Each week this Big Ten season, AllHoosiers.com will bring you the conference's power rankings. Keep in mind, the rankings are not based on records, but rather how analyst Justin Albers feels are the best teams in the conference that week.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to weigh in. Each week's power rankings will be posted in the Premium Basketball Forum.
So, without further ado, this week's rankings.
1. Wisconsin (16-0, 3-0) (LAST WEEK: 3): The Badgers had a bit of a scare last Sunday against a very good Iowa team, but managed to pull it out down the stretch. This is the best team Bo Ryan has had in his tenure, and they don't really have a weakness. The Hoosiers get a look at the conference's best team on Tuesday night.
2. Michigan State (15-1, 4-0 (LAST WEEK: 1): The Spartans didn't lose last week, but they needed overtime at home both times to pull out wins over Ohio State and Minnesota. They dominated the Buckeyes for most of the game, but allowed Aaron Craft and Co. to rally late and force OT, ultimately winning in extra time. The Spartans were without Adreian Payne in Sunday's win over Minnesota.
3. Iowa (14-3, 3-1) (LAST WEEK: 4): The Hawkeyes should be perfect in conference play, but they let one slip away at Wisconsin last week. Still, Iowa has a chance to win a Big Ten title this year. The talent is there, as is the experience, and the Hawkeyes are playing well. Their win at Ohio State on Sunday was quite impressive.
4. Ohio State (15-2, 2-2) (LAST WEEK: 2): If the Buckeyes are going to be an elite team this season, they have to develop the offensive consistency. It just isn't there yet. They are likely the nation's best defensive teams, but that won't be enough in this conference. Ohio State lost two tough games last week at Michigan State and at home to Iowa.
5. Michigan (11-4, 3-0) (LAST WEEK: 5): I'm keeping the Wolverines here ... for now. They won their only game last week, but only by a point at Nebraska. We'll learn more about Michigan when it goes to Wisconsin on Saturday.
6. Minnesota (13-4, 2-2) (LAST WEEK: 7): The Gophers are for real. Even though they lost at Michigan State on Sunday, they showed they are a serious contender in this conference by forcing overtime and leading late. But can the Gophers crack the top five or will they stay in the middle for the rest of the year? That's the real question.
7. Illinois (13-4, 2-2) (LAST WEEK: 6): It wasn't a good week for the Illini. They lost both games, at Wisconsin by 25 points and at Northwestern by six. The Northwestern loss is particularly concerning. But I'm going to leave Illinois ahead of Indiana for now because it beat the Hoosiers at home.
8. Indiana (11-5, 1-2) (LAST WEEK: 8): The Hoosiers have a big game coming up on Tuesday night when they host Wisconsin. You could make a case for them moving up a spot after winning at Penn State, but I think they should stay in the eight spot for now.
9. Purdue (11-5, 1-2) (LAST WEEK: 9): The Boilers were able to hang on for a home win over Nebraska. They play at Illinois and host Penn State this week.
10. Northwestern (8-9, 1-3) (LAST WEEK: 12): The Wildcats haven't had a good season, but they scored a major win by beating Illinois at home on Sunday in a low-scoring game. Northwestern will be in Bloomington to play the Hoosiers on Saturday.
11. Penn State (9-8, 0-4) (LAST WEEK: 10): The Nittany Lions are close, but they aren't quite there yet. It's a tough week for them, too, with road games against Michigan and Purdue.
12. Nebraska (8-8, 0-4): The Cornhuskers nearly upset Michigan at home this past week and lost a close battle at Purdue on Sunday. They don't play again until next Monday.