The Big Ten has 3 of the top 8 teams in the newest AP Poll. Maryland, Iowa, and Michigan State have solidified themselves as the top 3 teams in the conference as they had a 7-0 record combined last week. Purdue remains the 4th Big Ten team ranked, as they maintained the same ranking as last week.
Today, we take a look at how the five ranked Big Ten teams fared last week, and a peak ahead at what team may see their name in the rankings next.
Maryland Terrapins (21-3)
- AP: #2 USA Today: #2
The Terrapins won at Nebraska and home against Purdue for their 3rd and 4th straight wins. Their Big Ten record now sits at 10-2, just a half game behind Iowa. Rasheed Sulaimon was huge for Maryland at Nebraska as the senior recorded his first double double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Maryland fans will be monitoring the scores of Villanova's upcoming contests as a loss would mean the Terrapins could be #1 in the AP Poll for the first time in school history. Maryland, meanwhile, plays two home games this week as they face division II Bowie State Tuesday before hosting Wisconsin Saturday.
Iowa Hawkeyes (17-4)
-AP: #4 USA Today #5
The Hawkeyes have rebounded after their first conference loss with 3 wins, including 2 last week against Penn State and Illinois. The hardest part of their schedule is over with, as Iowa doesn't face a ranked opponent the rest of the way.
The Hawkeyes will play probably their toughest game remaining at Indiana on Thursday before playing host to Minnesota Sunday. Iowa will look to hold on to their half game conference lead with 7 games remaining and acquire the top seed in the conference tournament.
Michigan State Spartans (19-4)
- AP: #8 USA Today: #9
In their only game last week, the Spartans won at rival Michigan 89-73. Michigan State led by double digits most of the game as Bryn Forbes dropped 29 points shooting 8-10 from deep. Denzel Valentine wasn't bad either, posting 21 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists.
The Spartans face their toughest week remaining this season as they travel to Purdue Tuesday before playing Indiana on Sunday. This is Michigan State's only meeting with Purdue this season and the last ranked opponent on their schedule.
Purdue Boilermakers (19-5)
- AP: #18 USA Today: #16
Purdue played just one game this past week as they lost to Maryland on Saturday. The Boilermakers hung around, but could not make up for a 3-25 day from long range. AJ Hammons did record a double double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Boilermakers won't have any time to sulk on their loss to Maryland as they host Michigan State Tuesday and then travel to Michigan Saturday. Purdue could make a big move in the polls if they can win both games, possibly moving as high as 10 or 11. With two losses, however, the Boilermakers could drop from the rankings. Needless to say, this is a huge week for Matt Painter's team.
After dropping from the rankings this past week, Indiana has a great chance to jump right back in as they host Iowa at home and then travel to Michigan State. This is obviously a very daunting couple of games, but gives Indiana a great opportunity to get a top 10 win or two.