Ohio State Advances to Final Four:
Ohio State advanced to the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four, eventually falling to Kansas, 64-62, in the national semifinals. The Final Four appearance marked the program's 10th overall and first since 2007. Ohio State's 10 Final Four trips leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth in NCAA history.
Big Ten in the Final Four:
Ohio State's Final Four appearance marked the Big Ten's 42nd trip to the national semifinals and third in the last four years. Prior to the Buckeyes, Michigan State was the conference's last team to make a Final Four, advancing in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010. Ohio State's Final Four appearance also marked the Big Ten's sixth in the last eight seasons, making the Big Ten and the Big East the only two conferences to have sent six or more teams to the national semifinals over that time span.
Green and Sullinger Named Consensus All-Americans:
The Big Ten was the only conference with two first-team All-Americans as named by Sporting News, the USBA, NABC, Associated Press and USBWA. Ohio State's Jared Sullinger earned his second straight honor from all five outlets, while Michigan State's Draymond Green became the Spartans' first consensus All-American since Mateen Cleaves in 1999.
Izzo and Green Receive National Honors:
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo was named National Coach of the Year by the NABC, while Spartan senior Draymond Green was named the organization's Player of the Year. Izzo earned the award from his peers for the second time in his career and earned his eighth overall national honor. Green became the third Spartan to receive Player of the Year honors from the nation's coaches. Green's honor marks the second time in three years that a Big Ten player has received National Player of the Year recognition, as Ohio State's Evan Turner earned the nod in 2010.
Six Teams Selected for NCAA Tournament:
Six Big Ten teams were selected to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, tying the conference for second in the nation and marking the fifth year in the last seven that the conference has sent six or more teams to the bracket. Michigan State received the Big Ten's automatic bid after winning the conference tournament, while Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin earned at-large berths.
Spartans Grab No. 1 Seed:
Michigan State earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region, picking up the program's fifth No. 1 seed and first since 2001. Michigan State's five No. 1 seeds leads the Big Ten and is tied for fifth in the nation.
Big Ten Teams Grab High Seeds in NCAA Tournament:
In addition to No. 1 Michigan State, several other Big Ten teams captured high seeds in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Ohio State was the No. 2 seed in the East, while Indiana (South), Michigan (Midwest) and Wisconsin (East) earned No. 4 seeds, and Purdue (Midwest) was a No. 10 seed. The Big Ten's average seed of 4.17 ranked second behind only the ACC's average of 4.00 among conferences with four or more teams in the NCAA Tournament.
The Big Ten's five teams seeded fourth or better set a conference record and tied an all-time tournament record since seeding began in 1979. The only other conferences to have accomplished the feat are the Big East (2009, 2010, 2011) and the ACC (2004). In all five years, at least one top-four seeded team advanced to the Final Four.
Big Ten Dominates Early NCAA Rounds:
Big Ten teams combined to go 9-2 during the first weekend of NCAA Tournament play, leading all conferences that sent multiple teams to the tournament with an .818 winning percentage through the opening rounds. The conference matched its own conference record and tied for first among all conferences in 2012 with four Sweet 16 teams (Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin). Among conferences that sent multiple teams to the tournament, the Big Ten had the highest percentage of its teams remaining after the first three rounds of play.
Success in the NIT:
Iowa, Minnesota and Northwestern each earned berths in the NIT, and all three teams won their opening-round games. Minnesota eventually advanced to the event's championship game.
Big Ten Finishes 2012 as Nation's Top RPI Conference:
The Big Ten finished the 2012 campaign as the nation's top RPI conference according to RPIratings.com. The conference was led by five top-16 teams in No. 3 Michigan State, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 11 Indiana, No. 15 Michigan and No. 16 Wisconsin. With all its teams rated 160 or higher, the Big Ten was the only conference in the country to finish with all its teams among the RPI top 180.
Big Ten Records Best Record, Strongest SOS:
Not only did the Big Ten finish with the nation's best RPI, but it's combined .614 winning percentage and its strength of schedule (SOS) rating were also best in the country. Michigan State played the nation's most difficult schedule, while Ohio State's SOS rating was fourth. No Big Ten team played a schedule whose strength was rated outside the nation's top 80.
Big Ten Shows Top-to-Bottom Strength:
For the third straight season, every Big Ten team recorded 10 or more wins. For the first time since the 1993-94 campaign, every Big Ten team won four or more conference games. The Big Ten was the only conference in the nation in which every team recorded at least 12 overall wins and at least four conference victories.
Wolverines, Spartans and Buckeyes Share Big Ten Title:
Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all finished atop the Big Ten standings with 13-5 records, sharing the 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Championship. The title marked Michigan's 13th overall and first since 1986. Michigan State also earned its 13th overall championship, the team's third in the last four years and the seventh for head coach Tom Izzo, which is fifth all-time in Big Ten history. Ohio State claimed its third consecutive championship and 20th overall, which is tied for the second-most in Big Ten history.
Michigan State Claims Tournament Title:
Top-seeded Michigan State won its third Big Ten Tournament title and first since 2000 with a 68-64 victory over third-seeded Ohio State in the championship game. The Spartans became the seventh No. 1 seed to win the tournament crown. A media panel at the tournament named Michigan State's Draymond Green the event's Most Outstanding Player. He was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammate Brandon Wood, Minnesota's Andre Hollins and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas and Jared Sullinger.
Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue Earn Conference Awards:
Michigan State's Draymond Green was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference coaches and media panel, while the Spartans' Tom Izzo received Coach of the Year laurels from both groups. Indiana's Cody Zeller was named Freshman of the Year by the coaches, while Michigan's Trey Burke received the same honor from the media. Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year, and Purdue's D.J. Byrd was named Sixth Man of the Year.
Northwestern's Shurna Claims Big Ten Scoring Title:
Finishing with an even 20.0 points per game, Northwestern's John Shurna ended the conference season as the Big Ten's scoring leader. Shurna became the first Wildcat to lead the Big Ten in scoring since Ray Ragelis was crowned the conference scoring champion in 1951. Finishing the overall season with a 20.0 points-per-game average, Shurna also became the first Northwestern player to lead the Big Ten in scoring in all games played.
Michigan State's Green Grabs Rebounding Title:
Michigan State's Draymond Green finished the conference season with 10.6 rebounds per game, becoming the second Spartan in the last four seasons to lead the Big Ten in boards during conference play. Green finished his career with 1,096 rebounds, which ranks fourth in Big Ten history. He also became just the fifth player in conference history with at least 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 100 career blocks.