Whoa, boy. What a week. The Big Ten had a plethora of great games over the last week, highlighted by a marquee matchup between Michigan and Ohio State on Sunday. Both teams were ranked in the top five and the game lived to the hype. Illinois and Iowa also did some major damage.
Of course, with so many key games, this week’s games shook up things in the Power Rankings as well. Teams like Illinois moved up while others like Nebraska dropped. It should set up another interesting week of play.
So, without further adieu, here are my current Big Ten power rankings:
Big Ten Week 13 Power Rankings
#1 - Michigan Wolverines (--)
The Wolverines had a great performance this week, beating Rutgers at home on Thursday night and going on the road and knocking off Ohio State on Sunday. The wins pushed Michigan to 16-1 overall, 11-1 in Big Ten play, and on the verge of the program’s first regular season Big Ten title since 2014. It will still take a few more wins to reach that goal, but the victory over the Buckeyes will go a long way toward helping that effort.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Michigan’s victory on Sunday was how many players contributed in the win. Isaiah Livers delivered from outside the arc, Eli Brooks provided some great backcourt defense when it counted most, and Hunter Dickinson killed it in the second half. It was a complete team effort.
Michigan will get two intriguing games this week with Iowa at home on Thursday and Indiana on the road on Saturday. The Wolverines will be favored in both games. One has to wonder if there will be any layover effect from Sunday’s win against the Buckeyes.
#2 - Illinois Fighting Illini (+1)
The Illini are absolutely rolling right now. After some missteps earlier this season, Illinois has questionably found its groove. The team has won seven straight, including five games against top 50 opponents and three on the road. The latest two wins came last week with Northwestern at home on Tuesday and Minnesota on the road on Saturday. The win over the Gophers was particularly impressive, coming by a 31-point margin.
Illinois will get a decent chance to pad its win streak with Michigan State on the road on Tuesday, Nebraska at home on Thursday, and Wisconsin on the road on Saturday this week. The Illini already have wins against the Huskers and Badgers.
#3 - Ohio State Buckeyes (-1)
The Buckeyes performed relatively well this week, beating Penn State on the road on Thursday and falling narrowly to Michigan on Sunday. The loss to the Wolverines likely eliminated Ohio State from Big Ten title contention. However, it was still a hard fought contest with both sides playing really well. Even with the latest loss, Ohio State has won 10 of its last 12 games, including the team’s last six road games.
Ohio State will hope to bounce back with Michigan State on the road on Thursday and Iowa at home on Sunday. Both games look tricky, but the Buckeyes have recent wins over both opponents, so fans should have some confidence.
#4 - Iowa Hawkeyes (--)
The Hawkeyes continued their hot play this week with two more wins, beating Wisconsin on the road on Thursday and Penn State at home on Sunday. The wins pushed Iowa to 17-6 overall and 11-5 in Big Ten play. Iowa has now won four in a row and five of the team’s last six games. The team’s defense is still largely a mess, but it does seem to be trending up a bit.
Iowa will now get its biggest week of the year with back-to-back games against Michigan and Ohio State. The Hawkeyes will go on the road to face the Wolverines on Thursday and will travel to Columbus on Sunday. Both games look incredibly difficult, so if Iowa can even split the games, it’d go a long way.
#5 - Purdue Boilermakers (+1)
The Boilermakers won both of the team’s games this week, beating Michigan State at home on Tuesday and Nebraska on the road on Saturday. The wins locked Purdue into an NCAA spot and should help the program’s seeding for the postseason significantly. Purdue’s only game this week will come on the road against Penn State on Friday. The first game was relatively competitive, so this one figures to be interesting as well.
#6 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (-1)
The Scarlet Knights had a disappointing week, falling on the road to Michigan on Thursday and losing by nine points to Maryland at home on Sunday. The losses dropped Rutgers to 12-9 overall and 8-9 in Big Ten play. After winning four straight heading into February, the team has now lost three of its last four.
Rutgers will hope to turn things around this week with Indiana at home on Wednesday. Fans should have some confidence about the game, considering the Scarlet Knights beat the Hoosiers on the road earlier this season. A loss would probably start making some fans uncomfortable about the team’s postseason position.
#7 - Wisconsin Badgers (--)
The Badgers split the team’s games this week, falling at home to Iowa on Thursday night and rebounding with a win over Northwestern on the road on Sunday. The mixed results left Wisconsin sitting at 16-8 overall and 10-7 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin only gets one game this week, which comes at home against Illinois on Saturday. The Badgers will hope for the team’s first elite victory of conference play.
#8 - Maryland Terrapins (--)
The Terps had an outstanding week with wins over Nebraska on Tuesday and Wednesday and a huge road win over Rutgers on Sunday. The victories pushed Maryland to 14-10 overall, 8-9 in Big Ten play, and on the right side of the NCAA bubble with three games remaining in the regular season.
Maryland is far from a lock for the NCAAs, but things are starting to shape up nicely. The team has three regular season games remaining and can likely lock up things by winning all three, or maybe even just two. Maryland’s only game this week be against Michigan State at home on Sunday.
#9 - Indiana Hoosiers (+1)
The Hoosiers split the team’s games this week, beating Minnesota on Wednesday and falling to Michigan State on Saturday. The loss to the Spartans was particularly rough, as Indiana was favored before tip and led significantly for much of the game. It’s the kind of blown opportunity that bites teams on Selection Sunday.
Indiana enters the final four games of the regular season in an uncomfortable position. ESPN projects the Hoosiers squarely on the bubble and it’s hard to disagree. It seems like every step forward for Indiana is followed by a blown opportunity. And those missteps mean Indiana’s going to need to produce in these final games to feel good heading into the postseason. It’s another year of pressure basketball.
Those efforts will start with Rutgers on the road on Wednesday and Michigan at home on Saturday. The Hoosiers are set to be underdogs in both games. As such, even a split would be a great accomplishment.
#10 - Penn State Nittany Lions (-1)
The Nittany Lions had two more tough losses this week. Penn State fell at home to Ohio State on Thursday and Iowa on the road on Sunday. Neither loss was surprising at face value, given the strength of the opponents. However, Penn State played really well in both games and was in position to pull off the upsets before some late missteps. Fans will hope the team can bounce back this week with Nebraska on the road on Tuesday and Purdue at home on Friday.
#11 - Michigan State Spartans (+2)
The Spartans split the team’s games this week, falling on the road to Purdue on Tuesday night and beating Indiana on the road on Saturday. The mixed results left Michigan State sitting at 11-9 overall and 5-9 in Big Ten play. The Spartans remain a major long shot to make this year’s NCAA Tournament, with TRank giving them just a 1.3 percent chance of making the cut on Selection Sunday. However, the win over Indiana keeps the dream alive.
Michigan State will now get a huge week of opportunity. The Spartans will face Illinois at home on Tuesday and Ohio State at home on Thursday. Both opponents will be heavily favored over Michigan State at tip. However, nobody is safe in college basketball, especially in the Breslin Center. We’ll see if the Spartans can pull off an upset or two.
#12 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (-1)
The Gophers lost both of the team’s games this week, falling on the road against Indiana on Wednesday and at home against Illinois on Saturday. The loss to the Illini was particularly rough, as Minnesota was throughly embarrassed on its home court. It was easily Minnesota’s worst home loss of the season.
The two recent losses were a continuation of Minnesota’s struggles since mid-January. The Gophers have now lost 9 of the team’s last 13 games and six of eight. Those losses have really started to add up, knocking Minnesota out of the top 25 and squarely on the NCAA bubble with just a few weeks of the regular season remaining. There’s little debating the Gophers will need a great finish to the season to feel good about Selection Sunday.
This week, Minnesota will get Northwestern at home on Thursday and Nebraska on the road on Saturday. Both of these should be (and need to be) wins.
#13 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (-1)
The Huskers had a rough week, falling in all three of the team’s games. Nebraska fell to Maryland on Tuesday and Wednesday and at home against Purdue on Saturday. The three losses dropped the team to 5-15 overall and 1-12 in Big Ten play. Nebraska has now lost 28 of its last 29 games against Big Ten opponents. Not exactly an encouraging mark. Fans will hope the team can bounce back this week against Penn State at home on Tuesday, Illinois on the road on Thursday, and Minnesota at home on Saturday.
#14 - Northwestern Wildcats (--)
The Wildcats lost both of the team’s games this week, falling on the road to Illinois on Tuesday and at home against Wisconsin on Sunday. The losses dropped Northwestern to 6-14 overall and 3-13 in Big Ten play. The team has lost 13 in a row after jumping out to a surprising 6-1 start to the season. Northwestern will hope to get back on track this week against Minnesota on the road on Wednesday.