We're two weeks into the Big Ten conference schedule and Wisconsin has separated itself from the rest of the conference pretty convincingly. Ohio State remains the clear No. 2 in the Big Ten after its non-conference win over Tennessee, but Michigan State is showing signs of its yearly run to the tourney. Finally, Indiana sits pretty with three conference wins and a load of confidence.
After Indiana though, things get rough. Purdue seems to be No. 5 after bitch-slapping Michigan, but they're as flawed a team as the Wolverines. Whatever the hell is happening to Illinois is killing their tournament hopes and Iowa is playing like the know the only way they're making the Tourney is by winning the Big Ten.
Time to update the rankings.
Maize n Brew's Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings Week 2
1. Wisconsin - Wisconsin stands alone atop the Big Ten standings at 3-0, including a win over OSU. Despite the fact they barely eeked out a win against a game Northwestern squad, they're playing well. Next up: Purdue, @Illinois, Michigan
2. Ohio State - They got lucky against Tennessee. No other way to put it. If Tennessee can sink even one of the half dozen free throws it missed in the last minute of that game OSU loses. It was, however, OSU's first win over a ranked opponent this year. If they start making this a habit it's bad news for the rest of the Big Ten. Next up: Northwestern, Iowa, @ Northwestern
3. Michigan State - Starting to get hot as everyone comes back from injury. MSU put a hurting on Illinois winning by 6 despite being down 9 at the break. Izzo's got them playing well at the right time. They've got two tune-ups before visiting Columbus. Next up: Penn State, Minnesota, @ Ohio State
4. Indiana - Down 1 to PSU at the break Indiana put up just enough beat PSU. The 10 point win is somewhat misleading. Indiana really only held a 6 point lead going into the final minutes of the game. Still they're scoring a lot of points and have four players legitimately scoring 10 points a game. They'll need all of those points. Indiana's got a tough road ahead. Next up: Iowa, @ UConn, @ Illinois
5. Purdue - Manhandled Michigan in West Lafayette. Believe it or not the Boilermakers are 11-0 on their home court this year and Carl Landry is playing out of his mind. Despite being 2 players deep, Purdue is playing well on the defensive end. Their pressure defense confused the hell out of the Wolverines and got Purdue a crucial Big Ten win. Still, they'll need a lot more of that, including a road win or two for an invite. Next up: @ Wisconsin, @ Michigan, Illinois
6. Michigan - Reverted to it's old ways in basically not showing up for its game at Purdue. Courtney Sims, Ron Coleman, Brent Petway didn't exist during the game and have been noticeably absent against decent competition all year. If Michigan needs senior leadership it's going to have to come from Dion Harris and Lester Abram who are both showing signs of coming around. Otherwise the freshmen will have to carry them to the NCAA's, and that ain't gonna happen. Next up: Penn State, Purdue, @ Wisconsin
7. Illinois - Things are starting to unravel in Champaign. 3 losses combined with a tough Big Ten schedule is going to make it tough for the Illini to qualify for the tournament unless they pull out of this weird tailspin they find themselves in. Poor shooting and too many turnovers doomed Illinois against MSU. If they don't fix those problems they'll doom the season too. Next up: @ Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana
8. Iowa - Iowa pounded on hapless Minnesota. Still. This team needs to win out, or at least go 9-4 in its last 13 to make the NCAA's. Next up: Indiana, @ Ohio State, Penn State
9. Penn State - Held it close against Indiana. Showing signs of improvement but still has a ways to go. Next up: @ Michigan, Michigan State, @ Iowa
10. Northwestern - Gave Wisconsin all they could handle but came up short. Too bad. Great effort from the Cats, but they simply don't have the horses to compete. Next up: @ Ohio State, @ Minnesota, Ohio State
11. Minnesota - Bad. Just bad. Next up: Illinois, Northwestern, @ Michigan State
That's it for this week. Gimmie your thoughts.