Big Ten power rankings

1. WISCONSIN BADGERS (26-3, 14-2)
A loss to Maryland was further proof the Badgers aren’t invincible, but they bounced back with a dominating effort against Michigan State to clinch the Big Ten title with a week to go. Trips to Minnesota and Ohio State will close out the regular season.

2. MARYLAND TERRAPINS (24-5, 12-4)
The Terrapins are on a role roll, winners of five straight, with games at Rutgers and at Nebraska giving them a chance to keep the momentum going into the postseason. A top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament is likely now.

3. PURDUE BOILERMAKERS (19-10, 11-5)
The Boilermakers missed a chance to all but lock up an NCAA berth with a loss at Ohio State, but they still visit Michigan State and host Illinois with a chance to remain on the right side of the bubble this week.

4. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (21-8, 10-6)
The Buckeyes haven’t won on the road since a victory at Rutgers on Feb. 8. They’ll get a chance to change that at Penn State before hosting Wisconsin in the finale with a No. 4 seed and double bye for the Big Ten Tournament still in play.

5. MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS (19-10, 10-6)
So much for the Spartans streaking to the finish line after an overtime loss at home to Minnesota and a convincing loss at Wisconsin. Now Michigan State is back on the bubble and has to host Purdue before visiting Indiana to close out the regular season.

6. IOWA HAWKEYES (19-10, 10-6)
The resurgent Hawkeyes have won four straight to climb back into NCAA consideration and even have hopes of that fourth seed in the Big Ten. Iowa will try to build on its five road wins at Indiana before hosting Northwestern at home.

7. INDIANA HOOSIERS (19-10, 9-7)
It would take a minor miracle for the Hoosiers to get the No. 4 seed, but they just need at least one win, if not two, to clinch a return to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence. The good news is the final two games are at home, but Iowa and Michigan State will be stern tests.

8. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (18-11, 8-8)
It will likely take a significant run in the Big Ten Tournament for the Illini to enter the NCAA conversation, but the task at hand is to get a home win over Nebraska before heading to Purdue for the season-ending contest.

9. NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS (14-15, 5-11)
The Wildcats finally had their four-game winning streak snapped at Illinois, but they still have some confidence and momentum to take down the stretch and into next year. Northwestern now hosts Michigan and visits Iowa in a bid for the NIT.

10. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (14-14, 7-9)
Losers of six out of seven games, the Wolverines’ postseason hopes are on life support entering the final week. They visit Northwestern before hosting Rutgers in a pair of winnable games to cap a disappointing, injury-plagued year.

11. MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (17-12, 6-10)
The Gophers got a pleasant surprise when they came out on the winning side of a shootout at Michigan State last week after a loss at Wisconsin. Minnesota will find out if there’s a carryover when it hosts Wisconsin and Penn State this week.

12. PENN STATE NITTANY LIONS (15-14, 3-13)
Five consecutive losses have the Lions on the verge of missing the postseason altogether, with an overtime loss to Iowa the latest heartbreaker. Penn State host Ohio State and visits Minnesota in a bid to stay over .500.

13. NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (13-15, 5-11)
The Cornhuskers’ troubles continued as they got blasted at Ohio State last week for their sixth straight loss. The last chance to salvage the season sees Nebraska visit Illinois, then host Maryland.

14. RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS (10-19, 2-14)
Hosting Maryland then visiting Michigan for the final two games will make it difficult for the Scarlet Knights to snap what has become a 12-game losing streak before the Big Ten Tournament starts.

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