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Week 16 Rankings Reaction: Spartans remain No. 1 in Coaches Poll

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Where did the Big Ten end up in the latest rankings?

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, the AP named Virginia the nation’s top team, while the coaches poll hangs onto the Spartans as their number one. Despite undefeated weeks from both of these great teams, I think both polls are wrong.

AP Poll

  • No. 2 Michigan State
  • No. 9 Purdue
  • No 16. Ohio State
  • No. 17 Michigan
  • Receiving Votes: Penn State (60)

Coaches Poll

  • No. 1 Michigan State
  • No 9. Purdue
  • No 15. Ohio State
  • No 16. Michigan
  • Receiving Votes: Nebraska (7)

Thoughts:

-Is Michigan State really the best team?

In what was one of the strangest games of the season, Michigan State opened up the game against Northwestern trailing by 27. They looked like a team that was not aware the game had started, being lazy on defense and taking horrible shots. Despite their efforts in the incredible comeback, the fact that this team can be considered the best team in the country by the nation’s coaches baffles me. Especially on the same day when Villanova looked dominant in a conference game against a very talented Xavier team. To me, Villanova is on the verge of reaching their full potential when they are the scariest team in the country, shooting the lights out and creating insurmountable leads. Michigan State does not look like that, despite the plethora of talent occupying their roster.

For Michigan State to win it all, Miles Bridges has got to be more prolific. Against northwestern he had just eight points on six shots. That will not cut it in March.

-Purdue ends the slide.

For a moment Purdue was looking like the best team in the country. After losing two straight to the conference’s toughest opponents in Michigan State and Ohio State, they failed to rebound against a very very very bad Wisconsin team. While the three game skid should worry fans, this team still does have a great roster with incredible athletes and great size to protect the rim. They finally got back on track, narrowly beating a very hot Penn State team.

While it’s never good for a top team to lose three straight, I think this February lull could be a good thing for this team. Better them lose now and face adversity before March, when it’s lose or go home time. They have the talent to make a run, so I think this number nine ranking in both polls is definitely fair.

-Michigan gets revenge.

Michigan was able to handle Ohio State without too much of a scare. While the game was competitive for the most part, Michigan was able to pull away in the end. Although the Wolverines have some losses to some not so great teams, they have for the most part shown up against notable opponents. They have some great scorers on their team, and while they may not have the same depth as Michigan State or Purdue, they have the potential to outplay any team on any given night. Being ranked between 15-19 suits this team well.

-Ohio State bounces back.

Following the loss to their arch rival, Ohio State was able to bounce back with a dominating win over Illinois to regain the momentum they have been riding for the better part of the year. Keita Bates-Diop has been all but crowned conference player of the year, as he looks to continue his magnificent play through March. I think this team could knock off any team ahead of them in the rankings on a neutral court, so this could be a misleading ranking.