Jan. 27, 2014
The Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls were released on Monday, and the Big Ten was well-represented with five teams among the top 25 and four in the top 15. In the AP poll, Michigan State was ranked No. 7, followed by No. 10 Michigan, No. 14 Wisconsin, No. 15 Iowa and No. 24 Ohio State. In the coaches' ballot, Michigan State was ranked No. 6, followed by No. 12 Iowa, No. 13 Wisconsin, No. 14 Michigan and No. 23 Ohio State. Minnesota was also receiving votes in the AP poll.
The Week Ahead:
All 12 Big Ten teams will be in action this week, including a pair of matchups between ranked foes. In the first game of the week, No. 15/12 Iowa will host No. 7/6 Michigan State on Tuesday. No. 24/23 Ohio State will play at No. 14/13 Wisconsin on Saturday. Big Ten leader No. 10/14 Michigan will host Purdue on Thursday before traveling to Indiana on Sunday. Michigan State will step out of conference on Saturday, when the Spartans take on Georgetown at Madison Square Garden. The Iowa-Michigan State game will mark the seventh matchup between ranked foes during the Big Ten season.
Wolverines' Historic Week:
Michigan defeated three consecutive Associated Press (AP) top-10 opponents for the first time in school history (No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 10 Iowa, No. 3 Michigan State) during a one-week span, becoming the first team since the 1986-87 Iowa Hawkeyes to win three straight contests against AP top-10 teams. The last time Michigan played three consecutive games against AP top-10 ranked opponents was during the 1964-65 season. The Wolverines jumped 11 spots in the AP poll, moving from No. 21 to No. 10 in this week's rankings.
Filling it Up:
Big Ten teams have posted 80 games with at least 80 points this season, and enter this week averaging more than 74 points per game. Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska each broke the 80-point barrier last week, while seven games featured Big Ten teams scoring at least 70 points. Eight Big Ten teams are among the top 100 in the country in scoring offense, tied for the second-most among the American, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC conferences.
Protecting the Rock:
Entering this week's slate of college basketball games, four Big Ten teams rank among the top 20 in the country in fewest turnovers per game. Wisconsin leads the nation in the category at 8.3 turnovers, followed by No. 5 Michigan (9.3), No. 19 Penn State (10.3) and No. 20 Illinois (10.3).
Spartans Travel to Iowa City Tuesday Night:
Two of the most helpful teams in the nation will take the court on Tuesday night when Iowa entertains Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Spartans enter the game averaging 17.8 assists per game, which ranks fourth in the country, while Iowa is handing out 16.9 assists per contest, which is the 11th-best mark in the nation. In Big Ten play, Michigan State's Keith Appling is ranked second in assists at 4.8 per game, while Iowa's Mike Gesell ranks fourth overall with 4.6 assists per game.
Against the Nation's Best:
Ten of the Big Ten's 12 teams have recorded wins over top-25 foes this season. Michigan and Wisconsin have each posted three wins against the top 25, Michigan State and Minnesota each boast two wins against ranked opponents, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern and Ohio State have all collected one victory against the top 25.
The latest version of the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) was released on Monday. Five Big Ten teams were ranked among the top 30 in the nation, led by No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 9 Michigan State, No. 13 Michigan, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 21 Iowa and No. 27 Minnesota.
Big Ten Tops Sagarin Rankings:
The Big Ten is well-represented in Jeff Sagarin's most recent College Basketball Rankings, with four teams among the top 10 and three in the top five. Michigan State is ranked No. 2, followed by No. 3 Iowa, No. 5 Michigan, No. 10 Wisconsin and No. 18 Ohio State. The Big Ten's Sagarin Rating is 84.02, which leads all conferences. Sagarin's ratings are an average of three formulas, based largely on a team's strength of schedule.
Petteway Pours in 35 Points Against Gophers:
Nebraska's Terran Petteway poured in a career-high 35 points in the Cornhuskers' win over Minnesota on Sunday, the most points scored by a Big Ten player this season. In his first season at Nebraska, Petteway currently ranks third in the conference in scoring at 18.2 points per game. Petteway has scored 30 or more points twice this season, while Indiana's Kevin 'Yogi' Ferrell, Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble, Michigan State's Adreian Payne and Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky have all scored at least 30 points once this season.
Leading the Way:
Through games of Jan. 26, the Big Ten has seen a variety of players pacing the conference in major statistical categories. Michigan State's Gary Harris leads the Big Ten in scoring (18.8 ppg), Indiana's Noah Vonleh paces the conference in rebounding (9.6 rpg), Iowa's Aaron White is the Big Ten's leader in field goal percentage (.633), Penn State's Tim Frazier leads the conference in assists per game (6.4), Ohio State's Aaron Craft leads the Big Ten in steals per outing (2.4 spg), Michigan's Nik Stauskas is pacing the Big Ten in three-point field goal percentage (.462), and Purdue's A.J. Hammons is the Big Ten's leader in blocks per game (3.3). Wisconsin's Josh Gasser paces the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.877).
Leaders of the Pack:
The Big Ten now has 13 active members of the 1,000-point club. Northwestern's Drew Crawford continues to lead the way with 1,729 career points, followed by Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble (1,454), Michigan State's Keith Appling (1,425), Penn State's Tim Frazier (1,376), Illinois' Rayvonte Rice (1,334), Indiana's Evan Gordon (1,322), Purdue's Terone Johnson (1,202), Ohio State's Aaron Craft (1,168), Penn State's D.J. Newbill (1,157), Iowa's Aaron White (1,151), Minnesota's Andre Hollins (1,129) and Austin Hollins (1,096) and Iowa's Melsahn Basabe (1,051).
Roaming the Sidelines:
Six active Big Ten coaches have amassed 300 wins, led by three who have more than 400 career victories. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan is the conference's active wins leader (691), followed by Michigan's John Beilein (688), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (457), Ohio State's Thad Matta (368), Iowa's Fran McCaffery (321) and Nebraska's Tim Miles (308).
Stay Glued to the Tube:
The 2013-14 season marks the seventh consecutive year that every Big Ten men's basketball conference regular season and tournament game will be broadcast nationally. The Big Ten's most recent media agreements will result in nearly 175 regular season and postseason games appearing on BTN, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.
Postseason Back in Indy:
The 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the ninth time in event history. This season's tournament will tip off on Thursday, March 13, and the champion will be crowned on Sunday, March 16.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will also be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2016, and will be held at the United Center in Chicago in 2015.