Dec. 2, 2013
Weekly Release Fast Start:
The Big Ten jumped out of the gate with a 21-0 record, and wrapped up the month of November with a 72-16 mark (.818). Heading into this week's slate of games, four conference teams remain unbeaten on the season, and 11 schools boast a winning percentage of at least .714.
Michigan State Tops Polls:
For the third-straight week, Michigan State is the top-ranked team in both the Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches top 25 polls. Since the 2004-05 season, five Big Ten teams (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State) have held the top spot in one of the two polls. Notably, three Big Ten teams have been ranked No. 1 in the past 10 months: Indiana occupied the top spot in either the AP or coaches' poll for 10 weeks last season, most recently on Feb. 25, 2013. Michigan was ranked No. 1 in the AP poll on Jan. 28, 2013, and on Nov. 18, Michigan State claimed the top spot for the first time since Jan. 2, 2001.
Positioned in the Polls:
Along with Michigan State at the top of both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls, the Big Ten had five other teams ranked among the top 25 and three in the top 10. In the AP poll, Ohio State was ranked No. 5, followed by No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 22 Michigan and No. 23 Iowa, while Illinois and Indiana received votes. In the coaches' ballot, Ohio State checked in at No. 3, followed by No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 21 Michigan, No. 23 Indiana and No. 24 Iowa.
Filling it Up:
During non-conference play, Big Ten teams are collectively averaging 79.2 points per game, with 46 efforts of 80 or more points. During non-conference play last season, Big Ten teams averaged more than 73 points per game, over five points higher than the NCAA average.
The most recent version of the NCAA statistics were released on Monday, and several Big Ten teams were well-represented across an array of categories. Indiana leads the nation in rebound margin (18.0), while Iowa paces the country in field goal percentage defense (.340) and ranks second overall in scoring margin (28.0). Michigan State leads the nation in both assists per game (22.0) and assist/turnover ratio (2.14) and Ohio State is second in scoring defense (53.3 ppg). Additionally, Iowa is ranked fourth in three-point field goal defense (.218), while Penn State is third overall in turnovers per game (8.8).
Cream of the Crop:
The 15th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge once again matches up two of the nation's top conferences. This year's event features 13 teams ranked or receiving votes in at least one national poll (7 Big Ten, 6 ACC) and six undefeated teams (4 Big Ten, 2 ACC). The ACC won the first 10 Challenges, but the Big Ten has won three of the last four. The Challenge ended in a 6-6 tie for the first time in history last year. In the event of a tie, the Commissioner's Cup remains with the conference that won the Challenge the previous season.
Big Ten vs. ACC This Season:
The Big Ten and ACC have already gone head-to-head three times this season, with Big Ten teams holding a 2-1 edge. On Nov. 22, Michigan defeated Florida at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, and Michigan State topped Virginia Tech at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. Syracuse defeated Minnesota in the first-round of the Maui Invitational last week.
Leaders of the Pack:
The Big Ten now has eight active members of the 1,000-point club. Northwestern's Drew Crawford continues to lead the way with 1,518 career points, followed by Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble (1,268), Michigan State's Keith Appling (1,236), Indiana's Evan Gordon (1,229), Penn State's Tim Frazier (1,183), Illinois' Rayvonte Rice (1,103), Ohio State's Aaron Craft (1,040) and Purdue's Terone Johnson (1,036).
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 (682), followed by Michigan's John Beilein (678), Michigan State's Tom Izzo (446), Ohio State's Thad Matta (358), Iowa's Fran McCaffery (312) and Nebraska's Tim Miles (303).
Bo Ryan Eyes Win #300:
Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan, who has led the Badgers to an 8-0 start to the season, enters Wednesday's Big Ten/ACC Challenge game at Virginia with 299 wins at Wisconsin, just one shy of 300 victories. The only other Big Ten mentor with 300 or more wins at his current program is Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo (446). In 12 years at the helm of Wisconsin, Ryan has guided the Badgers to three Big Ten Championships, a pair of Big Ten Tournament titles and 12 berths in the NCAA Tournament.
During the 2012-13 season, the Big Ten led the nation in men's basketball attendance for the 37th consecutive year according to figures released by the NCAA. The Big Ten led all conferences with an average attendance of 13,114, which is over 2,400 more fans per game than the next-closest conference. During the regular season, the Big Ten welcomed 2,937,630 fans over 224 games, which set the conference's total attendance record for the second-straight season, and is the 21st straight year the conference eclipsed the two-million mark. In addition, the 2013 Big Ten Basketball Tournament set the total attendance record, as the conference welcomed 124,543 fans to the United Center in Chicago for the four-day event.
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.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will also be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2016, and will be held at the United Center in Chicago in 2015.