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

Big Ten Power Rankings: Spartans rise after rivalry win, impressive week of basketball

It was a great week of basketball for Michigan State.

Michigan State was able to pick up a pair of wins, with a notable win over rival Michigan on Saturday. You could argue the competition wasn’t highly-quality but a 2-0 week in this league is impressive regardless of who you’re playing.

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Elsewhere in the Big Ten, there was madness with Purdue finally losing their first game, Iowa pulling off a miracle comeback and Illinois finally picking up their first conference win. So how do all of this week’s results shake up our power rankings?

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


Record: 6-8 (0-4 in Big Ten)

Minnesota was competitive in both of their matchups this week — at Wisconsin and home vs. Nebraska — but came up short late in each game. The Golden Gophers will most likely remain last in our power rankings all season long but they’ll eventually upset someone in the Big Ten this year.


Record: 9-7 (2-3 in Big Ten)

Nebraska was bombarded by the Spartans in their earlier week matchup but responded with an overtime road victory over Minnesota. The Cornhuskers have the ability to knock off anyone but also lack consistency right now to be anything more than a spoiler in the Big Ten.


Record: 11-5 (2-3 in Big Ten)

Maryland finally stopped the bleeding on Sunday to pickup a big win over Ohio State. The Terps had lost their last five games against non-mid major opponents so the victory over the Buckeyes was a must-have for Maryland.


Record: 10-5 (1-3 in Big Ten)

It was a bad week for the Hoosiers. Indiana blew a double-digit lead against Iowa early in the week, and followed it up with a home loss to Northwestern on Sunday. Making things even worse was the injury to Race Thompson who is now out indefinitely. The Hoosiers can’t catch a break right now.

Penn State

Record: 11-5 (2-3 in Big Ten)

Penn State dropped both of its league games this week against stiff competition. The Nittany Lions came up short late at Michigan early in the week, and failed to hold onto a halftime lead in their upset bid of Purdue on Sunday. Penn State needs to get back on track on Wednesday against Indiana.


Record: 9-6 (3-1 in Big Ten)

Michigan’s modest two-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday at the Breslin Center against rival Michigan State. The Wolverines still had an overall productive week, though, with a resume-boosting victory over Penn State earlier in the week.


Record: 10-5 (1-3 in Big Ten)

It was another difficult week for the Fighting Illini but it ended on a good note at least. Illinois fell to rival Northwestern earlier in the week and one of their key contributors Skyy Clark left the program. However, the Fighting Illini were able to bounce back on Saturday to knockoff the Badgers for their first conference win of the year.


Record: 10-6 (2-3 in Big Ten)

Iowa may have right the ship this week. The Hawkeyes had been struggling and looking destined for a rough year, but things changed this week. Iowa picked up notable wins over Indiana and Rutgers, and is back to looking like a fringe NCAA Tournament team again.


Record: 11-5 (3-2 in Big Ten)

Rutgers has a sour taste in their mouth currently but overall it was a solid week for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers was the first team all year to beat Purdue earlier this week, and followed that up with an impressive dominant victory over Maryland. Rutgers did come up short at home against Iowa on Sunday, but this still is one of the best teams in the conference at this point in the year.


Record: 12-3 (3-1 in Big Ten)

Like Michigan State, it was a great week for the Wildcats. Northwestern was able to knockoff rival Illinois earlier in the week and followed that up with a road victory over Indiana on Sunday. The Wildcats continue to pickup marquee wins to improve their NCAA Tournament resume.

Ohio State

Record: 10-5 (2-2 in Big Ten)

Ohio State was in the driver’s seat in an upset bid of Purdue earlier this week, but failed to close out the Boilermakers. Things got worse in a road loss at Maryland on Sunday. It’s hard to not drop the Buckeyes further in the power rankings but they still look like one of the top teams in the conference.


Record: 11-3 (3-1 in Big Ten)

It wasn’t a great week for the Badgers, who squeaked past rival Minnesota during the week then lost by double-digits to reeling Illinois on Saturday. Wisconsin also lost leading scorer Tyler Wahl to ankle injury against Minnesota — which caused him to miss the matchup with Illinois. It’s unclear how much time he’ll miss but Wisconsin needs him back in the lineup to be a true conference championship contender.

Michigan State

Record: 11-4 (3-1 in Big Ten)

Michigan State took care of business this week in a pair of home games where they were the favorites. Things will now get significantly harder with the Spartans playing three very good teams over the next eight days — at Wisconsin, at Illinois and home vs. Purdue. Don’t be surprised if the Spartans drop a few spots in next week’s power rankings.


Record: 15-1 (4-1 in Big Ten)

Purdue finally went down this week with Rutgers stunning the Boilermakers on Monday. Purdue was able to bounce back nicely, though, with wins at Ohio State and Penn State (technically a neutral site game in Philadelphia) to close out a tough seven day stretch. The Boilermakers are still the clear top team in the league for yet another week.

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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