There was a slight shakeup in the standings since last Friday as now Iowa and Northwestern are the two leaders in conference play after Rutgers suffered their second Big Ten loss. Maryland inserted themselves back into the title conversation with a huge win to move up in the standings.
Here are the standings as of January 24th:
Northwestern (17-2, 7-1 Big Ten) The Wildcats stay atop the conference standings after blowing out Penn State and Michigan State. They will put their 5 game winning streak on the line when they go to Maryland on Sunday. Next three opponents: @ Maryland 1/26, vs. Michigan 1/30, @ Penn State 2/2.
Iowa (16-3, 7-1 Big Ten) Along with Northwestern, Iowa went 2-0 on the week to extend their winning streak to 7 with wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State. Their schedule over the next week will be relatively easy. Next three opponents: vs. Michigan State 1/26, @ Penn State 1/30, @ Michigan 2/2.
Maryland (15-4, 6-2 Big Ten) Led by Shakira Austin, the Terrapins picked up a huge win against Indiana to go along with their win in Champaign to pass up Rutgers in the standings. They will take on the leader in the clubhouse in Northwestern at home in what will be one of their biggest games of the season. Next three opponents: vs. Northwestern 1/26, @ Ohio State 1/30, vs. Michigan State 2/3.
Rutgers (15-3, 5-2 Big Ten) Rutgers dropped their only game since last Friday against Michigan State to fall to fourth place in the Big Ten but will look to bounce back with three very winnable games. Next three opponents: @ Michigan 1/26, vs. Illinois 1/30, @ Minnesota 2/2.
Indiana (15-5, 5-3 Big Ten) The Hoosiers dropped a pivotal game against Maryland to fall to fifth in the conference. They have the opportunity to make up for the loss in their next two games before taking on Purdue in Mackey Arena. Next three opponents: vs. Minnesota 1/27, vs. Wisconsin 1/30, @ Purdue 2/3.
Nebraska (14-5, 4-4 Big Ten) The Cornhuskers split their two games this week to stay at .500 during conference play and started out very slow in both games. They also have a reasonable schedule coming up. Next three opponents: @ Wisconsin 1/25, @ Minnesota 1/30, vs. Ohio State 2/2.
Purdue (13-7, 4-4 Big Ten) The loss to Minnesota was tough to swallow given the drama around the Gophers’ program, but the Boilermakers responded in a big way with a huge win in Lincoln on Wednesday. They will need to go on a run down the stretch to secure an NCAA Tournament bid. Next three opponents: vs. Penn State 1/26, @ Michigan State 1/30, vs. Indiana 2/3.
Michigan State (11-8, 4-4 Big Ten) Sparty got a big win when they beat Rutgers on the road but then got waxed by Big Ten leader Northwestern. Their schedule does not get any easier either as two of their next three games are on the road against ranked opponents. Next three opponents: @ Iowa 1/26, vs. Purdue 1/30, @ Maryland 2/3.
Ohio State (11-8, 4-4 Big Ten) Ohio State is the last of the four teams sitting at 4-4 during the Big Ten slate as they beat Illinois by 30 then lost a tough game to Iowa. Next three opponents: vs. Maryland 1/30, @ Nebraska 2/2, @ Illinois 2/6.
Michigan (12-6, 3-4 Big Ten) The Wolverines dropped their only game this week at the hands of Nebraska in a close game and will have a very tough three game stretch ahead of them. Next three opponents: vs. Rutgers 1/26, @ Northwestern 1/30, vs. Iowa 2/2.
Minnesota (12-7, 2-6 Big Ten) Minnesota picked up just their second conference win in a shocker against Purdue in Mackey before suffering yet another loss against Wisconsin. Next three opponents: @ Indiana 1/27, vs. Nebraska 1/30, vs. Rutgers 2/2.
Wisconsin (10-9, 2-6 Big Ten) Wisconsin also went 1-1 this week losing to Iowa at home and then beat Minnesota on the road in an expected win. Next three opponents: vs. Nebraska 1/25, @ Indiana 1/30, @ Illinois 2/2.
Illinois (10-9, 1-7 Big Ten) The Fighting Illini’s tough luck continued this week dropping both games by a combined 49 points as their losing streak hits three. Next three opponents: @ Rutgers 1/30, vs. Wisconsin 2/2, vs. Ohio State 2/6.
Penn State (7-12, 1-7 Big Ten) The Lady Lions continue to struggle and are still in the basement of the Big Ten with things looking dark ahead still. Next three opponents: @ Purdue 1/26, vs. Iowa 1/30, vs. Northwestern 2/2.