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Ranking the B1G: Ohio State Is Number One

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Purdue goes from first to third in the span of a week.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

As the season comes to a close, these are going to start looking a lot more similar to the standings, given that teams’ bodies of work would be nearly complete.

1) Ohio State Buckeyes (Last Week: 3)

Previously: W at No. 3 Purdue 64-63, W vs Iowa 82-64

Another good week for Ohio State, who currently sits alone atop the Big Ten standings. The Buckeyes came back from 14 down to make it one-point game with 52 seconds left to go, making the final bucket of the game with a little less than three seconds left in the game. Isaac Haas’ last ditch attempt failed, and the Ohio State romped Iowa to take sole possession of first place.

Up Next: at Penn State (Thu), at No. 20 Michigan (Sun)

2) Michigan State Spartans (LW: 2)

Previously: W at Iowa 96-93, W vs No. 3 Purdue 68-65

Michigan State is back to winning, but they’re not back to looking utterly dominant and unbeatable yet. Case in point, Iowa gave them all they could handle and damn near came away with the win. Now, they sit in wait and hope Ohio State loses another game or two.

Up Next: at Minnesota (Tue), at Northwestern (Sat)

3) Purdue Boilermakers (LW: 1)

Previously: L vs No. 14 Ohio State 63-64, L at No. 4 Michigan State 65-68

It was only a matter until until Purdue had a bad week, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Boilermakers lost both of its games this week, which happened to be against the two other teams who could take possession of first place in the league. The Boilers now go from sitting alone atop the Big Ten to hoping for some chaos so they can share the title with someone.

Up Next: at Wisconsin (Thu), vs Penn State (Sun)

4) Nebraska Cornhuskers (LW: 5)

Previously: W at Minnesota 91-85, W vs Rutgers 67-55

Nebraska just keeps chugging along, beating the dregs of the Big Ten as they await their Big Ten Tournament fate. Competition increases somewhat starting this week, but Nebraska doesn’t make it a habit of losing at home. Three of their last four are at home.

Up Next: vs Maryland (Tue), at Illinois (Sun)

5) Michigan Wolverines (LW: 4)

Previously: L at Northwestern 52-61, W at Wisconsin 83-72

The Wolverines split their road games last week, losing to Northwestern, who still has some life left, but beating Wisconsin in a game that ultimately was over in the first 10 minutes of the game, but the score would give a different impression.

Up Next: vs Iowa (Wed), vs No. 14 Ohio State (Sun)

6) Penn State Nittany Lions (LW: 6)

Previously: W vs Maryland 74-70, W at Illinois 74-52

Penn State has managed to come back from the dead to at least put themselves in NIT position with another win. Two or more wins in the remaining four games, however...

Up Next: vs No. 14 Ohio State (Thu), at No. 3 Purdue

7) Indiana Hoosiers (LW: 8)

Previously: W at Rutgers 65-43, W vs Minnesota 80-56

Indiana is kind of in the same position as Penn State right now. Their record is mediocre enough to keep them out, but two of their remaining games are tough enough to help them build a resume with a Big Ten Tournament run.

Up Next: vs Illinois (Wed), at Iowa (Sat)

8) Maryland Terrapins (LW: 7)

Previously: L at Penn State 70-74, W vs Northwestern 73-57

Maryland is holding on for dear life at this point, losing at Penn State but winning against Northwestern at home. With eight losses already, they’ll need three or their last four to secure a .500 season and make a Big Ten Tournament run mean something.

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

9) Northwestern Wildcats (LW: 9)

Previously: W vs No. 24 Michigan 61-52, L at Maryland 57-73

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Northwestern is here, holding on for dear life, trying to keep pace with the middle of the Big Ten. Like the two above them, they’re going to need to win out essentially while putting on a show in the Big Ten Tournament. Otherwise NIT it is.

Up Next: at Rutgers (Tue), vs No. 4 Michigan State (Sat)

10) Wisconsin Badgers (LW: 14)

Previously: W at Illinois 78-69, L vs No. 24 Michigan 72-83

Ethan Happ pretty much won the Illinois game by himself. Michigan, however, would not fall for the same trap.

Up Next: vs No. 3 Purdue (Thu)

11) Iowa Hawkeyes (LW: 10)

Previously: L vs No. 4 Michigan State 93-96, L at No. 14 Ohio State 64-82

The Hawkeyes came this close to a watershed moment against Michigan State. Instead, it’s another winless week.

Up Next: at No. 20 Michigan (Wed), vs Indiana (Sat)

12) Minnesota Golden Gophers (LW: 11)

Previously: L vs Nebraska 85-91, at Indiana 56-80

Minnesota has all but given up on the season. You could tell they did not want to be on the court on Friday against Indiana. Such a shame.

Up Next: vs No. 4 Michigan State (Tue)

13) Illinois Fighting Illini (LW: 12)

Previously: L vs Wisconsin 69-78, L vs Penn State 52-74

Illinois’ back-to-back wins seem like eons ago, with how they’ve responded in the last three games. They let one slip away against Ohio State, couldn’t stop Ethan Happ inside, and went from competitive to non-existent against Penn State. At least they play Rutgers again.

Up Next: at Indiana (Wed), vs Nebraska (Sun)

14) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (LW: 13)

Previously: L vs Indiana 43-65, at Nebraska 55-67

The offense is gone again for Rutgers, who failed to reach 60 points in their past two games. They have, in fact, failed to reach 60 in eight of their 14 Big Ten games.

Up Next: vs Northwestern (Tue), at Maryland (Sat)

Ranking criteria:

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