This past weekend the Big Ten showed what it is capable of: no one is safe at home. Here are my power rankings going into this week.
12. Illinois (14-12, 3-10) Illinois’s 13-2 start has disappeared, John Groce’s team ranks last in the Big Ten standings with just five games to go and ends the season with three ranked teams out of five games.
The Illini will go 0-5 and miss the NIT.
11. Indiana (14-11, 4-8) A three game losing streak, and an 11-point loss to Penn State, an 18-point blowout to Purdue, this team is struggling. The Hoosiers will go 2-4 in their last 6.
10. Penn State (13-13, 4-9) The Lions have had some quality wins in the past couple of weeks with wins over Ohio State and Indiana.
The Lions will go 3-2 in their final five.
9. Northwestern (12-14, 5-8) The Wildcats have dropped three straight. With five games left to go the Wildcats will only win one of the last five – against Nebraska.
8. Purdue (15-10, 5-7) The Boilermakers beat in-state rival Indiana and had a triple OT win against Minnesota. But Purdue still hasn’t been consistent. With six games left, I’m predicting a 2-4 record.
7. Minnesota (17-9, 6-7) The Golden Gophers’ have gone 4-6 in their last ten games. The only notable win was against a then struggling Wisconsin. With five games left to go Minnesota will go 2-3 and have their bubble burst for the Big Dance.
6. Nebraska (14-10, 6-6) The surprise of the week was Tim Miles’s 60-51 victory against Sparty. The Huskers are hot and will finish 4-2 in their next six and will squeak into March Madness.
5. Ohio State (20-6, 7-6) The Buckeyes continue to struggle and lost at home to “that team up north.” In their last ten, they are 5-5 and with some pretty bad losses. With their remaining schedule, Ohio State should go 4-1.
4. Iowa (19-6, 8-4) The Hawkeyes are only a game back in the race for the Big Ten title, and the game of the week will be on Saturday against Wisconsin. After the postponement of the Iowa and Indiana game tonight, with no reschedule as of yet, Iowa will go 4-2 in their remaining six.
3. Michigan State (21-5, 10-3) Keith Appling may have returned, but losing at home to Nebraska, what happened? It’s a bad loss for Sparty and they have now gone 6-4 in their last ten. Not a good record going into Selection Sunday. With five games left to go, Sparty will go 3-2.
2. Wisconsin (21-5, 8-5) Wisconsin is the hottest team in the Big Ten, for now. And Sunday’s 13-point win against Michigan proved that. With five games to go the Badgers will go 4-1 before the Big Ten tournament starts.
1. Michigan (18-7, 10-3) The Wolverines are, tied for first in the league, and 7-3 in the last ten with losses to Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana. Their fate depends on which team shows up. They’ll be seeking revenge against Sparty on Sunday and Michigan will go 5-0 to close out the regular season.
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