That was a fun first week of the Big Ten men’s hoops season? Five teams escaped the week unblemished, including Ohio State and Wisconsin, both of which are undefeated on the season.
Find out where your team lands on my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, in this post.
[ MORE: View the latest college basketball polls ]
2. Ohio State (15-0, 2-0). The Buckeyes didn’t have any problem scoring in victories at Purdue and home versus Nebraska. Best opponent this season up next at Michigan State.
Last week: 2
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3. Michigan State (13-1, 2-0). Tremendous second half at Penn State, and it was the Gary Harris show at Indiana. The Spartans look like they are finally healthy, and they’ll need all of their strength as the top defensive team in the land (Ohio State) invades East Lansing.
Last week: 3
4. Illinois (13-2, 2-0). High intensity overtime win over Hoosiers and staunch defensive effort against Penn State has the Illini on the upward swing. This is a tough, understated team that continues to impress.
Last week: 6
5. Iowa (12-3, 1-1). The Hawkeyes held on to beat Nebraska at home, but let a great opportunity at Wisconsin slip through their fingers. They must regroup quickly before a trip to Columbus on Sunday.
Last week: 4
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6. Michigan (10-4, 2-0). The young Wolverines showed great character in winning at Minnesota minus GR3 in the second half. They can’t rest on laurels, though, with trip to Lincoln against an improved Huskers squad.
Last week: 8
7. Minnesota (12-3, 1-1). Take out Elliott Eliason’s shooting, and the Gophers starters were 8-37 in home loss to Michigan. They did hold on late to beat young Boilers. Looking forward to see how Richard Pitino and his Gophers respond at Penn State and Michigan State this week.
Last week: 5
8. Purdue (10-5, 0-2). The enigma that is AJ Hammons continues. Against Ohio State: 18pts/16rebs and 5 blocks. Against Minnesota: 7pts/1reb and no blocks. Until they can get consistent production from him, they will underachieve.
Last week: 7
9. Indiana (10-5, 0-2). The young Hoosiers play hard, but turnovers led to their demise against Illinois and Michigan State. The good news: Indiana gets the full week to try and right the ship before a challenging trip to State College.
Last week: 9
10. Penn State (9-6, 0-2). If they can put together 40 minutes of their first-half effort against Michigan State, Nittany Lions would be among Big Ten elite. It will be interesting to see how they matchup with Minnesota and Indiana this week. They will have to shoot better than 29 percent, like they did at Illinois, to be competitive.
Last week: 10
11. Nebraska (8-6, 0-2). No lie, Nebraska’s schedule to start Big Ten is brutal. The Huskers have a good opportunity with a young Wolverine team coming to Pinnacle Bank Arena this Thursday, followed by a road trip to Purdue on Sunday.
Last week: 11
12. Northwestern (7-8, 0-2). Alex Olah is starting to learn how to play with contact. That’s a good sign for Wildcat team that depends too much on Drew Crawford’s scoring. The Coach Collins “Baptism by Fire” continues at Iowa and home vs. Illinois this week.
Last week: 12
– Team records are through January 5 action.
|About Stephen Bardo
||The BTN basketball analyst and former Flyin’ Illini star is a regular contributor to BTN.com. Follow Bardo on Twitter @stephenbardo, read his past posts right here, and use the form below to submit your questions to his Big Ten basketball mailbag.|