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Big Ten basketball Power Rankings, Feb. 24

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Northwestern is reeling. How far do the Wildcats fall?

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The final week of the Big Ten season awaits, and there’s still a lot left to be determined. While Purdue has taken over the top spot in the conference over the past couple of weeks, Wisconsin remains just a game behind in the title race.

But, where it gets most interesting is the group of teams from three to seven that are separated by just two games in the standings. The race for those final two double-bye spots will be intense over the final week of the regular season, with teams also hunting for postseason berths.

The most troubling of that group: Northwestern. Once considered to be the Big Ten’s best success story, the Wildcats have faltered as of late. Two losses to Illinois and a non-competitive home loss to Maryland have Chris Collins’s team struggling and in search of a second wind as the postseason quickly approaches.


1. Purdue Boilermakers

Record: 23-5 (12-3) | Next: at Michigan | Average Rank: 1.0
Purdue has won six in a row and is in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten title.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

2. Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 22-6 (11-4) | Next: at Michigan State | Average Rank: 2.0
A couple weeks ago, the Badgers looked to be one of the nation’s best. Now, they’re in danger of falling out of the top 25 with a loss at MSU.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

3. Maryland Terrapins

Record: 22-6 (10-5) | Next: vs. Iowa | Average Rank: 3.2
Back-to-back losses might have the Terps feeling a bit of late-season pressure.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
3 3 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 3

4. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Record: 21-7 (9-6) | Next: vs. Penn State | Average Rank: 3.8
A five-game losing streak, followed by a six-game win streak. Seems about right for the Big Ten this year.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
4 4 4 3 3 4 4 4 4 4

5. Michigan Wolverines

Record: 18-10 (8-7) | Next: vs. No. 14 Purdue | Average Rank: 5.6
The Wolverines are looking to make a postseason push..

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
5 7 7 6 6 5 5 5 5 5

6. Michigan State Spartans

Record: 17-11 (9-6) | Next: vs. No. 16 Wisconsin | Average Rank: 5.7
The Spartans might be hitting their stride, which is bad news for everyone else.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
6 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 7 6

7. Northwestern Wildcats

Record: 20-8 (9-6) | Next: at Indiana | Average Rank: 6.7
The Big Ten’s darling looks like it’s fading down the stretch.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
7 6 6 7 7 7 7 7 6 7

8. Iowa Hawkeyes

Record: 15-13 (7-8) | Next: at No. 24 Maryland | Average Rank: 8.4
For the young Hawkeyes, finishing strong in 2017 could pay dividends in 2018.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
8 9 8 10 8 8 9 8 8 8

9. Penn State Nittany Lions

Record: 14-14 (6-9) | Next: at Minnesota | Average Rank: 9.1
A dangerous team, no one will want to play Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
9 8 8 9 10 10 10 9 9 9

10. Illinois Fighting Illini

Record: 16-12 (6-9) | Next: at Nebraska | Average Rank: 9.4
A sweep of in-state rival Northwestern has to feel good.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
10 10 9 8 9 9 8 10 11 10

11. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Record: 12-15 (6-9) | Next: vs. Illinois | Average Rank: 11.4
A win over Illinois will go a long way to helping Nebraska avoid playing Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
11 12 10 12 11 11 13 11 12 11

12. Indiana Hoosiers

Record: 15-13 (5-10) | Next: vs. Northwestern | Average Rank: 11.5
Could a win over Northwestern save Tom Crean?

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
12 11 12 11 12 12 11 12 10 12

13. Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 15-13 (5-10) | Next: at Penn State | Average Rank: 12.9
The Buckeyes got a nice win over Wisconsin on Thursday night.

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
13 13 13 13 13 13 12 13 13 13

14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Record: 13-16 (2-14) | Next: vs. No. 24 Maryland | Average Rank: 14.0
Rutgers has been a tough out in February .

Voting

Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
Zach Pereles Henrique DaMour Rob Schaefer Will Ragatz Josh Burton Ian McCafferty Isaac Bushnell Tristan Jung Caleb Friedman Chris Grismer
14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14