Big Ten Hoops Power Rankings: Is Anyone Actually Good?

By Eric Gibson on January 10, 2017 at 9:00 am
Amir Coffey

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports


The madness continues through week two of Big Ten basketball. Search the web for any Big Ten power rankings, and you'll find a different list every time. We're not even a quarter of the way through the season and everyone's already dropped a league game. 

We don't know what lasting impact this crazy season could have on the league, but a shift in the balance of power has already made for a wacky year. Can Minnesota actually win the league after an 8-win season in 2016? Have you ever seen so many critics of John Beilein and Thad Matta? Nothing is normal in this year's Big Ten.

Big Ten Power Rankings (Week 2)
RanK Team Record/Prev
Wk ResultS

The Skinny


Last Week


13-3 (2-1)


Last Week:

W 75-68 @ IND
L 66-55 @ PUR
Wisconsin had a chance to take command of the early Big Ten race, but they didn't look particularly good in Mackey Arena. Their offense laid an egg (0.85 PPP) against Purdue's stellar defense, but the Badgers did get a quality road win in Assembly Hall against Indiana. I don't think it's fair to drop what's still probably the best team in the Big Ten, because I don't let the league's unbalanced schedule dictate my power rankings. 


Last Week: 3


14-3 (3-1)


Last Week:

W 77-76 @ OSU
W 66-55 vs WIS
Purdue was able to move past the Minnesota letdown with two big victories last week. They survived a very close game in Columbus with some luck. The refs missed a shot clock violation late that would've negated two Purdue points, while Trevor Thompson missed a free throw to take the lead with 15 seconds to play. But Matt Painter's team then controlled Wisconsin in impressive fashion at home. The Boilermakers travel to Iowa City this week.  


Last Week: 4


15-2 (3-1)


Last Week:

W 70-66 @ NW
W 78-68 vs OSU
It doesn't feel like a question anymore. Minnesota is going to the NCAA tournament and Richard Pitino has as good of a chance as anybody to win National COY. They picked up another quality road win against Northwestern, which earned them the No. 24 ranking in the latest AP poll. Things get bumpier from here with three road games sandwiched around a home date with Wisconsin. But if the Gophers can split these next four games, they should remain in contention for the Big Ten crown. 


Last Week: 2

Michigan St

11-6 (3-1)


Last Week:

W 93-65 vs RUT
L 72-63 @ PSU
With Miles Bridges returning and two games against Rutgers and PSU, Tom Izzo's team was expected to have an easy week. While they destroyed Rutgers at home, they were soundly defeated at the Palestra by an energized Penn State team. Izzo called it a humiliating loss due to his players' poor effort in such a historic venue. The Spartans return home to host Minnesota this week in a rematch from the Big Ten opener. They'll need Bridges to return to form sooner than later. 


Last Week


9-7 (3-1)


Last Week: 

W 93-90 (2OT) vs IOWA
L 74-66 vs NW
The game of the year so far was in Lincoln this past week. Two young teams in the Huskers and Hawkeyes went shot-for-shot in a double overtime affair. Tim Miles' crew was able to secure the win down the stretch behind the fantastic play of Tai Webster and Glynn Watson. They didn't have enough in the tank for Northwestern over the weekend, but it was important they won at least one home game last week. Nebraska has the week off before traveling to Ann Arbor on Saturday.


Last Week: 10


14-2 (2-1)

Last Week:
W 77-70 @ UM

The Terps had all week to digest their choke job against Nebraska, but they responded with a huge win in Ann Arbor. Melo Trimble was big down the stretch again, while the Terps' freshman are steadily improving. Despite their record, they're still ranked outside KenPom's top-50, but they have two winnable games this week versus Indiana and at Illinois. 


Last Week


13-4 (2-2)


Last Week: 

L 70-66 vs MIN
W 74-66 
Losing home games in league play is always disappointing, but the Wildcats responded with a quality road win at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were hot off a 3-game winning streak, but Northwestern torched their defense for 1.22 PPP. The offense drilled 11 treys for a 62.2 eFG% that proved to be the difference. The Wildcats could further solidify their NCAA chances with two wins this week at Rutgers and versus Iowa.   


Last Week: 6


11-5 (1-2)


Last Week:

L 75-68 vs WIS
W 96-80 vs ILL
The Tom Crean critics are out in full force again in Bloomington. This team has big issues on the defensive end, but that's been a common theme over his tenure. Not once has IU held a Big Ten opponent under 1.15 PPP in four tries. They are arguably the league's most talented team, but their defense must improve if they are going to have a memorable season. Tough road game tonight in College Park, but an Indiana win could get their season back on track. 


Last Week


10-7 (2-2)


Last Week:

L 93-90 (2OT)
W 68-62 vs RUT
Peter Jok is incredible. We wish he was on a team destined for the NCAA tournament rather than mentoring Iowa's new crop of freshmen, but his performance in Lincoln was unforgettable, even in defeat. We'll forgive Fran McCaffery's team for struggling at home against Rutgers, since it was a quick turnaround from the exhausting double overtime defeat. But they have their work cut out for them this week with Purdue coming to town and a road trip to Evanston.


Last Week: 13

Penn St

10-7 (2-2)


Last Week: 

L 72-69 @ UM
W 72-63 MSU
Pat Chambers faced two of his biggest nemeses in the Big Ten last week and damn-near beat both. His team's meltdown in Ann Arbor (blew 14-point lead with 12 minutes to go) marred what was an impressive showing otherwise, but they responded on a national stage against the 3-0 Spartans. The Lions are quickly improving with two home games against Minnesota and Indiana next on the schedule.  


Last Week: 8


11-5 (1-2)


Last Week:

W 72-69 vs PSU
L 77-70 vs MD
Much like Indiana, Michigan has significant issues defensively. They couldn't stop a PSU offense rated the second worst in the Big Ten before PSU's youth gave them new life with careless turnovers down the stretch. The disturbing trend continued against Maryland but this time it resulted in the loss. The Wolverines have had the easiest opening schedule per KenPom, but they're only 1-2 so far. They must regroup on the defensive end with two winnable games this week at Illinois and versus Nebraska.


Last Week: 11


11-5 (1-2)


Last Week:

L 96-80 @ IND
Illinois' lone conference win doesn't look so great with the Buckeyes struggling, and they didn't even compete in their two losses. The Illini surrendered a whopping 1.4 PPP to Indiana's high-powered offense on Saturday. If John Groce's team is going to make a run at the NCAA tournament (doubtful), they must win both home games this week against Michigan and Maryland. 


Last Week: 12

Ohio St

10-6 (0-3)


Last Week: 

L 76-75 PUR
L 78-68 @ MIN
Well things are going the wrong way in a hurry in Columbus. After it was announced that Keita Bates-Diop was done for the year, the Buckeyes then lost both games last week. They had Purdue on the ropes at home, but couldn't get the job done. Now their season's on life support, and Thad Matta is feeling some serious heat. But Ohio State can't possibly fire him after this season, can they? 


Last Week


11-6 (0-4)


Last Week:

L 93-65 @ MSU
L 68-62 @ IOWA
Two road games for the Scarlet Knights last week, so it's no surprise they went 0-2. They were able to go up 9 midway through the second half at Carver-Hawkeye, but Iowa found a way to hold on. This team will likely win 2-3 games, but they missed a chance against a young and exhausted Hawkeye team. Can they temporarily derail Northwestern's season on Thursday at the RAC?

All team logo photos are courtesy of 247Sports.

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