Another week in the books, now the fun begins. Last week offered one last chance for a tune-up before Big Ten play picks up again on Tuesday. It proved to be very successful, with the conference going 15-1 overall.
Remember, these rankings are based on the current strength of the teams, not necessarily where I expect them to finish. Here we go…
1. Michigan State
13 in a row. Most of them in dominating fashion, including the last two by 50+ points. Easy choice at the top.
Upcoming: vs Maryland / at Ohio State
The Boilermakers continue to play at a high level. Is this the year Matt Painter finally gets them past the Sweet 16?
Upcoming: vs Rutgers / vs Nebraska
Make that a 5 game winning streak for the Wolverines, who led wire-to-wire against Jacksonville on Saturday.
Upcoming: at Iowa / vs Illinois
4. Ohio State
The win over Miami (OH) was closer than expected down the stretch, but the Buckeyes used a 15-2 run to pull away. That’s what good teams do.
Upcoming: at Iowa / vs Michigan State
Jordan Murphy leads the nation in double-doubles, with one in each of Minnesota’s 15 games. Even better, Nate Mason should be returning soon.
Upcoming: vs Illinois / vs Indiana
Maryland outscored UMBC 48-21 in the second half to pick up their sixth win in a row. Now they face the gauntlet of three Big Ten games in six days.
Upcoming: vs Penn State / at Michigan State / vs Iowa
The Wildcats are consistent – they beat the bad teams on the schedule and lose to the good ones. But if they want to make it back to the tournament, they need to get some quality wins.
Upcoming: vs Nebraska / at Penn State
A two-win week is just what the doctor ordered for the Badgers, but I’m sure the fan base was expecting their team to be better than 7-7 entering the new year.
Upcoming: vs Indiana / at Rutgers
This team just keeps chugging along. Their matchup on Tuesday against Northwestern should be interesting, as both teams will have a chance to make a statement.
Upcoming: at Northwestern / vs Purdue
10. Penn State
Bounce-back win for the Nittany Lions this week, as they doubled-up Coppin State.
Upcoming: at Maryland / vs Northwestern
The Hoosiers had more than a week to prepare for Youngstown State and took full advantage, winning by 28.
Upcoming: at Wisconsin / at Minnesota
The Hawkeyes played their best game of the season on Friday in a win over Northern Illinois. They lead the nation in assists and are averaging 82 points/game.
Upcoming: vs Michigan / vs Ohio State / at Maryland
The Illini barely snuck past Grand Canyon on Saturday. They’re going to need to find some help for Leron Black though or it will be a long conference season.
Upcoming: at Minnesota / at Michigan
The only loss in the conference this week belongs to the Scarlet Knights, and it was a bad one. They’ll enter Big Ten play on a two-game losing streak, both to low-majors.
Upcoming: at Purdue / vs Wisconsin