Men’s college basketball writer Amelia Rayno provides her final power ranking of the Big Ten season and lays out what each team is playing for in the conference tournament starting Thursday:
It’s been a topsy-turvy year, but at the end of the regular season, the Hoosiers are still on top of the Big Ten and in the nation’s top three. Indiana finished the regular season on a resounding note — defeating Michigan in Ann Arbor — but now the Hoosiers will be playing to lock up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
2. Ohio State
You have to give it to the Buckeyes — what a final act! Ohio State picked up a season that looked on the ropes and infused it with new life, with the Buckeyes winning their last five, including games against Michigan State and at Indiana. With a good performance this weekend, the Buckeyes could get as high as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
3. Michigan State
The Spartans went through their three-game losing streak, but they appear to be on the up-and-up now. Are they worn out, or simply “battle-tested” as coach Tom Izzo implies? The difference could mean whether the Spartans play well in the Big Ten tournament and challenge for a No. 1 seed or a 2-4.
Not the prettiest end to the season for the Wolverines, who dropped five of their last 10, including a shocker at Penn State, but there is little doubt Michigan will come into the Big Ten tournament hungry and eager to show that despite a fifth-place conference finish, they belong with the elite.
|Sam Houston St||76|
|Stephen F Austin||83|
|Miss Valley St||66|
|Miss Valley St||61|
|Central Conn St||53||FINAL|
|Mount St Marys||87||FINAL|