Last week was an important one for the conference and especially the fans as some of the Big Ten's best rivalry games took place including showdowns in Ann Arbor, Bloomington, and Madison. These led to some impressive performances from teams like Michigan State and Purdue and upsets from teams like Michigan. Wisconsin still holds a commanding lead over the conference, but there is plenty to follow as the Big Ten is currently projected to have a nation's best 8 NCAA Tournament teams this March.
The BTPowerhouse Week 15 Big Ten Power Rankings consisted of 21 voters. A total of 14 voters came from the BTPowerhouse staff. The remaining 7 votes came from SBNation's Big Ten team sites. These sites included: Black Heart Gold Pants, Bucky's Fifth Quarter, The Champaign Room, Crimson Quarry, Daily Gopher, Hammer & Rails, and Land Grant Holy Land. With that, here are the BTPowerhouse Week 15 Big Ten Power Rankings:
Big Ten Week 15 Power Rankings
#1 - Wisconsin Badgers (Average 1.0)
The Badgers remained steadfast at #1 and there isn't much reason to think that will change anytime soon. Wisconsin has not lost a game since early January and have yet to lose a home game in conference play. They get Maryland on the road and Michigan State at home this week.
#2 - Maryland Terrapins (Average 2.2)
The Terrapins held off Nebraska at home last week, setting up a showdown on Tuesday night between what is perceived to be the #1 and #2 teams in the Big Ten. Maryland is looking to secure the #2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and to remain in play for a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a win over Wisconsin would do a lot to help those causes. After Wisconsin on Tuesday, they get Michigan at home on Saturday.
#3 - Purdue Boilermakers (Average 3.4)
The Boilermakers continue their remarkable turnaround and scored a major road win over arch-rival Indiana last week. The win was certainly a big one for Purdue fans since it was a rivalry game, but it was also huge for the team's NCAA chances as they got a quality road win. They get Rutgers and Ohio State this week.
#4 - Michigan State Spartans (Average 3.5)
The Spartans have been on a roll. Since their home loss to Illinois, they have won 4 straight games including a home win over Ohio State and road wins over Illinois and Michigan. Due to this, MSU is removing a lot of the stress of Selection Sunday. The Spartans get Minnesota at home and Wisconsin on the road this week.
#5 - Indiana Hoosiers (Average 5.5)
The Hoosiers again remained at #5 despite a lot of movement around them. They split their games against Purdue and Rutgers and are still looking for a few more quality wins for seeding in March. Their only game this week is on the road against a Northwestern team that is playing very well right now, which could make for an interesting matchup.
#6 - Ohio State Buckeyes (Average 5.6)
The Buckeyes took a dive this week after losing their only matchup against Michigan on the road. Ohio State made it a game late, but couldn't come back from a horrid start in the 1st Half. They get Nebraska and Purdue at home this week and have a chance to solidify their NCAA Tournament resume.
#7 - Iowa Hawkeyes (Average 6.9)
The Hawkeyes moved up this week after completing destroying Rutgers and Nebraska. The games were never in doubt and Iowa may have never looked better this season. They will look to continue their great recent play with Illinois at home and Penn State on the road this week.
#8 - Illinois Fighting Illini (Average 8.0)
The Illini lost their only game last week against Michigan State at home, but Illinois still looks like a serious NCAA Tournament contender and will have to fight for every win over the next few weeks. They get Iowa on the road and rival Northwestern at home in two games that are very important for Illinois' season.
#9 - Michigan Wolverines (Average 9.0)
The Wolverines got smashed in their first game against Michigan State last week, but got a great win over arch-rival Ohio State on Sunday. Michigan got production from a number of different players and if they continue to play like that, they could be a serious threat to any team going forward. They get Maryland on the road this week.
#10 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (Average 10.3)
The Gophers dropped both games last week to Northwestern at home and Wisconsin on the road. Minnesota continues to show promise one one night and collapse on another. They get Michigan State on the road this week.
#11 - Northwestern Wildcats (Average 10.7)
The Wildcats are on their hottest streak of the season after beating Minnesota and Penn State this week. They will look to continue this at home against Indiana and on the road against Illinois.
#12 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (Average 12.1)
The Huskers have been so bad that their head coach literally locked them out of their own locker room. They dropped their games to Maryland and Iowa last week and will try to turn things around against Ohio State this week.
#13 - Penn State Nittany Lions (Average 12.7)
The Nittany Lions might have cost themselves an NIT bid last week after dropping to Wisconsin and Northwestern. They will get Iowa this week.
#14 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Average 14.0)
The Scarlet Knights are on an 11 game losing streak. If they do not beat Purdue this week, they will have gone winless in the month of February. Things are not pretty for this team right now.