Big Ten Power Rankings (Feb. 22): Michigan Clear No. 1, Without Any Doubt Now

The game of the year went Michigan's way against Ohio State, and the Wolverines just keep rolling along. There's no doubt they're the best in our conference power rankings.
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – It was hard to take your eyes off the Michigan-Ohio State game on Sunday, because it was played at such a high level. And when the Wolverines came away with a 92-87 victory in Columbus, it was proof positive that they are the best team in the league. 

We had Ohio State and No. 2 in the rankings last week, and we've dropped them a notch after the loss, but that has more to do with Illinois being on a roll, too. Those top four teams, they're all Final Four contenders still in my book. 

Plenty of movement further down the rankings too, with Maryland on a hot streak.  Here are my rankings, from No. 1 to No. 14. Please weigh in with your thoughts.

1. Michigan Wolverines

  • Record so far: 16-1 overall, 11-1 in the Big Ten
  • Current national ranking: AP No. 3, Coaches No. 3, kenpom.com No. 3
  • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 1
  • Last week: Beat Rutgers 71-64; Beat Ohio State 92-87.
  • This week: Versus Iowa (Thursday, 7 p.m. ET); At Indiana (Saturday, Noon ET). 
  • The skinny: Michigan beat Ohio State in the best game of the college basketball season thus far and the Wolverines continue to impress. Freshmen Hunter Dickinson has snapped out of his mini-slump and scored 22 points.

2. Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Record so far: 16-5 overall, 12-3 in the Big Ten
  • Current national ranking: AP No. 5, Coaches No. 4, kenpom.com No. 5
  • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 3
  • Last week: Beat Northwestern 73-66; Beat Minnesota 94-63. 
  • This week: At Michigan State (Tuesday, 7 p.m.); Versus Nebraska (Thursday, 7 p.m. ET); At Wisconsin, (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET).
  • The skinny: The Illini's schedule was easy this week, but they were really crisp in that blowout win over Minnesota. Schedule really gets tough the rest of the way now.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Record so far: 18-5 overall, 12-5 in the Big Ten
  • Current national ranking: AP No. 4, Coaches No. 5, kenpom.com No. 7
  • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 2
  • Last week: Beat Penn State 82-72: Lost to Michigan 92-87.
  • This week: At Michigan State (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET); Versus Iowa (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET).
  • The skinny: It was hard to drop Ohio State a spot because it played really well against Michigan despite the loss. They still have a lot of positives on their side.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Record so far: 17-6 overall, 11-5 in the Big Ten
  • Current national ranking: AP No. 9, Coaches No. 12, kenpom.com No. 4
  • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 4
  • Last week: Beat Wisconsin 77-62; Beat Penn State 74-68.
  • This week: At Michigan (Thursday, 7 p.m. ET); At Ohio State (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET).
  • The skinny: Luka Garza is Iowa's all-time leading scorer now and the Hawkeyes have won four straight. They're a different team with CJ Fredrick back on the floor. 

5.. Purdue Boilermakers

  • Record so far: 15-8 overall, 10-6 in the Big Ten
  • Current national ranking: AP No. 28, Coaches No. 28, kenpom.com No. 17
  • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 5
  • Last week: Beat Michigan State 75-65; Beat Nebraska 75-58
  • This week: At Penn State (Friday, 7 p.m. ET);
  • The skinny: Purdue picked up a couple of victories as a favorite, with Trevion Williams (28) starring one night and Jaden Ivey and Sasha Stefanovic playing well in the Nebraska win.

6. Wisconsin Badgers

  • Record so far: 16-8 overall, 10-7 in the Big Ten
  • Current national ranking: AP No. 23, Coaches No. 24, kenpom.com No. 13
  • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 6
  • Last week: Lost to Iowa 77-62; Beat Northwestern 68-51.
  • This week: Versus Illinois (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET); 
  • The skinny: Wisconsin didn't put up much of a fight against Iowa, and the Badgers are still winless against the top-tier teams in the league. It's going to be interesting to see what this team does down the stretch.

    7. Maryland Terrapins

    • Record so far: 14-10 overall, 8-9 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: kenpom.com No. 30
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 9
    • Last week: Beat Nebraska 64-50; Beat Nebraska 77-71; Beat Rutgers 68-59.
    • This week: Versus Michigan State (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET)
    • The skinny: The Terrapins won four games in eight days and suddenly are right back in the NCAA Tournament picture. Defense is really playing great, and they're scoring just enough. Probably ranked too high when you look at the full snapshot, but winning at Rutgers sealed the deal.

    8. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

    • Record so far: 12-9 overall, 8-9 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: Kenpom.com No. 28
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 7
    • Last week: Lost to Michigan 71-64; Lost to Maryland 68-59.
    • This week: Versus Indiana (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET); 
    • The skinny: Rutgers has hit the skids offensively again, really struggling to hit anything from long range. The Scarlet Knights host Indiana on Wednesday, and that's a good matchup for them. Beat Indiana already once this season.

    9. Indiana Hoosiers

    • Record so far: 12-10 overall, 7-8 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: kenpom.com No. 33
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 8
    • Last week: Beat Minnesota 82-72; Lost to Michigan State 78-71.
    • This week:  At Rutgers (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET); Versus Michigan (Saturday, Noon ET). 
    • The skinny: Indiana was a spot lower at first, but they're still better than the Spartans when you look at the full season. This is a tough week for the Hoosiers, with a road game against a Rutgers team that they don't match up with with well, and then gets Michigan at home this weekend. Hoosiers need at least one of those to stay on the right side of the bubble. 

    10. Michigan State Spartans

    • Record so far: 11-9 overall, 5-9 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: kenpom.com No. 69
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 11
    • Last week: Lost to Purdue 75-65; Beat Indiana 78-71.
    • This week: Versus Illinois (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET); Versus Ohio State (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET); At Maryland (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET)
    • The skinny: The Spartans are sick of losing, and that was obvious in the second half of their win against Indiana, when they exploded for 52 points. It was a great win, but there's still a tough stretch through the finish line here.

    11. Minnesota Golden Gophers

    • Record so far: 13-10 overall, 6-10 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: Coaches No. 35, kenpom.com No. 49
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 10
    • Last week: Lost to Indiana 82-72; Lost to Illinois 94-63.
    • This week: Versus Northwestern (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET); At Nebraska (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET).
    • The skinny: The Gophers are now 0-8 on the road and gave up 176 points this week, an 88.0 average. Things are slipping away quickly, and the Gophers need a couple more wins to go dancing. Injuries are starting to catch up to them, but it's also nice to see Jamal Mashburn, Jr., stepping up.

    12. Penn State Nittany Lions

    • Record so far: 7-12 overall, 4-11 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: kenpom.com No. 34
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 12
    • Last week: Lost to Ohio State 82-72; Lost to Iowa 74-68.
    • This week: At Nebraska (Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET); Versus Purdue (Friday, 7 p.m. ET).
    • The skinny: Penn State battled this week, but came away empty against two opponents who are back on a roll again. 

    13. Northwestern Wildcats

    • Record so far: 6-14 overall, 3-13 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: kenpom.com No. 74
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 13
    • Last week: Lost to Illinois 73-66; Lost to Wisconsin 68-51.
    • This week: At Minnesota (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET); 
    • The skinny: Northwestern's losing streak has reached 13 games now, and the offense is really struggling. This team still might surprise a foe or two down the stretch. 

    14. Nebraska Cornhuskers

    • Record so far: 5-15 overall, 1-12 in the Big Ten
    • Current national ranking: kenpom.com No. 116
    • Previous Big Ten power rank: No. 14
    • Last week: Lost to Maryland  64-50; Lost to Maryland 77-71; Lost to Purdue 75-58.
    • This week: Versus Penn State (Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET); At Illinois (Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET); Versus Minnesota (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET). 
    • The skinny: Nebraska looked worn out in the second half of its game with Purdue on Saturday night, a product of seven games in 13 days. That's a lot at the college level. These first two years have been hard on Fred Hoiberg, but they're still playing hard every night.