- Michigan (Last Week: 1) - They had their struggles offensively against Western Michigan, but did what great teams typically do and that’s pulling out a win. Sitting pretty at 11-0 and ranked #4 in the nation, the Wolverines should be sporting a 14-game winning streak when they face Indiana at home on January 6th.
- Michigan State (LW: 2) - Sparty thrashed Green Bay yesterday in their only game of the week (as was the case with most Big Ten teams, since many schools are in their finals week). No need to change their spot, here.
- Ohio State (LW: 3) - The Buckeyes twice saw double-digit leads get whittled away by Bucknell, but credit to Christ Holtmann and his crew for clamping down defensively in the game’s final seconds to deny the Bison a huge road upset.
- Indiana (LW: 5) - Romeo Langford may be the freshman phenom everyone talks about when the topic of Indiana basketball comes up, but it was another frosh named Rob Phinisee who stepped up big-time this past weekend with his game-winning buzzer-beater to beat in-state rival Butler in the Hoosier Classic.
- Wisconsin (LW: 4) - Unlike the Hoosiers, the Badgers failed to beat their in-state rival last week, losing to Marquette. They rebounded nicely though, with a waxing of college basketball’s fastest-paced team in Savannah State. Ethan Happ continues to lead the way, averaging a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds per game.
- Minnesota (LW: 6) - The Gophers got a scare from North Florida (yes, that same North Florida PSU faced in their season opener) but ultimately won by nine points. Considering the fact that Dupree McBrayer, one of their key guards, was missing due to the recent death of his mother, it would be easy to understand why they may not have been as focused and allowed UNF to make it a game.
- Nebraska (LW: 7) - The Huskers waxed Oklahoma State 79-56, thanks in large part to James Palmer’s 29 points. Tim Miles’ crew looks like a team on a mission after missing out on the NCAA Tournament last year.
- Iowa (LW: 8) - After waxing Iowa State the week before, the Hawkeyes demolished yet another in-state foe, winning 77-54 at Northern Iowa.
- Maryland (LW: 10) - The Terps allowed a 24-point lead against Loyola (MD) to get whittled down to 10 points with 10 minutes remaining, but Anthony Cowan Jr. once again took over the game, scoring 23 points and ultimately contributing to a comfortable Terps win.
- Purdue (LW: 9) - Unlike their bitter rivals, the Boilermakers could not win their game in the Hoosier Classic, falling 88-80 to Notre Dame.
- Northwestern (LW: 11) - The Wildcats trailed by as much as 15 points at home to DePaul, but Vic Law (25 points) and AJ Turner (24 points) helped spark a rally that allowed Northwestern to pull out the win.
- Penn State (LW: 12) - The Nittany Lions hung tough for a while with NC State, but ultimately succumbed to the Wolfpack’s up-tempo pace. Par for the course.
- Illinois (LW: 14) - Illinois and Rutgers are clearly the two worst teams in the Big Ten at this juncture, but unlike that team in New Jersey, the Illini are at least trending up a bit, riding a two-game win streak.
- Rutgers (LW: 13) - After a late rally against Seton Hall ended up short, the Scarlet Knights are in the midst of a four-game losing skid and now sit at .500 overall at 5-5. They will have a couple of opportunities in the next two weeks to get back above .500 before entering into the thick of conference play with home dates against Columbia and Maine.
Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings: Week of December 17th
Michigan remains king of the B1G mountain
By Tim Aydin