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Emma's Big Ten Power Rankings: Conference Race Heating Up

By Chris Emma-

(CBS) With win No. 1,000 on Sunday against St. John's, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski became the first Division I men's basketball coach to reach that milestone. It further solidified his place as the best in his business.

The Big Ten has some great coaches, too, but none to the level of Coach K. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan has 722 career wins, but 353 of those came with Division II Wisconsin-Platteville. Tom Izzo of Michigan State has 481 wins, the most of any active Big Ten coach at one school. Yet, a case can also be made for Ohio State's Thad Matta or Michigan's John Beilein as the conference's best coach.

It's a debate that will drag on well past this season, where the race is heating up. Here are the latest Big Ten power rankings:

1.) Wisconsin (18-2, 6-1) — Led by the aforementioned Ryan, the Badgers remain the class of the Big Ten. Wins over Iowa and Michigan bolstered their case.

2.) Maryland (18-3, 6-2) — Had these power rankings been finalized with four minutes to go in the Terps' game with Northwestern on sunday, they would be further down. But an 11-point comeback brought Maryland to a near-miraculous win.

3.) Ohio State (16-5, 5-3) — The Buckeyes jump ahead of Indiana after pulling a 19-point win over the Hoosiers in Columbus. Also, D'Angelo Russell is the truth.

4.) Indiana (15-5, 5-2) — A major win over Maryland seemed to show the Hoosiers are for real, but they took a step back against the Buckeyes.

5.) Michigan State (13-7, 4-3) — The learning process hasn't been too kind to Izzo's team, which still has a long way to go.

6.) Iowa (13-7, 4-3) — A tough week for the Hawkeyes that saw losses to Wisconsin and Purdue ended with Aaron White suffering a shoulder injury.

7.) Nebraska (12-7, 4-3) — How about this week for the Huskers? They went out and beat Minnesota and then Michigan State in a pair of close games, showing signs of life after a slow start to Big Ten play.

8.) Purdue (12-8, 4-3) — In desperate need of a win, the Boilermakers beat No. 25 Iowa at Mackey Arena. That marked Purdue's first win over a ranked team since January of 2013.

9.) Michigan (12-8, 5-3) — It was an admirable effort for the Wolverines to take Wisconsin to overtime on Saturday, but this season is about to spiral away without Caris LeVert healthy.

10.) Minnesota (13-8, 2-6) — The Golden Gophers are finally on the Big Ten board, with two wins to their name after a brutal start to conference play.

11.) Illinois (13-8, 3-5) — The thin Fighting Illini are dressing a team manager. When is Rayvonte Rice returning?

12. ) Northwestern (10-10, 1-6) — The Wildcats have lost five straight heartbreakers that could've easily been won, with none more painful than Sunday's collapse in College Park.

13.) Penn State (13-7, 1-6) —The Nittany Lions ran out of games with Rutgers, so it'll be difficult to win another Big Ten game.

14.) Rutgers (10-11, 2-6) — Year 1 in the Big Ten has gone as most expected for the Scarlet Knights.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.

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