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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Feb. 15

The top three teams have struggled in recent weeks. How should that affect the rankings?

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Penn State Linsey Fagan-USA TODAY Sports

This past week, both Michigan and Purdue lost while Michigan State seemed to get back on track. Here’s this week’s edition of Big Ten Power Rankings:

14. Northwestern (12-12, 3-10), Last Week: 13

A new team in the basement! Penn State moves out of the last spot with wins over Northwestern and Michigan.

13. Penn State (9-15, 2-11), Last Week: 14

It was an impressive performance against the Wolverines, but Penn State is still terrible.

12. Nebraska (14-11, 4-10), Last Week: 12

Nebraska picked up a big win against Minnesota, but it’s still been a rough go of late.

11. Rutgers (12-12, 5-10), Last Week: 10

Rutgers is surprisingly good compared to normal, which tells you how bad they typically are.

10. Indiana (13-11, 4-9), Last Week: 8

Many thought the Hoosiers had snapped out of their bad funk after beating MSU. Turns out, many (including myself) were wrong.

9. Ohio State (16-8, 6-7), Last Week: 9

One of the most incredibly inconsistent teams you’ll ever see. Much like Indiana and Minnesota, it will be interesting to see which side of the bubble they’ll be on.

8. Illinois (10-15, 6-8), Last Week: 11

This seems like a shocking bump up based on the Illini’s overall record, but this team is actually playing quite well over the last few weeks, which shows in their conference record. Illinois is not one of the better teams in the league, but they’re one of the hottest.

7. Minnesota (16-9, 6-8), Last Week: 7

Just when things were starting to look good, Minnesota hit the rough part of its schedule. Four consecutive losses and the rest of the slate is brutal.

6. Iowa (19-5, 8-5), Last Week: 5

There’s a very clear and established top six in the Big Ten. All of the teams are ranked and in position for top five or six seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa rounds out the group.

5. Wisconsin (17-8, 9-5), Last Week: 4

Wisconsin had its chance to potentially claim the No. 1 spot this week, but they lost to both Michigan and Michigan State.

4. Purdue (17-7, 10-3), Last Week: 2

Purdue’s Big Ten schedule is garbage. They only play Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa once, and doesn’t play another ranked team the rest of the regular season. After the Boilermakers loss to Maryland, maybe it’s time we pump the brakes on how good they actually are?

3. Maryland (19-6, 10-4), Last Week: 6

A solid drubbing of Purdue moves Maryland back up to the third spot this week. The Terrapins have been flying under the radar much of the season, but with three ranked teams left on the schedule (including Michigan twice), there’s time for them to make some noise.

2. Michigan State (20-5, 11-3), Last Week: 3

Okay we can all relax about the Spartans again. After a brutal three-game stretch that put their eliteness in question, they are back in the No. 2 spot after beating both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Two fantastic match-ups against Michigan loom.

1. Michigan (22-3, 11-3), Last Week: 1

It was an up-and-down week for Michigan. Beating Wisconsin was a great win, but to follow that up with a disaster at Penn State completely cancels it out. It’s a very difficult remaining schedule, with two games each against Michigan State and Maryland. Win three of four and U-M will be in position for a No. 1 seed.