NCAA Hoops: Big Ten Power Rankings (February 21st)
1) Purdue Boilermakers (23-3, 11-3 Big Ten): The Boilermakers have won nine in a row since losing three straight in the start of Big Ten play. They will look to continue their Big Ten dominance when they travel to and take on the Minnesota Gophers, a team that has seemed to figure things out. They are proving that they are the team to beat in the Big Ten.
2) Ohio St. Buckeyes (21-7, 11-4 Big Ten): The Buckeyes showed that they are on a quest to win the Big Ten this year with their win the other night over Michigan St. They have a potential player of the year in Evan Turner and it is looking like it could be a Ohio St. and Purdue match up again for the Big Ten Tournament championship from a year ago.
3) Michigan St. Spartans (21-7, 11-4 Big Ten): With their loss to Ohio St. the other night, the Spartans dreams of winning the Big Ten could have been put on hold. Especially the way that Ohio St. and Purdue have been playing lately. They have been in a download spiral since Kalin Lucas sprained his ankle. This is a team that can make some noise in the NCAA Tournament if they can figure their situation out.
4) Wisconsin Badgers (20-7, 10-5 Big Ten): With the loss to Minnesota, Wisconsin had a close battle with a pesky Northwestern team. They have had their ups and downs all season. Their chances for a Big Ten regular season title are pretty much gone but they could possibly do something in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.
5) Illinois Fighting Illini (17-10, 9-5 Big Ten): They have had a hard time staying in rhythm this year. They have not lived up to the hype this year after they have had some huge upsets. They could be a pest when it comes to the Big Ten Tournament if they can find a way to live up to the hype.
6) Minnesota Golden Gophers (16-10, 7-7 Big Ten): The Gophers got a huge home upset when they beat #16 Wisconsin last week. Then they pounded a lowly Indiana team. They have a chance to get back into the NCAA Tournament talks if they win out the rest of their games that include #4 Purdue, @ Illinois, @ Michigan, and then they finish off the season at home against Iowa.
7) Northwestern Wildcats (17-10, 6-9 Big Ten): They have been another team that has been up and down this season. They gave Penn St. its first conference win last week, but then gave #16 Wisconsin all it could handle before falling to the Badgers. It looks like a NIT berth for Northwestern.
8) Michigan Wolverines (13-13, 6-8 Big Ten): Michigan is the other team that Penn St. has beaten in Big Ten play. A team that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago, has not lived up to expectations so far this year.
9) Iowa Hawkeyes (9-18, 3-11 Big Ten): They played a close game in which they lost by two in overtime to Michigan. Iowa is a team that has not really found its rhythm at all this year. I see them going 1-3 in their final five games with a win over Indiana and losses to Minnesota, Northwestern, and Wisconsin.
10) Penn St. Nittany Lions (10-16, 2-12 Big Ten): I'm putting Penn St. over Indiana because Indiana has not been playing that good of basketball. Penn St. is on a two game winning streak since starting 0-12 n Big Ten play. Along with winning two games in a row, Penn St. is playing really well right now.
11) Indiana Hoosiers (9-17, 3-11 Big Ten): After getting hammered 81-58 against Minnesota, the Hoosiers have now lost eight straight games in Big Ten play. They have not even been close in any of those games and have been getting blown out. This is one team that can't wait for the season to be over.
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