Rayno's final Big Ten power poll (and conference predictions)

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO
  • Updated: March 14, 2013 - 12:36 AM

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:

 

1. Indiana

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.

 

4. Michigan

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.

 

5. Wisconsin

The Badgers are a little prone to a letdown every now and then. In the same vein, when they are clicking, they can beat anyone. After sliding past Penn State in the season finale — a buzzer-beating victory and the only thing keeping them from dropping three straight — Wisconsin looks to get back on track and stay in the hunt for a top-four seed in the NCAA tourney.

 

6. Purdue

The days when the Boilermakers were getting beat by 30 points seem far away now that they have made a statement in their final stretch, beating Northwestern, Wisconsin and Minnesota in their last five games and nearly trumping Michigan as well. The Boilermakers don’t have enough victories to get an at-large bid into the Big Dance, so short of running the table this weekend they’re playing for the future.

 

7. Iowa

Winning six of their last eight, the Hawkeyes are peaking at the right time. Their weak overall resume hurts their chances of an NCAA tournament bid, but as Iowa heads into the Big Ten tournament, the young team is building up confidence for next season. A good Big Ten tournament run could yield an NCAA berth, or at worst momentum for a possible run in the NIT.

 

8. Illinois

The Illini have been up and down all year, and which of those high or low teams shows up could determine whether it makes the NCAA tournament or somehow falls off the bubble. Illinois has a very strong shot at making the NCAA tournament, but there is a difference between entering as an eight or nine and limping in as a double-digit seed.

 

 

 

 

9. Gophers

Nonconference dominance, a very strong RPI and plenty of quality victories have saved the Gophers from, well, a pretty significant collapse. Minnesota will almost surely make the NCAA tournament, but with another shot at gaining momentum, the Gophers will also be playing for seeding.

 

 

10. Penn State

The Nittany Lions migh t be last in the standings, but give them credit for what they’ve done in the past couple of weeks. After a massive win over Michigan, the Lions had a letdown vs. Minnesota but bounced back to beat Northwestern and scare Wisconsin. Can Penn State take another step next season? Perhaps we’ll see a glimpse of that growth this weekend.

 

11. Nebraska

Tim Miles’ bunch has shown a lot of growth and determination this year. And now they’re ready to play the role of spoiler. They’ve seen enough success to know what it tastes like and to try to recreate it.

 

12. Northwestern

At the beginning of the season, it seemed next to impossible for the Wildcats to fall lower than 10th with Penn State and Nebraska around. But injuries have hurt the Wildcats in a tough league. Northwestern, however, can bring a spark into next season with a win over Iowa in the first round on Thursday.

 

 

PREDICTION TIME

Big Ten teams that will get into the NCAA tournament: Seven. The conference has five locks — Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin — and three that are floating at least close to either side of the bubble: Iowa, Illinois and the Gophers. The Illini should make it based on their strong early wins, and what they managed to do in the conference, even without a winning record, and Minnesota, thanks to a bloated RPI and strength of schedule, seems safe regardless of what it does in the Big Ten tournament. Iowa is not far away, but it would take at least one, probably two wins this weekend. Beating Northwestern in the first round could happen, but beating Michigan State in the following game is unlikely.

Projected Big Ten tournament champ: Ohio State. The Big Ten has been all about Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State for most of the year, but it’s the Buckeyes who are coming in with all the momentum. And while the Big Three could run into some matchup pitfalls, Ohio State’s pathway looks as smooth as any.
 
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
 
The Big Ten has an overflow of talent, but here is a good place to start.

Trey Burke, Michigan: The Michigan sophomore point guard won Big Ten Player of the Year and is one of the favorites for National Player of the Year. Can Burke (19 ppg, 6.8 apg, 39.6 three-point percentage) start to solidify that bid in Big Ten tournament play? After losing to Indiana in the final game of the regular season, you can bet Burke will be coming out full of fire.

Victor Oladipo, Indiana: The junior (13.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.2 steals per game, 61.4 percent from the field), whose improvement from a year ago has stunned and delighted those who have watched it play out in Indiana, is just a hair behind Burke in national consideration. After finishing the season head-to-head, the electrifying Oladipo could get another shot at Burke in the semifinals. Yes, please.

Gary Harris, Michigan State: It’s one thing to receive preseason accolades. It’s another to live them out on a team that already has great talent and scoring, and to do it regardless of injuries. What Harris (13.2 ppg, 41.9 three-point percentage, Big Ten Freshman of the Year) has done for Michigan State is nothing short of impressive. Along with Keith Appling and Adreian Payne, if Harris is rolling, the Spartans can go far.

Aaron Craft, Ohio State: The junior might not record the flashy numbers that teammate Deshaun Thomas does, but his presence sets the tone for defensive-minded Ohio State. Craft (9.7 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.6 rpg) has harassed opponents so much that he was recently named one of the most hated players of the last 30 years by Grantland.com. And if the Buckeyes can shut down scoring threats, they have a chance to do some damage.

Jermaine Marshall, Penn State: Teammate D.J. Newbill leads the way in scoring, but with Marshall stepping up big in tandem, Penn State is getting a little dangerous. The junior (15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.4 apg) scored 23 points in Penn State’s near upset of Wisconsin on Sunday and 25 in the Nittany Lions’ upset over Michigan. He sees the Wolverines again in the first round. Repeat performance?
 

 

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Cleveland 26 FINAL
Atlanta 24
Tennessee 24 FINAL
Philadelphia 43
Detroit 9 FINAL
New England 34
Green Bay 24 FINAL
Minnesota 21
Jacksonville 3 FINAL
Indianapolis 23
Cincinnati 22 FINAL
Houston 13
Tampa Bay 13 FINAL
Chicago 21
Arizona 3 FINAL
Seattle 19
St. Louis 24 4th Qtr 2:04
San Diego 27
Miami 28 4th Qtr 10:16
Denver 25
Washington 13 4th Qtr 6:17
San Francisco 10
Dallas 7:30 PM
NY Giants
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
LA Clippers 27 2nd Qtr 5:44
Memphis 34
Portland 35 2nd Qtr 3:08
Boston 43
Charlotte 39 2nd Qtr 4:17
Miami 43
Golden State 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Denver 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
St. Louis 3 3rd Prd 9:07
Winnipeg 2
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Arizona 7:00 PM
Anaheim
Chicago 8:30 PM
Vancouver
Coll of Charleston 61 FINAL
George Mason 60
Massachusetts 75 FINAL
Florida State 69
Youngstown St 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 67
Wofford 64 FINAL
Sam Houston St 53
Ark-Pine Bluff 43 FINAL
Central Mich 75
Southern Ill 67 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Drexel 61 FINAL
Cornell 59
American Univ 51 FINAL
Morehead State 46
CS-Northridge 88 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 94
Bethune-Cookman 65 FINAL
Central Conn St 60
Columbia 54 FINAL
Lehigh 44
Texas A&M 64 FINAL
New Mexico 51
TX A&M-CC 62 FINAL
Saint Louis 56
Merchant Marine 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 89
South Dakota 72 FINAL
Fairfield 80
Longwood 48 FINAL
Eastern Mich 79
Providence 75 FINAL
Notre Dame 74
Jackson State 50 FINAL
UAB 58
Coppin State 54 FINAL
Denver 80
Northwestern St 68 FINAL
Oklahoma 90
Catawba 52 FINAL
Radford 88
Newman 57 FINAL
Wichita State 105
Yale 66 FINAL
Kent State 59
St Katherine 49 FINAL
UC Riverside 102
NC Central 45 FINAL
Creighton 65
South Florida 65 FINAL
NC State 68
USC 61 FINAL
Penn State 63
Nichols College 70 FINAL
Holy Cross 101
Dayton 65 FINAL
Boston College 53
Wagner 71 FINAL
Hofstra 93
Towson 79 FINAL
Monmouth 75
NC A&T 44 2nd Half 2:30
Bradley 52
Eastern Ill 47 2nd Half 1:25
Cincinnati 52
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Georgia 74
Presbyterian 45 2nd Half 2:54
Louisiana Tech 72
St Francis-NY 73 2nd Half 1:03
Rutgers 71
UMKC 44 2nd Half 6:11
Samford 55
Binghamton 53 2nd Half 11:34
Navy 45
USC Upstate 37 2nd Half
UCF 35
UMass Lowell 25 2nd Half
Fordham 24
Montana State 11 2nd Half
Kentucky 39
Iona 23 1st Half 3:10
North Texas 26
Gardner-Webb 24 1st Half 1:47
Seton Hall 36
Akron 12 1st Half 10:32
South Carolina 10
Hood College 6:00 PM
Howard
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Tennessee St 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Connecticut 6:00 PM
West Virginia
Delaware 6:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
Mercer 7:00 PM
Colorado State
SD Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Northern Ariz 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Manhattan 7:00 PM
Northeastern
Pacific 7:00 PM
Washington
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Charlotte
Old Dominion 8:00 PM
Illinois State
UC Irvine 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Long Beach State 9:00 PM
UCLA
Montana 9:30 PM
Seattle
Char Southern 9 FINAL
(8) Georgia 55
South Alabama 12 FINAL
So Carolina 37
Rutgers 3 FINAL
(10) Michigan State 45
(22) Minnesota 28 FINAL
Nebraska 24
Northwestern 38 FINAL
Purdue 14
(19) Marshall 23 FINAL
UAB 18
Kansas 7 FINAL
(20) Oklahoma 44
Indiana 27 FINAL
(7) Ohio State 42
Penn State 14 FINAL
Illinois 16
(16) Eastern Ky 3 FINAL
Florida 52
TX-San Antonio 7 FINAL
Western Ky 45
SMU 7 FINAL
UCF 53
Tulsa 28 FINAL
Houston 38
Virginia Tech 3 FINAL
Wake Forest 6
Washington St 31 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 52
Louisiana Tech 27 FINAL
Old Dominion 30
Western Mich 32 FINAL
Central Mich 20
New Mexico 20 FINAL
(21) Colorado State 58
Eastern Mich 30 FINAL
Ball State 45
Appalachian St 35 FINAL
Louisiana 16
(12) Arizona 42 FINAL
Utah 10
FIU 14 FINAL
North Texas 17
(18) Ole Miss 0 FINAL
Arkansas 30
(24) Louisville 31 FINAL
Notre Dame 28
Maryland 23 FINAL
Michigan 16
Texas Tech 34 FINAL
Iowa State 31
(14) Wisconsin 26 FINAL
Iowa 24
Syracuse 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
Boston College 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 20
Georgia State 0 FINAL
(23) Clemson 28
Tulane 6 FINAL
East Carolina 34
Stanford 38 FINAL
California 17
Western Carolina 14 FINAL
(2) Alabama 48
ULM 30 FINAL
New Mexico St 17
So Florida 20 FINAL
Memphis 31
Colorado 10 FINAL
(3) Oregon 44
Fla Atlantic 34 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 35
Samford 7 FINAL
(15) Auburn 31
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Virginia 30
Vanderbilt 0 FINAL
(4) Miss State 51
(17) Missouri 29 FINAL
Tennessee 21
Oklahoma State 28 FINAL
(5) Baylor 49
USC 20 FINAL
(9) UCLA 38
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
Connecticut 0
(25) Boise State 63 FINAL
Wyoming 14
Oregon State 13 FINAL
Washington 37
Fresno State 40 FINAL
Nevada 20
UNLV 35 FINAL
Hawaii 37
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
New England 2 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 0 2nd Half 5:00
Los Angeles 1
Montreal 24 FINAL
Hamilton 40
Edmonton 18 14:45
Calgary 36
Alabama 58 FINAL
Temple 51
Massachusetts 46 FINAL
Florida State 74
Creighton 60 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 96
Bryant 79 FINAL
Boston College 90
Robert Morris 84 FINAL
UMBC 60
Sacred Heart 59 FINAL
Maine 58
Virginia Tech 72 FINAL
Providence 69
Coll of Charleston 61 FINAL
George Mason 71
Hartford 59 FINAL
Lafayette 74
William & Mary 80 FINAL
High Point 87
Western Ill 88 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 90
Pittsburgh 64 FINAL
James Madison 80
Toledo 48 FINAL
(24) Purdue 66
Western Mich 47 FINAL
Michigan 74
Cleveland State 73 FINAL
FIU 65
San Diego State 38 FINAL
(2) South Carolina 89
Mount St Marys 62 FINAL
Davidson 67
IUPUI 45 FINAL
(15) Michigan State 64
Illinois State 49 FINAL
Colorado State 70
Incarnate Word 49 FINAL
Indiana 85
Cincinnati 54 FINAL
Iowa State 85
Furman 69 FINAL
Clemson 79
VA Commonwealth 86 FINAL
Ohio State 96
Marquette 51 FINAL
(7) Duke 83
Bethune-Cookman 42 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Coppin State 54 FINAL
Wake Forest 65
(24) Georgia 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 57
Ball State 56 FINAL
(12) Louisville 69
Auburn 51 FINAL
Virginia 66
Utah 43 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 66
Minnesota 68 FINAL
Memphis 62
Georgetown 42 FINAL
Kansas 55
Northwestern St 30 FINAL
Arkansas 78
TX-San Antonio 72 FINAL
Lamar 40
Southern Miss 55 FINAL
McNeese State 57
Air Force 51 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 86
IUPU-Ft Wayne 73 FINAL
USC Upstate 85
Morgan State 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 65
Western Ky 77 FINAL
Miss State 88
Southern U 42 FINAL
Illinois 62
Eastern Illinois 59 FINAL
North Texas 57
Alabama State 61 FINAL
South Alabama 64
Wisconsin 77 FINAL
Drake 89
Seattle 61 FINAL
Montana State 74
UC Santa Barbara 49 FINAL
Northern Ariz 67
Hofstra 64 FINAL
Norfolk State 47
Iona 49 FINAL
Pacific 64
Middle Tennessee 71 FINAL
Ole Miss 65
Portland 67 FINAL
Cal Poly 76
(10) Texas 75 FINAL
UCLA 65
Fresno State 50 FINAL
USC 68
Ave Maria 54 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 102
Holy Cross 29 FINAL
(3) Notre Dame 104
Chicago State 14 2nd Half
Oakland 30
(11) North Carolina 28 2nd Half
Oregon 29
Harvard 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Princeton 6:00 PM
American Univ
Missouri 8:30 PM
(14) California
Yale 9:30 PM
Washington
UNLV 10:59 PM
Hawaii
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pm

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