clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Big Ten power rankings: Iowa takes command

New, 14 comments

After three weeks of Big Ten play, it's time to reassess where teams stand in the conference.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

13. MINNESOTA (6-12 overall, 0-6 B1G)

Last week: Lost at Nebraska, 84-59. Lost vs. Indiana, 70-63.

Fun fact: Minnesota's defense is currently rated 244th in D-1 on KenPom. If this rating stays constant for the rest of the season, it would be the lowest-rated defense for a B1G squad since Bill Carmody's Northwestern team of 2007-08.

12. ILLINOIS (9-9, 1-4)

Last week: Lost vs. Nebraska, 78-67.

Fun fact: This team knows how to handle the ball. The Illini's turnover percentage on offense is 13.7%, good for second in the nation.

11. PENN STATE (11-8, 2-4)

Last week: Lost at Purdue, 74-57. Won at Northwestern, 71-62.

Fun fact: Sophomore PG Shep Garner plays in 86.7% of the minutes of the Nittany Lions, which is a higher percentage than what Yogi Ferrell plays for Indiana. That's good for fourth-most in the B1G, and adds up to almost 35 minutes a game.

10. WISCONSIN (10-9, 2-4)

Last week: Lost at Northwestern, 70-65. Won vs. MSU, 77-76.

Fun fact: Changing coaches midseason has not altered Wisconsin's style of play one bit. They're averaging 63.3 possessions per Big Ten game, which is far and away the slowest team in the conference.

9. NORTHWESTERN (15-4, 3-3)

Last week: Won vs. Wisconsin, 70-65. Lost vs. Penn State, 71-62.

Fun fact: Sophomore PG Bryant McIntosh had 28 points in the team's victory over Wisconsin. And he's from Greensburg, which means we have an "Indiana kid playing in Indiana" alert when the Wildcats roll into Assembly Hall Saturday.

8. NEBRASKA (11-8, 3-3)

Last week: Won vs. Minnesota, 84-59. Won at Illinois, 78-67.

Fun fact: With a rating of 115.5, the Huskers currently are in second the B1G in offensive efficiency in conference games (they were in first until Iowa defeated Michigan last night). This is just as surprising as IU leading the conference in defensive efficiency in B1G games so far.

7. OHIO STATE (12-7, 4-2)

Last week: Won vs. Rutger, 94-68. Lost at Maryland, 100-65.

Fun fact: The Buckeyes rank last in free throw percentage in the conference, and 290th in the country. But with an average experience of 0.86 years among team members, this is also the youngest team in the conference, which might explain the low FT%.

6. MICHIGAN (13-5, 3-2)

Last week: Won vs. Maryland, 70-67. Lost at Iowa, 82-71.

Fun fact: Did you know Penn State has a "home" game against Michigan at MSG on Jan. 30? So technically, the Wolverines only have eight true road games in the B1G this year.

5. MICHIGAN STATE (16-3, 3-3)

Last week: Lost vs. Iowa, 76-59. Lost at Wisconsin, 77-76.

Fun fact: Iowa's 76-59 win over MSU on Thursday was the first win for the Hawkeyes at Breslin since 1993, which is so long ago that Jud Heathcote was still Michigan State coach, and on the sideline for Iowa was Dr. Tom Davis.

4. PURDUE (15-3, 3-2)

Last week: Won vs. Penn State, 74-57.

Fun fact: Purdue is now ranked 5th in defensive efficiency this season. Under Matt Painter, the team has finished in the top-5 in defensive efficiency twice, both times during the Baby Boilers heyday of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.

3. INDIANA (15-3, 5-0)

Last week: Won at Minnesota, 70-63.

Fun fact: Despite the 5-0 start in conference, turnovers are still a concern for the Hoosiers. In B1G games, they've turned the ball over on a whopping 23.3% of possessions. Hopefully the second half of the Minnesota game, in which the Hoosiers didn't have a single turnover after the under-16 TV timeout, is a good sign of things to come in this category.

2. MARYLAND (16-2, 5-1)

Last week: Lost at Michigan, 70-67. Won vs. OSU, 100-65.

Fun fact: The last team to score over 100 points in a B1G game was the 2011-12 Indiana team, who beat Iowa 103-89 in an absurd game at Assembly Hall that season.

1. IOWA (14-3, 5-0)

Last week: Won at MSU, 76-59. Won vs. Michigan, 82-71

Fun fact: What makes Iowa's 5-0 Big Ten start even more impressive is that they're doing this with the toughest conference schedule. We'll see if they can keep this strong start up, but right now, the Hawkeyes are without question the best team in the conference, and Jarrod Uthoff, not Denzel Valentine, is the Conference Player of the Year.

As a result of Iowa's early dominance, their game at Maryland, on January 28, may end up deciding the B1G.