1. Michigan State
Michigan State still hasn’t lost in conference play to anyone who isn’t making the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans crushed Minnesota on Tuesday, then almost suffered a horrifying loss before making the biggest comeback in Big Ten basketball history against Northwestern.
2. Ohio State
The Buckeyes finally ascended to No. 1 in these power rankings last week, so it’s only natural that they got punted out of the gym at Penn State and lost by 12 at Michigan. Unproductive performances by Keita Bates-Diop were one common thread between the two losses.
Michigan beat Ohio State, and in the process asserted itself as a worthy member of the Big Ten title race. After two unsuccessful attempts to upset Purdue, this is a big win that also doubles as some revenge for losing a 20-point lead to the Buckeyes earlier this season. A Wednesday game against the Penn State team we’re all raving about now should be fun.
The Boilermakers snapped their three-game losing streak despite not having Vince Edwards against Penn State in a 76-73 win on Sunday, but the Boilermakers seem to have some real problems. Losing to Ohio State and Michigan State wasn’t too concerning since each seems to be legitimately good-to-great, but losing to Wisconsin is something else. I can’t even begin to explain what happened there. Wisconsin only had two double-digit scorers! What?
5. Penn State
Penn State: a bubble team again? Two wins over Ohio State are a nice addition to the Nittany Lions’ resume, although a win over Purdue would have been even better. The Wednesday night game against Michigan is big for Penn State’s resume.
The Huskers’ NCAA Tournament hopes took a hit with a 72-66 loss to lowly Illinois on Sunday. Nebraska’s room for error here is razor-thin, and while a loss like that doesn’t torpedo the Huskers’ resume, it definitely hurts.
The Terps couldn’t quite topple Nebraska on Tuesday, and beat Rutgers on Sunday. Their NCAA Tournament chances appear shot.
A win over Michigan State would have been a nice moment in a disappointing season for Northwestern. Alas, the Wildcats only scored 11 second-half points and squandered their opportunity.
Wisconsin did what Northwestern couldn’t. On Frank Kaminsky night, the Badgers upset Purdue in what was easily their best game of the season. It was a fitting way to send out one of their biggest stars in recent memory.
Wins over Iowa and Illinois mean the Hoosiers have followed up their four-game losing streak with a four-game winning streak. A much lower level of competition in the latter four games is the biggest reason why, but still nice to see a couple of Ws for Indiana.
The Gophers only played one game last week, and it was a 30-point loss to Michigan State. Make that eight straight losses for Minnesota.
Illinois beat Nebraska! That’s nice!
It’s been a tough five-game stretch for the Hawkeyes. After losses to Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan, Iowa dropped an 84-82 game to Indiana.
Snapped a seven-game losing streak with a win over Northwestern in overtime, then lost to Maryland. The Scarlet Knights take on Ohio State on Tuesday before ending their regular season against Illinois on Sunday.