SiriusXM Big Ten Radio’s college basketball power rankings

See how your team fared in the first week of SiriusXM Big Ten Radio’s college basketball power rankings.

Pete Pistone
January 5, 2021

Michigan is one of the hottest teams in the country (Photo: Big Ten)

Pete Pistone and the rest of the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio team will unveil Power Rankings each week of the college basketball season. Check out this year’s first edition of basketball Power Rankings below, and start listening to SiriusXM Big Ten Radio (Ch. 372) on the SiriusXM app now.There’s never a night off for any Big Ten team this basketball season. The country’s deepest conference has already demonstrated how deep it runs and talented it is in the early days of the ’20-’21 season with a record nine teams making it into last week’s AP Top 25 and seven taking spots this week.

Surprising play from Minnesota and Northwestern has generated a great deal of attention since conference play topped off in mid-December. Perennial powerhouse Michigan State has gotten off to a slow start by its lofty standards while the Spartans’ cross-state rival Michigan rattled off nine wins in a row.

Here’s how the SiriusXM Big Ten Radio team voted to put together this year’s first edition of our college basketball rankings:

1. Michigan @umichbball

A road win against Maryland and a decisive win at home over Northwestern capped off a big week for the Wolverines. This game saw great play from Hunter Dickinson, Franz Wagner, and Chaundee Brown Michigan hitting on all cylinders as the schedule starts to get tougher.

WEEK AHEAD: Minnesota (Wednesday), @Penn State (Saturday)

2.  Iowa @IowaHoops

The Hawkeyes scored a win at Rutgers and gave the Scarlet Knights a rare home loss at the RAC. Iowa’s 9-2 start is its best since the 2013/2014 season. Luka Garza continues to be all-world and is getting solid play from teammates as this team begins to gel.

WEEK AHEAD: @Maryland (Thursday), Minnesota (Sunday)


The Badgers lost a game against Penn State due to Covid that will be made up later in the regular season, but Wisconsin has won six of its last seven thanks in no small part to outstanding play from both Micah Potter and D’Mitrik Price.

WEEK AHEAD: Indiana (Thursday)


Ayo Dosunmo continues to carry this team, but the supporting case stepped up nicely this past week in a win over Purdue. Da’Monte Williams and Adam Miller stood out, which is a great sign for Brad Underwood’s team to become even more balanced going forward.

WEEK AHEAD: @Northwestern (Thursday), Maryland (Sunday)

5. RUTGERS @RutgersMBB

Despite the loss to Iowa at home, Rutgers had a solid week of play that also included a victory over Purdue. Meanwhile, Ron Harper Jr. continues to battle some injuries opening up opportunity for others to pick up some of the slack.

WEEK AHEAD: @Michigan State (Tuesday), Ohio State (Saturday)


Two ends of the spectrum defined Minnesota’s week; the Golden Gophers lost by double digits to Wisconsin before scoring a 17-point victory over Ohio State. The schedule is definitely going to be tough this week for Richard Pitino’s team.

WEEK AHEAD: @Michigan (Wednesday), @Iowa (Sunday)


The hot start in conference play cooled down for Northwestern thanks to a pair of losses to Iowa and Michigan. A rivalry game against Illinois will be a challenge this week.

WEEK AHEAD: Illinois (Thursday)

8. OHIO STATE @OhioStateHoops

This was a split week for the Buckeyes — a Nebraska win and a Minnesota loss on the road went on the board as Ohio State gets ready to face a formidable stretch of its early conference schedule.

WEEK AHEAD: Penn State (Wednesday), @Rutgers (Saturday)


After getting blown out by Minnesota, the Spartans capped their week with a Nebraska victory. Tom Izzo continues to search for the right formula of players to get Michigan State headed in the right direction, but right now that continues to be a work in progress.

WEEK AHEAD: Rutgers (Tuesday), Purdue (Friday)

10. MARYLAND @TerrapinHoops

Maryland has been involved in some exciting and entertaining games as of late. The Terps came out ahead in their game on the road versus Wisconsin before falling to Michigan at home. Right now, the direction is not exactly trending in a positive direction for Maryland as they try to right the ship this week.

WEEK AHEAD: @Indiana (Monday), Iowa (Thursday), @Illinois (Sunday)

11. PURDUE @BoilerBall

Despite two road losses giving Purdue three defeats in its last four games, the Boilermakers competitive play give Matt Painter’s squad reason for some optimism.

WEEK AHEAD: Nebraska (Tuesday), @Michigan State (Friday)

12. INDIANA @IndianaMBB

The Hoosiers beat Penn State in overtime at home this week, a victory the team hopes will bring some momentum into a busier week.

WEEK AHEAD: @Wisconsin (Thursday), @Nebraska (Sunday)

13. PENN STATE @PennStateMBB

The OT loss to Indiana was Penn State’s only game after Covid-19 forced the postponement of the Wisconsin contest. There have been sparks of good play coming from the Nittany Lions.

WEEK AHEAD: @Ohio State (Wednesday), Michigan (Saturday)

14. NEBRASKA @HuskerHoops

It’s shaping up to be a long, cold winter in Lincoln as Nebraska remains winless in the conference.

WEEK AHEAD: @Purdue (Tuesday), Indiana (Sunday)