Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings, Week 1: Michigan at the top until it is stopped
Today, MLive.com releases the first of weekly Big Ten basketball power rankings.
1. Michigan (13-0, 0-0): There was no argument to be made for not having the Wolverines at the top.
"We can sit here and argue about strength of schedule until we're blue in the face (no pun intended), but Michigan's 13-0, it's really deep and it's been clobbering people. Wolverines are No. 1 until someone beats them. Northwestern's up first tonight." -- MLive Michigan basketball beat writer Nick Baumgardner
2. Indiana (13-1, 1-0): If it weren't for a 68-66 overtime loss to Butler in Indianapolis, the Hoosiers may have split the top votes with the Wolverines.
3. Minnesota (13-1, 1-0): Minnesota is the early surprise and jumped the Buckeyes in all but one ballot.
"Only loss is to Duke – no shame there. Took care of business with strong finish in conference opener against Michigan State. Leads the conference in blocked shots and steals" -- MLive writer Tim Martin
4. Ohio State (11-2, 1-0): If the Buckeyes are only the fourth best team in your league, you got problems.
"This might be too low for the Buckeyes, but we'll see. No one in the league has two tougher losses (at Duke, vs. Kansas), but I just don't see enough depth on this team to push for the top spot in this league. It's Deshaun Thomas on offense, and then what?" -- Baumgardner
5. Illinois (13-2, 0-1): Illinois and Michigan State were the only teams in the league to finish dead even in the voting. Both teams also had similar league debuts, losing on the road.
"A loss on the road to Purdue isn't a good sign, but there are going to be few easy road games in the Big Ten." -- MLive Spartan beat writer Diamond Leung
Michigan State (11-3, 0-1): The Spartans are in the middle of the pack now, but no one is sure how long they'll stay there.
"Don’t sleep on Sparty. Good team with lots of upside. But loss of Brandan Kearney hurts depth and Spartans faded late against Minnesota." -- Martin
7. Iowa (11-3, 0-1): Speaking of not sleeping, don't sleep on Iowa. The key may be to catch them at home, because no one is looking forward to a trip to Iowa City this season (also hide your chairs).
"The Hawkeyes held their own going up against Indiana and are an emerging team" -- Leung
8. Wisconsin (9-4, 0-0): If there's one thing you can count on in this league, it's Wisconsin. Wait. What's that? The Badgers have four losses heading into the conference season? Madison will always be a tough place to play, but Bo Ryan is going to need more than that if he wants to go to the dance. The loss of Josh Gasser for the year certainly doesn't help.
9. Purdue (7-6, 1-0): I've got a funny feeling that the Boilermakers wouldn't have even been ranked this high less than 24 hours ago.
"Matt Painter's cupboard is pretty bare, and he's already admitted that this is one of the most challenging stretches of his coaching career. But, he's 1-0 in Big Ten play. Can't argue with that too much. But the Boilers are 7-6, still have a lot of work to do." -- Baumgardner
10. Northwestern (9-4, 0-0): Those poor purple cats.
"No Drew Crawford means no NCAA tournament – again. Loss of JerShon Cobb also hurts." -- Martin
11. Nebraska (9-5, 0-1): The sea of red is a seasonal weapon and the most challenging part about a road game against the Cornhuskers is still the long trip to Lincoln on a cold weekday night.
"Tim Myles is the best Twitter coach in the country, but his team can't score. Huskers averaging 61.2 points per game -- ouch." -- Baumgardner
12. Penn State (8-4, 0-0): No Tim Frazier = Un-happy valley.
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