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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Week 4

As we finish the early season week of Big Ten play, how does the Big Ten shake out?

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Northwestern Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State Spartans

Ranking: 1

Last Week: 1

Move: —

After an early season loss against Duke, the Spartans are on a roll. Michigan State has won seven straight, including two wins against top-ten opponents.

Purdue Boilermakers

Ranking: 2

Last Week: 4

Move: UP 2

Purdue struggled early this season, but it has found its rhythm after two top-25 wins. Opening up Big Ten play 2-0 will help the Boilermaker’s long-term season goals.

Maryland Terrapins

Ranking: 3

Last Week: 3

Move: —

The Terrapins have been riding the very impressive play of Anthony Cowan this season and look poised to be one of the better teams in the Big Ten in 2017.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Ranking: 4

Last Week: 2

Move: DOWN 2

It has been hard to determine what kind of team Minnesota is in 2017. The Gophers sit at 8-2, but a bad loss to Nebraska may hurt their resume down the road.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Ranking: 5

Last Week: 7

Move: UP 2

Ohio State currently sits at 2-0 in Big Ten play, a surprising place to be after its three non-conference losses. Could the Buckeyes be a surprise team in 2017?

Michigan Wolverines

Ranking: 6

Last Week: 6

Move: —

Michigan is one of those teams that seems to be hot and cold. One positive is the Wolverines have a favorable five-game stretch before Big Ten play resumes in January.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Ranking: 7

Last Week: 8

Move: UP 1

The Nittany Lions were one point away from 2-0 in Big Ten play, missing a game-winning three against Wisconsin. Penn State has played much better than expected thus far in 2017.

Northwestern Wildcats

Ranking: 8

Last Week: 9

Move: UP 1

After stealing a win against Illinois, Northwestern promptly went out and lost to Purdue. At 5-4 on the season, the Wildcats have some ground to make up in their pursuit of a second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

Illinois Fighting Illini

Ranking: 9

Last Week: 5

Move: DOWN 4

The Illini could realistically be 10-0 at this point, and likely should be. After crushing losses to Northwestern and Maryland, the Illini were able to hang on to a win against Austin Peay. The Illini will need all of Coach Underwood’s skills to continue to improve and turn this program around.

Wisconsin Badgers

Ranking: 10

Last Week: 10

Move: —

At 4-6, Wisconsin is a victim of its schedule. Four games against four ranked teams, and four losses. The Badgers look to be a team still trying to find their identity on the court.

Indiana Hoosiers

Ranking: 11

Last Week: 13

Move: UP 2

A team that threw up 81 against Duke was only able to muster 55 against Michigan, but that is the nature of the Big Ten Conference. Indiana currently sits at 5-4 and will need to find consistent ways to score, even in the low-scoring Big Ten.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Ranking: 12

Last Week: 14

Move: UP 2

Nebraska had a huge win against Minnesota this week, but that does not negate to losses to St. Johns and UCF. The jury is still out on the Huskers in 2017.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Ranking: 13

Last Week: 11

Move: DOWN 2

How far has Iowa fallen in 2017? The 19-win team in 2016 has struggled mightily in 2017 with bad losses and an 0-2 start in Big Ten play.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Ranking: 14

Last Week: 12

Move: DOWN 2

Talk about a bad draw. The first two Big Ten opponents Rutgers went up against were both ranked, with Minnesota and Michigan State coming away victorious. The Scarlet Knights may by 0-6 in the Big Ten before they have a chance to get their first win.