Howe: Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings 2-25
IOWA CITY, Iowa – We’ve made it through the last full week of February. With it, we’ve seen clarity in regards to the Big Ten.
The conference’s top six teams have separated themselves from the rest of the group. Among those half dozen programs, the divide was split down the middle.
Here’s a look at my Big Ten Power rankings as we move toward March:
1. Michigan State (23-5, 14-3, No. 6 AP, No. 8 Coaches) – The Spartans recorded the most impressive win of the week, knocking off rival Michigan at Crisler Arena, where the Wolverines had been 16-0 this season and had captured 22 in a row. Michigan State also defeated Rutgers at home.
MSU plays just once this week, at Indiana on Saturday. It sits sixth in the national NET rankings. It’s fourth in Ken Pom and fifth in the Sagarin ratings.
2. Purdue (20-7, 13-3, No. 14, No. 12) – The Boilermakers pulled out a pair of close road victories last week. They won at the buzzer against Indiana and held off Nebraska.
Purdue continues with the easiest path to the title. It plays host to Illinois and Ohio State this week. It begins the week 11th in the NET, 10th in Ken Pom and Sagarin.
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3. Michigan (24-4 overall, 13-4 Big Ten, No. 9, No. 10) – The Wolverines’ title chances sustained a big blow on Sunday when they lost at home to rival Michigan State. They won at Minnesota earlier in the week.
Michigan plays host to Nebraska on Thursday before traveling to Maryland on Sunday. It starts the week 9th in the NET and Sagarin, and 7th in Ken Pom.
4. Maryland (21-7, 12-5, No. 17, No. 20) – The Terps picked up a key road win last week, ending Iowa’s four-game winning streak. They added a home victory against Ohio State, solidifying their spot at the top of this tier.
Maryland travels to Penn State on Wednesday before playing host to Michigan on Sunday. It’s 21st in the NET, 15th in Ken Pom and 20th in Sagarin.
5. Wisconsin (19-8, 11-5, No. 19, No. 18) – The Badgers swept a pair of games last week, knocking off Illinois at home before winning at Northwestern. They were pushed in both contests.
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Wisconsin heads to reeling Indiana on Tuesday before playing host to rising Penn State on Saturday. It’s 13th in NET, and 12th in Ken Pom and Sagarin.
6. Iowa (21-6, 10-6, No. 21, No. 22) – The Hawkeyes missed out on an opportunity to rise up these rankings by losing at home to Maryland last week. They then outlasted Indiana in overtime.
Iowa plays at Ohio State on Tuesday before returning home for senior night against Rutgers on Saturday. It’s 30th in the NET, 28th in Ken Pom, and 32nd in Sagarin.
7. Ohio State (17-10, 7-9, NR, NR) – The Buckeyes split a pair of games last week, defeating Northwestern at home and then losing at Maryland.
Ohio State plays host to Iowa on Tuesday before heading to Purdue on Saturday. It’s 42nd in Net, 37th in Ken Pom and 36th in Sagarin.
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8. Minnesota (17-11, 7-10, NR, NR) – The Golden Gophers could have made some noise last week. Instead, they stumbled, losing at home to Michigan and at Rutgers.
Minnesota plays at Northwestern on Thursday in its only game of the week. It’s 59th in the NET, 48th in Ken Pom and 51st in Sagarin.
9. Illinois (10-17, 6-10, NR, NR) – The Illini also missed an opportunity last week. They put up a good fight before falling at Wisconsin and then lost as a favorite to Penn State at home.
Illinois heads to Purdue on Wednesday before playing host to Northwestern on Sunday. It’s 90th in NET, 64th in Ken Pom and 63rd in Sagarin.
10. Rutgers (13-14, 6-11, NR, NR) – The Knights pushed Michigan State in East Lansing on Wednesday before fading, but rebounded, knocking off Minnesota at home on Sunday. They’re 102nd in NET, 78th in Ken Pom and 84th in Sagarin.
11. Nebraska (15-13, 5-12, NR, NR) – The Huskers returned to their losing ways last week, getting destroyed at Penn State and then dropping a close one at home to Purdue. They’re 46th in NET, 43rd in Ken Pom and 39th in Sagarin.
12. Indiana (13-14, 4-12, NR, NR) – The Hoosiers suffered a pair of tough defeats last week, losing on a buzzer-beater against Purdue and falling in overtime at Iowa. They’ve lost 12 of 13. They’re 56th in NET, 49th in Ken Pom and 46th in Sagarin.
13. Penn State (11-16, 4-12, NR, NR) – The Nittany Lions seemed to have figured some things out, blowing out Nebraska at home and winning at Illinois last week. They’re 57th in NET, 47th in Ken Pom and 50th in Sagarin.
14. Northwestern (12-15, 3-13, NR, NR) – The Wildcats move into the basement after loses to Ohio State and Wisconsin last week. They’ve lost eight in a row. They’re 85th in NET, and 70th in Ken Pom, and 74th in Sagarin.