Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings 12/28/21

Purdue is number one!
December 20, 2021: Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey 15 shoots over the outstretched arm of Incarnate Word Cardinals forward Johnny Hughes III 11in the 2nd half of the game between the Incarnate Word Cardinals and the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes/CSM. West Lafayette USA - ZUMAc04_ 20211220_zaf_c04_017 Copyright: xSandraxDukes/xCalxSportxMediax

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14) Nebraska Cornhuskers

This was supposed to be the year that the Cornhuskers turn the corner; well, that’s not happening this year. An early injury to Trey McGowens was the beginning of the end for the Huskers. The Cornhuskers have no depth, and a 35 point loss to an average Michigan team shows you how much trouble this team is in.

13) Penn State Nittany Lions

The Nittany Lions issue is that they have four solid players and no bench. The Lions were supposed to be the bottom feeder of the Big Ten, and it looks like Nebraska will occupy that status, but it’s hard to see Penn State moving much higher than this during the season.

12) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

I think it’s safe to say that the win over Purdue was nothing more than an anomaly, and that’s easy to see when you look at the rest of this team’s resume. This resume includes losses to UMass, Lafayette, and DePaul while also needing overtime to get past Lehigh at the start of the season.

11) Maryland Terrapins

Much was expected of the Terrapins this season but an early-season coaching change saw this team sink into some disarray which they seem to be slowly coming out of. I expect the Terrapins to climb up these rankings but not too much higher slowly.

10) Iowa Hawkeyes

Keegan Murray is a stud! Unfortunately, he has no supporting cast. The Hawkeyes have feasted on a very easy schedule, and this team will finish somewhere between 8-11 at the end of this season.

9) Michigan Wolverines

Michigan was top 5 at the start of the season, and now they barely make the top 10 in the Big Ten. The Wolverines have some significant issues, and as of right now, they do not look like an NCAA tournament team.

8) Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Gophers replaced almost the entire team and coaching staff from last year, and not much was expected. That has all changed with a 10-1 start; the big question has to be, how good are they? The schedule has been weak, but with that being said, they are miles ahead of where they were projected this season.

7) Northwestern Wildcats

A weak early-season schedule leaves questions for Northwestern, much like the questions surrounding Minnesota. The key to Northwestern’s potential success is the frontcourt, led by the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, Pete Nance (16.3 ppg, 8.0 RPG, 2.9 APG). The Wildcats will have one of the best frontcourts in the Big Ten, and I think the Wildcats can make a run at the NCAA Tournament.

6) Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers missed a go-to stud last year, and now they have that in star guard Jonathan Davis. Last year the Badgers were just a team of solid players; with Davis emergence, the Badgers are a much more dangerous team this season.

5) Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers are a team that seems like they are about to break out; this season, they seem to play a great half and then follow it up with a sub-par half. If the Hoosiers can become more consistent, they will stay top 5 in this power ranking and return to March madness this year.

4) Illinois Fighting Illini

At the start of the season, the Illini struggled as they were missing All-American big man Kofi Cockburn. Will, he’s back at the Illini look poised to make a run at a Big Ten title. Alfonso Plummer is making significant additions, and this team, after a rough start, may turn out to be even better than what people thought they would be.

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3) Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes frontcourt is a load to handle, but if this team wants to compete at the highest level, they will need more production from a backcourt that has played at a very average level so far this season.

2) Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans only two losses have been to Kansas and Baylor, two of the best teams in the country. The Spartans aren’t spectacular anywhere on the court, but they are consistent and well-coached.

1) Purdue Boilermakers

Jaden Iver is the breakout star here, and I know they lost to Rutgers, which was inexcusable, but if Purdue is clicking on all cylinders, they may be the best team in the country.

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