Once again, the Big 10 is considered to be the best conference in the nation this season, and despite some continuing injury issues at the top, they have 5 of the consensus top-25 in America with some quality depth behind them.
Last week’s #1 team, the Michigan Wolverines, have fallen quite a bit this week on the strength of an embarrassing loss to Iowa. Nik Stauskas remains the front-runner for conference player of the year, but Michigan now has 6 overall losses and 2 defeats in conference play, which more accurately reflects their talent level in the absence of Mitch McGary.
The injury bug has really bitten Michigan State, but Tom Izzo’s club has played through the issues with flying colors. Senior point guard Keith Appling is banged up right now, but Sparty put up a big-time fight in Madison against Wisconsin on Sunday (taking home a 2-point loss), and at full strength, I wholeheartedly believe that they are the best team in the league.
Based on Iowa’s total annihilation of Michigan, the Hawkeyes jump up to the #2 spot this week, and that performance flashed their ceiling in a big way. In addition, they currently sport a top-5 offense in the country from an efficiency standpoint, to go along with the highest KenPom rating in the league at #8 overall.
There is a significant drop-off after the top-5 (and honestly, Ohio State and Wisconsin are a complete toss-up right now), but with teams like Indiana and Minnesota flashing real upside, it’s tough to dismiss anything in the Big 10. Without further ado, here’s a look at this week’s rankings:
- Michigan State (20-4, 9-2)
- Iowa (18-6, 7-4)
- Michigan (17-6, 9-2)
- Wisconsin (19-5, 6-5)
- Ohio State (19-5, 6-5)
- Indiana (14-9, 4-6)
- Minnesota (16-8, 5-6)
- Northwestern (12-12, 5-6)
- Nebraska (12-10, 4-6)
- Illinois (13-10, 2-8)
- Penn State (12-11, 3-7)
- Purdue (14-10, 4-7)
Topics: Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions, Purdue Boilermakers, Wisconsin Badgers