The Big Ten has a pecking order and it’s top-heavy. The upper echelon is Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. The mid-level is Ohio State, Indiana, Nebraska and Ruthgers, then you have everyone else and that’s a bad group to be in.
Penn State had a good week. Even after falling to Maryland in an overtime contest on Wednesday, they quickly rebounded with an incredible win against Ohio State on Saturday to end a five-game losing streak and move them up to 5-5 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
Iowa suffered an unfortunate week, losing all three games against Purdue on Monday, Iowa State on Thursday and Michigan on Sunday at home – leaving Iowa at 5-5 overall and 0-2 in Big Ten play.
The Gophers had an outstanding week, defeating Nebraska and Florida Gulf Coast at home on Wednesday and Saturday to improve to 7-3 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
Maryland had a fantastic week, defeating Penn State at home on Wednesday after going into overtime and narrowly coming away victorious – improving to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
Michigan had mixed results this week, falling to Indiana at home on Tuesday before rebounding against Iowa on the road on Sunday for a split result that has put them at 5-5 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
The Spartans had a tough week, falling to Wisconsin at home on Tuesday and Nebraska on the road on Sunday. Nebraska’s defeat dropped them to 4-5 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten;that loss marked their worst start through nine games since the 2003-’04 season when they started at 4-5 before ultimately going on a winning streak late in the season.
Rutgers had an eventful week as the Scarlet Knights fell short against Wake Forest away on Wednesday before returning with an impressive road victory against Seton Hall on Saturday for a split in results, moving Rutgers up to 6-3 overall.
The Huskers experienced a mixed week, falling to Minnesota away on Wednesday before responding with a victory against Michigan State at home on Sunday for an 8-2 overall and 1-1 Big Ten record, their best start under Fred Hoiberg.
The Indiana Hoosiers had a week of mixed results. Starting strong against Michigan on Tuesday before falling flat against Auburn at Atlanta on Saturday and slipping back to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play overall.
Ohio State had an uneven week. Starting off strong by beating Miami (Ohio) at home on Wednesday and then losing to Penn State on Saturday is especially disheartening as Penn State had lost five straight before defeating Ohio State, leaving Ohio State at 8-2 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play overall.
This week was no cakewalk for Wisconsin as they faced two formidable opponents on the road: Michigan State on Tuesday and top-ranked Arizona on Saturday. Wisconsin managed to pull through against Michigan State but fell short by double digits against Arizona. As such, Wisconsin split their schedule with results, leaving them sitting at 7-3 overall.
Northwestern won their only game this week with an emphatic home victory against Detroit Mercy to improve to 7-1 overall. Now, they will prepare for two manageable in-state contests against Chicago State on Wednesday and DePaul away on Saturday; Northwestern should easily prevail in both contests.
Illinois had an overall positive week despite splitting their games, opening with an impressive victory against Florida Atlantic before falling short against Tennessee on Saturday in Tennessee’s home arena. Illinois now stand at 7-2 overall and 15th nationally on KenPom – approximately 15 positions higher than just a couple weeks prior.
Purdue had an outstanding week, dominating Iowa and beating a good Alabama team to move them to 9-1 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers have played a tough schedule, and the early returns show a Purdue team that could make a much deeper run than usual in March.
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