Here are our Big Ten basketball power rankings for Feb. 4, 2019.
14. Northwestern (6-15 overall, 1-10 Big Ten), Last Week 14
13. Nebraska (7-15, 2-9), Last Week: 13
Nebraska has now lost seven straight games. It likely won’t win another game until it plays Northwestern on March 1.
12. Minnesota (11-10, 5-6), Last Week: 10
Minnesota had two huge opportunities to pick up ranked wins last week but fell short against both Michigan State and Illinois. Daniel Oturu is one of the best players in the league, but he can’t get this team to the tournament by himself.
11. Purdue (12-10, 5-6), Last Week: 9
The Boilermakers cut it awfully close at Northwestern, but held on for a critical victory. It’s a tough schedule to finish out the regular season for Purdue, every team left is projected to be in the NCAA Tournament. That does, however, give the team plenty of chances to earn quad one wins.
10. Ohio State (14-7, 4-7), Last Week: 11
This is where it gets tough for me this week. OSU got a nice win at home against Indiana, but losing DJ Carton for potentially the rest of the season is a huge loss and I’m not sold this team can do much away from home.
9. Indiana (15-7, 5-6), Last Week: 5
Yeah, yeah, IU just lost to Ohio State, but these I still like the overall body of work better with the Hoosiers, not to mention they beat OSU earlier this year. IU stinks on the road, but can beat anyone at home or on a neutral court. First things first, IU needs to snap out of this three-game losing streak.
8. Rutgers (16-6, 7-4), Last Week: 7
The record is solid, and there’s no doubt Rutgers is a quality team this year, but I don’t believe this is a team that hang with good teams away from home. Taking down Michigan at Madison Square Garden would’ve been a big step towards getting more respect, but it’s not quite there yet.
7. Wisconsin (13-9, 6-5), Last Week: 8
With it’s season in danger of collapsing, the Badgers defended home court and took down MSU. They have a relatively light schedule the rest of the way, so the Badgers can pad their resume before the postseason.
6. Michigan (13-8, 4-6), Last Week: 12
This feels a bit high for U-M right now, but righting the ship with its two recent wins has made me more comfortable with the direction of this team. Michigan has a must-win game against Ohio State up next before a rematch with MSU.
5. Penn State (16-5, 6-4), Last Week: 5
There’s a clear top five right now in the Big Ten, and you could arrange the teams in a number of ways. I really like this Penn State squad, which has won four games in a row. The Nittany Lions can really add to their resume with a road win at MSU tonight.
4. Illinois (16-6, 8-3), Last Week: 1
Illinois found itself in the top spot of these rankings last week, but couldn’t top Iowa in a big game last week. The Illini seem like they are here to stay in the top five, though, and take on Maryland and Michigan at home in their next two games.
3. Michigan State (16-6, 8-3), Last Week: 3
MSU was spanked by Wisconsin in Madison over the weekend in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. The Spartans should be more dominant than they’ve been, can they get it together in time for March Madness?
2. Iowa (16-6, 7-4), Last Week: 4
The Hawkeyes earned a nice victory over Illinois to jump up a couple spots this week. Luke Garza has his eyes on Big Ten Player of the Year. The Hawkeyes aren’t schedule to play a ranked team now until the end of February.
1. Maryland (17-4, 7-3), Last Week: 2
Up to No. 9 in the AP Poll, the Terps looked very solid against Iowa in a 10-point win. It’s hard to argue with Maryland’s resume as this point.