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Matt Charboneau's Big Ten Power Rankings

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Kyle Ahrens dunks during the second half of MSU's win over Penn State Sunday.

■1. Michigan State (24-5, 11-5): The Spartans picked up two more victories this week to keep the hopes of a share of the regular-season title alive. Michigan State has now won eight of its last nine heading into the final week.

2. Indiana (23-6, 13-3): The Hoosiers took care of business at Illinois this week then watched as Maryland and Iowa lost, meaning they can do no worse than a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship.

3. Wisconsin (19-10, 11-5): The Badgers have one blemish since early January and have now won three straight heading into the final week. That’s 10 wins in the last 11 games for the team that was outright champions last season.

4. Maryland (23-6, 11-5): There’s no shame in losing on the road against a tough Purdue team, but the Terrapins have now lost three of their last four. They’ll have a chance to spoil things for Indiana in the finale.

5. Purdue (22-7, 10-6): The Boilermakers came off last weekend’s tough loss at Indiana and bounced back by beating Maryland. Purdue is out of the running for a share of the title, but it still has a chance to close strong.

Charboneau: 4 have shot to join Indiana as Big Ten champs

6. Iowa (20-8, 11-5): The Hawkeyes are in a big free-fall, losing three straight and four of their last five. An upset at Ohio State was the latest setback as the Hawkeyes get set to host conference-leading Indiana this week.

7. Ohio State (19-11, 11-6): The Buckeyes might deserve to move ahead of Iowa, but they were dominated at home earlier in the week by Michigan State. However, the Buckeyes still have a shot to build a resume that could put them on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

8. Michigan (20-10, 10-7): The Wolverines are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives and hung with Wisconsin on Sunday before falling on the road. They’ll need a win at home against Iowa to feel good about their chances.

9. Northwestern (18-11, 6-10): The Wildcats nearly won at Michigan before destroying Rutgers over the weekend. They’ll have a decent shot at 20 wins with games the final week against Penn State and Nebraska.

10. Penn State (15-14, 6-10): The Nittany Lions and coach Pat Chambers melted down in a loss at Michigan State, but they had won three straight coming into the game. Penn State now tries to avoid playing on the first day of the Big Ten tournament with games this week against Northwestern and Illinois.

11. Nebraska (14-15, 6-10): The Cornhuskers have now lost three straight, even though they nearly pulled off a comeback this week at Penn State. A return trip to the NCAA Tournament is out of reach unless they win the conference tourney.

12. Illinois (13-16, 5-11): The Fighting Illini got blown out earlier in the week at home against Indiana and played a short-handed Minnesota team Sunday night. All that’s left for the Illini is conference tournament seeding.

13. Minnesota (8-20, 2-14): Believe it or not, the Golden Gophers had won two straight entering Sunday night’s game at Illinois, but player suspensions helped send any good feelings out the window heading into the final week.

14. Rutgers (6-23, 0-16): The only thing that matters now is whether or not the Scarlet Knights can manage to earn one conference victory. At home Wednesday against Michigan State doesn’t seem likely with the finale at Minnesota offering the best opportunity.