B1G Basketball Power Rankings: Dec. 3

By David Sokol on December 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Every Monday, Eleven Warriors will be bringing you the weekly Big Ten basketball power rankings.

I like to play well at home, not so much on the road.Will Sheehey and other role players have helped Indiana into the spotlight

We will recap the weekly happenings of each squad and why they deserve to be in each spot.

This last week was eventful with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Viewers were able to have a better understanding of how good each team may actually be at this point of the season.

Let's take a look at the rankings.

1. Indiana (8-0)

Indiana was nothing short of impressive against a young North Carolina team Tuesday in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, winning, 83-59, in Bloomington. Every Hoosier filled the stat sheets. Cody Zeller, who hasn't been as impressive as the Player of the Year projections thus far, put up 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds in his best game of this short season.

The Tar Heels may not be as good as they have in years past (ESPN analyst Jay Williams actually picked them fifth in the ACC), but IU was nothing short of great in this game.

The Hoosiers also took down 1-6 Coppin State at home in a much expected blowout.

IU senior forward Christian Watford has underachieved all season, but senior guard Jordan Hulls has been an unlikely star and the team MVP for November.

That's right, Jordan Hulls has been the IU team MVP, not Cody Zeller.

The Hoosiers have been good, but many analysts think Duke could be the best team in the country.

However, IU could stick at No.1 overall until someone takes them down, which most likely won't be until Big Ten season thanks to an easy out-of-conference schedule.

2. Ohio State (5-1)

The Buckeyes suffered their first loss of the season at Duke, 73-68. Cameron Indoor Stadium is definitely one of the toughest places to play in the country, so the loss doesn't seem nearly as devastating. Deshaun Thomas sat out most of the first half with foul trouble and the young Buckeyes (Shannon Scott, Amir Williams and LaQuinton Ross) kept them ahead of the Blue Devils for most of the game. It was poor shooting for the Buckeyes and a late spark by Duke that changed the outcome of the game. 

OSU returned to the Schott on Saturday to truck fresh-to-Division-I Northern Kentucky behind LaQuinton Ross' career day with 22 points. If Ross can continue to score, the Buckeyes could be the toughest team in the conference, especially with Thomas putting up his numbers.

The Buckeyes have shown that they have the squad to compete with anyone and could very well contend for championships.

3. Michigan (7-0)

Michigan has shown that they are an entirely different team than in years past with a solid player at each position. Freshmen Nick Stauskas, Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson have helped Trey Burke and crew become a much better team.

This last week, Michigan had a tight game at home against then-ranked No. 18 North Carolina State, winning, 78-72, in Ann Arbor. They followed up that victory beating Bradley, 74-66.

Although the polls show Michigan ahead of the Buckeyes, it's not certain that their talent level and potential is greater than the Buckeyes'.

4. Minnesota (8-1)

The Golden Gophers have shown that they could very well compete for a Big Ten title. Trevor Mbakwe is back in full force and Rodney Williams Jr. has been lighting it up.

Minnesota knocked off Florida State in Tallahassee, 77-68, and blew up North Florida, 87-59.

5. Michigan State (6-2)

State is coming off an embarrassing (in my opinion) loss to Miami-FL in the Challenge, 67-59.

The Spartans then blew out Nicholls State, 84-39.

Guard Keith Appling is showing that he is one of the conference's best, averaging over 16 points per game and freshman standout Gary Harris is back from injury.

6. Illinois (8-0)

Not only did Illinois win the Maui Classic, they had another impressive week.

They took down Georgia Tech rather easily in the Challenge, 75-62. However, in order to move up these rankings in a stacked Big Ten, they'll have to do a bit more than beat mediocre teams. Coach Groce is going to have Illinois back in the top three in the next year. Mark it down.

7. Wisconsin (5-3)

Paging Bo Ryan... Your team is struggling big time.

Wisconsin may not have the team to fit Bo Ryan's system well. The Badgers lost to Virginia in the Challenge and already have three losses moving into December.

The Badgers rebounded slightly by taking down a decent Cal team, 81-56, but are looking up at the top half of the conference in these rankings.

8. Iowa (6-2)

Iowa was a preseason dark horse to win the Big Ten, however they have fallen short of that reputation (so far).

The Hawkeyes were absolutely blown out at Virginia Tech in the Challenge, 95-79.

They then beat a team that's not even worth discussing (sorry, Texas A&M Corpus Christie).

9. Purdue (3-4)

Purdue is underachieving, again. Ugh. They take a losing record (3-4) into December.

Purdue beat Clemson in the Challenge, but Xavier took them down at home, 63-57. By the way, Xavier was picked 7th in the Atlantic 10 this season.

10. Northwestern (6-2)

Northwestern had a bad week, losing to Maryland in the Challenge and then to Illinois-Chicago, 50-44.

Where's John Shurna when you need him?

11. Penn State (4-3)

Penn State was taken down in the Challenge by Boston College, but then beat Penn, 58-47.

Penn State is on the way to being one of the conference's doormats again.

12. Nebraska (5-1)

The Cornhuskers aren't as embarrassing as their football team's performance in Indy. They are 5-1! (That one loss was to Kent State.)

They won their only game last week, taking care of Wake Forest, 79-63.

Understandably, Nebraska will have to step it up big time for Big Ten action.

New Friends:

Maryland (6-1)

The Terrapins will most definitely compete at the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference and have the make-up to be a competitor for the long haul. Like stated above, UMD defeated Northwestern in the Challenge and took down former Cinderella team, George Mason, on Sunday.

If I could rank Maryland with the Big Ten teams above, they'd be slated right around five.

Rutgers (4-2)

Rutgers is not the best basketball program, obviously.

They beat UNC-Greensboro last week and lost to Ole Miss on Saturday.

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