B1G Power Poll; Iowa Heading South
We reshuffle the deck of our Big Ten Power Poll again this week and unfortunately, the Hawkeyes are heading south.
Here is a link to our most recent Power Poll, from Thursday. Now, the reshuffle, which includes where we had them ranked last week (LW) as well as the NCAA’s official RPI ranking as of Monday, January 28th.
1. Michigan (LW #1/RPI #6): Beat Purdue at home by 15 and then beat Illinois by 14 on the road. They assume the #1 ranking in the nation this week for the first time since the Fab Five donned the baggy shorts. Conference SOS ranked 8th out of 12 in B1G play so far.
2. Indiana (LW #2/RPI #16)): Home wins against Penn State and Michigan State for the Hoosiers, who improve to 18-2 on the year and are now ranked #3 in the nation. Has played the last ranked conference schedule so far of any team in the league.
3. Michigan State (LW #3/RPI #12): Road win at Wisconsin and five-point loss at Indiana in a game that was give and take all the way. This team keeps getting better, which is a Tom Izzo calling card. They are #13 in the nation in this week’s poll.
4. Ohio State (LW #4/RPI #24): Wins over Iowa and Penn State, didn’t look all that impressive but wins are better than losses. Ohio State is 11th in the nation this week. Conference SOS ranked 11th out of 12 in B1G play so far.
5. Wisconsin (LW #5/RPI #47): Lost at home to Michigan State 49-47 then beat Minnesota at home 45-44. Things remain ugly as all get out in Madison, but the Badgers are 5-2 in the league and have wins over three ranked teams in their last five league games. Conference SOS ranked 10th ouf of 12 in B1G play so far.
6. Purdue (LW #8/RPI #106): Beat Iowa at home in overtime and thanks to losing streaks by Iowa (two games) and Minnesota (four games), the Boilermakers move up this week. I don’t think they stay ahead of Minnesota or maybe even Iowa, but they stay here for now. Have a Conference SOS of 9 out of 12.
7. Minnesota (LW #6/RPI #11): Four straight losses for the Gophers. Tubby doubters are back in play in Minneapolis. Conference SOS is #2 out of 12 in B1G play so far.
8. Iowa (LW #7/RPI #94): Hawkeyes had a frustrating week. Trailed Ohio State by 24 to pull to within two and missed free throws late which could have made it a one-possession game. Then overcame a horrid shooting night at Purdue to take the lead late and had a last second shot attempt to win it in regulation, then lost in overtime. Iowa has played not just the #1 ranked schedule in Big Ten play, but the #1 ranked schedule in all of college basketball since December 31st. It gets much easier from here on out, but is Iowa the kind of team who can win the games its supposed to? I don’t know that they are just yet and their NCAA chances are fading with each blown opportunity. Iowa dropped 20 slots in the RPI due to their losses at Ohio State and Purdue, by the way.
t9. Illinois (LW #10/RPI #33): Won at Nebraska, lost at home to Michigan.
t9. Nebraska (LW #11): Beat Northwestern by 15 on Saturday
t9. Northwestern (LW #9/RPI #73): Upset then 12th ranked Minnesota at home 55-48 late last week. If I had to rank these teams not on the same line I’d probably give NW the nod at 9, then Illinois at 10 and Nebraska at 11. But Northwestern smoked Illinois at home less than two weeks ago, Illinois beat Nebraska on the road and Nebraska beat Northwestern at home.
12. Penn State (LW #12/RPI #179): This is their spot, all year.