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Big Ten basketball Power Rankings, Feb. 17

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Purdue is rolling.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As the Big Ten basketball season heads toward its final stretch, Purdue has taken over as the conference’s top team. On the back of superstar Caleb Swanigan, the Boilermakers are peaking at the right time. Combined with Wisconsin’s recent two game skid (a home loss to Northwestern followed by a road defeat at Michigan) and Bronson Koenig’s injury, the Boilermakers could make a major impression on the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee with a Big Ten title. But Maryland is still very much in the mix after an impressive road win over the Scottie Lindsey-less Wildcats. As it stands, it looks to be a three-horse race for the conference title, with Northwestern, Michigan State, Minnesota and Michigan lurking on the outside. Those four teams are in a race of their own: a battle for the all-important fourth seed and double bye in the Big Ten Tournament.

Here are our Big Ten power rankings (as of Feb. 17):

1

Purdue Boilermakers

RECORD: 21-5 (10-3)
NEXT: vs. Michigan State
AVERAGE RANK: 1.0
Caleb Swanigan is in poll position for B1G POY.
Zach Pereles 1 Will Ragatz 1
Martin Oppegaard 1 Isaac Bushnell 1
Josh Burton 1 Zach Wingrove 1
Chris Grismer 1 Caleb Friedman 1

2

Wisconsin Badgers

RECORD: 21-5 (10-3)
NEXT: vs. No. 23 Maryland
AVERAGE RANK: 2.3
With Bronson Koenig hobbled, Wisconsin will face some major adversity down the stretch.
Zach Pereles 2 Will Ragatz 3
Martin Oppegaard 3 Isaac Bushnell 2
Josh Burton 2 Zach Wingrove 2
Chris Grismer 2 Caleb Friedman 2

3

Maryland Terrapins

RECORD: 22-4 (10-3)
NEXT: at No. 11 Wisconsin
AVERAGE RANK: 3.1
A win at Wisconsin on Sunday would make the Terps favorites to win the Big Ten title.
Zach Pereles 3 Will Ragatz 2
Martin Oppegaard 4 Isaac Bushnell 4
Josh Burton 3 Zach Wingrove 3
Chris Grismer 3 Caleb Friedman 3

4

Northwestern Wildcats

RECORD: 19-7 (8-5)
NEXT: vs. Rutgers
AVERAGE RANK: 4.0
Northwestern finished its toughest stretch of its schedule at 1-3, without Scottie Lindsey.
Zach Pereles 4 Will Ragatz 6
Martin Oppegaard 2 Isaac Bushnell 3
Josh Burton 4 Zach Wingrove 4
Chris Grismer 4 Caleb Friedman 5

5

Michigan Wolverines

RECORD: 17-9 (7-6)
NEXT: at Minnesota
AVERAGE RANK: 5.0
No Big Ten point guard has been better than Derrick Walton.
Zach Pereles 5 Will Ragatz 4
Martin Oppegaard 5 Isaac Bushnell 5
Josh Burton 5 Zach Wingrove 6
Chris Grismer 6 Caleb Friedman 4

6

Michigan State Spartans

RECORD: 16-10 (8-5)
NEXT: at No. 16 Purdue
AVERAGE RANK: 5.9
The Spartans are challenging for fourth in the Big Ten, but have a tough slate to finish the season.
Zach Pereles 6 Will Ragatz 5
Martin Oppegaard 7 Isaac Bushnell 6
Josh Burton 7 Zach Wingrove 5
Chris Grismer 5 Caleb Friedman 6

7

Minnesota Golden Gophers

RECORD: 19-7 (7-6)
NEXT: vs. Michigan
AVERAGE RANK: 6.8
After losing five in a row to end January, the Gophers are 4-0 in February.
Zach Pereles 7 Will Ragatz 7
Martin Oppegaard 6 Isaac Bushnell 7
Josh Burton 6 Zach Wingrove 7
Chris Grismer 7 Caleb Friedman 7

8

Indiana Hoosiers

RECORD: 15-12 (5-9)
NEXT: at Iowa
AVERAGE RANK: 8.6
Indiana is reeling, losing six of its last seven games.
Zach Pereles 8 Will Ragatz 10
Martin Oppegaard 8 Isaac Bushnell 8
Josh Burton 9 Zach Wingrove 8
Chris Grismer 10 Caleb Friedman 8

9

Penn State Nittany Lions

RECORD: 14-13 (6-8)
NEXT: vs. No. 16 Purdue
AVERAGE RANK: 9.0
Penn State's youngsters are showing their potential.
Zach Pereles 9 Will Ragatz 8
Martin Oppegaard 9 Isaac Bushnell 9
Josh Burton 8 Zach Wingrove 11
Chris Grismer 9 Caleb Friedman 9

10

Iowa Hawkeyes

RECORD: 14-12 (6-7)
NEXT: vs. Illinois
AVERAGE RANK: 9.8
The young Hawkeyes have been up and down this season, but still have a chance to go .500 in conference play.
Zach Pereles 10 Will Ragatz 9
Martin Oppegaard 11 Isaac Bushnell 10
Josh Burton 10 Zach Wingrove 9
Chris Grismer 8 Caleb Friedman 11

11

Ohio State Buckeyes

RECORD: 15-12 (5-9)
NEXT: vs. Nebraska
AVERAGE RANK: 10.8
The Buckeyes could be a spoiler down the stretch and in the Big Ten Tournament.
Zach Pereles 11 Will Ragatz 11
Martin Oppegaard 10 Isaac Bushnell 11
Josh Burton 11 Zach Wingrove 10
Chris Grismer 11 Caleb Friedman 11

12

Nebraska Cornhuskers

RECORD: 11-14 (5-8)
NEXT: at Ohio State
AVERAGE RANK: 12.1
With Tai Webster and Glynn Watson, Nebraska has the fire power to play with the conference's best.
Zach Pereles 12 Will Ragatz 12
Martin Oppegaard 13 Isaac Bushnell 13
Josh Burton 13 Zach Wingrove 12
Chris Grismer 12 Caleb Friedman 10

13

Illinois Fighting Illini

RECORD: 14-12 (4-9)
NEXT: at Iowa
AVERAGE RANK: 12.6/span>
The Fighting Illini's win at Northwestern was the team's first road win of the season.
Zach Pereles 13 Will Ragatz 13
Martin Oppegaard 12 Isaac Bushnell 12
Josh Burton 12 Zach Wingrove 13
Chris Grismer 13 Caleb Friedman 13

14

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

RECORD: 13-14 (2-12)
NEXT: at Northwestern
AVERAGE RANK: 14.0
Rutgers has doubled its Big Ten win total from last season.
Zach Pereles 14 Will Ragatz 14
Martin Oppegaard 14 Isaac Bushnell 14
Josh Burton 14 Zach Wingrove 14
Chris Grismer 14 Caleb Friedman 14