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NCAAB power rankings: Big Ten results shake up standings

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

March 4th, 2021

We saw a lot of interesting — and somewhat shocking — results in the Big Ten over the past week, and it has caused a bit of a stir in the battle for the top seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

Let's look at where teams stand heading into the final weekend of regular season-action in this week's college basketball power rankings!

1. Gonzaga (24-0)

Another year, another unbeaten run through the West Coast Conference for Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs' last 21 victories have all been by double-digit margins, and their KenPom numbers are among the best in the history of the metric.

Gonzaga has the WCC tournament ahead, but not before a week off. They are all but a lock for the top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Up next: WCC Tournament

2. Baylor (19-1)

Baylor’s bid for an unbeaten season was derailed Saturday, when the Bears fell on the road to No. 17 Kansas, 71-58. The Bears made just six of their 26 three-point attempts and were dominated on the glass.

They rebounded nicely Tuesday, with a 94-89 overtime win at No. 6 West Virginia, as their shots outside the arc fell at a 41.9% clip. The win clinched the Big 12 regular-season crown for Baylor.

Up next: vs. #17 Oklahoma State, vs. #18 Texas Tech

3. Illinois (19-6)

No team in college hoops had a better week than the Fighting Illini.

First, they went on the road to Wisconsin and picked up a five-point win against a ranked opponent, with star guard Ayo Dosunmu sidelined. Then, they traveled to Michigan and delivered a 76-53 rout to the No. 2 Wolverines. Illinois held Michigan to just 34.7% shooting from the floor.

Illinois needs to win its final game of the regular season, and have Michigan lose its final two games, to win the Big Ten regular-season. Regardless, the Illini have put themselves in great shape for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and could lock it up with a win over Ohio State. 

Up next: at #7 Ohio State

4. Michigan (18-2)

The defeat to Illinois was Michigan's first since mid-January. The Wolverines struggled with the physicality of their opponent and were out-rebounded, 42-26. That included 12 offensive rebounds the visitors turned into 22 second-chance points.

The Wolverines just need one more win to clinch the regular-season Big Ten title, but both of their remaining games are against bitter rival Michigan State. The Spartans have won four of their last five, so things could get interesting in the final week of conference play.

Up next: vs. Michigan State, at Michigan State

5. Iowa (18-7)

The Hawkeyes moved up our list this week, despite a 22-point loss to Michigan, after they bounced back to manhandle Ohio State on the road Sunday afternoon. They led Ohio State by 14 at halftime, en route to a 16-point victory, and Luka Garza scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

The loss to Michigan was concerning, because Iowa was outscored, 43-20, over the final 17:30, but the Hawkeyes' response against Ohio State was promising.

Up next: vs. Nebraska, vs. #25 Wisconsin

6. West Virginia (17-7)

West Virginia gave the Bears everything they could handle and overcame an 11-point hole to lead much of the second half. However, the Mountaineers made just two baskets in the final 3:40 of regulation and added just one in overtime.

They are set for a No. 2 seed, with a good run in the Big 12 tournament.

Up next: vs. TCU, vs. #17 Oklahoma State

7. Ohio State (18-7)

The Buckeyes have one of the better résumé in the country over the entirety of the season, but their recent free fall has likely cost them a No. 1 seed and has their fans concerned. Defeats to Michigan and Iowa sandwiched a shocking, four-point defeat to Michigan State, as the Ohio State offense has hit the skids of late, especially behind the arc.

The Buckeyes' regular-season finale with Illinois Saturday has vital importance, as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament could be slipping through their fingers.

Up next: vs. #4 Illinois

8. Alabama (20-6)

The Tide locked up the SEC regular-season title with a pair of wins over Mississippi State and Auburn. 

Alabama's three-point shooting continues to be abysmal, and its 12-point win over Auburn saw the Tide make just 10 of 35 attempts from outside. That total included a five-for-nine performance from Jaden Shackelford.

If Alabama wants to win the SEC Tournament, it will need to rediscover its outside touch.

Up next: at Georgia

9. Arkansas (20-5)

The Hogs are one of the hottest teams in America, with 10 wins in their last 11 games. All the wins came in conference play, with the defeat a four-point loss at Oklahoma State. Three of their last four victories came by double digits, including a 28-point win over South Carolina on Tuesday night.

Arkansas' stellar guard play makes it a threat in the SEC Tournament, but the Razorbacks have lost just twice when forward Justin Smith plays this year. If they can continue their hot play, a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament is well within reach.

Up next: vs. Texas A&M

10. Kansas (18-8)

The Jayhawks' win over previously unbeaten Baylor gave them two wins over ranked teams in a week. Between those wins, they suffered a three-point loss on the road against a ranked Texas team, which was their only defeat in their last seven games.

David McCormack has improved his game immensely during this run, but it’s the Jayhawks defense that has led the turnaround. Over their last seven games, they have allowed less than 23% shooting from three-point range.

Up next: vs. UTEP