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Big Ten Basketball Update & Power Rankings

 
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Big Ten basketball Update and Power Rankings

 

 

It is another important weekend for the Big 10 to try and re-establish itself among college basketball’s elite conferences.

The top three slots easily go to the Big East, ACC and Big 12. But the Big 10 can make some inroads as Minnesota plays No. 9 Louisville, No. 13 Purdue plays No. 21 Davidson and No. 22 Michigan St. playing No. 5 Texas. Although Minnesota and Michigan St. are playing at neutral sites, they will be prohibitive underdogs. The 9-0 Gophers have played a very soft schedule, while Louisville has a team capable of going to the Final Four in Detroit. The key for the young Gophers is how well their inexperienced front court deals with Cardinal forward Samardo Samuels who is averaging more than 17 points and six rebounds.

The game is also a reunion between Smith and Louisville coach Rick Pitino. Smith served as Pitino's assistant at Kentucky from 1989-91 before he went to Tulsa. Smith eventually replaced Pitino in 1997 after Pitino went to the NBA.
However, the two have remained tight. Smith owns the head-to-head matchup, 6-4. This meeting will be the greatest test for the Gopher this year.

Michigan State merchandiseMichigan St. (7-2) has lost it two toughest tests to Maryland and North Carolina. But they finally got center Goran Suton back last week. Suton missed a couple of weeks with a knee injury. He played briefly against Alcorn St. and then logged 17 minutes against The Citadel. The Spartans are going to need some girth against Texas giant Dexter Cambridge who has become a very strong low post precence. Purdue’s (8-2) task will be to limit the nation’s best player in guard Stephen Curry who is averaging 31.9 points per game. The good news is that their three forwards in Robbie Hummel, JaJuan Johnson and Nemanja Calasan have combined to average about 38 points.

 

 

Buckeyes lose Lighty
Ohio State forward David Lighty could miss the rest of the season because of a broken bone in his left foot. He has surgery to repair the bone, but these types of injuries can last anywhere from 6-12 weeks. Lighty scored 21 points in the 81-68 victory over Jacksonville.
This is a huge loss for the 17 th ranked Buckeyes because Lighty is the most experienced player on the team. He was averaging 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Lighty also had 51 starts.

 

Notable
Wisconsin continues the Big 10’s journey with Texas. The Longhorns visit the Kohl Center on Tuesday in Madison. Wisconsin won last year’s matchup in Austin 67-66. The Badgers (7-2) are also looking for a landmark win because they have lost to Connecticut and Marquette….Another great border war will be on display Tuesday at St. Louis when Illinois plays Missouri. The Illini have owned this series winning the last eight meetings. Missouri last won this game in 1999. But this is the year that many think the Tigers can break the hex.

 

Big 10 Power Rankings

  • Purdue
  • Ohio State
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan State
  • Minnesota
  • Illinois
  • Northwestern
  • Penn State
  • Iowa
  • Indiana

 

By Kevin Lonnquist
BigTen-fans.com staff writer

 

 

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