Power Rankings: Minnesota continues to drop

Just a couple weeks ago, Minnesota was 15-1 and in the top 10 of the national polls. Fast forward to today, and the Gophers have lost four straight – a funk that keeps them dropping in my Power Rankings. Where does your team land on my latest list? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box at the bottom of the post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).

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1. Michigan, (19-1, 6-1) – The nation’s new No. 1 team, Michigan has an average margin of victory of 18 points in its six Big Ten wins. Its narrowest victory: 8 points in a nationally televised prime time game at a jacked-up Williams Arena.
Last week: No. 1

2. Indiana, (18-2, 6-1) – No doubt about it, Cody Zeller (18 FG%, 5.5 ppg in last two games), must become a bigger factor on offense if Indiana wants to hoist the Big Ten crown, let alone the national crown. In the meantime, let’s all enjoy Victor Oladipo.
Last week: No. 2

3. Michigan State, (17-4, 6-2)Adreian Payne has turned himself into one of the Big Ten’s elite big men. And if Sunday’s shooting effort is any indication, expect him to drain more 3s – which will open up driving lanes for Keith Appling and Gary Harris.
Last week: No. 3

4. Ohio State, (15-4, 5-2) – Everybody knows Deshaun Thomas needs scoring help, particularly vs. top competition. Sam Thompson is the key. This is a guy who shoots 55 percent and averages 8.4 points vs. unranked foes, compared to 32 percent and 5.2 points vs. top 25 teams.
Last week: No. 6

5. Wisconsin, (14-6, 5-2) – Is it time to worry about Jared Berggren? The senior hasn’t scored in double digits in four consecutive games and has blocked only two shots in the same stretch. Previously, Berggren had 16 double-digit efforts in 18 games and averaged 2.1 blocks.
Last week: No. 5

6. Minnesota, (15-5, 3-4) – Losers of four straight, it’s no secret, the Gophers and Tubby Smith are frustrated. Keep this in mind, though: The losses came at Indiana, vs. Michigan, at Northwestern and at Wisconsin. We should see better results this week, vs. Nebraska and Iowa.
Last week: No. 4

7. Purdue, (11-9, 4-3) – What about Matt Painter as an early Big Ten Coach of the Year candidate? After a rough nonconference season that included a loss at Eastern Michigan, the young Boilers play a physical brand of ball that no team wants to face.
Last week: No. 8

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8. Iowa, (13-7, 2-5) – As promising as Adam Woodbury‘s future is, it might be time for Fran McCaffery to consider giving the heralded freshman a mental break. In his place, juniors Melsahn Basabe and Zach McCabe should receive more minutes.
Last week: No. 7

9. Northwestern, (12-9, 3-5) – The Wildcats have rotated wins and losses the last six games, and all things considered, that’s a pretty solid accomplishment. Jared Swopshire‘s improved play (13 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.8 spg in last 4) makes this team┬ádangerous on any night.
Last week: No. 9

10. Illinois, (15-6, 2-5) – Losers of four out of five, the lone win coming at Nebraska, it doesn’t get any easier for the frustrating Illini. Here’s the team’s next next six tests: at Michigan State, vs. Wisconsin, vs. Indiana, at Minnesota, vs. Purdue, at Northwestern. Yikes!
Last week: No. 10

11. Nebraska, (11-10, 2-6) – In three games since Brandon Ubel returned from an elbow injury, the Huskers are 2-1. It’s not a coincidence, either. The senior leader is averaging 12 points, eight rebounds (4 offensive) and 1.3 blocks on his way to providing a huge lift in winnable matchups.
Last week: No. 11

12. Penn State, (8-12, 0-8) – Patrick Chambers isn’t crazy, after all. The way D.J. Newbill (15.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 4 apg) is playing his first season in State College, Penn State would have had one of the nation’s better backcourts – that is, if PG Tim Frazier didn’t suffer an early season-ending injury.
Last week: No. 12

About Brent Yarina BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.

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Show Comments (6 Comments)
6 Post Your Comment
Kyle Blomgren on 1/28/2013 @ 7:33pm EDT Said:

I agree… the Gophs are not playing their best ball right now; however, 3 of those 5 losses are to teams that have been ranked #1 and who are all in this week’s top 5. Last Saturday’s loss to the BADgers in Madison was a sham but still counts as a loss. The loss at Northwestern hurts, but there have been many-a-good Big Ten team walk out of there with an L. My guess is that when the Gophers win their next 6 games, you might give them the respect they deserve.

Doug on 1/29/2013 @ 9:16am EDT Said:

problem is kyle, no way minny wins in east lansing, they needed msu to shoot horrendous from the free throw line just to beat them at home

Jay on 1/29/2013 @ 11:45am EDT Said:

Sham??/ Really Kyle??? The Badgers shoot a season low 37% from teh field, shoot 50% from the line and still beat the Gophers. Despite the Gophers best efforts to cheat at the end with that SHAM of a fake injury sending a better FT shooter (albeit not by much) to the line to try and tie the game. The better team won and the Badgers will beat the goophers again int he next meeting because the badgers won with great defense on a night when they played horrendously on offense. You can’t count on the badgers to shoot that poorly twice, sounds like you better get used to being below the Badgers….. as usual

Kyle Blomgren on 1/29/2013 @ 1:21pm EDT Said:

Probably right, Doug. A win at MSU is pretty improbable but not impossible. MSU is as quality a program and are as well coached as any team in the country year in and year out. The win against them is only 1 of the reasons I think the Gophers deserve far more respect than they are receiving. They’ve had a pretty tough stretch of games and it will be fun to see if they can right their ship. My buck says they do.

Kyle Blomgren on 1/29/2013 @ 3:38pm EDT Said:

Yes, Jay… Sham… or did you miss the clear picture of the shot clock violation on the final Bucky bucket? Thankfully the camera was working better than the equipment at the Kohl, so the truth be known. And if you truly think that having Rodney shoot clutch free throws instead of Trevor was an attempt at cheating… Wow! Please give Tubby more credit than that. I know he sometimes lacks creativity, but please. Looking forward to the Valentine’s Day rematch!

Doug on 1/29/2013 @ 7:41pm EDT Said:

Kyle, Minny may right the ship, but it’s gonna be tough, their annual sinking ship has started….

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