NCAA Hoops: Big Ten Power Rankings

Travis BickmannCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2010

EVANSTON, IL - JANUARY 02: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans watches as his team takes on the Northwestern Wildcats on January 2, 2010 at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 91-70. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

1) Michigan St. Spartans (19-5, 9-2 Big Ten)-  Michigan St. was a Top 5 team a week ago until they hit a little bump in the road with two straight conference losses on the road in Wisconsin and Illinois. Kalin Lucas is out indefinitely with a ankle sprain and in the game against Illinois, one can tell that the Spartans miss him and that he is a big part of that team. Michigan St. is now #10 in the country and has a huge match up later this week at home with #6 Purdue, who is trying to catch the Spartans a top of the Big Ten standings.

2) Purdue Boilermakers (19-3, 7-3 Big Ten)- Purdue is now ranked #6 in the country. A team that was picked to be a top of the Big Ten standings when the pre-season poll came out, Purdue lost three conference games in a row but since have been on a roll. They will battle Michigan St. later in the week, a team that could be vulnerable with the injury to Lucas, for a chance to clinch a tie for first place in the Big Ten.

3) Wisconsin Badgers (18-5, 8-3 Big Ten)- Wisconsin has showed the nation that they can be a dangerous team when they want to be and just how well they play at home. Wisconsin has two huge wins this year, with wins over Duke and a thumping of Michigan St. at the Kohl Center. They are currently in second place in the Big Ten with a game behind Michigan St. This is a team that could make some noise in the NCAA Tournament in March.

4) Ohio St. Buckeyes (18-6, 8-3 Big Ten)- Ohio St. has been playing some good basketball over the past couple of weeks. Evan Turner since coming back from an injury he sustained while attempting a dunk earlier in the year has been on a terror and a vital asset for this team as of late. If they continue to play the way they have this is a team that you can see make some moves in the Big Ten Tournament as well as the NCAA Tournament.

5) Illinois Fighting Illini (16-8, 8-3 Big Ten)- What can you can about Illinois? They got a huge win the other night when they beat Michigan St at home to move into a tie for second place in the Big Ten and within striking distance of first place. This team has a lot going for it right now and is playing with alot of confidence. They could be one of the last four teams into the NCAA Tournament. They control their own fate.

6) Minnesota Golden Gophers ( 14-8, 5-5 Big Ten)- After making it to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, Tubby Smith has the program going in the right direction, but the Golden Gophers have been struggling with their consistency. They could still make the NCAA Tournament but this is another team that controls their own fate. They have to control the rest of their Big Ten games and do something in the Big Ten Tournament to be considered to make the Tournament or else it's another NIT berth for Minnesota.

7)Northwestern Wildcats (16-7, 5-6 Big Ten)- Northwestern is a tough game for any team. They have the talent to play with and upset anyone in the Big Ten if they are taken lightly. They have a pretty easy schedule for the rest of Big Ten play with their toughest games being at Wisconsin, and at home against Minnesota.

8)Michigan Wolverines (11-12, 4-7 Big Ten)- Michigan is again another team that made it to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, and is struggling with it's consistency. With five games remaining in the Big Ten regular season, Michigan looks as if it could go 2-3 in those games. They will probably get wins over Penn state and Iowa, then lose at Minnesota, vs. Illinois, and at Ohio St. I would say possibly NIT for Michigan.

9) Indiana Hoosiers (9-13, 3-7 Big Ten)- Indiana has stayed in the spot that they were projected to finish in the Big Ten in the pre season poll. They have the toughest schedule left to finish off the Big Ten regular season with games against Ohio St, Michigan St, and Wisconsin and road games at Wisconsin and at Minnesota. The easiest game they got left this season is the last one of the year when they travel to Iowa.

10)Iowa Hawkeyes (8-16, 2-9 Big Ten)- Not much to say about Iowa. They are in a rebuilding mode in their program and they are young. I don't see Iowa winning another game this year and finishing 2-14 in conference play.

11) Penn St. Nittany Lions (8-15, 0-11 Big Ten)- Penn St. is another team that there is not much to say about their season in conference play. One word that I come up with to describe it is: UGLY. Their Big Ten season has just been plain ugly and I don't see it getting any better. The only way this team can go is up because they are pretty much on rock bottom.