While the Big Ten has just 3 teams ranked, each one is in the top 9 in the latest AP and USA Today polls. Michigan State, Maryland, and Purdue all went undefeated in the past week, as they combined for 7 wins.
The Iowa Hawkeyes had a chance to jump back in to the top-25 with a big upset win at Iowa State, but gave up a big first half lead and lost 83-82. Other than the Hawkeyes, Northwestern has also received votes in both polls, but have a few teams to jump before they crack the top-25 with a weak non-conference schedule.
Today, we take a look at how the three ranked Big Ten teams fared last week and a peak at what team may appear in the top-25 next.
Michigan State Spartans (11-0)
- AP: #1 (64) USA Today: #1 (28)
The Spartans continued their dominance as the #1 team in the nation this week beating Maryland Eastern Shore and Florida. Both games were in East Lansing, and while Florida hung around, Michigan State's defense kept them undefeated 58-52. Denzel Valentine continues to be the the key for the Spartans as he scored 17 of Michigan State's 58 points.
Tom Izzo's squad has a quiet week upcoming with just one game on the slate against Northeastern in Boston. I'd expect the Spartans to keep their #1 ranking.
Maryland Terrapins (9-1)
- AP: #6 (1) USA Today: #7
Maryland had a solid week taking down Connecticut at Madison Square Garden and then handling Maryland-Eastern Shore at home. Sophomore Melo Trimble was huge for the Terrapins against UConn as he poured in 25 points including 14-15 from the line.
Maryland will take on Princeton in its lone game this week at home. This should be another win for Maryland, possibly moving them back in the top 5 if an upset occurs toward the top.
Purdue Boilermakers (11-0)
- AP: #9 USA Today: #8
Purdue continues to be impressive early in the season as they beat IUPUI, Howard, and Youngstown State this week in blowout fashion. Isaac Haas, AJ Hammons, and Caleb Swanigan continue to dominate the paint for Matt Painter's squad as they continued their undefeated season.
This will be the toughest week and a half for Purdue all season as it takes on #17 Butler in Indianapolis and then faces a solid Vanderbilt team at home next Tuesday. Butler is a high powered offense that Purdue will have to use their size against to control the game. This will be a huge test for the Boilermakers and if they can get through both games, they will have completed their non-conference slate unscathed.
It is finally time to take Northwestern seriously when it comes to rankings. The Wildcats are now 8-1, and although their resume is not all that impressive and they have won some close games, North Carolina remains their only loss. With 4 games left in the non-conference schedule, Northwestern could make a real push to be ranked with a 12-1 record heading in to conference play. Their hardest game may be a road game against DePaul coming up on Saturday.