staff, March 9, 2015

The Big Ten regular season came to a close Sunday night. Now, before the Big Ten tournament tips off, it's time to check out my latest Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal.


1. Wisconsin (28-3, 16-2). It was a dominant performance all season by the class of the Big Ten. It will be interesting to see if the Badgers can run through the Big Ten tourney and stay in contention for a No. 1 seed.
Last week: 1

2. Maryland (26-5, 14-4). The Terrapins have won 26 games in the regular season, the highest number in program history. Mark Turgeon is the Big Ten Coach of the Year, and, in my mind, it's not even close.
Last week: 2

3. Purdue (20-10, 12-6). Did what they had to do in the second half vs. Illinois to get a must-win and secure a spot in the Big Dance. Jon Octeus, Rapheal Davis and A.J. Hammons have emerged as leaders of this physically tough squad.
Last week: 3

4. Iowa (21-10, 12-6). Six victories in a row to finish the Big Ten conference slate makes Iowa the second hottest team in the league, behind Maryland. Aaron White has scored 20 points or more in the last four games, marking the first such streak in his career.
Last week: 7

5. Michigan State (21-10, 12-6). Two must-have wins, one without Branden Dawson for half of the game (vs. Purdue) and the other without him for the full game (at Indiana) were impressive. Winners of six of their last eight games has the Spartans trending upward at the right time.
Last week: 6

6. Ohio State (22-9, 11-7). With only one win over Top 50, I'm a little surprised the Buckeyes are ranked and viewed as highly as they are right now. They'll have more opportunities to bolster their resume this week.
Last week: 4

7. Indiana (19-12, 9-9). Take out the two wins against Rutgers in the Hoosiers' last 12 games, and they finished 2-8! At one time a lock for the NCAA tourney, now things are much more uncertain. Indiana needs two victories in the Big Ten tourney to feel really good.
Last week: 5

8. Illinois (19-12, 9-9). The Illini managed just two field goals in the first 13 minutes of the second half in Saturday's loss at Purdue. Finishing 2-4 in their last six games has left NCAA trip unlikely.
Last week: 8

9. Michigan (15-15, 8-10). Aubrey Dawkins is continuing the tradition of John Beilein's excellent player development. First-round matchup vs Illini crucial for Wolverines' chances of NIT bid.
Last week: 9

10. Northwestern (15-16, 6-12). Finishing 5-2 down the stretch has Wildcat Nation optimistic. First-round matchup against struggling Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten tourney could be interesting.
Last week: 11


11. Penn State (16-15, 4-14). Patrick Chambers finally got a close game to go Penn State's way behind D.J. Newbill's late heroics. The last-second win at Minnesota clinched at least .500 regular season record.
Last week: 13

12. Minnesota (17-14, 6-12). Winning the NIT last season, and with most of roster back, much more was expected of the Gophers. Early close losses seemed to take its toll on this squad. May find themselves returning to NIT.
Last week: 10

13. Nebraska (13-17, 5-13). Losing eight straight to end the regular season is not what I expected from this team. The Huskers inability to shoot spelled doom in Big Ten play. They're playing for pride this week in Chicago.
Last week: 12

14. Rutgers (10-21, 2-16). The Scarlet Knights just couldn't put a 40-minute stretch together since beating Wisconsin in January. Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack should approach Chicago with a big stage mentality and showcase their talent.
Last week: 14

About Stephen Bardo
The BTN basketball analyst and former Flyin' Illini star is a regular contributor to 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.