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Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings: Week of January 7th

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The Maize and Blue Machine continues to churn

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After a couple weeks’ hiatus for the holidays (which really, is when the Big Ten teams play only a couple games, usually against cupcake non-conference opponents), our Big Ten basketball power rankings are back for the new year. While there’s been some shuffling around near the top and middle of the pack, the bottom four remain unchanged (for now).

  1. Michigan (Previous Rank: 1) - The Wolverines remain undefeated and clinging to their No. 2 ranking after wins at home over Penn State and Indiana. Unlike previous John Beilein-coached teams though, this team is highly successful due to its tenacious defensive play (currently ranked 3rd in KenPom’s Adjusted Defense category).
  2. Michigan State (PR: 2) - It’s truly a shame that Sparty won’t face their in-state rivals for the first time until February 24th. In the meantime, Tom Izzo’s crew continues to cruise with an absolute waxing of Northwestern and solid road win at Ohio State.
  3. Indiana (PR: 4) - The Hoosiers beat Illinois at home and then became Michigan’s latest victim, ending their eight-game win streak. A road trip to Maryland is their only game this coming week.
  4. Ohio State (PR:3) - The Buckeyes dropped their only game of the past week at home to Michigan State and will take to the road this week to take on Rutgers and Iowa.
  5. Maryland (PR: 9) - The Terps won a tight one at home against Nebraska and then handled Rutgers on the road. A road trip to Minnesota and home date against Indiana will give them further opportunities to prove themselves as an upper-echelon Big Ten team.
  6. Minnesota (PR: 6) - After a nice road win at Wisconsin, the Golden Gophers have a chance to build upon their six-game win streak when they play host to Maryland and Rutgers this week.
  7. Wisconsin (PR: 5) - After suffering consecutive losses at home to Western Kentucky and Minnesota, the Badgers found relief on the road with a win at Penn State.
  8. Purdue (PR: 10) - Don’t look now, but the Boilers are 2-1 in Big Ten play, including a recent win over a ranked Iowa team.
  9. Iowa (PR: 8) - The Hawkeyes got their first Big Ten with a home victory over Nebraska in a battle of teams just cracking the Top 25.
  10. Nebraska (PR: 7) - After a brief stay in the Top 25, the Huskers were knocked out with a loss to Iowa, and are now sitting at 1-3 in Big Ten play. They only play once this coming week, which will be a home date against Penn State on Thursday night. Lose that game, and things could get dicey for a team that has serious NCAA Tournament hopes.
  11. Northwestern (PR: 11) - The Wildcats finally got their first win in Big Ten play when they scraped by bottom-feeder Illinois. Things will only get tougher this week when they play host to Iowa and then take to the road to face Michigan.
  12. Penn State (PR: 12) - The Nittany Lions were predictably stymied by both Michigan and Wisconsin’s defense. If Rutgers or Illinois were to actually beat somebody in conference play at this point, I’d be tempted to bump PSU down further. For now though, they remain in the 12th position.
  13. Rutgers (PR: 13) - The Scarlet Knights were beaten soundly at home by Maryland and things won’t get any easier with Ohio State coming to Piscataway this week, followed by a road trip to Minneapolis to take on the surging Golden Gophers.
  14. Illinois (PR: 14) - The Illini came awfully close to notching their first win in conference play, giving up a go-ahead 3-pointer to Northwestern with 13 seconds left, and their own game-winning trey attempt hit the back of the iron.