Last week was another big for the league. Conference play restarted and we got a number of ranked matchups. Highlights included Michigan State traveling to face Ohio State and Michigan hosting Indiana. It was a big week and these power rankings changed quite a bit as a result.
And with that, let’s take a look at the new rankings.
Please also note that this year’s rankings are going to be a tad different. I am only going to look at things each team has accomplished on the court. No projecting or predicting anymore. I will place an emphasis on recent play, but I am only going to be looking strictly at results going forward.
Big Ten Week 10 Power Rankings
#1 - Michigan Wolverines (--)
The Wolverines had two home games this week with Penn State on Thursday and a ranked Indiana team on Sunday. Michigan was able to win both games by double-digits and improved to 15-0 overall on the season and 4-0 in Big Ten play as a result.
Things haven’t been as easy in recent weeks for the Wolverines as they might have seemed in November, but Michigan’s resume is simply too good at this point to drop in the power rankings. Michigan’s not only the league’s only remaining undefeated team, but it has seven wins over top 100 teams and 13 double-digits already this season.
Obviously, the biggest question now will be when Michigan finally loses a game. This week, Michigan gets Illinois on the road on Thursday and Northwestern at home on Sunday. KenPom gives the Wolverines 82 percent odds or higher in both games. However, Illinois has been playing better in recent weeks and Northwestern nearly knocked off Michigan in early December. Neither of these will be easy.
#2 - Michigan State Spartans (--)
The Spartans remain at two in the power rankings this week after destroying Northwestern at home and beating Ohio State on the road on Saturday. The two wins pushed Michigan State to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in Big Ten play. Michigan State has also now won eight in row after falling on the road narrowly against Louisville in November.
Since December, Michigan State has probably been playing at a higher level than any other Big Ten team, including arch-rival Michigan. This team is absolutely red hot and is now up to fourth nationally on KenPom. The Spartans are beginning to get some national appreciation, but this team is still probably a tad underrated.
The difference so far this season has been Nick Ward. The big man has emerged into one of the better players in the Big Ten and is putting together an absolutely phenomenal season. If Ward can keep up this level of play, watch out for the Spartans going forward.
This week, Michigan State will get Purdue at home on Tuesday night and Penn State on the road on Sunday. KenPom gives the Spartans 75 percent odds or better in both games.
#3 - Indiana Hoosiers (--)
The Hoosiers split the team’s games this week. Indiana started off with a nice win at home against Illinois on Thursday night, but fall on the road on Sunday to Michigan. The split left Indiana at 12-3 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play.
Sunday’s loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Hoosiers, but it’s hard to complain much about where this team is sitting right now. Indiana is still in great shape to make the NCAA Tournament. And if players like De’Ron Davis and Rob Phinisee can get healthy, this is a roster that still has plenty of room to grow.
Indiana will get a major opportunity to get back on track this week with a road game against Maryland on Friday night. Maryland isn’t Michigan or Michigan State, but a win there would be a major resume boost for the Hoosiers and might even be enough to get the team back in the Big Ten title conversation for the time being.
#4 - Ohio State Buckeyes (--)
The Buckeyes only had one game last week and fell short in it at home on Saturday afternoon against Michigan State. The loss dropped Ohio State to 12-2 overall and to 2-1 in Big Ten play. It was the team’s first loss since November.
Many fans are down after Saturday’s loss, but there’s absolutely no reason to panic. Michigan State is rolling right now and Ohio State simply didn’t have enough to hold off Nick Ward inside. The Buckeyes are still a good team and in perfectly fine shape to make the NCAA Tournament at season’s end. Maybe the team isn’t a bonafide Big Ten title contender, but it’s still a pretty good squad.
This week, Ohio State will get Rutgers on the road on Wednesday and Iowa on the road on Saturday. This is one of those odd weeks where Ohio State isn’t a lock to win either game, but has a relatively decent to shot to go 2-0 as well. Fans should be hoping to at least a 1-1 split in these two games.
#5 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (+3)
The Gophers have largely been under the radar nationally so far this season, but the team is starting to put together a pretty impressive resume. And last week, Minnesota added a huge road win on Thursday night when the team went out and beat Wisconsin in Madison. It was the team’s first win over the Badgers since 2014.
Admittedly, Minnesota hasn’t really “popped” much on the eye test so far this season. The team has some solid-to-good players, but no first-team talents. And a handful of the team’s wins have been closer than fans would have liked. For instance, wins over North Florida and Washington were just a little big too competitive.
But even with that said, Minnesota just keeps finding ways to win. The Gophers are now 12-2 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play. The team has also won six in a row, including a home win over Nebraska and a road win over Wisconsin. Few teams can boast runs like that.
Fans will hope Minnesota can keep things rolling this week with Maryland at home on Tuesday and Rutgers at home on Saturday. The Gophers are favored in both games.
#6 - Purdue Boilermakers (+3)
The Boilermakers only had one game last week and looked pretty impressive in that matchup. On Thursday, Purdue took on a ranked Iowa team at home and cruised to a blowout win over the Hawkeyes. The win pushed Purdue to 9-5 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play. Purdue also remained unbeaten at home.
Unfortunately, things will get far tougher for Purdue with two road games this week. Purdue will face Michigan State on the road on Tuesday and Wisconsin on the road on Friday. Even one win in these two would be huge for the Boilermakers.
#7 - Iowa Hawkeyes (--)
The Hawkeyes had mixed results this week. Iowa opened with a blowout loss on the road against Purdue on Thursday, but rebounded with a win over Nebraska on Sunday. The split left Iowa at 12-3 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play.
Iowa should get an easier slate on paper this week with Northwestern on the road on Wednesday and Ohio State at home on Sunday. Fans should hope for 1-1 or better.
#8 - Maryland Terrapins (+3)
The Terps had an impressive performance this week with two solid wins. Maryland was able to knock off a ranked Nebraska team at home on Wednesday and then followed that up with a tricky road win over Rutgers on Saturday. The two wins pushed Maryland to 12-3 overall.
Maryland will get two more tricky games this week with Minnesota on the road on Tuesday and Indiana at home on Friday. If the Terps can find a way to win both games, things would look really good for the team’s NCAA hopes.
#9 - Wisconsin Badgers (-3)
The Badgers had two games this week and had mixed results. Wisconsin opened with a loss at home against Minnesota, but rebounded with a road win against a feisty Penn State team on Sunday night. The split left Wisconsin at 11-4 overall and 3-1 in Big Ten play.
Wisconsin still seems to be one of the better teams in the Big Ten, but the Badgers are also inherently flawed. If opponents can slow down Ethan Happ, things can get rough. Happ may have scored 17 against Minnesota, but he was inefficient and nobody else was able to step up when the Badgers needed it. That will be the team’s challenge moving forward.
This week, Wisconsin gets Purdue at home on Friday. That should be a marquee opportunity for the Badgers to score a big win at home.
#10 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (-5)
The Huskers had a pretty rough week as the team lost on the road to Maryland on Wednesday and followed it up with a loss to Iowa on the road on Sunday. The two losses dropped Nebraska to 11-4 overall and 1-3 in Big Ten play.
Perhaps things will change in the weeks and months to come, but the verdict appears to be in on this Husker squad. While Nebraska is nearly unbeatable at home, it’s especially vulnerable away from home. Until the Huskers can find some consistency away from home, it’s hard to project the team moving into the top tier of the Big Ten.
This week, Nebraska will get Penn State at home on Thursday. This should be a nice opportunity for the Huskers to rebound.
#11 - Northwestern Wildcats (-1)
The Wildcats split the team’s games this week. Northwestern opened with a rough loss on the road to Michigan State on Wednesday, but rebounded on Sunday at home against arch-rival Illinois. As such, Northwestern now sits at 10-5 overall.
Northwestern will now get Iowa at home on Wednesday and Michigan on the road on Sunday. Even a 1-1 record there would be great for the Wildcats.
#12 - Penn State Nittany Lions (--)
The Nittany Lions had two games this week and lost both. The first loss came on the road against Michigan on Wednesday and the second came at home against Wisconsin on Sunday evening. As a result, Penn State now sits at 7-8 overall. Fans will hope the team can rebound against Nebraska on the road on Thursday and Michigan State at home on Sunday.
#13 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (--)
The Scarlet Knights lost the team’s only game this week against Maryland at home on Saturday. The loss dropped Rutgers to 7-6 overall and 0-3 in Big Ten play. Rutgers will now prepare for Ohio State at home on Wednesday and Minnesota on the road on Saturday.
#14 - Illinois Fighting Illini (--)
The Illini dropped both of the team’s games last week. The first loss came on the road against Indiana on Thursday and the second came on the road to Northwestern on Sunday afternoon. Illinois now sits at 4-11 overall and will get Michigan at home on Thursday.