The Big Ten regular season officially wrapped up on Sunday with three games featuring some of the conference's top teams and some of its bottom teams. It has been a thrilling season and it has setup well for a great postseason starting in Chicago with the Big Ten Tournament. Wisconsin won the Big Ten regular season, but would they come in as #1 in the final Power Rankings of the season?
The BTPowerhouse Week 17 Big Ten Power Rankings consisted of 21 voters. A total of 9 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, Black Shoe Diaries, Bucky's Fifth Quarter, The Champaign Room, Corn Nation, Daily Gopher, Hammer & Rails, Inside NU, and Testudo Times. With that, here are the BTPowerhouse Week 17 Big Ten Power Rankings:
Big Ten Week 17 Power Rankings
#1 - Wisconsin Badgers (Average 1.0)
The Badgers finished their season with two very impressive wins over Minnesota and Ohio State. Frankly, their final regular season game was a beatdown of the Buckeyes and there was no doubt among our voters that they deserved to be the #1 team this week. They will be the #1 seed in Chicago and pulled off the impressive feat of holding the #1 position in the BTPowerhouse Power Rankings from preseason to postseason.
#2 - Maryland Terrapins (Average 2.0)
The Terrapins finished their regular season on a seven game winning streak and with wins over Rutgers and Nebraska on the road in the final week of play. They will head to Chicago as the #2 seed and seeking to prove that their impressive 14-4 conference record is not a fluke.
#3 - Michigan State Spartans (Average 3.7)
The Spartans were doubted by many after they lost at home to Minnesota, but they got things together and finished strong by beating Purdue at home and Indiana at home. They will now head to Chicago as the #3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and looking to help their NCAA Tournament seeding.
#4 - Purdue Boilermakers (Average 4.0)
The Boilermakers split their final games against Michigan State and Illinois and find themselves squarely on the bubble heading to the Big Ten Tournament. They enter as the #4 seed and likely need at least one win to secure their spot in the Big Dance.
#5 - Iowa Hawkeyes (Average 4.6)
The Hawkeyes will head to Chicago as the #5 seed after finishing the season on a 6 game winning streak and with wins over Indiana and Northwestern in the final week of the regular season. Iowa appears solidified in the NCAA Tournament, but will want to avoid an upset as they play the winner of the Nebraska and Penn State game.
#6 - Ohio State Buckeyes (Average 5.7)
The Buckeyes took quite a tumble over the last few weeks of the season and find themselves as the #6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament after getting slammed by Wisconsin at home to finish the regular season. They will face the winner of the Minnesota and Rutgers game.
#7 - Indiana Hoosiers (Average 6.6)
The Hoosiers have taken themselves from a very likely NCAA Tournament team to a bubble team after losing their final 3 games including 2 at home and 4 of their last 5. This is a team desperately looking for wins and they will face a hot Northwestern team in their first game.
#8 - Illinois Fighting Illini (Average 7.8)
The Illini were in position at one point to make a charge for the NCAA Tournament, but after dropping their road game to Purdue find themselves behind the curve heading to Chicago. They will get Michigan in their first game with a potential matchup with Wisconsin awaiting.
#9 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (Average 9.6)
The Gophers dropped their final game of the season at home to Penn State, but easily look like the most dangerous team in the Wednesday games and have a very winnable game against Rutgers to open. They would then move on to face an Ohio State team looking to improve its NCAA Tournament seeding.
#10 - Michigan Wolverines (Average 10.3)
The Wolverines stomped Rutgers in their final game of the season, but were unable to move up from their #9 seed and find themselves set to face Illinois. If Michigan is able to sneak by the Illini, they will get a Wisconsin team they took to overtime earlier this season.
#11 - Northwestern Wildcats (Average 10.8)
The Wildcats could be the most dangerous team for the Big Ten in this tournament. They open up with Indiana, who they already beat this season, and would then face a Maryland team who has been playing everyone close the last few weeks if they beat the Hoosiers. If Northwestern gets on a run, they could have a big impact in Chicago.
#12 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (Average 12.48)
The Huskers have lost their last eight games heading to Chicago and look like a wreck compared to the team that went to the NCAA Tournament last season. They get Penn State in their first game.
#12 - Penn State Nittany Lions (Average 12.48)
The Nittany Lions won their final game on the road against Minnesota, but were unable to move up from the #13 seed and are set to face Nebraska in Chicago on Wednesday.
#14 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Average 13.5)
The Scarlet Knights have lost 14 games in a row, failed to win a single game in February, and have not won since they upset Wisconsin on January 11th. This is not a team that is playing well and will likely have their season end against Minnesota on Wednesday.
One of the interesting things to watch over the season is how teams trend. There is of course movement in the conference on a weekly basis, but some teams take enormous steps forward or backward from preseason expectations. We have compiled full charts on how each team trended this season.
The Race For The #1 Spot
The Big Ten title race may not have been as interesting as it has been int eh past, but it is still something that received a great deal of attention and was not actually clinched until the final eight days of conference play. Plus, even considering how dominating Wisconsin's run was to the top spot, it really is displayed by seeing just how much support they had for the #1 spot each week. Let's take a look.
First Place Votes By Week
Obviously, a pretty dominant run that probably won't turn a lot of heads. However, when you actually put together the season rankings, the dominance of the Badgers is pretty astounding.
First Place Votes This Season
There isn't much that needs to be said about this chart. Only two teams received #1 votes this season in the BTPowerhouse Power Rankings and they were Maryland and Wisconsin. When you add in that Wisconsin had more than four times the number of votes that Maryland received, it's pretty clear that the Badgers deserved their #1 seed in this week's Big Ten Tournament.
Who Wants To Be Last?
Another interesting race this season was the race for the bottom of the conference. Although this generally receives little attention and hardly any nationally, it was an interesting race this year due to the addition of Rutgers. Most thought the Scarlet Knights would have a rough entrance to the conference and they did indeed. You can see how rough things were based on the weekly votes this season.
Last Place Votes By Week
Really, outside of a few weeks in the middle of the season - when Rutgers beat Wisconsin - the Scarlet Knights were the runaway pick for last in the conference. Again, not necessarily surprising, but the sheer dislike of the BTP voters for Rutgers was blatantly obvious in the season tally.
Last Place Votes This Season
Even Northwestern and Penn State, who had pretty rough seasons themselves, came nowhere close to Rutgers in the season tally. In fact, if you add all the votes Northwestern and Penn State received for last place, you don't even come close to half the total votes Rutgers received. Like Wisconsin, Rutgers was a runaway choice in this race, but unfortunately, it's not one that deserves accolades.
The final thing that I wanted to do in this week's final power rankings was to allow readers to see how all the BTPowerhosue Power Rankings voters cast their ballots in the final week. It seemed like a fun idea and was a way to help hold voters accountable in the last vote of the season.
If you are interested in seeing how the BTPowerhouse Power Rankings voters case their ballots, you can see the votes here: Week 17 Big Ten Power Rankings Ballot.
Overall, it was a great regular season for the Big Ten and although there are still plenty of games left for the conference in the postseason, it is worthwhile to take a step back and appreciate all the great games that happened over the last few months and thank all the voters that participated in this poll this season. It was a great year and should finish with quite a bang starting in Chicago this week.