Big Ten Power Rankings: February 25

IUMSUITH0009We’re getting down to the wire now, and the Big Ten conference title will be decided in these next two weeks. Every game means even more now as teams battle for NCAA Tournament berths and seeding. Who will claim the crown?

12. Penn State (8-18, 0-14) (LAST WEEK: 12) … Well, it won’t be the Nittany Lions, that’s for sure. The only real question remaining for them is if they will win a game in the Big Ten. With home games against Michigan and Wisconsin and road games against Northwestern and Minnesota remaining, I’m guessing no.

11. Northwestern (13-15, 4-11) (LAST WEEK: 9) … Injuries have really hurt the Wildcats this year, and they have taken their toll in recent weeks. They scored just 41 points in each of their last two home games, losing by 21 to Illinois and 28 to Wisconsin, and then lost at Purdue by 31 on Sunday. Yikes.

10. Nebraska (13-14, 4-10 ) (LAST WEEK: 11) … Very good win for the Cornhuskers against Iowa on Saturday (and a very bad loss for Iowa). The Hawkeyes had a comfortable lead early, but Nebraska didn’t quit, and earned the best win of its conference season.

9. Purdue (13-14, 6-8) (LAST WEEK: 10) … Purdue’s win over Northwestern on Sunday ended a three-game losing streak, but the schedule the rest of the way is much less favorable for the Boilermakers.

8. Minnesota (18-9, 6-8) (LAST WEEK: 8) … What’s going on with the Golden Gophers? This team was supposed to contend for the Big Ten title, and now they’re getting blown out on a regular basis. Minnesota is coming off back-to-back road losses, falling at Iowa by 21 and at Ohio State by 26.

7. Iowa (17-10, 6-8) (LAST WEEK: 7) … The Hawkeyes suffered a bad loss at Nebraska on Saturday, but didn’t fall in the power rankings because of another bad loss by Minnesota. But if we get to Selection Sunday and Iowa misses the tournament, the Hawkeyes can look back to their loss at Nebraska as a primary reason why.

6. Illinois (20-9, 7-8) (LAST WEEK: 6) … The five-game winning streak is over for the Fighting Illini, but this is still a team that will be dangerous come tournament time — both the conference tournament and the Big Dance.

5. Ohio State (20-7, 10-5) (LAST WEEK: 5) … I know the Buckeyes beat Michigan State on Sunday — a very impressive win — but it’s hard for me to move them up in the power rankings. How do you put them ahead of Wisconsin when the Badgers just beat them down a week ago? They’re not a better team than Michigan, either. And on a neutral court, Michigan State probably wins eight out of 10 times. 

4. Wisconsin (19-8, 10-4) (LAST WEEK: 4) … People often forget about Wisconsin when talking about how good the Big Ten is, but the Badgers should not be forgotten. This is a team that continues to get better as the season goes along, and they could still potentially win the Big Ten title. Wisconsin’s only difficult remaining game is at Michigan State. 

3. Michigan (23-4, 10-4) (LAST WEEK: 3) … Man, Trey Burke is really good. But do the Wolverines rely too much on him? I think they do sometimes. When the ball’s not in his hands, Michigan is a pretty average team. But when it is, the Wolverines are one of the best teams in the nation. 

2. Michigan State (22-6, 11-4) (LAST WEEK: 2) … The Spartans slipped up at Ohio State on Sunday, but they are still the second best team in the conference at this point. Lose at Michigan, though, and that changes.

1. Indiana (24-3, 12-2) (LAST WEEK: 1) … For once this season, there’s no doubt who’s No. 1 in the nation — it’s the Hoosiers. Their win at Michigan State on Tuesday was the most impressive of the season thus far and may have helped the Hoosiers secure the top overall seed in the tournament. Tuesday’s game at Minnesota is very important, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    If we beat Minnesota we pretty much win the Big Ten. It’s that simple. We will win our home games and even if we lose at Michigan -we clinch with the Minn victory. Minn is 6-8 and not playing particularly well. pop the corks?

  • SCHoosier

    Ain’t “poppin’ time” until the second win in last four to get at least a tie. I agree with your thinking..but MN will get up for the Tuesday game..they badly need a seeding win against a ranked team..and after all “It’s Indiana” Keep it on ice for a while??

  • Arch_Puddington

    I have two words: Wisconsin and Illinois. OK, that’s three, but “and” is a conjunction and doesn’t count. In any case, I’ll say we have won the Big Ten when we have won the Big Ten.

  • grant

    I’m going out on a limb here, but I believe Penn State will beat Michigan, they nearly did at Michigan and their pride will get them to at least 1 B1G victory.

  • grant

    I’m going out on a limb here, but I believe Penn State will beat Michigan, they nearly did at Michigan and their pride will get them to at least 1 B1G victory.

  • Dagwoods

    I remember a couple of years ago when we started the Big Ten well and were facing an 0-4 Minneaota team (at home) … and we got beat. One game at a time, we’ll pop corks when we win the National Champonship!

  • moanders

    I would just like to say that this three day gap in posts on the main site was the longest three days of my life. Alex and Justin, I’ll chalk it up to you taking a couple days of well deserved vacation during an off weekend in the Hoosiers schedule…but, can you warn us next time??

    In all seriousness, the site and all the writers behind it are awesome. Thanks so much for what you do…and now, let’s power through to the of the season with Banner #6!

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    Gonzaga will probably still get a couple of first place votes. Ridiculous.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    Gonzaga will probably still get a couple of first place votes. Ridiculous.

  • Oldguyy

    Not saying I’m right and you’re wrong, but in my opinion Penn State is playing significantly better than Northwestern right now.

  • http://twitter.com/BrandonTucker Brandon Tucker

    To be honest, seeing MSU lose and making IU two clear of the field made me more nervous about the @Minn game. A little complacency and some homer calls will make it a dog fight up there….

  • http://www.facebook.com/blair.mckee Blair McKee

    I could see Gonzaga getting a No. 1 seed: they win every game, and look good doing it. They just aren’t scheduled to play against anybody until the NCAA. No. 1 overall, though – no way.

  • Benhyoung14

    I wouldn’t get so confident. Yes, you’re prolly right, but OSU, and UM are tough. It is very unlikely we lose to OSU on senior night, but still possible. I could very well see us winning the rest of our games. UM is young, and not that deep so at this time of the year, they’re prolly a little gassed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/blair.mckee Blair McKee

    No. Big Ten is too deep and too tough on the road. Minn is a tough house to walk into. I expect a chicken, but I won’t count it until it hatches.

  • calbert40

    Iowa’s loss is a killer for them. If you look at their remaining schedule (including Nebraska on Saturday), I figured that they would win 4 of their last 5 (losing to us), which would have put them at 21-10, 10-8 going into the B1G tourney. How do you keep that team out of the dance?

    Then they have to go and lay an egg against Nebraska. I really think they have to beat us to gain that traction back. Otherwise, they are probably missing the dance…again.

    I was really hoping the B1G would get 8. Now with Iowa’s slip up and Minny tanking, we may only get 6!

  • Hoosier Pete

    Calbert, I hear you. I was bummed with Iowa’s loss, too. Bad loss. And the Committee emphasizes bad end-of-season losses more than early. So, yes, Iowa has to beat us and I doubt that happens. I somehow think Minnesota gets in, but we could have a big part in that tomorrow night. If we beat them, they are on the ropes. But… I don’t want to even go there. We need this game. We win tomorrow, barring a collapse, we’ll take the outright championship and No. 1 seed in both tourneys, including Indianapolis region at Lucas!!!

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Favorite part of the article states “there’s no doubt”.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    That would be devastating to Michigan’s seeding in the NCAA tourney coupled with a loss to MSU at home. Could that slide them to a top line 4 seed? We shall see.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    If we play well in all remaining games then I feel like we have a good chance of going up to Ann Arbor and take a W. If we played there today I would put my money on IU.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I am more alert about that game than Michigan. The Minnesota game to me is more daunting of the two. They have to be feeling some sort of panic, and also have to remember their 2nd half at our place.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    They have way too many cymbal bangers in their band.

  • b_side

    Check out the Forum. Great topics of discussion generated from both the writers and users like you.

  • moanders

    Oh, don’t you worry…I’m a forum addict.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    As predicted, one AP voter and 3 USA Today/Coaches voted Gonzaga #1 over IU. WTF?

  • jdav_03

    1. Indiana

    2. Michigan

    3. Michigan State

    4. Ohio State

    5. Wisconsin

    6. Illinois

    7. Minnesota

    8. Iowa

    9. Purdue

    10. Nebraska

    11. Northwestern

    12. Penn State

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    Glad to see this guy has more confidence in IU then Dickich. I am sure we are only 6th in his Big Ten standings. As well as his followers on here

  • marcusgresham

    Gonzaga deserves a #1 seed. That’s a hell of a team. They don’t deserve the overall #1 seed, but they should be #1 in the west.

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree, when you add up the factors in this one it has some things to be concerned about. Minny has their backs against the wall and are, for the most part, fighting for their tournament lives which makes them dangerous. If that wasn’t enough you couple the fact that we have somewhat of a history of not playing well in the Barn and, you know Tubby is feeling the pressure and has been reminding them at every turn that they completely outplayed us in the second half and damn near beat us on our court and that all they have to do is play two halves like they did the one half and that they don’t even have to do it on the road.

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