TheHoosier - B1G Power Ranks: January 20
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B1G Power Ranks: January 20

Nick Baumgart and Cole Hanna drop their sixth installment of's "Big Ten Power Ranks."

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1. Michigan State (14-4, 6-1)

NET: 8

Michigan State is the only team who made it easy on us this week. A lopsided loss at Purdue on January 12 is the only blip on the radar since a December 3 loss to Duke.

The Spartans can take a big step towards its third straight Big Ten title this week, but it won't be easy. Bloomington and The Barn await. -Nick Baumgart

Coming up: Thursday at Indiana; Sunday at Minnesota

2. Illinois (13-5, 5-2)

NET: 40

After a shaky start to the season, Illinois has been one of the hottest teams in the Big Ten, winning five of their last six contests with their lone loss coming on the road against Michigan State. Sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu has been impressive as well, scoring at least 15 points in six of his last seven outings. --Cole Hanna

Coming up: Tuesday at Purdue; Saturday at Michigan

3. Maryland (14-4, 4-3)

NET: 15

Maryland has stumbled of late, dropping road games at Iowa and Wisconsin before rebounding with a home victory over the Boilers. As the old saying goes, defense travels, and the Terrapins boast the Big Ten's top rated defense in conference play, according to Kenpom. - CH

Coming up: Tuesday at Northwestern; Sunday at Indiana

4. Rutgers (14-4, 5-2)

NET: 18

Who isn't on-board with the Scarlet Knights?!

Its only loss in the last six weeks was at Illinois and on the road in East Lansing. Solid wins at home over Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Penn State, plus an out-of-conference win over Seton Hall is mixed into the resume. And they have one of the seven road wins in the B!G so far. The Scarlet Knights have a big one in Iowa City waiting. - NB

Coming up: Wednesday at Iowa; Saturday vs Nebraska

5. Iowa (13-5, 4-3)

NET: 26

After suffering back-to-back losses, Iowa has now ripped off three consecutive victories, including wins over Maryland and Michigan in that span. The Hawkeyes have the Big Ten's top offense according to Kenpom, but poor shooting nights could spell doom for this team if their defense can't improve. The road loss to Nebraska is still fresh enough to drop it behind the Badgers. - CH

Coming up: Wednesday vs. Rutgers

6. Wisconsin (11-7, 4-3)

NET: 22

The Badgers were tripped up at home by Illinois, but its only other losses since starting 4-4 were at Michigan State and Rutgers. Wisconsin has two of the seven road wins inside B1G play, and at the expense of formidable opponents, too (PSU and OSU). A case could be made to spot the Badgers higher. A win at Purdue on Friday would do just that. - NB

Coming up: Tuesday vs Nebraska; Friday at Purdue

7. Minnesota (10-8, 4-4)

NET: 41

The Gophers have wins over OSU, Penn State and Michigan since December 15. Minnesota's only losses were on the road at Michigan State, Rutgers, and Purdue -- in double-overtime might I add. A home loss to Wisconsin hurt the momentum. Otherwise, they might be in our top five. -NB

Coming up: Thursday at Ohio State; Sunday vs. Michigan State

8. Penn State (13-5, 3-4)

NET: 36

The Nittany Lions edged Michigan for the eighth spot by beating Ohio State on Sunday. PSU has dropped three of four, coupled with strong play behind Minnesota, all of which led us to fading the Lions to eighth this week. -NB

Coming up: Wednesday at Michigan

9. Michigan (11-6, 2-4)

NET: 29

The Wolverines have encountered major hurdles on the road in Big Ten play, dropping all five of their true road games on the season. Michigan will play a big stretch of games this week that sees them play Penn State and Illinois at home before traveling to Nebraska in search of their first road victory of the season. - CH

Coming up: Wednesday vs. Penn State; Saturday vs. Illinois

10. Indiana (14-4, 4-3)

NET: 49

While Indiana's four Big Ten wins might not look impressive (with three of the four coming against the Nebraska and Northwestern), the Hoosiers have defeated the teams they were expected to beat. Indiana is always tough at home, and their home games against Michigan State and Maryland this week could go a long way to deciding Indiana's tournament hopes come March. - CH

Coming up: Thursday vs. Michigan State; Sunday vs. Maryland

11. Purdue (10-8, 3-4)

NET: 35

The Boilers put a whooping on Michigan State, after laying an egg at Illinois. We still don't know exactly what we have with Purdue. The Boilers have a similar feel to the tenth-place Hoosiers, but a couple points stood out. The two have the same win (Northwestern) and the same loss (at Maryland). But the loss at Nebraska is still on the resume, and with IU winning in Lincoln over the weekend, it gives Indiana two wins the Boilers wear as losses. The Purdue has two golden opportunities at home this week. -NB

Coming up: Tuesday vs. Illinois; Friday vs. Wisconsin

12. Ohio State (12-6, 2-5)

NET: 19

Ohio State's fall continues as the Buckeyes have now dropped five of their last six contests, the latest a beatdown in Happy Valley. The season is far from over for Ohio State, but at 2-5 in the Big Ten, they are running out of time to insert themselves back into the Big Ten title race. - CH

Coming up: Thursday vs. Minnesota; Sunday at Northwestern

13. Northwestern (6-11, 1-6)

NET: 133

Northwestern is here because it beat Nebraska on January 11. Outside of that, NU has been a hard team to figure out. Double-digit losses to Merrimack and Radford, and a bad loss at home to Hartford, but the Wildcats also lost in some close games at Illinois (4), Indiana (4), Minnesota (9), and DePaul (5). It only lost by five points to Michigan State at home. Two more chances to play spoiler this week at Welsh-Ryan, but that's about all this team is playing for in 2020. -NB

Coming up: Tuesday vs. Maryland; Sunday vs. Ohio State

14. Nebraska (7-11, 2-5)

NET: 170

Not much of an argument to be made here, Nebraska has been the worst team in the Big Ten all season long. The Huskers somehow managed to knock off the Hawkeyes at home, but since then have dropped their last three consecutive games. - CH

Coming up: Tuesday at Wisconsin; Saturday at Rutgers

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