BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS

Marcus Fuller’s rankings, with five teams to watch:

 

1. Purdue (23-5, 12-3)

Title run: The Boilermakers play two of their last three games on the road, but their fate is in their own hands for the Big Ten title. If they finish 3-0 at Michigan, vs. Indiana and at Northwestern, then crown ’em.

 

2. Wisconsin (22-6, 11-4)

Let down: Wisconsin and Purdue were supposed to be neck-and-neck in the conference championship race. But the Badgers put themselves behind, losing three of four, including 83-73 at Ohio State on Thursday.

 

3. Maryland (22-6, 10-5)

4. Minnesota (21-7, 9-6)

Red hot: The Gophers enter Saturday tied with Purdue for the longest win streak in the Big Ten at six straight games. When was the last time you remember the Gophers were this hot going into March?

 

5. Northwestern (20-8, 9-6)

6. Michigan (18-10, 8-7)

7. Michigan State (17-11, 9-6)

Bubble talk: The Spartans are too close to the bubble to feel safe that Tom Izzo’s near 20-year streak of NCAA tourneys stays alive. They would be much more comfortable by beating Wisconsin on Sunday.

 

8. Iowa (15-13, 7-8)

9. Penn State (14-14, 6-9)

10. Illinois (16-12, 4-9)

11. Ohio State (16-13, 6-10)

Matta milestone: The Buckeyes showed their potential Thursday. That gave Thad Matta the most games coached in program history (457). His team needs to play like that for him more often.

 

12. Nebraska (12-15, 6-9)

13. Indiana (15-13, 5-10)

14. Rutgers (13-16, 2-14)