Jan. 30, 2012
Tip-Off: Ohio State took over sole possession of first place in the conference standings with a win over Michigan on Sunday, improving to 7-2 in Big Ten play. Michigan State sits a half-game back at 6-2, followed by Wisconsin and Michigan in a tie for third, both at 6-3. Purdue is alone in fifth place at 5-4, while Indiana's win over Iowa on Sunday improved the Hoosiers' conference mark to 5-5. Illinois also holds a .500 conference mark at 4-4, followed by Minnesota in eighth at 4-5, creating just three games of separation between the first- and eighth-place teams. Six of this week's games feature at least one team ranked in the national polls, including three matchups between a pair of top-25 squads.
Ripping up the RPI: The Big Ten continues to lead the nation in RPI, according to RPIratings.com, entering this week ranked first among all conferences with a rating of .5928. The Big Ten leads all conferences with nine top-51 RPI teams, led by No. 4 Michigan State and No. 6 Ohio State. The Spartans and Buckeyes are followed by No 19 Michigan, No. 24 Indiana, No. 25 Wisconsin, No. 37 Illinois, No. 38 Minnesota, No. 45 Northwestern and No. 51 Purdue. The Big Ten is the only conference in the country with all of its teams among the RPI's top 130.
Sagarin Says: The Big Ten also continues to lead the nation in the Sagarin ratings this week with a conference average of 83.84. The Big Ten leads all conferences with 75 percent of its teams ranked in the top 70 of the Sagarin ratings, led by No. 1 Ohio State, No. 5 Michigan State and No. 6 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes, Spartans and Badgers are followed by No. 11 Indiana, No. 33 Michigan, No. 34 Purdue, No. 42 Illinois, No. 46 Minnesota and No. 69 Northwestern. The Big Ten is the only conference with all of its teams among the poll's top 140. The complete list of Big Ten teams in the RPI and Sagarin ratings can be found on Page 4 of this release.
Where We Rank: The Big Ten leads all conferences with five teams ranked in the top 25 of the latest Associated Press (AP) and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. Ohio State leads the conference, ranked third in both polls, followed by No. 9/10 Michigan State, No. 19/20 Wisconsin, No. 20/20 Indiana and No. 23/22 Michigan. The Big Ten has had five or more ranked teams in seven of the last eight polls. The Wolverines and Buckeyes have appeared in the top 25 of both polls all season long, while the Hoosiers and Spartans have each been top-25 teams for the last eight weeks, and Wisconsin has held a top-25 ranking in 11 of the season's 13 weeks.
Taking Offense: Indiana's 103-89 win over Iowa on Sunday marked the first time since Michigan State's 103-point performance on March 2, 2008, that a Big Ten team scored 100 or more points in a conference game. It marked Indiana's first 100-point conference game since March 12, 1995, which also came against the Hawkeyes. The 192 combined points scored in the game marked the highest total in a non-overtime Big Ten contest since Feb. 9, 1995, when Iowa knocked off Northwestern, 116-77.
Big Ten. Big Wins.: Big Ten teams have combined to record 23 wins over top-25 teams this season with 11 conference squads owning at least one win over a ranked opponent. Seventeen of the Big Ten's top-25 victories have come during conference play, and eight of those 17 wins have come from unranked squads knocking off ranked opposition. Ohio State has knocked off four top-25 foes this year and became the first Division I team this season to upend three top-10 programs. Indiana, Michigan and Michigan State also have three top-25 victories, while Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin each have two, and Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Penn State all have one top-25 win.
Super Sweet 16: The Big Ten is the only conference in the nation with six teams with 16 or more wins this season. Ohio State leads the Big Ten with 19, while Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin have 17 victories, and Michigan and Minnesota have 16 wins each. In addition, Illinois and Purdue have 15 wins, Northwestern has 12, Iowa and Nebraska each have 11, and Penn State has 10 victories, marking the third straight season in which each Big Ten team has won 10 or more games. The Big Ten and the Mountain West are the only Division I conferences in which every team has 10 or more wins.
The 400 Club: With a win over Minnesota on Wednesday, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo became just the fourth coach in conference history to win 400 or more games with a Big Ten school. Izzo joins the company of Bobby Knight, who is the conference's all-time leader with 661 wins, Purdue's Gene Keady (512 wins) and Illinois' Lou Henson (423).
Making the Cut: Indiana's Cody Zeller, Michigan State's Draymond Green and Ohio State's William Buford and Jared Sullinger were named to the midseason list for the Wooden Award. The Big Ten is tied for the lead among all conferences with four players on the 25-man list. Zeller is one of three freshmen on the list, while Ohio State is one of three teams with multiple representatives.
Stay CLASSy: Michigan's Zack Novak, Michigan State's Draymond Green, Ohio State's William Buford and Purdue's Robbie Hummel were named finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award on Wednesday. The Big Ten leads all conferences with four players on the list and is the only conference with more than one representative. The award recognizes a Division I senior who has demonstrated notable achievements in the areas of community, classroom, character and competition.
Home and Away: During non-conference play, Big Ten teams combined to go 96-8 at home, good for a .923 winning percentage. During the conference schedule, home teams are 35-18, which accounts for a .660 winning percentage. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State remain undefeated at home during conference play and in all games, while Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin each have 10 or more home wins this year. Every Big Ten team has at least one true road win this year, led by Michigan State and Wisconsin, who each have four. Ten teams have at least one road win in Big Ten play, led by the Badgers and Boilermakers, who each have three.
Hitting the Mark: Several Big Ten teams and players are among the nation's best in field-goal percentage, according to the latest NCAA statistics released on Monday. Indiana is third in the nation, shooting 50.1 percent from the floor. The Hoosiers are led by freshman Cody Zeller, who ranks third in the country with a 66.1 percent accuracy rate. Ohio State is 11th in the country, hitting 49.2 percent of its shots, led by sophomore Jared Sullinger, who is 15th in the nation, shooting 58.8 percent from the floor. Michigan State is 17th as a team, shooting 48.6 percent, followed by No. 36 Minnesota at 47.6 percent. Illinois sophomore Meyers Leonard is 22nd among all players with a 57.7 percent average from the floor. Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas (54.0 percent) and Northwestern's Drew Crawford (50.4 percent) are also above 50 percent shooting.
Stars on the Small Screen: This season, every Big Ten home game will be produced and distributed to a live national audience. The Big Ten Network, 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 www.BTN.com. More than 75 games will be broadcast by an ESPN platform - ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3, and CBS Sports will carry 15 games.
March is (Almost) On: The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Indianapolis in 2012 for the fifth year of a five-year agreement that puts both the men's and women's events in the Circle City. 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 the event's inception in 1998 has reached a live national television audience.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2014 and 2016 and will be played at the United Center in Chicago in 2013 and 2015.
All-session tickets for the 2012 Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are on sale now. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.