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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Robert Bondy

Big Ten Power Rankings: Spartans remain near top of league despite up and down week

It was another wild week in the Big Ten, with Michigan State experiencing some ups and downs along the way.

The Spartans went 1-2 in their three games this week, which included a one-point loss to the league’s top team Purdue. The lone win over Rutgers was big for their NCAA Tournament resume but it still feels like Michigan State left something on the table as we move forward to another week of conference play.

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See where the Michigan State and the rest of the Big Ten teams land in our latest batch of power rankings:


Record: 7-11 (1-7 in Big Ten)

Minnesota returns to their familiar home at bottom of the Big Ten this week. The Golden Gophers were held to less than 40 points against Purdue early in the week and came up short in an upset bid of Michigan on Sunday. This team will play you tough but lacks the talent to beat a lot of the squads in the Big Ten right now.


Record: 10-10 (3-6 in Big Ten)

Nebraska’s stint in the basement of our power rankings was short, with the Cornhuskers moving up this week. Nebraska knocked off Ohio State and challenged Penn State in a road loss — those two results add up to a solid week for many in this league.


Record: 11-8 (5-3 in Big Ten)

Michigan is tied for second place in the Big Ten but isn’t even on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament at the moment. That’s kind of wild to say but it’s the current circumstance for the Wolverines, who again this week failed to cash-in on a great opportunity in losing at Maryland.

Ohio State

Record: 11-8 (3-5 in Big Ten)

It wasn’t long ago that Ohio State was challenging for the top spot in our power rankings, but that seems like forever ago now. The Buckeyes were able to beat Iowa over the weekend to snap a five-game losing steak — which included losses to Minnesota, Nebraska and Maryland — but things overall aren’t looking good in Columbus.


Record: 12-7 (3-5 in Big Ten)

Maryland had a solid week overall, with a victory over Michigan and near upset of Purdue. The Terps remain a solid bunch that can play with anyone but can also lose to anyone as well.


Record: 12-5 (3-3 in Big Ten)

It was a blast from the past kind of week for Northwestern — well, from 2020. The Wildcats were dealing with a COVID outbreak within their team this week and forced to postpone both of their games. If everything is back to normal for the Wildcats, they’ll be back on the floor on Monday vs. Wisconsin.


Record: 12-7 (4-4 in Big Ten)

Iowa only took the floor once this week and it was a loss at Ohio State. The Hawkeyes had a great opportunity to beat a struggling Buckeyes-squad but were able to cash-in It’s not a bad loss but still feels like a missed opportunity for a team fighting for a NCAA Tournament bid.

Penn State

Record: 13-6 (4-4 in Big Ten)

Penn State is a perfect example of a good but not great team in the Big Ten this year. The Nittany Lions came close to upsetting Wisconsin on the road but followed it up with a convincing win over Nebraska on Saturday. If Penn State continues to play consistently and grab an upset or two along the way, they’ll surely be dancing in March.


Record: 12-5 (4-3 in Big Ten)

Like Ohio State, Wisconsin has plummeted in recent weeks. That changed this week, however, with a much-needed win over Penn State in their lone action. The Badgers got star forward Tyler Wahl back this week after missing the previous three games, and should be able to get things back on track now.


Record: 13-6 (5-3 in Big Ten)

Rutgers has been playing really well as of late but their offense was never able to get going against the Spartans in their lone game this week. The Scarlet Knights still are winless at the Breslin Center all-time but still remain one of the top teams in the conference this year.

Michigan State

Record: 13-7 (5-4 in Big Ten)

If Michigan State had any defensive answer to opponent’s big men, this would have been a season-defining week. The Spartans went 1-2 this past week, with Zach Edey leading Purdue and Trayce Jackson-Davis leading Indiana over the Spartans in their two defeats. An impressive win over Rutgers was sandwiched between the two losses, but this was still a tough week overall for Michigan State.


Record: 13-6 (4-4 in Big Ten)

I officially have no idea what to make of Illinois. The Fighting Illini appeared to be rounding into form over the past few weeks only to lay a complete stinker performance this week against Indiana. There’s no excuse for losing by 15 points at home to a banged up Hoosiers team — especially when the Fighting Illini had looked so dominant in their last three games.


Record: 13-6 (4-4 in Big Ten)

There won’t be many better weeks this year than what Indiana accomplished this past week. The Hoosiers picked up a dominant victory at Illinois and followed it up with another double-digit victory over the Spartans on Sunday. It seems like Indiana is back on track.


Record: 19-1 (8-1 in Big Ten)

It was another strong week for the Boilermakers. It started with a narrow victory over the Spartans and concluded with another narrow victory over Maryland. Purdue is starting to run away with the Big Ten as we hit the halfway mark of conference play.

Contact/Follow us @The SpartansWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Michigan state news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow Robert Bondy on Twitter @RobertBondy5.

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