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Big Ten men’s basketball power rankings, fifth edition

Some clarity, maybe?

NCAA Basketball: Maryland at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

After another exciting week of Big Ten basketball, we are back with another edition of power rankings! While Northwestern only had one game against Wisconsin, the rest of the conference had some shakeup. Let’s see how the Big Ten is ranked going into the last week of January:

1. No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers

Record: 19-1 (8-1 B1G)

Next Game: at Michigan

Last Ranking: 1

Purdue is the only ranked team in the Big Ten currently, and they are the undisputed best team right now. Expect them to not only be in this spot for a while, but near the top of the AP Polls and Bracketology.

2. Indiana Hoosiers

Record: 13-6 (4-4 B1G)

Next Game: at Minnesota

Last Ranking: 10

The Hoosiers skyrocket. Indiana is scorching hot and is returning to the team everyone expected them to be at the start of the year. While there were some question marks the last month, the Hoosiers beat Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan State — all who have been ranked at some point this year — by double digits.

3. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Record: 13-6 (5-3 B1G)

Next Game: vs. Penn State

Last Ranking: 2

Though Steve Pikiell’s team lost to Michigan State by double digits, they still deserve to be in the top three in the power rankings. Why? They play the best defense in the Big Ten, had two big wins before going into East Lansing, and handed the No. 1 Boilermakers their only loss to date.

4. Illinois Fighting Illini

Record: 13-6 (4-4 B1G)

Next Game: vs. Ohio State

Last Ranking: 3

Illinois got votes to be ranked this week, even after a blowout loss to Indiana at home. Brad Underwood needs his team to right the ship soon, but it goes without question that when they play well, Illinois is one of the best in the Big Ten.

5. Michigan State Spartans

Record: 13-7 (5-4 B1G)

Next Game: vs. Iowa

Last Ranking: 6

Though they have lost three of their last five, the Spartans have actually played three of their best games of the season: they played a complete game in Madison against Wisconsin, closed out Rutgers after a tight game deep into the second, and played Purdue down to the wire before losing by one.

6. Northwestern Wildcats

Record: 13-5 (4-3 B1G)

Next Game: at Nebraska

Last Ranking: 7

Here’s Northwestern! Even with the postponements, the Wildcats showed their resiliency against Wisconsin Monday night. If Chris Collins’ team wants to accomplish anything this season, more wins like this are needed.

7. Iowa Hawkeyes

Record: 12-7 (4-4 B1G)

Next Game: at Michigan State

Last Ranking: 6

Iowa won four straight before the game against Northwestern was postponed, but the Hawkeyes lost against Ohio State over the weekend. They look to bounce back in East Lansing on Thursday.

8. Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 12-6 (4-4 B1G)

Next Game: at Maryland

Last Ranking: 4

The Badgers are reeling, losing four of their last five, most recently in Evanston against Northwestern. Wisconsin has not won a road game since early December and their two wins since Jan. 1 were both by three points.

9. Penn State Nittany Lions

Record: 13-6 (4-4 B1G)

Next Game: at Minnesota

Last Ranking: 12

Penn State continues to play decent basketball since their loss against Purdue, and there is a real discrepancy between home and away games: the Nittany Lions have only lost one home game this season, the rest coming away from Happy Valley.

10. Maryland Terrapins

Record: 12-7 (3-5 B1G)

Next Game: vs. Wisconsin

Last Ranking: 11

Though they have not performed well in conference, Maryland has been playing better basketball as of late. Recently, they beat a Michigan squad in a close home game and played Purdue wire-to-wire in West Lafayette.

11. Ohio State Buckeyes

Record: 11-8 (3-5 B1G)

Next Game: at Illinois

Last Ranking: 8

The Buckeyes had a big win over Iowa during the weekend to right the ship after a three game losing streak. Again, the offense is prolific, but Ohio State needs more on the other side of the floor.

12. Michigan Wolverines

Record: 11-8 (5-3 B1G)

Next Game: vs. Purdue

Last Ranking: 9

Michigan might be the most inconsistent team in this conference — one minute they look like a good team, the next they look like a mess Juwan Howard drew up when he could not sleep. Right now, Ann Arbor’s crew lacks identity.

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Record: 10-10 (3-6 B1G)

Next Game: vs. Northwestern

Last Ranking: 13

Fred Hoiberg has his team playing really well at home, and Lincoln has become a tougher place to play as an opponent than it was in the past. But, Nebraska looks like a completely different team on the road.

14. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Record: 7-11 (1-7 B1G)

Next Game: vs. Indiana

Last Ranking: 11