Another week of conference play and another week of dramatic results. Several of the top teams got tested in marquee matchups and some of the conference's middle teams separated themselves over the last few days. Things are still unclear on how things will sort out, but the drama continues to build.
The BTPowerhouse Power Rankings is composed of votes from 45 writers that cover the Big Ten and three statistical measures (KenPom, RPI, Sagarin). This voting group is composed of BTPowerhouse's staff, 15 writers from SBNation's other Big Ten related sites, Steve Lorenz, Luke Srodulski, Josh Stephens, and Mike Wilson from 247Sports, Brendan Brody of Rush The Court, Alex Cook from MGoBlog, Andrew Kulha from Today's U, Shawn O'Neal from Lindy Sports, and Jim Weber from Lost Lettermen. (Not all writers participated in each set of rankings).
With that, here are BTPowerhouse's week nine Big Ten power rankings.
Big Ten Week 9 Power Rankings
#1 - Maryland Terrapins (324 Points) --
The Terps had two matchups this week and scored two wins. Things were pretty easy against Rutgers at home, but the matchup against Wisconsin on the road was far more challenging. It took a mega performance from Melo Trimble to push Maryland past Wisconsin and keep the Terps unbeaten in conference play.
Overall, Maryland received 75 percent of the first place votes this week. That's up nearly 10 percent from last week and it seems that the Terps continue to trend up. Maryland gets Michigan on the road and Ohio State at home this week with two key chances to pad its lead.
#2 - Michigan State Spartans (308 Points) +1
The Spartans got Illinois at home and Penn State on the road this week. On paper, the games looked a tad tricky with Denzel Valentine's status in doubt. Nonetheless, Michigan State recorded two wins in dominant fashion and got Valentine back into the rotation for the Penn State game. The Spartans are now 16-1 overall.
Overall, Michigan State received 12.5 percent of the first place votes this week, which was the second week in a row that the Spartans dropped in percentage of first place votes. It will be a tough week for the Spartans as the team faces Iowa at home and Wisconsin on the road.
#3 - Iowa Hawkeyes (301 Points) -1
The Hawkeyes had a relatively quiet week, but recorded a win over Nebraska at home on Tuesday. With the win, Iowa improved to 12-3 overall and 3-0 in Big Ten play. Mike Gesell and Jarrod Uthoff both played well in the game and continued their respective campaigns for some sort of All-Big Ten status at season's end.
Overall, Iowa received 12.5 percent of the first place votes this week. The Hawkeyes will go on the road to face Michigan State and will face Michigan at home this week.
#4 - Purdue Boilermakers (257 Points) --
The Boilermakers had a week of mixed results. The team started with a really solid win over Michigan at home, but followed it with a surprising road loss to Illinois. Undoubtedly, the defensive regression was concerning and Purdue has now lost two of its last three games.
For the fourth straight week, the Boilermakers received no first place votes. Purdue did manage to hold on to the No. 4 spot, but it wasn't by much. The good news is that with just Penn State at home this week, there's a decent chance the team can get back on track.
#5 - Indiana Hoosiers (244 Points) +1
The Hoosiers easily had the team's best week of the season on the court. Even though the team lost James Blackmon for the season, Indiana was able to knock off Wisconsin and Ohio State at home in huge wins. Neither opponent looks elite at this point, but both are quality opponents that should add to Indiana's resume. Now, the Hoosiers sit at 14-3 overall and have won nine games in a row. Indiana gets Minnesota on the road this week in a chance to extend the team's win streak.
#6 - Michigan Wolverines (217 Points) -1
The Wolverines only had one game this week and dropped the matchup with Purdue on the road. Early on, Michigan competed really well, but without star Caris LeVert, the Wolverines just didn't have enough firepower to beat the Boilermakers. Now, Michigan sits at 12-4 overall with all four losses coming against its best competition. This week, Michigan gets Maryland at home and Iowa on the road in two very difficult games. If Michigan can at least split the two matchups, it would go a long way toward legitimizing the team.
#7 - Ohio State Buckeyes (192 Points) --
The Buckeyes had a mixed week with a road win over Northwestern and a tough loss on the road to Indiana. There's still a lot of heavy lifting to be done if Ohio State is going to make an NCAA Tournament push, but with 17 games in the books, the team is sitting at 11-6 with some important games coming up. This week, the Buckeyes will face Rutgers at home and Maryland on the road. The next few weeks will be a tough slate for Ohio State.
#8 - Northwestern Wildcats (162 Points) --
The Wildcats had a relatively underwhelming performance this week. Northwestern started with a home loss to Ohio State in an important potential NCAA Tournament game and followed it with an easy road win over Minnesota. Generally, going 1-1 isn't terrible, but Northwestern's resume is probably actually weaker than it was a weak earlier. This week, the Wildcats get Wisconsin and Penn State at home. Both are important for any potential NCAA run.
#9 - Wisconsin Badgers (142 Points) --
The Badgers are in hot water after another underwhelming week. Wisconsin got key matchups with Indiana on the road and Maryland at home, but came up short in both games. Now, Wisconsin sits at just 9-8 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten. There have been some positives like the performance of Ethan Happ, but not enough to add much confidence for a potential NCAA Tournament run. With time starting to tick, performing well against Northwestern on the road and Michigan State at home this week will be important.
#10 - Illinois Fighting Illini (127 Points) --
The Illini couldn't have had more of a Jekyll and Hyde performance this week. After getting blown out on the road against Michigan State, Illinois followed it up with a huge upset win over Purdue at home. The dynamic duo of Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn continue to perform and Illinois might just have a chance to spin this season positively after all.
Now, Illinois gets Nebraska at home in a key opportunity for the team to continue its positive momentum and continue the upward trend in the Big Ten standings.
#11 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (95 Points) --
The Huskers didn't have a great week, but largely performed as expected. Nebraska opened with a loss to a quality Iowa team on the road and followed it with an easy win over Rutgers. Now, the Huskers sit at 9-8 overall with an important upcoming week with Minnesota and home and Illinois on the road. If Nebraska is going to get back on track for a potential NIT push, scoring two wins this week will be important.
#12 - Penn State Nittany Lions (72 Points) --
The Nittany Lions scored a win over Minnesota and fell to Michigan State this week. It wasn't exactly a surprising performance, but it did push Penn State to 10-7 overall and 1-3 in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, things will get really tough this week with Purdue and Northwestern on the road. It's hard to see Penn State winning either, but if so,perhaps it could get the team trending in the right direction.
#13 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (54 Points) --
The Gophers continued the team's struggles in Big Ten play and lost to Penn State on the road and Northwestern at home. Minnesota now sits at 6-10 overall and 0-4 in the Big Ten. It's tough to imagine things turning around much over the coming weeks, but there's always a chance. This week, Minnesota will get Nebraska on the road and Indiana at home as the team looks for its first conference win of the season.
#14 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (24 Points) --
The Scarlet Knights had two games this week and suffered blowout losses to Maryland on the road and Nebraska at home. The team has been horrible to start conference play and that's putting it lightly. Nebraska was just 8-8 entering its matchup with Rutgers and still ran the Scarlet Knights off the court. This week, Rutgers gets Ohio State on the road.