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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings (03/04/24): Here Come the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes!

Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings (03/04/24): Here Come the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes!

Publish Date: 03/04/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

The Big Ten season is headed into the last week, and the Iowa Hawkeyes and Ohio State Buckeyes look to approach the March Madness bubble. Indiana has won two straight games for the first time since December, and the Michigan Wolverines are still the worst team in the Big Ten. We have great matchups this week that will greatly determine the seeding for the Big Ten Tournament in Minnesota!

 

14) Michigan Wolverines

How has Juwan Howard kept his job through these last two seasons? Michigan battled for thirty five minutes against the Buckeyes and then in the last five minutes it looked like the Wolverines just gave up. Ohio State pulled away, and the nightmare season for Michigan continues.

13) Maryland Terrapins

Maryland has three talented players, which is not enough to win at a high rate. They played their best half of the season on Sunday and were manhandling the Indiana Hoosiers. They lost a fifteen-point lead in the second half and eventually the game. The Terps are a poorly coached and poorly constructed team.

12) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Scarlet Knights started the week by blowing the doors off Michigan, which was almost expected. On Sunday they travelled to Nebraska and were beaten by the Cornhuskers, but as always Rutgers played hard and the future looks bright with the recruiting class they have coming in next year.

11) Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana has won back-to-back games for the first time since December. The Hoosiers were terrible in the first half against Maryland but rebounded with a stellar shooting performance to prevail in the second half. Trey Galloway and Xavier Johnson led as the Hoosiers got a much-needed road win.

10) Penn State Nittany Lions

Head Coach Mike Roads has done an excellent job with this Lions team; they struggled last week but mostly played well in a 75-70 loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. This Nittany Lions team has improved over the season and as they showed on Saturday they always play hard.

9) Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes can make the case that they should be higher than this, as they have won three of their four games since firing coach Chris Holtman. The wins include a victory on the road against Michigan State and a home win over Purdue. They could cause some issues in the Big Ten tournament.

8) Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Gophers have been the biggest positive surprise in the Big Ten this season and are hard to beat at home. The Gophers will get to be at home for the Big Ten tournament and that makes them a dangerous opponent.

7) Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans hung tough at Purdue before coming up short. Tom Iazzo has not done one of his better coaching jobs with this team. The Spartans are inconsistent but a talented group. If you are looking for one of those magic Spartan runs in March, you probably aren’t going to see it this season.

6) Wisconsin Badgers

At one point a month ago, the Badgers looked like a number two seed headed into the NCAA Tournament. Things have changed since then, as the Badgers struggle on both ends of the floor. They are still a solid team, but they have regressed this season.

5) Northwestern Wildcats

It was bad enough when Ty berry went down, now this past week the Wildcats were playing without three starters, but as Chris Collins teams are known to do they still battled hard coming up a little short against Iowa.

4) Iowa Hawkeyes

The Hawkeyes are a hot team, and Fran McCaffery is getting the most out of this group. The defensive end is suspect but improving and offensively they are as good as any team in the Big Ten.

Video: Josh Dix Highlights vs. Northwestern | Iowa Basketball | 03/02/2024

Josh Dix Highlights vs. Northwestern | Iowa Basketball | 03/02/2024

3) Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska is almost unbeatable at home, but they have struggled on the road this season. The guard play is good enough to hang with any team in this conference. Nebraska gets this spot over Northwestern because of Northwestern’s injury issues.

2) Illinois Fighting Illini

The Illini got two solid wins, beating Minnesota at home and going on the road to beat Wisconsin. This last week will be challenging as they host Purdue and travel to Iowa. Win both, and their NCAA Tournament seeding will take a nice upward tick.

1) Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue has clinched the title of the Big Ten regular season champions and are the favorites heading into the Big Tentournament. The Boilers still have weaknesses against quick guard=oriented teams that has to leave their fans a little uneasy going into Tournament time. That said, they are still one of the country’s top four teams, and a National Championship is a genuine possibility.

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