Dec. 26, 2012
Entering the final week of non-conference play, Big Ten teams are a combined 115-31, which equals a .788 winning percentage. Six Big Ten teams are ranked in the latest national polls, including five squads in the top 15. The Big Ten also continues to lead the country in the RPI and Sagarin ratings.
Where We Rank:
The Big Ten leads the nation with six teams ranked in the top 20 of the latest Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls, including five teams among the polls' top 15. Michigan is ranked No. 2 in both polls for the second consecutive week, followed by No. 5/5 Indiana and No. 10/10 Ohio State. Minnesota comes in at No. 11 in the AP poll and is No. 14 in the coaches' rankings, while Illinois is ranked No. 12 by the AP and No. 15 by the coaches. Michigan State is ranked No. 19 in both polls.
The Big Ten continues to be one of the nation's top scoring conferences, averaging 73.2 points per game, which ranks second in the nation behind only the Big East's average of 73.7 points per contest. Indiana is the top-scoring team in the country, averaging 89.1 points per game, while Michigan (20th, 79.4), Ohio State (35th, 77.5), Iowa (41st, 76.9) and Illinois (45th, 76.6) all rank among the country's top 50 in scoring with more than 76 points per game.
Rating the Conferences:
The Big Ten continues to lead the nation in the RPI ratings according to RPIratings.com. The Big Ten leads the nation with six teams among the RPI's top 40 in No. 3 Michigan, No. 9 Illinois, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 18 Indiana, No. 31 Michigan State and No. 37 Ohio State. The Big Ten is also the top-ranked conference in the Sagarin ratings and leads the nation with five top-25 teams. Michigan comes in at No. 4, followed by No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Indiana, No. 16 Ohio State and No. 23 Illinois. In addition, No. 27 Michigan State, No. 41 Iowa, No. 60 Wisconsin and No. 78 Northwestern are all among the top 80.
At 12-0 Michigan is one of five remaining undefeated teams in the country, joining Arizona, Cincinnati, Duke and Wyoming. The start is the second-best in program history.
First to 11:
The Big Ten is the only conference with six or more teams to have recorded 11 or more wins so far this season. Michigan (12-0), Illinois (12-1) and Minnesota (12-1) lead the conference with 12 wins each, making the Big Ten one of just two conferences with three teams to have each won 12 games. Indiana (11-1), Iowa (11-2) and Michigan State (11-2) each have 11 wins, while Ohio State and Northwestern are each just one game away from reaching double-digit wins this year.
Margin for Error:
Big Ten teams continue to out-score their opponents by wide deficits with five teams among the nation's top 25 in average scoring margin. Indiana leads the country with an average margin of 29.8 points per game, followed by Michigan, which is tied for fifth, with an average of 22.2 points per contest. Ohio State is tied for 11th (18.7), while Minnesota is 22nd (16.4), and Iowa is 25th (15.8). Overall, Big Ten teams are averaging over 73 points per game while holding opponents to less than 60 points per game, accounting for an average margin of victory of more than 13 points per contest.
Several conference freshmen are making immediate impacts in their first years on campus, already ranking among the Big Ten's leaders in numerous statistical categories. Michigan's Nik Stauskas leads all conference freshmen in scoring and ranks 16th overall, averaging 13.4 points per game. Stauskas' teammate Glenn Robinson III leads all Big Ten freshmen in rebounding, ranking 14th overall with 6.2 per game, followed by Michigan's Mitch McGary (18th, 5.8) and Purdue's A.J. Hammons (19th, 5.7). Indiana's Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell ranks second in the Big Ten with 5.1 assists per game, followed by Iowa's Anthony Clemmons (3.8) and Mike Gesell (3.4).
Protecting the Rock:
Big Ten teams remain some of the nation's best at taking care of the ball, led by Wisconsin, which averages 9.5 turnovers per game, ranking third in the country. Michigan ranks sixth, giving up the ball just 10.3 times per game, followed by Ohio State (9th, 10.5) and Northwestern (21st, 11.3). Those four teams are also among the nation's best in assist-to-turnover ratio, as the Badgers are fourth in the country (1.58), followed by No. 5 Michigan (1.56), No. 9 Northwestern (1.52) and No. 12 Ohio State (1.47). The Buckeyes' Shannon Scott leads the Big Ten and is third in the country with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 5.67, followed by Michigan's Trey Burke (10th, 3.54), Indiana's Jordan Hulls (11th, 3.36) and Ohio State's Aaron Craft (20th, 3.00).
You'd Better Watch Out:
Ten Big Ten players landed on national awards watch lists prior to the start of the season. Illinois' Brandon Paul was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50, while Indiana's Christian Watford and Cody Zeller grabbed spots on the Naismith Award Preseason Watch List and the Wooden Watch List. Michigan's Trey Burke also landed on both lists, while teammate Tim Hardaway earned a spot on the Wooden list. Michigan State's Keith Appling was named to the Wooden Watch List, while Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe grabbed a spot on the Naismith list. Ohio State's Aaron Craft and Deshaun Thomas and Penn State's Tim Frazier also appeared on both watch lists to start the season.
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.