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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings (02/19/2024)

Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings (02/19/2024)

Publish Date: 02/19/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Ohio State upset Purdue after firing Chris Holtman; Indiana had a huge opportunity and blew it against Northwestern. The Big Ten is a top-heavy league, and prospects for the NCAA Tournament do not look good as almost all Big Ten teams are struggling to the finish line.

14) Michigan Wolverines

Will Michigan win another game this season? Perhaps an exaggeration, but after being outscored by 59 points over its last three matches and having dropped eight of nine games, Michigan may just be ready to give up and call it quits for 2024. Actually, I am not sure they didn’t pack it in before the season started the way they have played.

13) Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers are nearing rock bottom as they lost to Northwestern on Sunday. The Wildcats were without Ty Berry, and Boo Buie was silent for most of the game. The Hoosiers were outrebounded by the smaller Wildcats; they missed nine free throws and turned the ball over way too much. They had a week to prepare and laid an egg at the worst possible time.

12) Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State took a step backwards this week in its two losses against Michigan State (at home) and Nebraska (on the road). Although Penn State had been playing well recently, these two defeats provided an abrupt reality check to their recent success.

11) Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State had an eventful week. Following their midweek loss at Wisconsin, they abruptly parted ways with coach Chris Holtmann before coming back out victorious against Purdue on Sunday afternoon. Do I expect any late-season run after changing the coaching staff? For now, I will leave them near the bottom of the league rankings, but don’t be surprised if they move higher up later.

10) Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes week was a mixed bag as they overcame a double-digit lead to be Wisconsin at home on Saturday. They lost to Maryland earlier in the week and their tournament hopes do not look favorable now.

9) Maryland Terrapins

The Terps let a resume-building win against Illinois get away over the weekend. They beat Iowa earlier in the week and looked like they were nearing the NCAA Tournament bubble, now they are back too square one and running out of the time needed to make their case.

8) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Rutgers has experienced a stunning comeback recently and is quickly emerging as a formidable team in the conference. Although their four-game win streak was snapped Sunday at Minnesota, Rutgers has shown enough promise recently to put themselves back in consideration for NCAA Tournament participation.

7) Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin continued their slide this week with another loss on Saturday, which followed an earlier victory against Ohio State. Overall, Wisconsin has lost five of their last six games and doesn’t look anything like their top 10 team from just weeks prior. The Badgers need to start winning some games or their NCAA hopes look headed for the bubble.

6) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota held Purdue close early this week on the road and responded with an impressive win at home against a hit Rutgers team on Sunday, giving themselves hope of making it to the NCAA Tournament. If the Gophers continue to win, they have a shot.

5) Northwestern Wildcats

The Wildcats gutted out a tough win at Indiana on Sunday without Ty Berry. The Wildcats are a tough, hard-nosed team that finds ways to win games. The Hoosiers had more athletic ability, but Northwestern was the smarter, better-coached team.

4) Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska made quick work of Penn State this week in its only game and remains in a strong position to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, provided it doesn’t collapse down the stretch.

3) Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State has officially joined Illinois and Purdue among the elite teams. Although there wasn’t great competition this week, Michigan State made significant strides by winning back-to-back road games – something they needed to do if they were to advance further up our power rankings. Michigan State will look to build off this three-game winning streak to continue climbing our power rankings further.

2) Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois also had a great week on the hardwood, with a dominant home win over Michigan and an impressive road win at Maryland. The Fighting Illini continue to remain as our No. 2 team, but a strong finish could move them up to the top spot โ€” especially with a home game against Purdue looming.

1) Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue lost to Ohio State on Sunday as the Buckeyes guards controlled the action the majority of the game. Purdue is the best team in the Big Ten, but will they make a Final Four run? This is a beatable team with issues against small quick guard-oriented teams/

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