking. Michigan went into Sunday’s matchup against Ohio State as the sole remaining undefeated team in Division 1. They left with their first loss. Ohio State was the Wolverines’ toughest test yet. Getting behind 29-8 didn’t help matters either. Shooting about 13 points below their season average, Michigan’s offense was somewhat stagnant in their last two games. Shooting 38% on the road in the Big Ten will put you in the loss column every time. Things don’t get easier this week as they battle the Golden Gophers on the road.

3) Michigan State 14-3(3-1): Upcoming: @Penn State (1/16), Ohio State (1/19) Michigan State had two close games this week. One on road at Iowa, and a shocker at home against Nebraska. They came away with two wins, however, and improve to 3-1 in B1G play. The backcourt duo of Keith Appling and Gary Harris continue to work wonders for Tom Izzo’s squad. The Spartans seem to be flying under the radar for now though. With Ohio State coming to town on Saturday, MSU has a chance for a nice conference win to legitimize themselves as real threats to win the Big Ten.

4) Minnesota 15-2(3-1): Upcoming: Michigan (1/17) Minnesota started off the week with a nice road win over Illinois and ended it with a tough road loss to Indiana. Utterly dominating Illinois in the second half, Minnesota cruised to arguably the best B1G road win to date. Saturday didn’t go so smoothly, however. The Gophers were thrashed in the first half 52-29, but proceeded to make a valiant comeback before losing 88-81. Surprisingly, they were outrebounded by the Hoosiers. With a blowout win and a valiant effort after being down 23, Minnesota proved they are a legit contender for the B1G title.

5) Ohio State 13-3(3-1): Upcoming: @Michigan State (1/19) Nice week for Ohio State. Coach Thad Matta earned his 100th B1G win, the 19th person to reach that milestone, before they defeated Michigan for the 17th time in the last 20 meetings. What a win that was for the Buckeyes. They quickly jumped out to a 29-8 lead before almost choking away the game. This marks the OSU’s first notable victory, but it wasn’t pretty. Their offense seems to be Deshaun Thomas or bust, and they didn’t play to put Michigan away. Ohio State may have won, but they have a lot of work left to do. They travel to Michigan State this Saturday, which figures to be a good top 25 matchup.

6) Wisconsin 12-4(3-0): Upcoming: @Indiana (1/15), @Iowa (1/19) Wisconsin has had a cakewalk early conference schedule. They’ve played Penn State at home, Nebraska on the road, and an Illinois squad that couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn this week. Because of their schedule, their 3-0 conference record is a bit deceiving. The Badgers impressed the nation with their win over Illinois, but 9-point wins over Penn State are nothing special. Wisconsin will finally get tested when they play Indiana, who they always seem to play tough.

7) Illinois 14-4(1-3): Upcoming: Northwestern (1/17) How in the world did Illinois beat Ohio State so badly? Over the past week, Illinois has been terrible. Although they only made three, they shot 24 threes against Minnesota. Against Wisconsin, they were 2 of 14 from three. Yikes. The Illini live and die by the three. This week, they died. Illinois wasn’t particularly good from three to begin with, but this week was just embarrassingly bad. Unless they find a shot soon, they’ll plummet in the Big Ten standings and Top 25 rankings. They’ll look for a confidence booster against Northwestern on Thursday.

8) Iowa 12-5(1-3): Upcoming: Wisconsin (1/19) Nobody had a tougher early conference schedule than Iowa. A gauntlet that featured Indiana, Michigan, and Michigan State, Iowa simply couldn’t steal a win out of those three games. Roy Devyn Marble, arguably the Hawkeyes’ best player, couldn’t play against MSU because of an ankle injury, and that may have cost them that game. Iowa was leading much of the game before the Spartans overtook the lead in the waning minutes to hand Iowa another heartbreaking home loss. Things are looking up, however, as they routed Northwestern last Sunday. Iowa will get Wisconsin at home, another good chance for a Big Ten victory.

9) Purdue 8-8(2-2): Upcoming: @Nebraska (1/16), West Virginia (1/19) In what was a battle to the end, Purdue played Ohio State close at home before losing by ten. The Boilermakers then defeated Penn State 60-42 to put them back at .500 for the season. Purdue, lacking the talent of previous years, is showing improvement but can’t compete with the big boys yet. Obviously, they’ll thrive against teams like Penn State and Nebraska, however. Luckily for them, they’ll get a break from conference play when they take on West Virginia.

10) Nebraska 9-8(0-4): Purdue (1/16), @Penn State (1/19) When you’re Nebraska, all you can ask for is effort and improvement. The Cornhuskers are delivering just that. In the past week, they’ve made Michigan sweat a little in Ann Arbor and almost pulled off the upset over Michigan State. This comes after just a six-point loss to Wisconsin. Nebraska still has no real expectations, but they could notch two wins this week against an awful Penn State squad and a down Purdue team. Could the Cornhuskers earn two B1G wins before the likes of Iowa and Illinois?

11) Northwestern 10-7(1-3): @Illinois (1/17), Indiana (1/20) I think it’s safe to say that Northwestern is one of, if not, the worst teams in the Big Ten. They have one win over Penn State, but have lost by 18+ points in their other three conference games, including a 28-point home loss to Michigan. They’ll continue to get destroyed by everyone this season not named Nebraska or Penn State. Minus their assist numbers, Northwestern is awful at just about everything. This week they’ll take on Illinois at the Fake Assembly Hall and Indiana at home. No one would be surprised if they lost by 20+ each of those games.

12) Penn State 8-8(0-4): Upcoming: Michigan State (1/16), Nebraska (1/19) Penn State began conference play with a 60-51 loss to Wisconsin, a nice moral victory. Since then, they’ve been embarrassed by Indiana, Northwestern, and Purdue. More tough times await PSU with a game against Michigan State coming up, and a game against a Nebraska team that has done rather well lately. Who knows when/if the Nittany Lions will notch their first B1G win of the year.

Some teams are feeling great going into the third week of Big Ten play. Some are feeling terrible. Nevertheless, the Big Ten remains the best conference in the nation and will be a gauntlet for anyone. As teams begin to shift in the Big Ten standings, we’ll begin to know who’s real and who’s a fraud. March Madness is inching closer and closer.