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Ranking the B1G: Tim Miles Might Save His Job After All

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Nebraska, currently 5-3 in conference play, might finish with as many as 12 conference wins.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Nebraska made the NCAA Tournament, they started conference season 1-5, and finished 10-2 the rest of the way. Now they’re 5-3, and the only game that can be chalked as a loss right now is the next one on their schedule. Nebraska might go as high as 14-4 in conference, giving the Big Ten a likely fifth team in the tournament.

1) Purdue Boilermakers (Last Week: 1)

Previously: W vs Wisconsin 78-50, W at Iowa 87-64

Purdue is just here, chilling, destroying everything in its path. Don’t be fooled by that Iowa score. They were up 40 at one point in the game.

Up Next: vs No. 25 Michigan (Thu), at Indiana (Sun)

2) Ohio State Buckeyes (LW: 2)

Previously: W at Northwestern 71-65, W vs Minnesota 67-49*

Northwestern put a scare on the Buckeyes, but unlike Penn State, Ohio State actually scored some buckets to keep the Wildcats at bay. Minnesota never had a chance.

Up Next: vs Nebraska (Mon), vs Penn State (Thu)

3) Michigan State Spartans (LW: 4)

Previously: W vs Indiana 85-57

In their only game of the week, the Spartans seemed to have gotten the message from their coach. They’re too talented to be nearly shut out of the Big Ten title race, and they needed to start playing like it.

Up Next: at Illinois (Mon), vs Wisconsin (Fri), at Maryland (Sun)

4) Michigan Wolverines (LW: 3)

Previously: W vs Maryland 68-67, L at Nebraska 52-72, W vs Rutgers 62-47

A scare against Maryland, a blowout loss to Nebraska, and a blowout win against Rutgers caps a week that showcases Michigan’s inconsistencies still. They’ll probably do enough to reach the tournament, but a top four spot is now in question with that loss to the Huskers.

Up Next: vs Northwestern (Mon), vs Minnesota (Sat)

5) Indiana Hoosiers (LW: 5)

Previously: L at No. 6 Michigan State 57-85

You couldn’t expect Indiana to go to Michigan State and come out with a win. Only Michigan does that.

Up Next: vs Maryland (Mon), at Illinois (Wed), vs No. 3 Purdue (Sun)

6) Nebraska Cornhuskers (LW: 8)

Previously: W vs Illinois 64-63, W vs No. 25 Michigan 72-52

Nebraska has one of the easiest remaining schedules in the Big Ten. The only top four team left on their schedule is Ohio State, and along with that game, the only other road games are Rutgers, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. If the Huskers don’t finish with at least 12 wins, it would be a big disappointment.

Up Next: at No. 13 Ohio State (Mon), at Rutgers (Wed), vs Iowa (Sat)

7) Maryland Terrapins (LW: 6)

Previously: L at No. 25 Michigan 67-68, W vs Minnesota 77-66

Heartbreaker at Chrisler was followed up by a win against the Gophers, so they keep pace with the middle of the conference.

Up Next: at Indiana (Mon), vs No 6 Michigan State (Sun)

8) Northwestern Wildcats (LW: 9)

Previously: L vs No. 13 Ohio State 65-71, W vs Penn State 70-61

A nearly disastrous week was salvaged by a late-game comeback against Penn State, who failed to record a single field goal in the last 10 minutes of the game.

Up Next: at Minnesota (Tue)

9) Minnesota Golden Gophers (LW: 10)

Previously: W at Penn State 95-84, L at Maryland 66-77, L vs No. 13 Ohio State 49-67*

The good news is Amir Coffey is back. The bad news is the only team they could beat is the one that looks worse than they do at this point.

Up Next: vs Northwestern (Tue)

10) Wisconsin Badgers (LW: 11)

Previously: L at No. 3 Purdue 50-78, W vs Illinois 75-50

At leas they beat the teams below them in the standings...

Up Next: at Iowa (Tue), at No. 6 Michigan State (Fri)

11) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (LW: 12)

Previously: W vs Iowa 80-64, L at No. 25 Michigan 47-62

Rutgers scored 80 points in a Big Ten game. Rutgers beat a Big ten opponent by 16 points. What is going on?

Up Next: vs Nebraska (Wed), at Penn State (Sat)

12) Penn State Nittany Lions (LW: 7)

Previously: L vs Minnesota 84-95, L at Northwestern 61-70

Either Penn State is ready to fall off a cliff, or everyone overreacted to last week’s performance. If they want to prove it’s the latter and not the former, they can beat Ohio State on Thursday. Something tells me that if Josh Reaves doesn’t come back by then, it’ll be the former.

Up Next: at No. 13 Ohio State (Thur), vs Rutgers (Sat)

13) Iowa Hawkeyes (LW: 13)

Previously: L at Rutgers 64-80, L vs No. 3 Purdue 64-87

There is some consistency for the Hawkeyes. They scored 64 points in both of their games last week.

Up Next: vs Wisconsin (Tue), at Nebraska (Sat)

14) Illinois Fighting Illini (LW: 14)

Previously: L at Nebraska 63-64, L at Wisconsin 50-75

Oh, what could have been. Illinois pulled a Penn State and turned a sure win against Nebraska into a heartbreaker as time expired.

Up Next: vs No. 6 Michigan State (Mon), vs Indiana (Fri)

*Neutral site game

Ranking criteria:

  1. Recent performance
  2. Overall body of work
  3. Season expectations