Howe: Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings 3-4
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Well, we’ve made it to March and the final week of the Big Ten’s regular season.
Teams still are playing for a lot. The championship remains up in the air. Schools are competing for seeding for next week’s conference tournament in Chicago.
Here’s a look at my latest Big Ten Power rankings:
1. Purdue (22-7, 15-3, No. 11 AP, No. 9 Coaches) – The Boilermakers remained in the driver’s seat for a championship with dominating home wins against Illinois and Ohio State last week. Matt Painter continued building his conference coach of the year resume.
Purdue sits two wins away from its second outright Big Ten title in three years. It plays at Minnesota on Tuesday and at Northwestern on Saturday. It begins the week 11th in the NET, and 9th in Ken Pom and Sagarin.
2. Michigan (26-4 overall, 15-4 Big Ten, No. 7, No. 7) – The Wolverines kept their championship hopes alive with a big win at Maryland on Sunday. It followed a blowout of Nebraska earlier in the week.
Michigan has one game remaining and it’s a doozy. It travels to rival Michigan State on Saturday. It starts the week 9th in the NET, 6th in Ken Pom and 8th in Sagarin.
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3. Michigan State (23-6, 14-4, No. 9 AP, No. 11 Coaches) – The Spartans faced just one game last week. They were expected to exact revenge on Indiana for a loss earlier this season. Instead, the Hoosiers pulled off an unlikely sweep and dealt a major blow to Michigan State’s championship hopes.
MSU plays host to Nebraska on Tuesday and then rival Michigan on Saturday. It sits 8th in the NET, 4th in Ken Pom and 5th in Sagarin.
4. Wisconsin (20-9, 12-6, No. 21, No. 21) – The Badgers moved into the coveted top four in the standings after splitting a pair of games last week. They fell at Indiana before pulling out a home win against Penn State.
A pair of victories this week and Wisconsin gets a double bye in the league tournament. It plays host to Iowa on Thursday and heads to Ohio State on Sunday. It’s 17th in NET, 12th in Ken Pom and 14th in Sagarin.
5. Maryland (21-9, 12-7, No. 24, No. 24) – The Terps experienced a tough week. They were embarrassed at Penn State and then lost at home to Michigan.
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Maryland finishes up the regular season by playing host to Minnesota on Friday. It’s 27th in the NET, 19th in Ken Pom and 25th in Sagarin.
6. Iowa (21-8, 10-8, NR, NR) – Like Maryland, the Hawkeyes didn’t do themselves any favor last week. They were soundly beaten at Ohio State and at home by Rutgers. They’ve lost three of their last four games.
Iowa plays at Wisconsin on Thursday before finishing up the regular season on Sunday at Nebraska. It’s 41st in the NET, 39th in Ken Pom, and 40th in Sagarin.
7. Ohio State (18-11, 8-10, NR, NR) – The Buckeyes split a pair of games last week, defeating Iowa at home before getting destroyed at Purdue on Sunday. Star center Kaleb Wesson was suspended between those two contests.
Ohio State plays at Northwestern on Wednesday and plays host to Wisconsin on Sunday. It’s 43rd in Net, 37th in Ken Pom and 35th in Sagarin.
8. Minnesota (18-11, 8-10, NR, NR) – The Golden Gophers took care of business in their only game of last week. They cruised to victory at Northwestern.
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Minnesota plays host to Purdue on Tuesday and travels to Maryland on Friday. It’s 56th in the NET, 46th in Ken Pom and 49th in Sagarin.
9. Rutgers (14-14, 7-11, NR, NR) – The young Knights have been rising. They won their lone game of the week, dominating Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, ending a 38-game road losing streak against ranked teams.
Rutgers plays host to Penn State on Wednesday and then travels to Indiana on Sunday. It’s 98th in NET, 68th in Ken Pom and 73rd in Sagarin.
10. Indiana (15-14, 6-12, NR, NR) – The Hoosiers bounced back from a tough overtime loss at Iowa with two victories against ranked teams last week. They knocked off Wisconsin and Michigan State at home.
Indiana heads to Illinois on Thursday and then plays host to Rutgers on Sunday. It’s 55th in NET, 48th in Ken Pom and 38th in Sagarin.
11. Illinois (11-18, 7-11, NR, NR) – The Illini split a pair of games last week. They were blown out at Purdue but rebounded for a home win against Northwestern.
Illinois plays host to Indiana on Thursday and then travels to Penn State on Sunday. It’s 92nd in NET, 64th in Ken Pom and 68th in Sagarin.
12. Penn State (12-17, 5-13, NR, NR) – The Nittany Lions have been playing well of late, blowing out Maryland at home before falling late at Wisconsin last week. They’re 49th in NET, 43rd in Ken Pom and 46th in Sagarin.
13. Nebraska (15-14, 5-13, NR, NR) – The Huskers were blown out in their only game of the week, losing by 29 at Michigan. They’re 51st in NET, 45th in Ken Pom and 39th in Sagarin.
14. Northwestern (12-17, 3-15, NR, NR) – The Wildcats’ losing streak reached 10 games with losses against Minnesota and Illinois last week. They’re 95th in NET, and 74th in Ken Pom, and 82nd in Sagarin.