Feb. 3, 2014
Five Teams Ranked in Top 25 of Coaches' Poll:
The Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls were released on Monday, and the Big Ten was represented with three teams among the top 20 and five in the top 25. In the AP poll, Michigan State was ranked No. 9, followed by No. 10 Michigan and No. 17 Iowa. In the coaches' ballot, Michigan State was ranked No. 8, followed by No. 13 Iowa, No. 16 Michigan, No. 24 Wisconsin and No. 25 Ohio State.
Big Ten Snapshot:
Michigan State and Michigan are currently tied atop the Big Ten standings with identical 8-1 conference records heading into this week's slate of games. Iowa sits in sole possession of third-place with a 6-3 Big Ten record, while Northwestern is currently in fourth-place with a 5-5 conference mark. Three matchups between ranked foes are on this week's schedule, beginning with the second meeting of the season between Iowa and Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday. The Big Ten has already seen eight matchups between top 25 foes during conference play.
Northwestern Makes History with Road Sweep:
It was an historic week for Northwestern, which recorded road wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Wildcats have now won three straight conference road games for the first time since 1960. Northwestern's defense has keyed the team's revival over the last seven games. During that span dating back to Jan. 12, the Wildcats have held their foes to a combined 33.7 percent shooting and an average of 55.7 points per game.
Craft Continues to Climb Big Ten Career Charts:
Ohio State's Aaron Craft swiped two steals in the Buckeyes' win at Wisconsin, passing Michigan's Gary Grant (1985-88) for second-place on the Big Ten career steals list. Craft enters Tuesday's game at Iowa with 301 career steals, and is 23 thefts short of Illinois' Bruce Douglas (1983-86), who owns the Big Ten's all-time steals record with 324.
We're Half-Way There:
Eleven of the Big Ten's 12 teams have reached the midway point of the conference season heading into this week's slate of games. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin have all played nine Big Ten contests, while Northwestern has competed in 10 conference games and Nebraska has played eight. The Cornhuskers will play their ninth Big Ten game on Wednesday at Michigan.
Key Homestand for Hawkeyes:
Iowa will host two ranked foes this week, with Ohio State visiting Iowa City on Tuesday, and Michigan making the trip to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday. The Hawkeyes defeated the Buckeyes at Value City Arena on Jan. 12, and came up short versus Michigan at Crisler Center on Jan. 22.
Against the Nation's Best:
Eleven of the Big Ten's 12 teams have recorded wins over top-25 foes this season. Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin have each posted three wins against the top 25, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State each boast two wins against ranked opponents, while Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Penn State have all collected one victory against the top 25.
Filling it Up:
Big Ten teams have posted 81 games with at least 80 points this season, and enter this week's slate of games averaging more than 73 points per game. Six Big Ten teams are averaging at least 74 points per game, including nine squads that are scoring at least 71 points per contest.
Crawford Joins 30-Point Club:
Northwestern's Drew Crawford poured in 30 points in the Wildcats' win at Wisconsin last Wednesday, becoming the sixth Big Ten player this season to score at least 30 points in a single game. Indiana's Kevin 'Yogi' Ferrell, Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble, Michigan State's Adreian Payne, Nebraska's Terran Petteway (twice) and Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky have also scored 30 or more points at least once this season.
Big Ten in Sagarin Rankings:
The Big Ten is well-represented in Jeff Sagarin's most recent College Basketball Rankings, with five teams among the top 20. Michigan State is ranked No. 2, followed by No. 6 Iowa, No. 10 Michigan, No. 15 Wisconsin and No. 18 Ohio State. The Big Ten's Sagarin Rating is 83.96, which ranks second among all conferences. Sagarin's ratings are an average of three formulas, based largely on a team's strength of schedule.
Leading the Way:
Through games of Feb. 2, 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 (18.4 ppg), Indiana's Noah Vonleh paces the conference in rebounding (9.3 rpg), Iowa's Aaron White is the Big Ten's leader in field goal percentage (.617), 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) and Purdue's A.J. Hammons is the Big Ten's leader in blocks per game (3.0). Wisconsin's Ben Brust paces the Big Ten in free throw percentage (.936) while Michigan's Nik Stauskas leads the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.450).
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 1,776 career points, followed by Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble (1,493), Michigan State's Keith Appling (1,448), Penn State's Tim Frazier (1,391), Illinois' Rayvonte Rice (1,347), Indiana's Evan Gordon (1,332), Purdue's Terone Johnson (1,216), Penn State's D.J. Newbill (1,185), Iowa's Aaron White (1,175), Ohio State's Aaron Craft (1,172), Minnesota's Andre Hollins (1,129) and Austin Hollins (1,109) and Iowa's Melsahn Basabe (1,071).
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 (689), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (458), Ohio State's Thad Matta (369), Iowa's Fran McCaffery (322) and Nebraska's Tim Miles (309).
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.