1. Michigan State (22-5, 13-3) The first game without injured Nick Ward wasn’t so bad, because Cassius Winston played like a Big Ten Player of the Year (28 points vs. Rutgers). (Previous rank: 1)

 

2. Michigan (24-3, 13-3) The Wolverines, with all three Big Ten losses on the road this season, will try to stay in the hunt for the Big Ten title with Purdue and Michigan State. (2)

 

3. Purdue (19-7, 12-3) They have the most favorable final stretch of the regular season of the three league title contenders, but Carsen Edwards can’t struggle like he did with nine points on 4-for-24 shooting at Indiana. (3)

 

4. Maryland (20-7, 11-5) The Terrapins might be out of the mix for the top spot, but they’re a dangerous team come conference tourney time. Look at the victory at Iowa as an example. (4)

 

5. Wisconsin (18-8, 10-5) The Badgers sat All-America Ethan Happ in the last four minutes of the comeback victory Monday against Illinois. Whatever works to avoid Hack-a-Happ. (5)

 

6. Iowa (20-6, 9-6) The Hawkeyes had been pretty lucky to win on back-to-back buzzer-beaters but couldn’t make it a third in a row vs. Maryland. (6)

 

7. Minnesota (17-10, 7-9) Can the Gophers play more often like they did shooting the lights out and controlling the paint against the Hoosiers last weekend? (8)

 

8. Ohio State (17-9, 7-8) Kaleb Wesson is an All-Big Ten player in the frontcourt, but the Buckeyes haven’t given him much help consistently this season. (7)

 

9. Illinois (10-16, 6-9) If there were a second-half Big Ten coach of the year award, Brad Underwood would deserve consideration for making the Illini relevant. (11)

 

10. Rutgers (12-14, 5-11) The Scarlet Knights aren’t bottom-feeders anymore, but can they pull off another upset this season? (9)

11. Nebraska (15-12, 5-11) Tim Miles apologized about joking that he will still get paid millions if he’s fired, but he’s right. (12)

 

12. Indiana (13-13, 4-11) The Hoosiers haven’t been able to regain the mojo that helped them win at Michigan State, so their NCAA hopes evaporated. (10)

 

13. Penn State (10-16, 3-12) The Nittany Lions showed by upsetting Michigan what this season could have been if they were more consistent. (14)

 

14. Northwestern (12-14, 3-12) Chris Collins isn’t a bad coach. Vic Law isn’t a bad player. But the Wildcats are a bad team this year. (13)