Jon Crispin, BTN men's basketball analyst, December 31, 2018
Happy New Year, Big Ten fans!
Before we reenter Big Ten play, it's time to consider how the conference stacks up. Unsurprisingly, everyone's looking up at undefeated and reigning national runner-up Michigan.
See my full power rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal, below.
1. Michigan (13-0, 2-0). A John Beilein team playing championship level basketball in November and December…look out.
2. Michigan State (11-2, 2-0). Tremendous balance, great experience and all-conference caliber point guard play.
3. Ohio State (12-1, 2-0). I see limitations with this year's Buckeyes, but I can't doubt what Chris Holtmann can do to maximize talent.
4. Wisconsin (10-3, 2-0). Even after a tough road loss, this looks like a lot of the successful Badger teams of the past two decades
5. Nebraska (11-2, 1-1). One of the best, and most challenging, starting lineups in the conference and a legitimate Top-25 team.
6. Iowa (11-2, 0-2). Significant potential with plenty of toughness-testers ahead in Big Ten play.
7. Indiana (11-2, 2-0). Hoosiers have to find offensive continuity and rhythm to unlock their true potential.
8. Minnesota (11-2, 1-1). Managing inconsistent point guard play will be a key to its success.
9. Maryland (10-3, 1-1). Highly competitive and just scratching the surface to how good this young and lengthy team can be.
10. Purdue (8-5, 1-1). A completely different 'Outside-In' look with one of the nation's best players in Carsen Edwards being the focal point of their attack.
11. Northwestern (9-4, 0-2). A true point guard away from being a Top-25 team, but still close to breaking into the middle of the Big Ten pack.
12. Penn State (7-6, 0-2). One of the most intriguing teams in the B1G with two of my favorite players in the conference: Josh Reaves and Lamar Stevens.
13. Illinois (4-9, 0-2). The ability to sustain 40 minutes of pressure and tempo may define their season.
14. Rutgers (7-5, 0-2). Looking more and more like a consistent competitor in the Big Ten every day.