Big Ten Power Rankings March 7

Welcome to Big Ten basketball power rankings! This is our final ranking before the Big Ten Tournament. This week, our rankings are made up of eight WIUX Sports personalities: Cole Dunbar (@Cole_Dunbar), Bobby Norell (@RENorell_III), Brian Fox (@RealBrianFox), Quinn Saturday (@QTipsforSports), Levi Snow (snowman2469), David Sugarman (Dshug24), Andrew Vailliencourt (@AndrewVcourt) and Tori Ziege (@ToriZiege).

Team Name, First Place Votes, Record, Average, High/Low

1. Wisconsin Badgers (8), (27-3, 15-2), Average: 1 High/Low: 1/1

What They’re Saying: “As we’ve come down to the end of the regular season in the B1G, Wisconsin can check another goal off its list. With a record currently at 15-2, the Badgers are the B1G regular season champions, but a new season starts next weekend for them to keep checking off their list of goals. A B1G tournament championship could mean a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and an easier path to Indianapolis.” — Cole Dunbar

2. Maryland Terrapins (25-5, 13-4) Average: 2, High/Low: 2/2

What They’re Saying: “The Terps are peaking at the right time, as they’ve won their last six games. The biggest reason for the this is the phenomenal play of Dez Wells, who has had games of 26 and 7 (Wisconsin), 22 and 6 (Purdue) and 20 and 10 (Rutgers) during that stretch.” — Brian Fox

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (22-8, 11-6), Average: 3.71, High/Low: 3/6

What They’re Saying: “With one game left in the season, it will be a crucial one for Ohio State. The Buckeyes currently sit in a four-way tie with Michigan State, Iowa and Purdue. Two of those teams will get a top-four spot and a bye until Friday of the B1G tournament. Ohio State arguably has the toughest challenge of them all in playing the B1G regular season champs, Wisconsin” — Cole Dunbar

4. Michigan State Spartans (20-10, 11-6), Average: 4.1, High/Low: 3/5

What They’re Saying: “You can never count out Tom Izzo in March. He has been able to hold this team together, and they are safely into the NCAA Tournament. However, if Brendan Dawson, their best player, can’t play at IU or in the Big Ten Tournament, that could cause major problems for this inconsistent squad.” — Andrew Vailliencourt

5. Iowa Hawkeyes (20-10, 11-6), Average: 4.57, High/Low: 3/6

What They’re Saying: “Iowa came into Assembly Hall and exploited the Hoosiers’ lack of size. Aaron White and Gabe Olaseni dominated in the paint and limited everything Indiana could do offensively. The Hawkeyes have won five in a row and appear to be tough enough for a good tournament run. This year’s team has won seven road games, the first Iowa squad since 1986-87 to accomplish that feat.” — Brian Fox

6. Purdue Boilermakers (19-11, 11-6), Average: 5.5, High/Low: 4/6

What They’re Saying: “The Boilers NCAA Tournament chances may have taken  a crushing blow this week as they dropped two on the road to Ohio State and Michigan State. They wrap up their regular season on Saturday at home against Illinois. Matt Painter’s squad will certainly have to win that game and probably one or two games in the Big Ten Tournament in order to make the big dance.” — Bobby Norell

7. Indiana Hoosiers (19-11, 9-8)Average: 7.1, High/Low: 7/8

What They’re Saying: “The Hoosiers have managed to play themselves from safety in the NCAA Tournament to squarely on the bubble. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has IU as a last four team in, having to play in the play-in game. In order to make the tournament and not have to play in a play-in game, the Hoosiers must beat Michigan State at home today. That or win two games in the Big Ten tourney. MSU spanked IU in the team’s first meeting this year. If IU can’t pull out the win, it will need one win in the conference tournament just to make a play-in game and will have to upset either Maryland or Wisconsin in the second game. If MSU doesn’t have Brendan Dawson today, there’s no excuse for a loss.” — Andrew Vailliencourt

8. Illinois Fighting Illini (19-11, 9-8), Average: 7.8, High/Low: 7/8 

What They’re Saying: “Through a slew of injuries and suspensions, head coach John Groce still has his team in a position to get off the bubble as the regular season winds down. With struggling Indiana just a spot ahead in the Big Ten standings, if the Illini win at Purdue and make  some noise in the conference tournament, they might need to get their dancing shoes ready.” — David Sugarman

9. Northwestern Wildcats (15-15, 6-11), Average: 9.71, High/Low: 9/11

What They’re Saying: “Nobody wants to play the Wildcats. Unexpected, but true.  After a brutal 10-game losing streak that saw a handful of close games slip through its fingers, Northwestern has won five out of six.  That includes an overtime duel with Iowa and a double overtime thriller against Michigan.  Although the post season, barring winning the Big Ten tournament, is still a far-off thought, this young team is starting to build momentum and confidence for the future.” — David Sugarman

10. Michigan (14-15, 7-10), Average:  10, High/Low: 9/11 

What They’re Saying: “Anything and everything has gone wrong for the Wolverines this season. This past week they lost at Maryland and Northwestern. Michigan fans should be greeting the end of the season with open arms because they will most likely not make any type of postseason tournament. The Wolverines will end their season on this afternoon, when they will play host to the hapless Rutgers Scarlet Knights.” — Bobby Norell

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers (17-13, 6-11), Average: 10.2, High/Low: 9/11

What They’re Saying: “If the Golden Gophers and Hoosiers win this weekend, they will meet in the 7-10 matchup on Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament. Here’s to hoping that game plays out similarly to how it did in Assembly Hall, in what was Minnesota’s worse loss of the conference season.” — Tori Ziege

12. Nebraska Cornhuskers (13-16, 5-12), Average: 12, High/Low: 12/12

What They’re Saying: “It appears as if the Cornhuskers have quit on each other. They team have lost seven in a row and 9 of 10 overall. Expectations were high with a roster very similar to last year’s NCAA tournament team, but now they won’t even make the NIT. I suppose that early season loss to Incarnate Word really was a sign of things to come.” — Levi Snow

13. Penn State Nittany Lions (15-15, 3-14), Average: 13, High/Low: 13/13

What They’re Saying: “I feel bad seeing a great player in Dj Newbill having his career end with so many losses.  However, this team is just not good enough to win in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lion’s 12-1 non-conference record was clearly a product of their schedule as they are 3-14 in conference play. ” — Levi Snow

14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-19, 2-14), Average: 14, High/Low: 14/14

What They’re Saying: “There’s not much to say here. It’s been nearly two months since Rutgers fans could celebrate a win. Now two years removed from the Mike Rice era and stability knowing they will be in the same conference next year, which hadn’t been the case the previous two seasons, hopefully the rebuilding process will take another step forward next year. When you’re at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.” — David Sugarman