Big 10 Power Rankings 2-18

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By Paul M. Banks

1. Purdue (22-3, 11-3)

Winners of eight in a row, and it wasn’t against the bottom feeders either. The Boilers won at #9 Ohio State Wednesday, and that streak also includes wins at the Breslin Center and Assembly Hall. Looking like a #1 seed come March.

2. Michigan State (22-6, 12-3)

With a healthy Kalin Lucas, they are looking like a #2 seed come March- the only month that matters in East Lansing. Lucas has so much heart and soul, no wonder he reminds Tom Izzo of Mateen Cleaves.

3. Ohio State (20-7, 10-4)

I think I’m voting for “His Royal Smoothness” Evan Turner in my ballot for the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year trophy; his game is just that complete.

4. Wisconsin (19-6, 9-4)

With an RPI of 18 and a Sagarin of 11, they have built themselves a nice little resume when seeding is considered. Bo Ryan- coach of the year?

5. Illinois (17-9, 9-4)

I’m not even going to pretend that I’m non-partisan here! It’s crunch time, and I need to put objectivity aside. The Illini broke my heart into 30 million piece on Valentine’s Day, as the Buckeyes handed them their worst home loss since two years before I was born. Their next home date is on my 32nd birthday vs. Minnesota- go redeem yourselves by giving me the present I’m wishing for.

6. Northwestern (17-9, 6-8)

Now that the big NCAA picture is extinct, what did Coach Bill Carmody have to say about where this team goes from here?

“Win as many games and see where you are in three weeks, then you have the tournament. It’s the same, there are three or four teams in every major conference, they’re in the middle, what are you going to do the next three weeks that separates, some are going to win and head north. And others are going to slip back. So we just want to be in the first group.”

7. Minnesota (14-10, 5-7)

Well, this season’s done! Time to start thinking about NIT or CBI destinations and getting the guys who will get major minutes in ’10-’11 more playing time.

8. Michigan (13-12, 6-7)

No team got luckier with their “single plays” on the schedule. Of course, they failed to capitalize on it.

9. Iowa (9-18, 3-11)

This is by far the most boring team I’ve ever seen in my life. Even when they’re playing Illinois, I can barely watch. If I had a season pass to cover this team, I’d genuinely wonder what reward would be waiting at the end in exchange for the torture endured. Would have to be something like a night with Jenna Fischer.

10. Indiana (9-16, 3-10)

I would almost feel sorry for Tom Crean, and his situation here, but I can’t because of his public persona; which is anything but likable.

11. Penn State (9-16, 1-12)

I asked Penn State coach Ed DeChellis how gratifying it was to win a game, and win one where Talor Battle simply wasn’t Talor Battle.

“He had the flu yesterday and today. He had a fever yesterday didn’t do much. We had a doctor come with us, tried to nurse him back as much as possible. I thought he was very much under control, didn’t feel well, tried to do what he could do. The other guys pitched in and did a wonderful job,” he responded.

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