Brent Yarina, BTN.com Senior Editor, February 25, 2013
How tough is the Big Ten this season? A week ago, several people thought Michigan State might be the Big Ten's top team. Today, following back-to-back losses, the Spartans land at No. 4 on my latest Power Rankings. Where does your team land? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box in this post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).
1. Indiana, (24-3, 12-2) – In two critical games vs. Big Ten contender Michigan State this season, Victor Oladipo has 11 steals. For comparison's sake, that's as many steals as Ohio State's Lenzelle Smith Jr. has in 27 games (735 minutes) this season.
Last week: No. 1
2. Michigan, (23-4, 10-4) – With Sunday's eight assists and one turnover, Trey Burke's assist-to-turnover ratio went from 3.81 to 3.9. The significance, you're probably asking? It surpasses Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor's ridiculous 3.83 clip from 2010-11.
Last week: No. 3
3. Wisconsin, (19-8, 10-4) – How confident is Ben Brust? Not only has the junior averaged 15 points in the last six games, he's reached double figures in all six – a steak that doubles his previous longest run of double-digit scoring.
Last week: No. 4
4. Michigan State, (22-6, 11-4) – Quite the surprise, Keith Appling compiled the worst consecutive games of his career this past week. The point guard went a combined 2-of-14 from the field (14 percent) and averaged 4.5 points, 1.5 assists and 3.5 turnovers in losses to Indiana and Ohio State.
Last week: No. 2
5. Ohio State, (20-7, 10-5) – Deshaun Thomas tied a season-low with four field goals Sunday, however Ohio State still took down No. 5 Michigan State. That's impressive, and the Buckeyes have Aaron Craft and his career-high 21 points to thank.
Last week: No. 6
6. Illinois, (20-9, 7-8) – The Illini went 21 days without a loss before falling at then-No. 7 Michigan on Sunday. For what it's worth, each of the last two times Illinois has lost following a win, it's suffered a three-game funk. Next two dates: vs. Nebraska and at Iowa.
Last week: No. 5
7. Iowa, (17-10, 6-8) – Because Aaron White draws so many fouls, his field goal attempts can be a little deceiving. Whether he's getting to the line zero or 10 times a game, the Iowa sophomore needs to put up more than the 5.3 shots that he's averaging the past four games.
Last week: No. 7
8. Minnesota, (18-9, 6-8) – Since Minnesota scored 84 points in a victory over Nebraska on Jan. 29, the Gophers have averaged a pathetic 53.2 points in their last six games. The highest output during the extended offensive funk: 62, vs. Iowa.
Last week: No. 8
9. Nebraska, (13-14, 4-10) – It might not sound like much to some, but the Huskers are 4-5 in their last nine games. Saturday's rally from a 19-point deficit marks the best win during the streak. And, how about that Dylan Talley game-winner?
Last week: T-No. 9
10. Purdue, (13-14, 6-8) – All of the sudden, Terone Johnson thinks he's a 3-point shooter. The junior made a career-high four treys – on five attempts – Sunday night against Northwestern. And this a guy who tied a career-high with three 3s two games earlier.
Last week: T-No. 9
11. Northwestern, (13-15, 4-11) – All you need to know about Northwestern right now is this: It's scored 41, 41 and 43 points the last three times out. That's three straight games of flirting with the program's lowest total (37) during Bill Carmody's 12-plus seasons.
Last week: No. 11
12. Penn State, (8-18, 0-14) – Don't let the zero Big Ten wins fool you, Penn State has been far more competitive recently. In its last three games, in fact, it's lost by two vs. Iowa, by eight at Michigan and by five at Illinois.
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.|