Zach Edey, Purdue Boilermakers, Big Ten basketball

Joe Jackson and Ethan Carbone combine to give their Big Ten basketball power rankings for week 6.


Matchup of the week: Indiana vs. Kansas

Sneaky good matchup of the week: UCLA vs. Maryland

All times listed are EST.

1) Purdue Boilermakers

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 10-0 (2-0)

Last week: Hofstra (W) 85-66, Nebraska (W) 65-62

This week: Davidson (Dec. 17 – 6:15 p.m.)

Best wins: Gonzaga, Duke, Marquette, West Virginia

Worst losses: N/A

Purdue had their second scare of the season, going to OT at Nebraska. Nebraska doubled and tripled teamed Zach Edey (who still ended with 11 points, 17 rebounds, and 7 blocks) and forced anyone else to beat them. Perimeter shots didn’t fall, but freshman Fletcher Loyer stepped up and hit all the clutch buckets. The newly #1 ranked team in the AP Poll has a lighter week, taking on only Davidson which will feature a matchup of the Loyer brothers.

2) Illinois Fighting Illini

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Record: 7-3 (0-2)

Last week: #2 Texas (W) 85-78, Penn State (L) 59-74

This week: Alabama A&M (Dec. 17 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Texas, UCLA, Syracuse

Worst losses: N/A

Illinois might be one of the higher-variance teams in the conference. Their best can be one of the best teams in the country, like the comeback win against Texas. Then they also have other games where they look just average, like against Penn State. Illinois has a light week this week, and they will have a good opportunity to get right against Alabama A&M.

3) Indiana Hoosiers

Last week’s ranking: 3 (-)

Record: 8-2 (1-1)

Last week: Nebraska (W) 81-65, #10 Arizona (L) 75-89

This week: @ #8 Kansas (Dec. 17 – 12:00 p.m.)

Best wins: North Carolina, Xavier, Nebraska

Worst losses: Rutgers

Trayce Jackson-Davis recorded the third triple-double in IU history against Nebraska. Indiana against Arizona was arguably the game of the week. Arizona played like one of the best teams in the country. It hurt the Hoosiers not having Jalen Hood-Schifino available, and it showed that they do need another guard to step up.

4) Maryland Terrapins

Last week’s ranking: 4 (-)

Record: 8-2 (1-1)

Last week: @ Wisconsin (L) 59-64, #7 Tennessee (L) 53-56

This week: UCLA (Dec. 14 – 9 p.m.)

Best wins: Illinois, Miami (Fla), Saint Louis

Worst losses: N/A

Maryland dropped their first two games of the season, losing two close ones to Wisconsin and Tennessee. The 3- point shooting hurt them, and they did not quite have enough to overcome it. Jahmir Young has emerged as one of the best guards in the conference, highlighted by 18 points and 7 assists against Tennessee.

5) Ohio State Buckeyes

Last week’s ranking: 6 (+1)

Record: 7-2 (1-0)

Last week: Rutgers (W) 67-66

This week: North Carolina (Dec. 17 – 3 p.m.)

Best wins: Texas Tech, Rutgers, Cincinnati

Worst losses: N/A

In one of the most controversial endings of the season thus far, Ohio State escaped Rutgers at home. Zed Key dominated with 22 points and 14 rebounds on 9-of-12 shooting. Brice Sensabaugh continued to score well, chipping in 13 points.

6) Wisconsin Badgers

Last week’s ranking: 8 (+2)

Record: 8-2 (2-0)

Last week: #13 Maryland (W) 64-59, @ Iowa (W) 78-75

This week: Lehigh (Dec. 15 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Maryland, Iowa, Marquette

Worst losses: Wake Forest

Wisconsin once again finds itself in close games. Their past seven games have been decided by five points or less, and they have gone 5-2 in those games. They had a perfect start to the Big Ten season, knocking off Maryland at home, and then beating Iowa in OT at Iowa. Connor Essegian has been really good for the Badgers, shooting 46.7% from behind the arc on the year. Chucky is shooting 46.8% from three and has really found his groove.

7) Penn State

Last week’s ranking: 7 (-)

Record: 7-3 (1-1)

Last week: Michigan State (L) 58-67, @ #17 Illinois (W) 74-59

This week: Canisius (Dec. 18 – Noon)

Best wins: Illinois, Furman, Butler

Worst losses: Clemson

Penn State was not able to quite get it done at home against Michigan State, to open up Big Ten play. They shot poorly from three, and they struggled to contain AJ Hoggard on the perimeter. They dominated against Illinois, shooting 12-of-24 from deep. Jalen Picket and Andrew Funk both had 20 points, Seth Lundy had 16 points, and Myles Dread had 15 points. Illinois could not get anything in the half-court against them.

8) Iowa Hawkeyes

Last week’s ranking: 5 (-3)

Record: 7-3 (0-1)

Last week: #15 Duke (L) 62-74, #20 Iowa State (W) 75-56, Wisconsin (L) 75-78

This week: Southeast Missouri State (Dec. 17 – 8:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Iowa State, Clemson, Seton Hall

Worst losses: N/A

Iowa needs to get healthy, specifically, they need Kris Murray back. He wasn’t 100% against Duke, and he did not play against Iowa State and Wisconsin. Hot 3-point shooting fueled Iowa over their in-state rivals, but it was clear Iowa lacked a true scoring punch against Wisconsin.

9) Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Last week’s ranking: 9 (-)

Record: 6-4 (1-1)

Last week: @ Ohio State (L) 66-67, Seton Hall (L) 43-45

This week: Wake Forest (Dec. 17 – Noon)

Best wins: Indiana, Sacred Heart, Rider

Worst losses: Temple

It was not a good week for Rutgers as they lost two bigger games by a combined 3 points. Their defense has been one of the best in the country, but they have really really struggled to score the ball. This was exemplified against Seton Hall in a 45-43 loss.

10) Michigan Wolverines

Last week’s ranking: 11 (+1)

Record: 6-3 (1-0)

Last week: @ Minnesota (W) 90-75

This week: Lipscomb (Dec. 17 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Pittsburgh, Ohio, Minnesota

Worst losses: N/A

Michigan battled the previous two games against Virginia and Kentucky. They had an easier matchup against Minnesota and dominated. Michigan lost starting point guard Jaelin Llewellyn to an ACL injury. Freshman guard Dug McDaniel looked very good against Minnesota. He will need to continue to step up for Michigan to get back on track.

11) Michigan State Spartans

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-1)

Record: 7-4 (1-1)

Last week: @ Penn State (W) 67-58, Brown (W) 68-50

This week: N/A

Best wins: Kentucky, Oregon, Villanova

Worst losses: Northwestern

Michigan State got back on track by beating Penn State and Brown. They are another team that needs to get healthy. They are already a pretty thin team, and not having Malik Hall for these previous games has really hurt.

12) Northwestern Wildcats

Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)

Record: 7-2 (1-0)

Last week: Prairie View A&M (W) 61-51

This week: DePaul (Dec. 17 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Michigan State, Liberty, Georgetown

Worst losses: Pittsburgh

In a quiet week, Northwestern was able to get by Prairie View A&M. They did not shoot well at all, but they were able to rely on their defense to do enough this season. This week they have a matchup with an inner-city rival in Depaul

13) Nebraska Cornhuskers

Last week’s ranking: 13 (-)

Record: 6-5 (0-2)

Last week: @ #14 Indiana (L) 65-81, #4 Purdue (L) 62-65

This week: Kansas State (Dec. 17 – 7:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Creighton, Boston College, Florida State

Worst losses: N/A

Nebraska went 0-2 against the teams located in the state of Indiana, but not without a fight. Without their star, Sam Griesel, Nebraska was able to fight in the second half against Indiana to cut the lead but ultimately lose. They played great against Purdue and were able to force overtime in one of their most hyped home games of the season. They won’t compete for the Big Ten championship, but they have the talent to throw a wrench into the standings late in the season.

14) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Last week’s ranking: 14 (-)

Record: 4-6 (0-2)

Last week: Michigan (L) 75-90, #23 Mississippi State (L) 5-69

This week: Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 14 – 8 p.m.)

Best wins: Cal Baptist, Central Michigan, Western Michigan

Worst losses: DePaul

The slide continues for the Golden Gophers. They are now the only team in the Big Ten with a record below .500. They will have a good chance this week to pick up their first win in a few weeks against Arkansas Pine Bluff.

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