Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: The Wolverines Survive

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Because what the hell is the point of playing a sport if you aren't going to rank the teams involved in order of their POWER?

In last week's B1G Power Rankings I said that change was coming due to the amount of big matchups that were coming up in the conference. Well, those changes did come, it's just that they didn't take place in the top two spots. Yes, Michigan lost a game, but Indiana did as well and even though Wisconsin is the only team in the Big Ten without a conference loss, they're still not good enough to crack the top two.

However, once you get past Michigan and Indiana in the top two spots, things were shaken up. We have a new team in the top three and two new teams in the top four.

And then there's Illinois, whose spot in these rankings reflects the play we've seen on the court.

Team (Points, Last Week) -- This Week's Games

1. Michigan 17-1, 4-1 (135, 1) -- 1/24 vs Purdue

2. Indiana 15-2, 3-1 (124, 2) -- 1/20 at Northwestern, 1/23 vs Penn State

3. Michigan State 15-3, 4-1 (106, 4) -- 1/19 vs Ohio State, 1/22 at Wisconsin

4. Ohio State 13-3, 3-1 (105, 5) -- 1/19 at Michigan State, 1/22 vs Iowa

5. Minnesota 15-3, 3-2 (100, 3) -- 1/23 at Northwestern

6. Wisconsin 13-4, 4-0 (93, 7) -- 1/19 at Iowa, 1/22 vs Michigan State

7. Iowa 12-5, 1-3 (78, 9) -- 1/19 vs Wisconsin, 1/22 at Ohio State

8. Northwestern 11-7, 2-3 (70, 8) -- 1/20 vs Indiana, 1/23 vs Minnesota

9. Illinois 14-5. 1-4 (69, 6) -- 1/22 at Nebraska

10. Purdue 9-8, 3-2 (59, 11) -- 1/19 vs West Virginia, 1/24 at Michigan

11. Nebraska 9-9, 0-5 (49, 10) -- 1/19 at Penn State, 1/22 vs Illinois

12. Penn State 8-9, 0-5 (36, 12) -- 1/19 vs Nebraska, 1/23 at Indiana

You have to feel bad for Minnesota. It's still a good team, and it's going to be one of the best teams in the Big Ten this season, but it had to play Indiana and Michigan this week. So those two losses drop it from third place last week all the way down to fifth this week, with both Michigan State and Ohio State benefitting from it.

Though Ohio State beating Michigan certainly helped its cause.

As for Illinois, if there's any good news -- and you have to look real hard to find it -- it's that with a win over Nebraska this week -- and we can't even take that for granted anymore -- we should be able to surpass Northwestern next week considering the Wildcats have dates with Indiana and Minnesota.

So while we can't beat Northwestern on a basketball court or a football field these days, we have a chance to do so in some Power Rankings! And these Power Rankings involve math, so you know they're way more important to Northwestern than athletic accomplishments will ever be.

So suck on that, Nurds.

GAME OF THE WEEK

While there have been a lot of big matchups in the conference the last few weeks, the only one that truly stands out this week is Michigan State and Ohio State in East Lansing on Saturday.

Then there's the game between Purdue and West Virginia. Somebody refresh my memory, is there a reason Purdue is playing a non-conference game in the middle of Big Ten play?

Last week's rankings can be found here.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.

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