By Chris Emma-
(CBS) A week remains in the Big Ten’s regular season, with plenty of drama and storylines set to unfold before the conference tournament begins next week at United Center.READ MORE: For Chicago Sky Superstar Candace Parker, Downtown Victory Rally Was A Dream Decades In The Making
With all that, there’s only one matchup I want in the tournament final. You should, too. It’s a battle of the Big Ten’s best, two top-10 teams. Bring on the Wisconsin Badgers and Maryland Terrapins.
Both Wisconsin and Maryland have Final Four potential, rosters loaded with talent and impressive resumes. The seasons series is evened up, 1-1. It’s Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker against Fab Melo and Dez Wells. Let’s get a rubber match between these two teams, say, a week from Sunday in Chicago.
On to the power rankings:
1.) Wisconsin (26-3, 14-2) — Finally, the Badgers were tripped up. Go figure, it was Maryland doing the damage.
2.) Maryland (24-5, 12-4) — The Terrapins would be the best team in most conferences, but the Badgers still boast that claim.
3.) Ohio State (21-8, 10-6) — An impressive comeback win over Purdue puts Ohio State just behind the class of the Big Ten.
4.) Purdue (19-10, 11-5) — The Boilermakers likely need two wins before Selection Sunday to fully secure a tournament bid. Right now, Matt Painter’s team passes the proverbial eye test.
5.) Michigan State (19-10, 10-6) — A down week for the Spartans brought more reasons for concern before postseason play begins.READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Chicago Sky's WNBA Championship Parade And Rally
6.) Indiana (19-10, 9-7) — Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but a 2-3 zone threw off Tom Crean’s team. This time, though, it was Northwestern, not a Syracuse.
7.) Iowa (19-10, 10-6) — The Hawkeyes are beginning to click at the right time, potentially poised to do some damage in the tournament.
8.) Illinois (18-11, 8-8) — With an active, healthy Rayvonte Rice, the Fighting Illini are so dangerous. Still, this group needs another quality win to solidify a tournament bid.
9.) Michigan (14-14, 7-9) — Credit John Beilein, one of the best coaches in the country, for weathering the storm with these banged-up Wolverines.
10.) Minnesota (17-12, 6-10) — A critical overtime road win at Breslin Center brought the Golden Gophers a glimmer of hope for the NCAA Tournament.
11.) Northwestern (14-15, 5-11) — The Wildcats’ first Big Ten four-game winning streak since 1967 came to an end with their worst loss of the season, a blowout from Illinois.
12.) Nebraska (13-15, 5-11) — From Big Ten feel-good story to dropping off the page completely, this has been a bad year for the Cornhuskers.
13.) Penn State (15-14, 3-13) — The Nittany Lions have wasted a stellar season from D.J. Newbill.
14.) Rutgers (10-19, 2-14) — Oof.MORE NEWS: Bashful Chance The Rapper Mum On Where He'll Get His Chicago Sky Championship Tattoo
Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.