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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings 01/02/24

Publish Date: 01/02/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

We are at the point of the season that we all love. It’s time for Big Ten basketball. No more cupcake games that we have to pay for on Big Ten Plus to watch our favorite team. It’s Big Ten time, and the Purdue Boilermakers look like the favourites to win it. Terrence Shannon’s suspension has cast a dark cloud over Illinois, and as always, the Michigan State Spartans look to be improving quickly. It shapes up to be a fun season.

14) Michigan Wolverines

After an embarrassing loss to McNeese State last week, the Wolverines appear destined to miss the NCAA Tournament for a second straight season if they donโ€™t get things turned around quickly. Juwan Howard coaches them, so don’t expect a turnaround, and don’t expect Howard to have this job at the end of the season.

Video: McNeese St. at Michigan | Highlights | Big Ten Men's Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

McNeese St. at Michigan | Highlights | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

13) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

At first glance, Rutgers’ record may seem impressive, but that doesn’t say much when you look at who they have played. After narrowly escaping an upset against Stony Hill this past weekend and suffering through Mississippi State before that, we will soon know whether Rutgers can find their footing once conference action resumes.

Video: Stonehill College at Rutgers | Highlights | Big Ten Men's Basketball | Dec. 30, 2023

Stonehill College at Rutgers | Highlights | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | Dec. 30, 2023

12) Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State is another team I am not entirely confident with right now. While they have proven they can beat solid competition like Ohio State, their record doesn’t suggest they’re more than a bottom-tier squad in the Big Ten. So far, this season has been very unpredictable! Let’s see what unfolds over time.

Video: Rider at Penn State | Highlights | Big Ten Men's Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

Rider at Penn State | Highlights | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

11) Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Gophers have an excellent record but no true big wins. I am still unsure how good they are, but we will find out, shortly.

Video: HIGHLIGHTS: Maine vs. Minnesota | Big Ten Men's Basketball | 12/29/2023 | NBC Sports

HIGHLIGHTS: Maine vs. Minnesota | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | 12/29/2023 | NBC Sports

10) Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa can score with anyone, boasting an effective offensive attack. Unfortunately, they also give up too many points; Iowa will make for an entertaining watch this year, while it remains to be seen how good of a team they truly are at this point.

Video: N. Illinois at Iowa | Highlights | Big Ten Men's Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

N. Illinois at Iowa | Highlights | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

9) Maryland Terrapins

Maryland has made an impressive turnaround from their difficult start, winning eight out of their last nine games and most notably beating UCLA away in recent weeks. Perhaps now the Terps are becoming the team we expected them to be when entering this season?

Video: Coppin State at Maryland | Highlights | Big Ten Men's Basketball | Dec. 28, 2023

Coppin State at Maryland | Highlights | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | Dec. 28, 2023

8) Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana has mostly accomplished its tasks this year, most recently with its win against Kennesaw State. Without an outstanding win yet this year, though, I am uncertain of their overall status. The Hoosiers have talent, but questions arise about backcourt play, especially the backcourt’s depth.

Video: Kennesaw St. at Indiana | Highlights | Big Ten Men's Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

Kennesaw St. at Indiana | Highlights | Big Ten Men’s Basketball | Dec. 29, 2023

7) Northwestern Wildcats

Since the upset win over Purdue, the Wildcats have lost to Chicago State and struggled this past week against Jackson State. They will need to find some consistency quickly to have a Tournament team.

Video: Men's Basketball - Wildcats Close out 2023 with 74-63 Win over Jackson State (12/29/23)

Men’s Basketball – Wildcats Close out 2023 with 74-63 Win over Jackson State (12/29/23)

6) Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska continues to look like a tournament team, earning impressive victories against Kansas State and Michigan State during December. Conference play resumes this week to show whether Nebraska can stay on its winning ways.

Video: Nebraska vs South Carolina State Highlights | NCAA Men's Basketball | 2023 College Basketball

Nebraska vs South Carolina State Highlights | NCAA Men’s Basketball | 2023 College Basketball

5) Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State has had an outstanding start to the season, adding another win against West Virginia this weekend to their resume. Though not expected to contend for a conference championship title this season, Ohio State should certainly return to the NCAA tournament this year.

Video: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Highlights | CBB on FOX

West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Highlights | CBB on FOX

4) Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin appears on track to make an NCAA Tournament return this year after an impressive start to their campaign. I don’t consider them title contenders in the Big Ten Conference, but they are good enough to beat any team they play.

Video: Wisconsin Basketball: Highlights vs Chicago State (12/22/23)

Wisconsin Basketball: Highlights vs Chicago State (12/22/23)

3) Michigan State Spartans

After a rough start to the season, the Spartans seem to be rolling after an impressive blowout win over sixth-ranked Baylor. They beat a good Indiana State team over the weekend and have everything a team needs to win a Big Ten Title.

Video: Michigan State vs Indiana State | 2023.12.30 | NCAAB Game

Michigan State vs Indiana State | 2023.12.30 | NCAAB Game

2) Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois has had an outstanding start to their conference play this year, yet the recent suspension of star Terrence Shannon Jr could alter that performance significantly. Shannon will serve his suspension indefinitely, so we’ll have to wait to see its effect when the conference action resumes this week.

Video: Terrence Shannon Jr. suspended following rape allegation; 2023 Year in Review; weekend picks/preview

Terrence Shannon Jr. suspended following rape allegation; 2023 Year in Review; weekend picks/preview

1) Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue remains our top team as they remain consistently impressive this year, looking like one of the premier teams nationwide and dominating in the Big Ten as a result. A big road test tonight against a Maryland team that played them tough last season.

Video: #1 Purdue vs Eastern Kentucky Highlights | NCAA Men's Basketball | 2023 College Basketball

#1 Purdue vs Eastern Kentucky Highlights | NCAA Men’s Basketball | 2023 College Basketball

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