Big Ten Power Rankings: Week 10

It’s that time of the year again. As Big Ten teams finish their conference schedules, you’ll see “bubble” teams in full desperation mode (Northwestern, for example), other teams who will fold and prepare for the offseason (Minnesota, anyone?), and contenders who will make a final push at a conference crown.

While Michigan State has the Big Ten title all but wrapped up after Ohio State’s loss to Wisconsin, there are still plenty of teams jockeying for position for the conference tournament. This week’s edition of the power rankings features a bit of a shake-up near the top that just might surprise you.

12. Nebraska (12-15, 4-12) (LAST WEEK: 10)…It’s still hard to believe Indiana lost to this team. The Cornhuskers had a rough week on the road, losing to Purdue and Michigan State by a combined 46 points. Against the Spartans, they scored only 34 points.

11. Penn State (12-17, 4-12) (LAST WEEK: 11)…Tim Frazier continues to be one of the conference’s most impressive players, but the Nittany Lions will likely drop their final two games and get the 12-seed in the conference tournament. They lost a one-point game against Northwestern last week.

10. Minnesota (17-12, 5-11) (LAST WEEK: 9)…The Golden Gophers stuck around for awhile after losing star Trevor Mbakwe, but they’ve really struggled of late. They made far too many careless errors in Sunday’s loss to Indiana, their fifth consecutive defeat.

9. Illinois (17-12, 6-10) (LAST WEEK: 12)…They’re still a far way from making the tournament, but the Fighting Illini’s win against Iowa on Sunday did snap a six-game skid. If they end up in the 8-9 game in the conference tournament, they’d have to see the top seed in the second round.

8. Iowa (15-14, 7-9) (LAST WEEK: 8)…The Hawkeyes won back-to-back home games against Indiana and Wisconsin, but they continue to be dreadful away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Their 65-54 loss at Illinois on Sunday was their sixth straight on the road.

7. Northwestern (17-11, 7-9) (LAST WEEK: 7)…They had their hearts ripped out in an overtime loss to Michigan, but the Wildcats responded with a huge win at Penn State. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi said “the Wildcats just might make it,” but it won’t be easy. They likely need to win at least one of their last two against Ohio State and at Iowa.

6. Michigan (21-8, 11-5) (LAST WEEK: 3)…It’s kind of a far drop after only one loss, but the Wolverines didn’t look good in either of their last two games. They needed overtime to beat Northwestern, and they lost by 14 points to Purdue at home. On a neutral court, I think Indiana and Purdue are better than Michigan.

5. Purdue (19-10, 9-7) (LAST WEEK: 6)…Ryne Smith said getting rid of Kelsey Barlow was “addition by subtraction,” and that sure seems to be the case. The Boilermakers won two games by double-figures last week without Barlow, including an impressive road victory at Michigan. They should beat Penn State at Mackey Arena before the season finale in Bloomington.

4. Indiana (22-7, 9-7) (LAST WEEK: 5)…Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls picked a good time to come out of their shooting slumps. Both played better at Minnesota on Sunday when they combined for 24 points on 50 percent shooting. The Hoosiers will need both Watford and Hulls to play well if they’re going to beat Michigan State and Purdue at home this week.

3. Ohio State (23-6, 11-5) (LAST WEEK: 2)…What’s wrong with the Buckeyes? They’re as talented as any team in the conference, but they’ve dropped three of five and still have to go to Michigan State to close the season.

2. Wisconsin (21-8, 10-6) (LAST WEEK: 4)…There’s no quit in the Badgers. Even though they’d lost three of five, they went to Columbus and beat Ohio State. Wisconsin withstood numerous Buckeye runs and made clutch shots down the stretch. With two home games remaining against Illinois and Minnesota, the Badgers should finish 12-6 and could be as high as a No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament.

1. Michigan State (24-5, 13-3) (LAST WEEK: 1)…Other than Kentucky, the Spartans might just be the hottest team in the country. They’ve won seven straight games, with all but one of them being double-digit victories. Draymond Green is playing like the Big Ten Player of the Year, and Michigan State is rolling.

  • Aubreyouse

    I’ll have to agree… I’d much rather blow them out!

  • Walt

    Would love to see CTC, the student, finally beat the teacher, Izzo.  Do not understand the disparity between CWat and Draymond. 6-9 vs. 6-7. It always seems like Draymond is a couple inches taller than Cwat. Think even their weights are similar. Go Hoosiers and keep up what ever you are doing.

  • InTheMtns

    Ha, ha! No, I don’t think so. Oh, the English language – so many words with multiple meanings. Now that I think about it, though, Iowa might have felt abused.

  • http://twitter.com/GaryPersinger Gary Persinger

    We are Indiana because of Bob Knight. If we as Indiana fans don’t realize that, we have no future. Dick Vitale is right when he said, we must name it Robert Montgomery Knight court….

  • http://twitter.com/GaryPersinger Gary Persinger

    We are Indiana because of Bob Knight. If we as Indiana fans don’t realize that, we have no future. Dick Vitale is right when he said, we must name it Robert Montgomery Knight court….

  • Clongest2000

    Bob knight is never coming back! It was time to move on 10 years ago,

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Seriously? A blow out would be just fine with me ! But in reality I don’t know why we are talking bout blowing Mich St out . If we win by a Half a point I’ll be be very pleased . By the way I think we will win ..

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Iowa has been solid at home all year.  They hold two wins against Wisconsin (one at home), and blowouts over Michigan and IU.  I really feel like the loss at Iowa isn’t that big a deal, but a loss at Minnesota would’ve been.  I think Iowa is much better than the gophers.

  • IU Tim

    Everyone keeps saying Purdue is in the dance, but I think they are still a bubble team and will have plenty to play for on Sunday.  They are said to have 6 “quality wins”, but 3 of those are from Northwestern & Iona?!?!  “Purdue is below average against top competition, with a 9-8 record
    against the RPI Top 100 but a 6-7 record against the RPI Top 50 and a
    2-6 record against AP ranked teams. The Boilermakers have six quality
    wins including AP #11 Michigan, RPI #46 Northwestern (2 wins), RPI #48
    Miami (FL), AP #22 Temple, and RPI #36 Iona. They also have two bad
    losses including RPI #138 Penn State and RPI #118 Butler.”

  • stroot

    No disrespect at all to Coach Knight, but Branch McCracken Court does not need its name changed. Yes, Coach Knight gave IU their three most recent championships, but Coach McCracken gave them the first two.

    Coach Knight deserves tons of recognition (exponentially more than he’s currently receiving by the IU administration), but not at the expense of another coach who brought IU so much of its success.

  • Jhsproyal

    We won championships before knight, we played for one after and we will win in the future.  Knight did not do well at army, he won at IU and he did nothing at TT.  I think you mean IU made knight.  He is a part of our past.  He did not win a championship as a player and that honor has been given.  When he did not come for his exceptance to the hall of fame, we should remove him. 

  • Jhsproyal

    We won championships before knight, we played for one after and we will win in the future.  Knight did not do well at army, he won at IU and he did nothing at TT.  I think you mean IU made knight.  He is a part of our past.  He did not win a championship as a player and that honor has been given.  When he did not come for his exceptance to the hall of fame, we should remove him. 

  • jayrig5

    Beat Michigan, beat Ohio State.  I think they’d have beaten UW in Bloomington, too.  If anything, Wisconsin is overrated at #2.  They have a win over OSU as well, but their only other really good conference win is at home over IU. Had the same loss at Iowa too. And they’ve had a fairly easy schedule.  (Got Penn State, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota all twice, Michigan/Indiana/Purdue/NW once, and split those 4.)  I’d love for IU to play Wisconsin in the second round of the Big Ten Tourney.  I thought that as I watched the game in Madison end, and I still think it now.

  • Kenny Vegas

    I do agree with Gary.  I think that when they build a new basketball arena there should be a strong push to name it Robert Montgomery Knight Court!

  • Tim

    Don’t even say IU made Bob Knight. He is one of the greatest coaches of all time and deserves that respect. Remove him from the hall of fame because he did not come for his “exceptance” (as you say) would be ridiculous. Bob Knight will always be remembered as the best coach in the history of Indiana basketball.

  • marcusgresham

    I think the court should always stay “Branch McCracken Court,” but I’d suspect that if he’d simply agree to come back the arena itself would become “The Bob Knight Assembly Hall” as soon as they could hang the letters.

  • marcusgresham

    Iona is pretty damn good.  Don’t go by the name or the conference affiliation, Machado is one of the best point guards in the country.

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