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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: End of the Regular Season

Publish Date: 03/11/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

The Big Ten Tournament is upon us in Minnesota. Which teams will play their way into the Tourney, and which will play themselves out of the tourney? My biggest question is why Michigan State already seems to be in the Tournament. Where are all the great Spartan wins? Can anybody stop Purdue?


14) Michigan Wolverines

Michigan ended its regular season on a dismal note, falling to Nebraska by double digits at home on Sunday. This may be the worst team in Michigan basketball history.

13) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Scarlet Knights had another disappointing week, losing to Wisconsin on Thursday away and Ohio State at home on Sunday by double-digit margins to fall to 15-16 overall and 7-13 in Big Ten play.

12) Maryland Terrapins

Maryland suffered its only setback last week against Penn State on Sunday and now sits at 15-16 overall and 7-13 in Big Ten play; five of their last six games have also been lost by Maryland. The Terrapins are a team headed in the wrong direction.

11) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Minnesota entered this week on the verge of NCAA Tournament contention; unfortunately, their hopes weren’t realized as they suffered two straight regular-season losses against Indiana on Wednesday and Northwestern on Saturday. They are now 18-13 overall and 9-11 in Big Ten play. The Gophers have been a pleasant surprise this season, and as the home team in the Big Ten Tourney, you never know.

10) Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin may not have much riding on this week – they are already in the NCAA Tournament but far outside a top seeding – but momentum could still help. And with games coming from Minneapolis, maybe Wisconsin can find its homey feel and knock off one or two teams to give Badger fans hope for postseason success.

9) Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State finally broke their three-game skid this week with a less-than-impressive win against Northwestern at home on Wednesday. Unfortunately for fans, though, after such a win at home, they had a major letdown against Indiana on the road on Sunday and fell narrowly, leaving Michigan State 18-13 overall and 10-10 in Big Ten play. I don’t care about any metrics; Michigan State does not yet deserve an NCAA Tournament berth.

8) Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers had a spectacular close to their season, defeating Minnesota on the road and Michigan State at home for 18-13 overall and 10-10 in Big Ten play. Since their rough patch in late February, Indiana has quietly won four straight.

7) Penn State Nittany Lions

Penn State will enter the Big Ten Tournament as the 11 seed and will open up play on Wednesday night against Michigan. A win there and the Nittany Lions would face Indiana on Thursday night. Interestingly, Penn State swept the two teams this season, so fans have to feel pretty good about the team’s chances of making it to Friday.

6) Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern split their games last week, suffering an away loss against Michigan State on Wednesday before coming back with an impressive victory against Minnesota on Saturday. Despite dropping two out of their last three contests, Northwestern remains within reach for NCAA consideration, improving to 21-10 overall and 12-8 in Big Ten play. Ty Berry being out will be tough to overcome.

5) Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa suffered its only defeat of this week at home against Illinois on Sunday, dropping them to 18-13 overall and 10-10 in Big Ten play. But, Iowa will enter postseason play with some momentum, having won four out of its last six contests.

4) Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State picked up another win this week by defeating Rutgers on Sunday on the road. Ohio State now enters postseason play having won five out of its last six contests (after an inauspicious month and head coaching change). The Buckeyes are as hot and as dangerous as a team can be right now.

3) Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska only played one game this week but made an impressivw statement by rolling to an easy double-digit win against Michigan on the road on Sunday, improving to 22-9 overall and 12-8 in Big Ten play with this result. Nebraska has won six of seven since early February – quite an accomplishment! The Huskers should be comfortably in the tournament.

2) Illinois Fighting Illini

Fans must feel encouraged about Illinois heading into this week despite last week’s loss against Purdue. This team possesses numerous talented contributors who could make this season memorable over the final two weekends of competition. First up could be a dangerous matchup with Ohio State, who is the hottest team in the Big Ten.

1) Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue made history at the conclusion of their regular season, adding two marquee wins within just days to their resume. They started off by defeating Illinois on the road and then beating Wisconsin at home for an outright Big Ten championship and season sweep. Purdue finished 28-3 overall and 17-3 in Big Ten play during this stretch—their fewest regular season losses ever in KenPom’s era!

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