Nov. 12, 2012
Big Ten teams combined to go 10-2 over the first weekend of the 2012-13 season, accounting for an .833 winning percentage. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin all opened their seasons 1-0, while Purdue split a pair of games, and Michigan State dropped a narrow 66-62 decision to Connecticut on the Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Northwestern did not play last week and opens its season at home on Tuesday. All Big Ten teams are in action this week, including three games against top-10 opponents, as Penn State will face No. 6/6 NC State, Michigan State will take on No. 7/7 Kansas, and Wisconsin will travel to No. 10/10 Florida.
Where We Rank:
The Big Ten leads all conferences with five teams ranked in both the Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls. Indiana remains the No. 1 squad in each set of rankings, followed by No. 4/4 Ohio State and No. 5/5 Michigan, giving the Big Ten three top-five teams, while no other conference has more than two teams in the top 10. Michigan State (No. 21/22) and Wisconsin (No. 22/20) round out the Big Ten's representation in the polls, while Minnesota is receiving votes outside the top 25 in both sets of rankings.
Big Ten teams put up big point totals during the opening weekend of the 2012-13 season, combining to average 78.3 points per game with six teams scoring 80 or more points in a game. Michigan recorded the highest total of the weekend, putting up 100 on Slippery Rock, while Indiana fell just shy of the century mark, scoring 97 on Bryant.
Room for Error:
In addition to putting up big numbers on the scoreboard, Big Ten teams won their games by wide margins over the weekend. Conference teams combined to out-score opponents by an average of 21.4 points, including eight games that were won by 20 or more points, five games that were won by more than 30 points, and a pair of contests that were decided by 40 or more points. When including only games that were won by Big Ten teams, the conference's average margin of victory jumps to 27.7 points per game.
Join the Club:
Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. became the fifth active member of the Big Ten's 1,000-career points club, scoring 25 on Friday to up his career total to 1,005. Hardaway joins Illinois' Brandon Paul (1,303) and
D. J. Richardson (1,044), Indiana's Christian Watford (1,302) and Northwestern's Drew Crawford (1,283). Paul's 20-point performance on Saturday moved him into first place among active Big Ten career scoring leaders. See Page 3 of this release for the full list.
Big Ten Coaches Corner:
Several Big Ten coaches either reached major career milestones over the weekend or are on the verge of doing so, including Illinois' John Groce and Nebraska's Tim Miles, who each picked up their first wins with their respective teams over the weekend. Minnesota's Tubby Smith earned career win No. 491 on Friday and is just nine wins shy of becoming the conference's third active coach with 500 career wins. Indiana's Tom Crean is just four wins from 250 in his career, and Michigan's John Beilein is eight wins away from 100 with the Wolverines.
Seven Big Ten players opened up their 2012-13 campaigns with 20-point performances, led by Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 25 against Slippery Rock for his 13th career 20-point game. Penn State's Tim Frazier is the conference's active leader in 20-point games, having recorded his 19th with 23 points in a win over St. Francis. Illinois' Brandon Paul tallied 20 for the eighth time in his career against Colgate, while Michigan's Trey Burke now has six 20-point games just one game into his sophomore season. Minnesota's Austin Hollins, Nebraska's Brandon Ubel and Ohio State's Aaron Craft each recorded the first 20-point games of their careers over the weekend.
Wooden is Watching:
The Big Ten led the nation with nine players named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, announced last week. Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State each have two players on the list, accounting for three of the eight teams nationally with multiple honorees. Big Ten players among the preseason top 50 are listed below:
Brandon Paul, Illinois
Christian Watford and Cody Zeller, Indiana
Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan
Keith Appling, Michigan State
Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
Tim Frazier, Penn State
They've Got CLASS:
Five Big Ten players were named candidates for the Senior CLASS Award, a total that leads all conferences. Illinois' Brandon Paul, Indiana's Jordan Hulls, Northwestern's Drew Crawford, Penn State's Tim Frazier and Wisconsin's Jared Berggren are in the running for the honor that recognizes an NCAA Division I senior with notable achievements in four areas of excellence -- community, classroom, character and competition.
Stars on the Small Screen:
For the sixth consecutive season, every Big Ten home game will be produced and distributed to a live national audience. BTN, 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 BTN.com. More than 75 games will be aired by an ESPN platform -- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3, and CBS Sports will carry 15 games.
March is (Almost) On:
The 2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Chicago's United Center for the first time since 2007 and the eighth time in the event's history, including the inaugural event in 1998. 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 its inception has reached a live national television audience.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will also be played at the United Center in 2015, and will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., in 2014 and 2016.
All-session tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments are on sale now. Visit bigten.org for more information.