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Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings: Week of February 25th

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Tom Izzo is King of The B1G Mountain

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

What a past week in Big Ten hoops! We finally saw Michigan and Michigan State go head-to-head, plenty of late game heroics, and a certain team that entered the month 0-10 in conference play is looking poised to end February on a high note. Despite all the craziness, this is also the week that saw the least amount of shuffling around in positioning, as you’ll see below.

  1. Michigan State (1) - To paraphrase one Mr. Jon Rothstein: Death. Taxes. Tom Izzo peaking at just the right time. After sticking it to their in-state rivals in a long-anticipated game, Sparty is riding high on a five-game winning streak. Cassius Winston’s 27 points and eight assists, as well as a double-double from Kenny Goins (16 points, 11 rebounds) were clutch in Sparty claiming Round 1 against Michigan.
  2. Michigan (2) - You can certainly make a case for Purdue being in the #2 slot here, but it’s not as if Michigan got hammered by their in-state rivals from the opening tip. More importantly, John Beilein’s crew will have a shot at exacting revenge in East Lansing less than two weeks from now, on March 9th in the regular season finale.
  3. Purdue (3) - Last week was Matt Haarms week, as the Purdue center scored the game-winning tip-in to escape Bloomington with a win over bitter rival Indiana and followed that up with a 17-point effort on the road at Nebraska, on a night where Carsen Edwards looked very pedestrian.
  4. Maryland (4) - Bruno Fernando channeled his inner Matt Haarms, tipping in the game-winning bucket at Iowa to escape Iowa City. He then had a double-double (14 points, 10 boards) against Ohio State in a win over the Buckeyes. A difficult road trip to Happy Valley, followed by a home date with Michigan await the Terps this week.
  5. Wisconsin (5) - The Badgers survived a pair of challenges from Illinois and Northwestern to continue plugging along in fifth place. Given how Indiana is nose-diving and Penn State has never won in Madison, it would be surprising if Wisconsin isn’t sporting a four-game win streak this time next week.
  6. Iowa (6) - After a heartbreaker of a loss to Maryland, Jordan Bohannon took matters into his own hands, nailing three treys in the overtime period to lift the Hawkeyes over Indiana. A road trip to Ohio State, followed by a home date with Rutgers awaits them this week.
  7. Ohio State (9) - The Buckeyes caught Maryland taking it easy a little too soon when the Terps led by 14 points in the second half, whittling the deficit all the way down to a deuce, but never quite being able to get over the hump.
  8. Minnesota (7) - Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology has Minnesota as one of the last four teams in, but that was done before the Gophers went on the road and became Rutgers’ latest victim in Piscataway. Their lone game this week is an absolute must-win at Northwestern.
  9. Illinois (8) - The Illini played Wisconsin tough on the road, but ultimately came up short. That was followed by Penn State coming into Champaign and ruining a perfectly fine Saturday afternoon meant to honor the 1989 Final Four team (the nerve!).
  10. Rutgers (11) - How ‘bout dem Scarlet Knights? Steve Pikiell’s crew led Michigan State on the road by seven at the half, before Sparty got their act together. They followed that up by dealing a blow to Minnesota’s NCAA Tournament hopes with a win at home. They are off until this coming Saturday, when they will seek to exact revenge at Iowa.
  11. Nebraska (10) - After seemingly steadying the ship a little bit, the Huskers got shellacked in their rematch at Penn State and followed that up with a loss at home to Purdue. With remaining games at Michigan, at Michigan State, and home against Iowa, we may be witnessing the final few games of the Tim Miles Farewell Tour.
  12. Penn State (14) - After back-to-back wins in conference play for the first time all season long, the Nittany Lions have springboarded themselves out of dead last in the power rankings for the first time in nearly a month. Still winless coming into this month, PSU has gone 4-2 in February, including an upset over Michigan at home and an impressive road win at a pesky Illinois squad. They’ll have a pair of chances at getting another Top 25 scalp when they host Maryland tomorrow (Wednesday) and visit Wisconsin on Saturday.
  13. Indiana (12) - A double nut-punch last week for the Hoosiers: First, they lost at home to their bitter rivals on a last-second tip-in, then they suffered an overtime loss at Iowa, dooming them to current five-game losing skid. It’s amazing how badly this team has collapsed over the course of the last month and a half. Hopefully, the fan base is being patient with Archie Miller, given that it’s only his second year in Bloomington.
  14. Northwestern (13) - Welcome to the bottom of the basement, Wildcats. This is where losing eight games in a row gets you.