|1. Michigan State (17-1, 6-0) • Even|
|Last week: Jan. 7 W at Northwestern 54-40, Jan. 18 W at Illinois 78-62|
|This week: Tuesday vs Indiana 7pm ESPN, Saturday vs #21 Michigan 7pm|
The most impressive number that demonstrates what the Spartans have done in Big Ten play is four. Tom Izzo’s team has already won four road games in the conference, something that most teams will be lucky to accomplish throughout the entire 18-game slate.
|2. Michigan (13-4, 5-0) • Up 2|
|Last week: Jan. 14 W vs Penn State 80-67, Jan. 18 W at #3 Wisconsin 77-70|
|This week: Wednesday vs #10 Iowa 7pm BTN, Saturday at #3 Michigan State 7pm|
Four non-conference losses and back surgery for Mitch McGary means the Wolverines must be done right? Wrong. The loss of the preseason All-American has rallied the Michigan big men and the combination of Jon Horford and Jordan Morgan has been consistent enough to lead the Maize and Blue to a huge win in Madison.
|3. Iowa (15-3, 4-1) • Even|
|Last week: Jan. 19 W vs Minnesota 94-73|
|This week: Wednesday at #21 Michigan 7pm BTN, Saturday at Northwestern 12pm|
Iowa has impressed the country with a 4-1 conference start that includes a win in Columbus over the then-third-ranked Buckeyes. A trip to Ann Arbor Wednesday will give the Hawkeyes a chance to prove that game wasn’t just a fluke.
|4. Wisconsin (16-2, 3-2) • Down 2|
|Last week: Jan. 14 L at Indiana 72-75, Jan. 18 L vs Michigan 70-77|
|This week: Wednesday at Minnesota 9pm BTN, Saturday at Purdue 5pm|
Nobody expected Wisconsin to lose back-to-back games after starting the season 16-0, but the Badgers still sit inside the top 10 in the country. Wisconsin is one of the most difficult teams in the country to guard, as players like Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky stretch the floor with dangerous outside shooting.
|5. Minnesota (14-5, 3-3) • Up 1|
|Last week: Jan. 16 W vs #11 Ohio State 63-53, Jan. 19 L at #14 Iowa 94-73|
|This week: Wednesday vs #9 Wisconsin 9pm BTN, Sunday at Nebraska 6pm|
Minnesota has had one of the more difficult conference schedules through six games. Although the Gophers have lost to the top three teams in the conference, wins over Ohio State and Purdue could end up being critical tie-breakers for the middle seeds of the Big Ten tournament.
|6. Purdue (13-5, 3-2) • Up 1|
|Last week: Jan. 15 W at Illinois 66-58, Jan. 18 W vs Penn State 65-64|
|This week: Tuesday at Northwestern 9pm BTN, Saturday vs #9 Wisconsin 5pm|
Matt Painter’s team has yet to play a team with a winning Big Ten record. Purdue appears to be the definition of a middle-of-the-pack conference team, as all five games have been decided by single digits thus far.
|7. Northwestern (9-10, 2-4) • Even|
|Last week: Jan. 15 L vs #4 Michigan State 40-54, Jan. 18 W at Indiana 54-47|
|This week: Tuesday vs Purdue 9pm BTN, Saturday vs #10 Iowa 12pm|
Chris Collins is coming off the most surprising week in the Big Ten this season. The Wildcats got their first conference win against No. 23 Illinois last Sunday, hung with Michigan State on Wednesday and beat Indiana on the road Saturday.
|8. Indiana (12-6, 2-3) • Up 2|
|Last week: Jan. 14 W vs #3 Wisconsin 75-72, Jan. 18 L vs Northwestern 47-54|
|This week: Tuesday at #3 Michigan State 7pm ESPN, Sunday vs Illinois 3pm|
Indiana appeared to be turning things around after an 0-2 conference start with a win at Penn State and upset over No. 3 Wisconsin. Then, the streak came to an abrupt halt in Evanston, where Northwestern shocked the streaking Hoosiers, 54-47.
|9. Nebraska (9-8, 1-4) • Up 2|
|Last week: Jan. 12 L at Purdue 64-70|
|This week: Monday W vs #17 Ohio State 68-62, Thursday at Penn State 8pm, Sunday vs Minnesota 6pm|
After missing three layups to lose to Michigan by one point and falling at Purdue by six, Nebraska finally broke through to get its first Big Ten win Monday night against No. 17 Ohio State. Remember, power rankings demonstrate how teams are playing right now, and Nebraska has definitely looked better than Ohio State and Illinois, which are currently on a combined eight-game losing streak.
|10. Ohio State (15-4, 2-4) • Down 5|
|Last week: Jan. 12 L vs #20 Iowa 74-84, Jan. 16 L at Minnesota 53-63|
|This week: Monday L at Nebraska 62-68, Thursday vs Illinois 7pm ESPN|
The Buckeyes’ four-game losing streak has covered every side of the Big Ten spectrum. They have lost on the road (Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska) and at home (Iowa). They’ve lost to an undefeated conference opponent (Michigan State) and a previously-winless one (Nebraska). Thad Matta’s team will almost surely get things back on track soon, but right now Ohio State is absolutely reeling.
|11. Illinois (13-6, 2-4) • Down 2|
|Last week: Jan. 12 L at Northwestern 43-49, Jan. 15 L vs Purdue 58-66, Jan. 18 L vs #4 MSU 62-78|
|This week: Thursday at #17 Ohio State 7pm ESPN, Sunday at Indiana 3pm|
The difference between Ohio State’s four-game losing streak and that of Illinois is simple: the Buckeyes’ streak will likely end on Thursday. The Fighting Illini have shown no signs of being able to come out of Columbus with a victory, and the losing streak will likely reach at least eight before they visit Penn State on February 9th.
|12. Penn State (9-10, 0-6) • Even|
|Last week: Jan. 14 L at Michigan 67-80, Jan. 18 L at Purdue 64-65|
|This week: Thursday vs Nebraska 8pm ESPNU|
Pat Chambers’ team missed a real opportunity to get off the schneid on Saturday. Penn State held a lead late on the road and allowed Purdue to steal away a chance at a valuable Big Ten road win in the final seconds.