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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: It Is The Way

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It is the way...

Premiere And Q & A For “The Mandalorian” Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

It is a slow week because of Finals. Purdue doesn’t play again until Sunday and until then we’re a volleyball blog because DAVE SHONDELL & CO. IS GONNA WRECK NO.1 BAYLOR ON FRIDAY. As a sports blog, however, we are required by law to at least once a year do a Power Rankings that merge with the hottest thing in pop culture. Since I haven’t done a Big Ten basketball power rankings in a awhile I need to get this done before the end of the year.

It Is The Way.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

DO NOT READ PAST THIS LINE IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MANDALORIAN ON DISNEY+. JUST GO SPEND $7, WATCH THE FIVE EPISODES OUT NOW, AND COME BACK!!!

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SERIOUSLY!

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OKAY…

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YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!

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NOT MY FAULT NOW IF YOU GET SPOILED!

1. Ohio St. Buckeyes – 9-0, 1-0 – The Mandalorian –

We knew Ohio State was going to be good this year, but they have looked great in cleaning house so far against a variety of foes. Kaleb Wesson and Kyle Young have been excellent and they have a bunch of other tricks up their sleeve just like the Mando Himself. They have beaten Villanova and North Carolina by 24+ each and just crushed a good Penn State team to open conference play. They can bring you in warm or bring you in cold.

2. Michigan Wolverines – 8-1, 1-0 – Cara Dune –

We don’t meet Cara Dune until episode 4 of the series, but then we learn she is a badass. Played by MMA fighter Gina Carano she is a former Rebel shock trooper and now a mercenary. It was a mystery how former NBA journeyman Juwan Howard would do in year one in Ann Arbor, but aside from a not bad loss at Louisville he has done extremely well. Michigan has been a bit badass themselves and will be in the race all season long.

3. Maryland Terrapins – 10-0, 1-0 – The Client –

“Bounty Hunting is a complicated profession” is delivered by Werner Herzog’s “The Client” in the first episode. Even though The Terps are undefeated and in the top 5, they have had some close calls against Illinois, Harvard, and Temple. There is definitely a segment of the Maryland fanbase that is as fatalistic towards Mark Turgeon as Werner Herzog is towards everything.

4. Purdue Boilermakers – 6-3, 1-0 – The Baby Yoda –

My favorite team and I would ride or die for them. I would ride or die for The Baby Yoda. In episode 4 when they nearly killed off The Baby Yoda it felt like Purdue playing Minnesota because something dreadful and horrifying was about to happen. I was ready to drive to Disney headquarters and burn it to the ground if they had killed him off. We don’t fully know what The Baby Yoda is capable of yet, just like we don’t fully know what Purdue is capable of. Still, The Baby Yoda lifted up the Mudhorn and defeated it with ease just like Purdue did with Virginia.

5. Michigan St. Spartans – 6-3, 1-0 – Greef Karga –

Played by Carl Weathers, Greef Karga leads the bounty hunter guild and has a lot of confidence. He started out by running things in the first episode, but we last saw him getting beaten up, then shot by the Mandalorian. He has had a rough start, but he is not done. The same is true for Sparty, who has taken some lumps early, but will be back to have a big say in the Big Ten race.

6. Indiana Hoosiers – 8-1, 0-1 – IG-11 –

We only saw Taika Waititi’s IG-11 in the first episode, but the bounty hunter droid was mowing through a bunch of extras on Arvala-7 like they were nothing. The instant he was challenged in the least, however, he wanted to initiate his self-destruct sequence. If this isn’t Indiana this year, I don’t know who is. The Hoosiers rolled out to an 8-0 start with all home games against really weak teams, plus a very nice win at home over Florida State. As soon as they had to leave Assembly Hall they self-destructed in Madison.

7. Penn St. Nittany Lions – 7-2, 0-1 – Dr. Pershing –

We don’t fully know Dr. Pershing’s role yet, just that he is an Imperial scientist working for The Client. We don’t really know how good Penn State is yet. The Nittany Lions have done mostly well, but collapsed against Ole Miss and were beaten up by Ohio State, just like how the Mandalorian beat up Dr. Pershing to rescue The Baby Yoda. Lamar Stephens is like having a cheat code, but is that enough? Is Dr. Pershing’s anatomical knowledge of the Baby Yoda enough?

8. Iowa Hawkeyes – 7-3, 1-1 – Toro Calican –

When first see Toro he is sitting in the same seat Han Solo was sitting in at the Mos Eisley Cantina. He is young, brash, and off to a great start as a character. He can work very well with people. By the end of the episode his corpse is being dragged to Beggar’s Canyon by some pit droids, dead way too early. Judging by Iowa’s all Luka Garza offense against Michigan, that is definitely Iowa basketball: start strong, then flame out.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini – 6-3, 0-1 – Riot Mar –

Episode five begins with Riot Mar involved in a dogfight in space with the Mandalorian’s ship, the Razor Crest. Riot Mar gets the best of the Mandalorian for most of the fight too, causing extensive damage. The Mando then pulls off one move and blasts him to smithereens. That was the week last week for Illinois basketball. They fell behind big against Miami only to come storming back and lose it in the final seconds on an offensive foul. Then against Maryland they did the opposite: building a big lead before blowing it and losing late.

10. Wisconsin Badgers – 5-4, 1-0 – The Jawas –

A sandcrawler full of Jawas is on Arvala-7 in Episode two because of course they are. They are famous for stealing droids, thus their destruction of Indiana’s IG-11. They are a bit shorthanded and not that strong overall, but they swarm the Razor Crest and tear it to pieces because they are a formidable foe if you don’t watch them.

11. Rutgers Scarlet Knights – 6-3, 0-1 – The Armorer –

The Armorer so far has sown she is excellent at forging Beskar steel into the Mandalorian’s armor, but we have only seen her in the realm of the underground Mandalorian society. Rutgers hasn’t played much outside of the northeast so far, and they have lost their two games against power conference opponents in Pitt and Michigan State. We know they will defend as hard as Beskar, but is that enough?

12. Northwestern Wildcats – 4-4, 0-1 – Kuiil –

Kuiil is really smart and dispenses great advice, but doesn’t actually do much of anything aside from berate others. He is also an ugnaught, thus not great in a fight. Northwestern grads can say some great things, but they are still bad at basketball and in a fight. I have spoken.

13. Minnesota Golden Gophers – 4-5, 0-1 – Peli Motto –

The whole phrase “Minnesota Nice” definitely applies to Peli Motto. She is the kindest starship mechanic in Mos Eisley and just wants to help people out. She gets the Razor Crest into tip-top shape again after the fight with Riot Mar, but is easily intimidated by everyone else. At least if Minensota started caring for Purdue like Peli does for The Baby Yoda instead of having us suffer catastrophic injuries against them that would be nice.

14. Nebraska Cornhuskers – 4-5, 0-0 – The Egg –

Nebraska definitely needs someone to take care of them like the Mudhorn otherwise they will be easy food for others. This is a team that has lost to UC-Riverside, Southern Utah, and George Mason so far while nearly losing to Southern. They SUKA!