Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings Jan. 23

Welcome to Big Ten basketball power rankings! We’ll be posting new weekly rankings until the end of conference play. This week, our rankings are made up of six WIUX Sports personalities: 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 (6), (17-2, 5-1), Average: 1 High/Low: 1/1

What They’re Saying: “You want to see perfection? Wisconsin’s game against the Iowa Hawkeyes was as close to perfection as you’ll ever see  in college basketball. Not only did the Badgers beat the No. 25 ranked team by 32 points, they did it while committing only one team turnover the whole game. A lot of people started looking for teams to dethrone the Badgers after their puzzling loss to Rutgers (in which Frank Kaminsky didn’t play) but no team really has a chance. Indiana’s ability to hit a ton of threes makes it capable of beating anyone, but if the Hoosiers go cold they are capable of losing to anybody. In short, there is too much variance for the Hoosiers to contend with the Badgers (also doesn’t help that their only meeting this season takes place in the Kohl Center). Maryland has the best chance but they’ll have get over their road woes to capitalize on any win over Wisky. For now, Bo Ryan’s club remains the leader in the clubhouse.” – Quinn Saturday

2. Indiana Hoosiers (15-4, 5-1)Average: 2, High/Low: 2/2

What They’re Saying: “After I was able to broadcast an incredible IU-Maryland game thanks to WIUX last night, the Hoosiers – and Tom Crean – are getting my applause. With seven straight victories against ranked opponents in AH, IU has proven it is nearly impossible to beat at home when the stakes are high. The expectations will continue to raise for IU, but this week, they deserve praise for raising the bar higher than anyone could have expected after a tumultuous start to the season.” – Tori Ziege

3. Maryland Terrapins (17-3, 5-2) Average: 3, High/Low: 3/3 

What They’re Saying: “Sometimes there is just no way to beat your opponent no matter how well you play. That helpless team was Maryland at Assembly Hall. While the Terrapins did lose to the Hoosiers by 19 points, that doesn’t mean they didn’t play well. In fact, they shot a little over 50 percent from the field (27 of 53) and exactly 50 percent from 3-point range (10 of 20). It just so happens the Hoosiers had flames shooting out of their fingertips, hitting 60 percent from the field (30 of 50) and a ridiculously impossible 68.2 percent from 3-point range (15 of 22). Sure it is on the Terps to stop the Hoosiers from making those buckets, but if you watched that game you saw Hoosiers making these shots with hands in their faces almost half the time. The Terrapins are fine, they just ran into a buzzsaw Thursday night. If they can play like they did and not allow historic shooting nights, they’ll cure their road woes.” – Quinn Saturday

T-4. Iowa Hawkeyes (13-6, 4-2), Average: 4.83, High/Low: 4/6

What They’re Saying: “I’m willing to move past the blowout loss at Wisconsin.  This is a team playing good basketball with some high quality wins.” – Levi Snow

T-4. Michigan State Spartans (13-6, 4-2 ), Average: 4.83, High/Low: 4/7

What They’re Saying: “Few teams have been better in conference play than the Spartans, who have only lost to Maryland.” – Brian Fox

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (15-5, 4-3), Average: 5.83, High/Low: 4/7

What They’re Saying: “Amir Williams is talented enough to put up a double-double every game. But until he plays with intensity everytime he steps on the court, the Buckeyes are going to struggle.” – Brian Fox

7. Michigan (12-7, 5-2), Average: 6.5, High/Low: 5/7

What They’re Saying: “Michigan pulled out a win on the road at Rutgers and sits at a surprising 5-2 in the conference. I don’t know how much longer that can last, however, after losing star guard Caris LeVert for the season due to injury, who led the team in points, rebounds, and assists.” – Andrew Vailliencourt

T-8. Illinois Fighting Illini (13-7, 3-4), Average: 8.83, High/Low: 8/10 

What They’re Saying: “The Fighting Illini have done just that – fight.  Despite losing their top scorer and best player Rayvonte Rice due to a wrist injury for what will likely end up being over a month, one of his backcourt mates Aaron Cosby for at least a week due to an eye injury and senior point guard Tracy Abrams for the whole season due to an ACL tear, Illinois still finds themselves right in the mix.  Bouncing back from a heart breaking loss at home vs Indiana, Illinois pulled out a gritty, we-want-it-more-caliber win against Purdue.  Now headed into a weak part of the schedule with Minnesota, Penn State and Rutgers on tap, John Groce’s club can put themselves in position to make a tourney run when it gets healthy as long as it take care of business here.” – David Sugarman

T-8.  Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-7, 3-3), Average: 8.83, High/Low: 8/11

What They’re Saying: “In conference play, Nebrasketball has beaten the bad teams (Rutgers, Illinois, Minnesota) and lost to the good ones (Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin), a performance which will land any team where the Cornhuskers find themselves now: stuck in the middle. And until it does something to break that trend, Nebraska will continue to grind it out in the gray zone of the Big Ten.” – Tori Ziege

10. Purdue Boilermakers (11-8, 3-3), Average: 11.33, High/Low: 8/10

What They’re Saying: “This week the Boilermakers fell to an injury-ridden Illinois squad and needed overtime to take care of the winless Nittany Lions. Keep on keepin’ on, Purdue. Which is to say: keep on boilin’ down.” – Tori Ziege

11. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-10, 2-5), Average: 11, High/Low: 10/12

What They’re Saying: “After the big upset win against Wisconsin that was followed by nearly upsetting another Top-25 team, Maryland, on the road, it seemed like the Scarlet Knights may have been turning a corner.  But after a sloppy 19-turnover performance against reeling Minnesota and a loss at home to a depleted Michigan roster who’d just lost their best player in Caris LeVert for the season, that corner seems a lot farther away.  If Rutgers wants to keep any sort of fire in this season then tomorrow’s matchup with Penn State, who is still winless in the Big Ten, is a must win.” – David Sugarman

12. Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-8, 1-6), Average: 11.83, High/Low: 11/13

What They’re Saying: “Minnesota and Northwestern, although on slightly different courses in the non-conference schedule, have had the same luck in the Big Ten, allowing Rutgers to be their patsy win. But of the two squads, I think the Golden Gophers have a better chance of turning things around.” – Tori Ziege

13. Northwestern Wildcats (10-9, 1-5 ), Average: 12.67, High/Low: 12/13

What They’re Saying: “Purple is my favorite color, so that’s something.” – Tori Ziege

14. Penn State Nittany Lions (12-7, 0-6), Average: 14, High/Low: 14/14

What They’re Saying: “DJ Newbill has been fantastic for PSU. The rest of the team, not so much.  Newbill really needs a second option to step up, or this team will continue to struggle to win games.” – Levi Snow