14) Northwestern Wildcats – The Wildcats are a bad team and they will finish the season at 13 or 14.
13) Nebraska Cornhuskers – See above!
12) Indiana Hoosiers – The Hoosiers are a mess because they play without passion and intensity. Of course, the apologist will say it’s only Archie’s third year and you have to give him time. My response is how many years of passionless basketball will be enough to admit he is in over his head in the Big Ten?
11) Michigan Wolverines – The Wolverines had a home loss to Ohio State but then responded with a huge win over Michigan State to keep them on the NCAA tournament bubble.
10) Ohio State Buckeyes – Just when you think the Buckeyes are getting back in the groove they go to Madison and get smacked by Wisconsin. This will be an enormous weekend for the Buckeyes as they host Purdue and Rutgers this week. Two wins and March Madness may be a lock. Two losses mean times will be desperate in Colombus.
9) Wisconsin Badgers – The Badgers split two games last week and got a much-needed home win over Ohio State. Like Michigan, Ohio State, and Minnesota, the Badgers are teetering on a delicate bubble.
8) Minnesota Golden Gophers – I know I have them at number eight in these rankings, but they may be a long shot to make the tournament with a record that stands at just 12-11. They have little room for error.
7) Purdue Boilermakers – Matt Painter has his Boilers clicking at the right time and two blowout wins over Indiana and Iowa are a testament to his ability to coach. The culture at Purdue is why they are better than Indiana.
6) Michigan State Spartans – I know the Spartans have been somewhat of a disappointment this season, but do you want to play them in March?
5) Rutgers Scarlet Knights – The Knights struggled with Northwestern, but with that being said, the Knights are a very good team and will be dancing come March.
4) Iowa Hawkeyes – Took a beat-down at Purdue but responded nicely against Nebraska. Two road games await this week.
3) Illinois Fighting Illini – Coach Underwood has done an outstanding job in a short time at Illinois. A huge week with games against Michigan State at home and Rutgers away awaits.
2) Penn State Nittany Lions – A road win at Michigan State last week should shut up any doubters left about the Nittany Lions. The Lions are a serious threat to win a Big Ten Championship.
1) Maryland Terrapins – The Terps, since getting everything straightened out in January, have been a top-5 team in the country and they have to be the favorite to take home the Big Ten title.