Big Ten Basketball: Week 1 Power Rankings

Aaron Siegal-Eisman@@ASiegalEismanFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2012

Big Ten Basketball: Week 1 Power Rankings

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    There is not much shake up in my power rankings because a lot of the teams haven't played legitimate teams, but cupcake squads so far. 

    However, over the next two weeks it seems all of the schools will be playing well-respected teams, if they haven't already this past week.

    The biggest news of the week was the ankle injury of Penn State guard Tim Frazier. There hasn't been many details on the specific injury or how long he is out for, but it doesn't look good.

    Check out my Week 1 power rankings: 

12. Penn State

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    Last week: No. 11 in the rankings (dropped one spot)

    Record: 2-2

    Games from last week:

    Wins: St. Francis (PA) 65-58 on Nov. 9 and Providence 55-52 on Nov. 16  

    Losses: No. 6 NC State 72-55 on Nov. 15 and Akron 85-60 on Nov. 18 

    Reasons for Ranking: The Nittany Lions looked good against St. Francis (Pa.) in the season opener, but almost lost to Providence, a weak Big East squad. NC State is a very good team and was expected to win that game. Finally, senior guard Tim Frazier injured his ankle in the sixth minute of the Akron game. Depending on how long the injury will last, the Nittany Lions will be in deep trouble, which was shown through the Akron loss.  

    Upcoming Opponents: Bucknell (5-0) on Nov. 23

11. Nebraska

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    Last week: No. 12 (Moved up one spot) 

    Record: 3-0 

    Games from last week:

    Wins: Southern 65-55 on Nov. 11, Valparaiso 50-48 on Nov. 15 and Nebraska-Omaha 75-62 on Nov. 18. 

    Reasons for Ranking: The Cornhuskers haven't played against any tough opponent, but they have won all of their games. They average about 11 assists per game, which is 277th in the country. They also should've beat Valpo by more points, but a win is a win.  

    Upcoming Opponents: Tulane (3-1) on Nov. 21 and Kent State (2-2) on Nov. 24. 

10. Illinois

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    Last week: No. 10 

    Record: 4-0

    Games from last week:

    Wins: Colgate 75-57 on Nov. 9, St. Francis (NY) 89-64 on Nov. 12, Hawaii 78-77 on Nov. 17 and USC 94-64 on Nov. 19.    

    Reasons for Ranking: The Fighting Illini are doing a very good job against decent non-conference opponents. In last night's game against USC, they won by 30 points because of Brandon Paul (26 points) and D.J. Richardson (13 points). 

    Upcoming Opponents: Chaminade (3-1) on Nov. 20 and Gardner Webb (2-3) on Nov. 25.

9. Purdue

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    Last week: No. 7 (Dropped two spots)

    Record: 1-3

    Games from last week: 

    Wins: Hofstra 83-54 on Nov. 11

    Losses: Bucknell 70-65 on Nov. 9, Villanova 89-81 on Nov. 15 and Oregon State 66-58 on Nov. 16.    

    Reasons for Ranking: The Boilermakers have been facing quality opponents in Villanova and Oregon State, but haven't produced wins out of those games. They were under 40 percent shooting from the field in the losses to Oregon State and Villanova. They need to shoot better against quality opponents. Bucknell is better than most people think with wins against George Mason and New Mexico State as well. 

    Upcoming Opponents: UNC-Wilmington (1-2) on Nov. 21

8. Northwestern

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    Last week: No. 9 (Moved up one spot)

    Record: 3-0

    Games from last week:

    Wins: Texas Southern 79-49 on Nov. 13, Mississippi Valley State 81-68 on Nov. 15, and Farleigh Dickinson 80-53 on Nov 18.     

    Reasons for Ranking: So far this season, the Wildcats have put together very dominant performances against weak schools. One of the reasons why they are playing so well is because of their very unselfish play. Northwestern's assists per games ranks No. 1 in the country with 24. Give a lot of credit to sophomore guard David Sobolewski with eight points and seven assists per game (second in the Big Ten Conference).     

    Upcoming Opponents: Delaware State (3-1) on Nov. 20 and TCU (3-1) on Nov. 23.

7. Iowa

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    Last week: No. 8 (Moved up one spot)

    Record: 4-0

    Games from last week:

    Wins: Texas Pan-America 86-55 on Nov. 9, Central Michigan 73-61 on Nov. 12, Howard 66-36 on Nov. 15 and Gardner Webb 65-56 on Nov. 17. 

    Reasons for Ranking: The Hawkeyes have been looking good so far because of their play from Roy Devyn Marble (15.5 points per game) and Aaron White (14.8 points and eight rebounds per game). This team is doing a good job of getting rebounds, which is one of their best stats. They rank 31st in the country with 43 rebounds per game.      

    Upcoming Opponents: Western Kentucky (2-1) on Nov. 20

6. Minnesota

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    Last week: No. 6 

    Record: 4-0

    Games from last week:

    Wins: American 72-36 on Nov. 9, Toledo 82-56 on Nov. 12, Tennessee State 72-43 on Nov. 15, and Richmond 72-57 on Nov. 18.     

    Reasons for Ranking: The Golden Gophers have been doing a good job of rebounds and assists per game. Minnesota ranks 18th in the country with almost 45 boards a game and 27th with 18.5 assists per game. It doesn't look like Trevor Mbakwe is back to where he was before the injury, but he is getting there slowly. The Golden Gophers have gotten production from Austin Hollins (14.5 points per game) and Rodney Williams Jr. (14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game).      

    Upcoming Opponents: No. 5 Duke (3-0) on Nov. 22 

5. Wisconsin

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    Last week: No. 5 

    Record: 2-1

    Games from last week:

    Wins: Southeastern Louisiana 87-47 on Nov. 11 and Cornell 73-40 on Nov. 18

    Losses: then-No. 10 Florida 74-56 on Nov. 14    

    Reasons for Ranking: They were close to dropping one spot in my power rankings, but I think they are still No. 5 because of their dominating performances against Southeastern Louisiana and Cornell. Give credit to Florida because they are a very good team and played extremely well at their home. Jared Berggren is doing a good job of leading the Badgers with 16 points and seven rebounds per game so far. 

    Upcoming Opponents: Presbyterian (0-3) on Nov. 20 and No. 14 Creighton (3-0) on Nov. 23 

4. Michigan State

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    National Ranking: No. 15 in AP Poll and No. 19 in USA Today Poll

    Last week: No. 4 

    Record: 2-1

    Games from last week:

    Wins: then-No. 7 Kansas 67-64 on Nov. 13 and Texas Southern 69-41 on Nov. 18  

    Losses: then-No. 23 UConn 66-62 on Nov. 9 in Germany.  

    Reasons for Ranking: MSU Coach Tom Izzo loves to schedule a tough non-conference schedule to see where his team is at. The Spartans have done better than most people would've thought. I thought they would've beat UConn and lost to Kansas, but it was the other way around.

    Guard Gary Harris leads the Spartans with 16 points per game and is turning into the frontrunner for the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award. It seems as though this team will be just fine without Draymond Green because of players like Harris and Keith Appling stepping up.     

    Upcoming Opponents: Boise State (3-0) on Nov. 20, Oakland (1-3) on Nov. 23 and Louisiana-Lafayette (1-2) on Nov. 25.

3. Ohio State

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    National Ranking: No. 3 in AP Poll and USA Today Poll

    Last week: No. 3 

    Record: 3-0

    Games from last week: 

    Wins: Albany 82-60 on Nov. 11, Rhode Island 69-58 on Nov. 17 and Washington 77-66 on Nov. 18.    

    Cancelled: Marquette game on Nov. 9  

    Reasons for Ranking: OSU has played solid as a team against their first few opponents. Their toughest game so far was against Washington and they looked like a top-10 team in the game. I would've liked to see them against Marquette, but unfortunately that game was cancelled. We will really see where this Buckeye team is at on Nov. 28 against No. 5 Duke on the road.      

    Upcoming Opponents: Missouri-Kansas City (2-2) on Nov. 23.

2. Michigan

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    National Ranking: No. 4 in AP Poll and USA Today Poll

    Last week: No. 2 

    Record: 3-0

    Games from last week:

    Wins: Slippery Rock 100-62 on Nov. 9, IUPUI 91-54 on Nov. 12 and Cleveland State 77-47 on Nov. 13. 

    Reasons for Ranking: The Wolverines are still ahead of the Buckeyes because they have played better against their opponents so far. Guard Trey Burke has been a great leader for this team and is really competing well against Cody Zeller for Big Ten Player of the Year. Burke is averaging 18.3 points and eight assists per game.

    Also, three other players (Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas) are all averaging double-digit points per game. Finally, the Wolverines are top-10 in the country in field goal percentage (4th- 56 percent) and points per game (10th- 89 PPG).       

    Upcoming Opponents: Pittsburgh (4-0) on Nov. 21 at the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York, N.Y.

1. Indiana

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    National Ranking: No. 1 in AP Poll and USA Today Poll

    Last week: No. 1 

    Record: 4-0

    Games from last week:

    Wins: Bryant 97-54 on Nov. 9, North Dakota State 87-61 on Nov. 12, Sam Houston State 99-45 on Nov. 15 and Georgia 66-53 on Nov. 19.      

    Reasons for Ranking: The Hoosiers dominated their first three games, but had difficulties against Georgia last night because they weren't shooting very well (45 percent from the field) and got into foul trouble (17 total fouls).

    Also, Cody Zeller had only six points and four rebounds last night because of being double-teamed well all night. IU will need to play better than they did against Georgia, if they want to beat Georgetown Tuesday night at 10 EST on ESPN.

    Upcoming Opponents: Georgetown (3-0) on Nov. 20 and Ball State (2-0) on Nov. 25.