May 2, 2013
An NCAA To Remember
Seven Big Ten teams were selected to participate in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, tied for the most in conference history. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin combined for 14 victories, tied for second-most all-time and the most combined wins by conference programs since the 14 official triumphs in 2000. It marked the 10th time in Big Ten history the conference's NCAA Tournament participating programs have combined for 10 or more wins in a single postseason and the third time the teams have totaled 14 or more wins. The Big Ten's single-postseason record for wins was during the 1989 NCAA Tournament, where the five participating teams combined for 15 wins, led by Michigan's run to the national championship.
Michigan in the National Championship Game
Michigan, which was seeded fourth in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament bracket, emerged as regional champion to advance to its fifth official Final Four. The Wolverines' made their first appearance in the national semifinals since 1989, having also appeared in the Final Four in 1964, 1965 and 1976. This season, the Wolverines took down Syracuse in the semifinals, before falling to Louisville in the national championship game. Michigan's appearance in the title game marked the program's fourth in program history, having also advanced to the 1965, 1976 and 1989 title games. Spike Albrecht, Trey Burke and Mitch McGary were named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.
Big Ten Final Four History
With Michigan's berth in the national semifinals, Big Ten programs have now combined for 43 Final Four appearances, including four in the last five seasons. Michigan's appearance in the Final Four came on the heels of Ohio State's berth in the 2012 national semifinals, as well as Michigan State's back-to-back national semifinal contests in 2009 and 2010. With its victory over Syracuse in the national semifinals, Michigan delivered the conference's 22nd all-time appearance in national championship games, and first since Michigan State in 2009.
The seven conference squads competing in the NCAA Tournament combined for 10 victories through the first weekend of play, the most in Big Ten history and tied for second-most of any conference since 1985. Four Big Ten teams won their first two games of the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet 16, matching the conference record of squads to advance to the second weekend, and it marked the first time in conference history the Big Ten sent four squads to the regional semifinals in consecutive seasons. In addition, for the first time since the 2005 season, two Big Ten teams advanced to the regional finals as both Michigan and Ohio State reached the Elite Eight.
Two National Players of the Year
A pair of Big Ten standouts earned National Player of the Year accolades following the conclusion of the regular season. Michigan's Trey Burke was the Consensus Player of the Year, having won national accolades from the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) with the Oscar Robertson Award, the Los Angeles Athletic Club with the John R. Wooden Award, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club with the Naismith Trophy and by Sports Illustrated. Burke also earned consensus All-America honors as well as the Bob Cousy Award for the Top Collegiate Point Guard. Indiana's Victor Oladipo was named National Player of the Year by The Sporting News, marking the first time two conference standouts earned National Player of the Year honors in the same season.
Iowa in NIT Final
Iowa posted four victories to advance to the NIT final, where the Hawkeyes would fall to Baylor. It was the second straight season a conference program had advanced to the NIT final, following Minnesota's appearance in 2012. Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble, after averaging 20.3 points during the Hawkeyes' postseason run, was named to the NIT All-Tournament Team.
Earning Regional Honors
Following the completion of regional play, five Big Ten standouts were named to their respective All-Region teams. Winners of the South Region, Michigan placed three players on the All-Region squad, including Most Outstanding Player Trey Burke, along with Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas. After falling in the regional final, two Ohio State players were named to the West All-Region team in LaQuinton Ross and Deshaun Thomas. Thomas becomes just the third Buckeye to be named to multiple All-Region teams, joining John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas (1960-61-62).
Big Ten Champions
For the first time since 1993, Indiana secured the outright Big Ten Championship. The Hoosiers, who claimed at least a share of their first Big Ten title since 2002, finished the conference slate with a 14-4 record, ahead of second-place finishers Michigan State and Ohio State, who each finished the season with 13-5 ledgers in conference play. Indiana has now won 21 Big Ten Championships, which ranks second among all programs.
Ohio State Wins Tournament Title
Ohio State claimed its fourth official Big Ten Tournament championship on March 17, defeating Wisconsin in the tournament final. The Buckeyes have won three titles in the last four seasons, also winning championships in 2010 and 2011. Under the direction of coach Thad Matta, the Buckeyes are 19-5 in Big Ten Tournament play, making Matta the all-time winning percentage leader in tournament games (.792) and tied with Michigan State coach Tom Izzo for the most tournament wins all-time.
In Record Numbers
The 2013 Big Ten Basketball Tournament set the total attendance record as the conference welcomed more than 124,000 fans to the United Center for the four-day event. The mark shatters the previous record for total attendance of 109,769, which was set during the 2001 event held in Chicago. All six sessions of the 2013 tournament were officially sold out, with an average of 20,757 patrons attending each session.
Piling Up the Wins
After reaching the national championship game, Michigan finished the year with 31 victories, marking just the second time in program history the Wolverines have officially reached the milestone. Michigan totaled 30 victories in the 1988-89 season, the same year the Wolverines won the national championship. In addition, Indiana and Ohio State each completed the season with 29 victories, marking the first time in Big Ten history three teams finished the year with 29 or more victories. The Big Ten was the only conference in the country to have three teams finish the season with 29 or more triumphs.
A Winning Season
Including Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State, eight Big Ten teams ended the 2012-13 season with 20 or more wins on the season, tying the Big Ten record previously set during the 2008-09 campaign. Michigan State won 27 games last season, Iowa had 25 victories, Illinois and Wisconsin posted 23-win campaigns and Minnesota had 21 triumphs. With two-thirds of its programs boasting 20 or more wins last season, the Big Ten was tied for the conference lead with the highest percentage of its teams reaching the milestone.
A Season of Top-10 Matchups
With no fewer than three teams ranked among the polls' top 10 for 10 of the 11 weeks of conference play, the Big Ten saw a record nine matchups of top-10 foes during the conference season. Five of those matchups included Indiana, which went a perfect 5-0 in those games. Michigan played in the most top-10 games of any conference team this season, posting a 3-3 mark against teams ranked among the top 10. Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State also took part in games featuring top-10 teams.
A national-leading five Big Ten teams appeared in the final USA Today Coaches poll following the conclusion of the 2012-13 season, including four among the top 13. Michigan finished the year ranked second in the country, while Ohio State and Indiana appeared at Nos. 6 and 7, respectively. Michigan State was ranked 13th and Wisconsin checked in at No. 22. Three other squads were among teams also receiving votes as Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota appeared outside of the top 25.
Three Big Ten standouts earned Consensus All-America honors, including two to earn unanimous distinction. The NCAA utilizes the All-America squads from the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and The Sporting News to determine consensus honorees. Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Michigan's Trey Burke were named Unanimous First-Team All-Americans, while Indiana's Cody Zeller garnered Consensus Second-Team All-America honors.
Hulls Wins Senior CLASS Award
Indiana guard Jordan Hulls, who led the Hoosiers to the Sweet 16, was selected as the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAAA Division I men's basketball. The award is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I men's basketball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, community, character and competition. During his career, Hulls has been recognized as an Academic All-American and is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. While in college, Hulls worked to help people become more physically fit. He worked with patients recovering from cardiac issues and also encouraged faculty members in need of beginning a healthy lifestyle. Purdue's Robbie Hummel (2012) and Wisconsin's Alando Tucker (2007) have also been honored as Senior CLASS Award recipients.
We Are the (Stat) Champions
Following the conclusion of the regular season, the Big Ten crowned its stat champions in conference games only. Michigan's Trey Burke led in scoring at 20.2 points per game and was the first Wolverine to lead the Big Ten in the category since Glen Rice in 1989. Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe topped the Big Ten in rebounding for the second time, averaging 9.8 rebounds in conference play. He also won the rebounding title in 2011. Burke became the first Wolverine to lead the Big Ten in assists in conference games only since Gary Grant in 1988, averaging 6.4 assists in conference games.