Thursday night's game in Madison not only determined which team would rise to sole possession of second place in the Big Ten, but also held the key to whether it would be Wisconsin or Minnesota behind Michigan St. in the second Hoops Marinara Big Ten Power Poll.
The result was not 100% definitive, but it points to good things for Minnesota down the road. And for Wisconsin? A total lack of momentum. The Badgers drop to fifth this week in the poll, behind a couple of other teams who also helped to clear up the conference race a bit earlier in the week: Illinois and Purdue.
The Boilermakers were not that impressive in Evanston, but managed to escape with a victory. Survive and advance, I suppose. Illinois, however, is firing on all cylinders right now. Led by goofy 7-footer Mike Tisdale, the Orange Crush put Michigan in its place ... smack dab in the middle of the conference ladder. There was no movement in the bottom half of the league.
Four teams have played five conference games at this point, with everyone else at four games. Minnesota improved the most over the last week according to the Pomeroy numbers (even Wisconsin improved despite back-to-back losses), while Northwestern and Penn State took the two significant tumbles in those rankings since the last Power Poll.