BIG TEN POWER POLL
Wisconsin (18-10, 10-5 Big Ten): Athletic director Barry Alvarez has officially posted the head coaching job opening, but after Greg Gard has authored nine victories in the last 10 games, it’s probably all his.
Michigan State (23-5, 10-5): With games against Penn State, Rutgers and Ohio State remaining, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spartans win out.
Indiana (23-6, 13-3): The Hoosiers have won six of their past eight games and are alone in first place, but they have dates with Iowa and Maryland to end the regular-season slate.
Purdue (21-7, 9-6): The Boilermakers plowed back from a 19-point deficit against Indiana, but they still lost for the third time in five games.
Maryland (23-5, 10-4): The Terrapins have turned the ball over 33 times in the past two games (13 by Melo Trimble), including 15 in a 68-63 loss to the Gophers.
Iowa (20-7, 11-4): The Hawkeyes have lost three of their past four while shooting only 32.9 percent from three-point range.
Penn State (15-13, 6-9): What’s going on in Happy Valley? The Nittany Lions have won four of their past five, including beating Indiana and Iowa.
Ohio State (18-11, 10-6): Say this at least: the Buckeyes have had an uncanny steadiness in beating the teams they “should” be beating in conference play.
Michigan (20-9, 10-6): The Wolverines are very close to sliding off the bubble after an uninspiring month of competition,
Gophers (8-19, 2-13): The Gophers appear to be playing their best basketball after their first two-game winning streak since November.
Nebraska (14-15, 6-10): Opponents have made at least nine three-point attempts in three of the Cornhuskers’ past four losses.
Northwestern (14-15, 6-10): The Wildcats haven’t scored more than 63 points in four consecutive games. Long ago are the days of apparent improvement.
Illinois (12-16, 4-11): The Illini have squandered first-half leads in each of the past two games, losses at Wisconsin and at home to Indiana.
Rutgers (6-22, 0-15): The Scarlet Knights have only three more chances to avoid going winless in the conference this season.