Big Ten men's basketball ratings by World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht. Published Tuesday, Feb. 14.
1. Michigan State (20-5, 9-3, fourth)
This week: Wisconsin, at Purdue. The impressive victory Saturday at Ohio State — holding the Buckeyes 30 points under their home average — makes MSU the Big Ten title favorite.
2. Ohio State (21-4, 9-3, 10th)
This week: at Minnesota, at Michigan. The Buckeyes suffered their first home loss, to Michigan State, when their top wing shooters (Deshaun Thomas and William Buford) made only a combined 4 of 24.
3. Michigan (19-7, 9-4, 14th)
This week: Ohio State. Wolverine guard Stu Douglass has played in all 128 games of his career. The school record is 135, which he can match with five regular-season games and two in the postseason to come.
4. Wisconsin (19-6, 8-4, 24th)
This week: at Michigan State, Penn State. The Badgers are 5-1 in Big Ten road games, but every game remains a tossup until you see if they are making 3-pointers or not.
5. Indiana (19-6, 7-6, 15th)
This week: Northwestern, at Iowa. The matchup between Hoosier freshman center Cody Zeller and Illinois sophomore center Meyers Leonard drew 19 scouts from 14 NBA teams.
6. Purdue (16-9, 6-6, 56th)
This week: at Illinois, Michigan State. All six Boilermaker Big Ten wins have come against Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois. Need some bigger scalps than that to impress the NCAA selection committee.
7. Illinois (16-9, 5-7, 46th)
This week: Purdue, at Nebraska. The wolves are howling to get rid of coach Bruce Weber. The Illini have lost six of the past seven games, and fans are growing restless with his spotty recruiting.
8. Minnesota (17-8, 5-7, 61st)
This week: Ohio State, at Northwestern. Freshman center Elliott Eliason from Chadron, Neb., has become a fan favorite with his hard work, and teammate Rodney Williams called him the team's most underrated player.
9. Northwestern (15-9, 5-7, 44th)
This week: at Indiana, Minnesota. The Wildcats were trying for their first four-game winning streak in conference play in 45 years, but lost to Purdue 87-77.
10. Iowa (13-12, 5-7, 131st)
This week: at Penn State, Indiana. Remember the chair that Fran McCaffery slammed to the floor in disgust at Michigan State? Iowa baseball coach Jack Dahm acquired it and auctioned it for $2,100 at his team's fundraiser.
11. Penn State (11-15, 3-10, 130th)
This week: Iowa, at Wisconsin. Starting forward Billy Oliver has ended his college basketball career because of post-concussion syndrome and migraine headaches.
12. Nebraska (11-13, 3-10, 127th)
This week: Illinois. The Huskers own the longest current losing skid in the Big Ten (four) and fell 18 spots in the RPI this week. A turnaround can't come soon enough.