Jan. 7, 2013
With one full week of conference play in the books, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have each jumped out to 2-0 Big Ten records. Indiana is still undefeated in conference action at 1-0 and faces Penn State on Monday evening.
Where We Rank:
The Big Ten leads all conferences with six teams ranked in this week's Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls, including two top-five teams and five top-15 squads. Michigan leads the Big Ten, ranking second in both polls, followed by No. 5/5 Indiana, No. 8/10 Minnesota, No. 12/13 Illinois, No. 15/14 Ohio State and No. 22/18 Michigan State. Nine of this week's 12 Big Ten games feature at least one nationally ranked team, while three contests are between top-15 squads.
The Big Ten continues to rank among the country's best in offense, led by two teams that rank among the nation's top 10 in scoring average. Indiana leads the country in points per game with 87.9, while Michigan is tied for seventh with 82.0 points per contest. Ohio State (76.0), Illinois (75.8), Iowa (75.5) and Minnesota (75.5) also average more than 75 points per game and rank among the nation's top 50.
Home Sweet Home:
One week through the conference season, home courts are proving to be a big advantage with home teams a combined 8-3 (.727) during Big Ten action. Overall, Big Ten teams are a combined 102-14 (.879) at home, led by five teams -- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota -- who are undefeated in front of the home crowd.
Rating the Conferences:
The Big Ten continues to lead the nation in the RPI ratings according to RPIratings.com. The Big Ten enters the week leading the nation with five teams among the RPI's top 25 in No. 3 Michigan, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 11 Illinois, No. 15 Indiana and No. 22 Michigan State. Overall, nine Big Ten teams are among the rating's top 90 with Ohio State at No. 43, followed by No. 77 Iowa, No. 78 Nebraska and No. 90 Wisconsin. With all its teams ranked 149 or higher, the Big Ten is the only conference with all its squads among the RPI's top 150. The Big Ten is also the top-ranked conference in the Sagarin ratings and leads all conferences with eight top-50 teams. Michigan leads the Big Ten at No. 2, followed by No. 7 Indiana, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 15 Ohio State, No. 21 Michigan State, No. 30 Illinois, No. 40 Wisconsin and No. 49 Iowa.
The One and Only:
At 15-0 Michigan is one of four remaining undefeated teams in the country, joining Arizona, Duke and Wyoming. The start is the second-best in program history, and the Wolverines are the only 15-0 team in the country.
Eight Big Ten teams have already accumulated 11 or more wins on the season, which leads all conferences. Michigan leads the Big Ten with 15 victories, while Illinois and Minnesota have 14 triumphs each. Indiana has 13 wins this season, Michigan State has 12, and Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin each have 11. Nebraska and Northwestern are each just one win shy of reaching double-digit victories this season.
Welcome to the Club:
Minnesota's Rodney Williams became the newest member of the Big Ten's 1,000 career points club with his nine-point performance on Sunday. Williams now has 1,005 points in his career and joins eight other active Big Ten players that have reached the milestone. Williams is also less than 40 rebounds from joining the conference's 500 rebounds club, and would become the fifth active player to reach that milestone. Visit Page 3 of this release for the complete list of players at or nearing major career milestones.
You'd Better Watch Out:
Five Big Ten players -- Indiana's Jordan Hulls, Michigan's Trey Burke, Michigan State's Keith Appling, Minnesota's Andre Hollins and Ohio State's Aaron Craft -- were named to the 2013 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award watch list in December. In addition, 10 Big Ten players landed on national awards watch lists prior to the start of the season. Illinois' Brandon Paul was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, while Indiana's Christian Watford and Cody Zeller grabbed spots on the Naismith Award Preseason Watch List and the Wooden Watch List. Michigan's Burke also landed on both lists, while teammate Tim Hardaway Jr. earned a spot on the Wooden list. Michigan State's Appling was named to the Wooden Watch List, while Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe grabbed a spot on the Naismith list. Ohio State's Craft and Deshaun Thomas and Penn State's Tim Frazier also appeared on both watch lists to start the season.
They've Got CLASS:
Five Big Ten players were named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, a total that leads all conferences. Illinois' Brandon Paul, Indiana's Jordan Hulls, Northwestern's Drew Crawford, Penn State's Tim Frazier and Wisconsin's Jared Berggren are in the running for the honor that recognizes an NCAA Division I senior with notable achievements in four areas of excellence -- community, classroom, character and competition.
Stars on the Small Screen:
For the sixth consecutive season, every Big Ten home game will be produced and distributed to a live national audience. BTN, which is available in more than 80 million homes in the U.S. and Canada, will broadcast over 100 events on its linear channel or on BTN.com. More than 75 games will be aired by an ESPN platform -- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3, and CBS Sports will carry 15 games.
March is (Almost) On:
The 2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Chicago's United Center for the first time since 2007 and the eighth time in the event's history, including the inaugural event in 1998. Every game of the tournament will be broadcast to a national audience with contests appearing on BTN, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS Sports. Every tournament game since its inception has reached a live national television audience.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will also be played at the United Center in 2015, and will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., in 2014 and 2016.
All-session tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are on sale now. Visit bigten.org for more information.