1. Michigan (16-0, 5-0) Jordan Poole first gained attention for his game-winning shot in the NCAA tournament last year, but he’s emerging into the Wolverines’ best scoring guard.
2. Michigan State (14-2, 5-0) The Spartans are going as far as Cassius Winston can take them, which looks promising with him playing the best ball of his career.
2. Maryland (12-3, 4-1) Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando are arguably the league’s best NBA prospects, but Anthony Cowan is the Terrapins’ leader.
4. Indiana (12-3, 3-1) Romeo Langford is the top target on everyone’s scouting report for the Hoosiers, but he still is averaging 20.5 points in conference play.
5. Ohio State (12-3, 2-2) Chris Holtmann probably chewed out the Buckeyes after Rutgers outplayed them Wednesday, but winning on the road is not easy.
6. Wisconsin (11-4, 3-1) The Badgers might have gotten the wakeup call they needed with two consecutive losses, but beating Purdue at home Friday will be revealing.
7. Minnesota (12-3, 2-2) The Gophers don’t need to be in panic mode after a 15-point home loss to Maryland, but 14 missed free throws is a major concern.
8. Nebraska (12-4, 2-3) Tim Miles needs a big win to make sure his talented squad doesn’t lose confidence after some close road losses.
9. Iowa (12-3, 2-3) The Hawkeyes made strides defensively to win their second in a row Wednesday at Northwestern without Tyler Cook (knee).
10. Purdue (9-6, 2-2) Six losses in early January don’t look good, but the Boilermakers have victories over Maryland and Iowa when both were ranked.
11. Northwestern (10-6, 1-4) The Wildcats need to figure out how to get center Dererk Pardon more involved. Too inconsistent.
12. Rutgers (8-6, 1-3) Steve Pikiell finally can see his players rewarded for their hard work with the biggest win in his tenure Wednesday over Ohio State.
13. Penn State (7-9, 0-5) The Nittany Lions made national news for the wrong reason with Pat Chambers’ suspension for shoving a player in a game.
14. Illinois (4-12, 0-5) Best thing to happen to the Illni last week came in the form of landing five-star 6-11 center Kofi Cockburn in the 2019 class.