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Big Ten power rankings: mid-year grades edition

Breaking news: The Big Ten is still bad at basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

We’re halfway through conference play. Let’s power rank and grade every team’s season so far, on a scale of 0-10.

14. Rutger

I mean, you can’t get much worse than last season, and they did almost beat Wisconsin in MSG, but this has just been a disappointing conference run for a team that started 11-1.

Grade: 0/10

13. Illinois

If this team doesn’t get a heroic performance from its best player, they’re toast. So they’re a worse Indiana, basically.

Grade: 0/10

12. Minnesota

Remember when this team was ranked and won both at Purdue and Northwestern? Now they’ve lost 5 straight.

Grade: 0/10

11. Ohio State

The Buckeyes have won three of their last five, but played porous defense in a loss to an Iowa team that didn’t have Peter Jok.

Grade: 0/10

10. Penn State

If the Nittany Lions almost blow a big lead to Illinois in the Bryce Jordan Center, does anyone notice?

Grade: 0/10

9. Indiana

This has been a bad season for the Hoosiers. The team is hurt, the defense is awful, and the offense has been brutal the last two games. A 4-5 record isn’t a stellar B1G title defense, either.

That being said, the Hoosiers still have the 2 best wins in the conference by far. What a strange year.

Grade: 0/10

8. Iowa

At 12-10 overall and 4-5 in the conference, Fran McCaffery has had plenty to get mad about this year.

Grade: 0/10

7. Nebraska

The Huskers have beaten Indiana, Maryland, and Purdue. They’ve also lost to Rutger and Gardner-Webb.

Grade: 0/10

6. Michigan

The Wolverines followed up a huge win over Indiana with a deflating loss to their struggling in-state rivals.

Grade: 0/10

5. Michigan State

Sparty has lost 4 of their last 6, couldn’t buy a win in nonconference play, and has had trouble protecting the ball all season.

This makes them the 5th best team in the B1G without question.

Grade: 0/10

4. Purdue

The Boilers may be the most talented team in the Big Ten. They’ve looked very impressive at times, and Biggie Swanigan is a Big Ten POY contender and double-double machine.

And yet their 3 conference losses have been to Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Purdue may have shot itself in the foot too many times already to win this league.

Grade: 0/10

3. Northwestern

The Wildcats have won six straight and are now winning games with style. Welsh-Ryan Arena is rocking. Northwestern has a very good shot to make its first NCAA Tournament ever. They’re worried about losing Chris Collins. What a turn of events in Evanston this year.

Grade: 10/10

2. Maryland

The Terps are cruising right now. But where is their signature victory this season? And they lost at home in the fall to Pitt - a team that just lost on its own homecourt to Louisville by 55. I’m not sold on the Terps yet, but they’re in this because they haven’t sucked as much as other teams during conference play.

Grade: 0/10

1. Wisconsin

The Badgers have only one loss in conference, but it’s increasingly possible they’ll finish the season without a win over a ranked team. Also they had to struggle over the weekend and needed OT to get by Rutger.


Grade: 0/10