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BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS MAKE A BIG RETURN

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What do the standings look like without December’s games?

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

I have been thinking: what would the conference look like if they started at the normal time?

While it roughly resembles the “Last 12 Games” metric the NCAA Selection Committee decided to shirk, it offers about as much variability as one would expect from eliminating two games.

Big Ten Standings Without December Games

Team Conf Record Conf % Norm Record Norm % Change
Team Conf Record Conf % Norm Record Norm % Change
Purdue 12-3 0.800 11-2 0.846 1
Michigan State 13-3 0.813 11-3 0.786 -1
Michigan 12-3 0.800 10-3 0.769 0
Maryland 11-5 0.688 10-4 0.714 0
Iowa 9-6 0.600 9-4 0.692 1
Wisconsin 10-5 0.667 8-5 0.615 -1
Illinois 6-9 0.400 6-7 0.462 2
Minnesota 7-8 0.467 6-7 0.462 0
Ohio State 7-8 0.467 5-8 0.385 -2
Rutgers 5-11 0.313 5-9 0.357 0
Nebraska 5-11 0.313 4-10 0.286 -1
Northwestern 3-12 0.200 3-10 0.231 1
Penn State 3-12 0.200 3-10 0.231 1
Indiana 4-11 0.267 2-11 0.154 -2

Only a couple things stick out:

  1. Ohio State and Illinois flip over Minnesota. Kudos to Brad Underwood, who seems to have his guys building towards next year. Or even a super weird conference tournament run?
  2. Indiana. Whoaaaaa, Indiana. I mean, wow. 2-11 is honestly kind of jarring. That is rutger territory. Not even RUTGERS territory, seeing as they are 2.5 games better in my totally fabricated new standings. Holy crap.

There’s really not much else.

T-14) Northwestern Wildcats; 12-14 (3-12) (LT: 13; 0-4)

T-14) Indiana Hoosiers; 13-13 (4-11) (LT: 10; 0-4)

Both of these teams are bad and they should feel bad. And by “they” I mean their coaches. Somehow, these teams have combined for 2 wins since January 22nd: IU over Michigan State and Northwestern over IU.

Naturally, it took a 24-point sprint with 5ish minutes left for Iowa to beat Northwestern. Please let Friday’s game against IU not require a similar finish. I would welcome it if Iowa is simply pouring it on.

And yes, I have them tying for 14th place instead of 13th place because they are just that bad they deserve each other.

Good lord, like three guys are gonna go 11/20 from three against the Hawks.

12) Nebraska Cornhuskers; 15-12 (5-11) (LT: 11; 2-3)

Tim Miles is the weirdest coach in Power 5 basketball. From The Athletic:

[A]fter Wednesday’s massive 62-61 home win over Minnesota, Miles asked the Big Ten Network postgame interviewer if he knew what day it was, just so he could quote the Geico commercial where the camel walks around being happy that Wednesday is Hump Day. “I love that commercial,” Miles said. “I had to get that out of me.” Seriously. He’s the best.

I guess he could be looking at the dark side of things, but he retweeted this the day of his blowout loss to Penn State:

That’d mean 3 wins of the following 4 games: vs. Purdue, @ Michigan, @ Michigan State, vs. Iowa. Good luck, Tim. I’ll always remember you for this:

Maryland fans would have a conniption if Fran did that.

11) Rutgers Scarlet Knights; 12-14 (5-11) (LT: 9; 1-4)

Rutgers feasted on the nougaty middle of the Big Ten, KenPom-wise (Nebraska, Penn State, Indiana) about a month ago but they’re losers of 5 of 6 but are probably going to be tough outs the rest of the way.

10) Penn State Nittany Lions; 10-16 (3-12) (LT: 14; 2-2)

Penn State beat Michigan and Nebraska. There’s probably something about having to travel 1000 miles for a college basketball game. They’ve played the most difficult conference schedule which is a nice anecdote on a totally forgettable season.

There are so many forgettable Penn State basketball seasons.

9) Minnesota Golden Gophers; 17-9 (7-8) (LT: 7; 1-3)

At the last Power Rankings, they look poised for a potential challenge to the double-bye. Then they played 3 top 15 teams (and Nebraska!) before getting the best palate cleanser the Big Ten has to offer: Indiana.

Iowa’s totally going to lose to Indiana.

8) Ohio State Buckeyes; 17-9 (7-8) (LT: 8; 3-2)

Chris Holtmann has really elevated his wardrobe with that sweet, sweet, Ohio State money and has a fade which would make Brian Ferentz jealous.

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Of Big Ten coaches, he is the most snackable.

7) Illinois Fighting Illini; 10-16 (6-9) (LT: 12; 3-1)

Only Wisconsin could ruin the possibility of Illinois running the table to a 12-8 conference record (10 straight to finish!) which would have given Illinois a 16-17 record overall and had me unironically stanning for their inclusion in the field of 68.

6) Iowa Hawkeyes; 20-6 (9-6) (LT: 5; 3-1)

I’ve said my piece on the Hawkeyes plenty of times this season so I’ll interrupt the Power Rankings to bring you a story about me being totally manipulated by mass media. Here was an ad I totally lambasted during the Super Bowl:

“Why would anyone actually do this? It’s blatantly an attempt to get people to buy 3 cans when you only need 1.” I inquired to my then-fiancee.

Cut to us at our local grocery store where they are providing free stacks for customers. Who am I to turn down free potato snacks? So I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. It’s so freaking delicious to have a jalapeno potato snack and a pizza potato snack in the same bite. Also there’s a honey mustard flavor which is:

5) Wisconsin Badgers; 18-8 (10-5) (LT: 4; 2-2)

Is this a dirty play? I think it’s a dirty play:

Brad Davison has jumped the shark. He’s going to be around another 2 years so get ready for plenty more of where that came from, and it’s all going to be under the guise of playing the right way.

4) Maryland Terrapins; 20-7 (11-5) (LT: 6; 3-1)

Maryland is good and Iowa players shouldn’t complain about refereeing.

3) Michigan Wolverines; 23-3 (12-3) (LT: 3; 3-1)

I really run out of steam when I write 14th to 1st but let me say this: I hope Michigan figures out this offense thing because I think they have the best chance of winning the NCAA Tournament of any Big Ten team.

2) Michigan State Spartans; 22-5 (13-3) (LT: 2; 4-1)

MSU lost to Indiana and Illinois within 3 days of each other and haven’t lost since despite Joshua Langford being done for the season and Nick Ward breaking his hand.

1) Purdue Boilermakers; 19-7 (12-3) (LT: 1; 3-1)

I respect a team which can have their best player miss 20 shots and yet they’re still able to beat their biggest rival.