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Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings: Week of January 28th

Look out, folks: Here comes Purdue!

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Another week in the Big Ten, another mass amount of shuffling in the 3-11 slots, as you will see below. Purdue landing their biggest fish of a win against Michigan State along with Maryland losing by double-digits to Illinois among other results helped cause said shuffling. The only thing that remained solidified this week, was Penn State’s spot in dead last, thanks to their loss at home to Rutgers.

  1. Michigan State (Last Week: 1) - Despite the ten-point loss on the road at Purdue, I’m keeping Sparty in the top spot, given how they fought back from a 23-point second half deficit to cut the Purdue lead all the way down to four before Carsen Edwards drew a foul while shooting a three-pointer, and made all three of his attempts from the charity stripe (which essentially killed Sparty’s momentum).
  2. Michigan (2) - It was a good week for the Wolverines, who rebounded from their first conference loss by beating a pesky Minnesota team at home on a buzzer-beater, followed by absolutely destroying free-falling Indiana in Bloomington.
  3. Purdue (4) - I’m tempted to replace the Boilermakers mascot with a Crock Pot, as they have slow-cooked their way up the power rankings since their inception, and with an impressive win at home over Sparty, they are solidifying themselves as the biggest threat to the Michigan schools for conference supremacy in 2019.
  4. Wisconsin (6) - There was no letdown from the Badgers after upsetting Michigan the previous week, as they handed out double-digit beatings to Illinois and Northwestern, respectively. They will host another ranked opponent later this week, when Maryland comes to Madison on Friday.
  5. Maryland (3) - The Terps inexplicably suffered a double-digit loss at Madison Square Garden to Illinois, giving them back-to-back losses after winning six straight in Big Ten play. Needless to say, what started out as a strong January, is ending with a whimper.
  6. Minnesota (7) - After coming oh-so-close to beating Michigan, the Gophers were able to get the W at home against Iowa.
  7. Iowa (5) - Can’t say that a Friday night home date with Michigan is the best remedy for ending the Hawkeyes’ current two-game slide.
  8. Ohio State (10) - The Buckeyes finally won their first game in 2019, defeating Nebraska on the road by ten. A matchup with their bitter rivals awaits them before their epic re-match against Rutgers.
  9. Nebraska (8) - It seemed like only the other week that Nebraska was firmly in the NCAA Tournament picture. That of course, was before the Huskers began their three-game losing skid, and also lost Isaac Copeland for the season with an ACL injury. A home date with Wisconsin and road trip to a suddenly more dangerous Illinois could see Tim Miles’ crew sporting a five-game losing streak by the end of this week.
  10. Northwestern (11) - The Wildcats knocked off Indiana at home, which, while it’s been proven to be something just about any team not named Penn State or Rutgers can do, is still enough to warrant them jumping up a spot in these rankings.
  11. Indiana (9) - The amazingly horrific losing skid continues for Archie Miller’s Hoosiers, as they have now dropped six straight. Road trips to a newly-confident Rutgers and future No. 1 seed Michigan State are on the horizon this week. Good luck with that, Archie!
  12. Illinois (13) - I know this will rile up Rutgers fans, but despite a 6-14 overall record and having one fewer Big Ten win than Rutgers, the Illini’s two victories have been quite impressive, especially their latest one in which they beat Maryland at a neutral site by double digits.
  13. Rutgers (12) - Fun fact: Both of Rutgers’ lone road wins in conference play since becoming a Big Ten member have been at Penn State. Color me...not shocked at all.
  14. Penn State (14) - The 1999-2000 Northwestern Wildcats shouldn’t break out the champagne anytime soon, but PSU is just about halfway towards becoming only the second team in Big Ten basketball history to go winless in conference play. There are still 11 games left in the regular season, but I wouldn’t look for the losing skid to end this week when Purdue comes to the BJC on Thursday.