• Four Big Ten schools are 2-0 to begin conference play, with last year's Big Ten champions Maryland and Ohio State joined by Iowa and Rutgers in winning their first two conference games. It's the first time in Rutgers' four years as a Big Ten member that the Scarlet Knights have opened their conference season at 2-0, while Iowa was last in that position in 2014-15.
• No. 18/17 Iowa is off to its best start in more than 20 years, moving to 14-1 this season following an 82-72 win over Michigan on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes most recently enjoyed a start this successful in 1995-96, beginning 20-1 en route to a 27-4 record, a Big Ten title and a berth in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
• Nebraska and Rutgers both earned their first Big Ten road wins since the 2015-16 season on Sunday, with the Huskers posting a 79-74 victory at Minnesota and the Scarlet Knights edging Michigan State, 61-58 in East Lansing. This season, Nebraska and Rutgers are each 4-0 on the road after neither school won a road game in a combined 24 tries last year (Nebraska 0-10, Rutgers 0-14).
• Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico needs one win to become the winningest coach in program history, currently sporting a 123-66 (.651) record in six seasons with the Wolverines. Arico tied Sue Guevara (123-72 from 1996-2003) for the most coaching wins in Michigan women's basketball history on Dec. 28 with an 89-69 win over visiting Penn State.
• With 22 points in Sunday's nationally-televised win over Indiana, Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell moved into second place on the Big Ten career scoring list with 2,940 points, passing Penn State's Kelly Mazzante (2,919 from 2001-04). Mitchell is 153 points shy of the Big Ten career scoring record currently held by Minnesota's Rachel Banham (3,093 from 2012-16).
• The Big Ten ranks No. 3 in Tuesday's Collegiate Basketball News conference RPI index (found at RPIratings.com). What's more, six Big Ten schools are among the top 50 in the team RPI rankings as noted by NCAA.com and Collegiate Basketball News. Rutgers leads the group at No. 6, followed by No. 7 Ohio State and No. 15 Iowa, with Maryland just outside the top 25 at No. 26. Michigan is next at No. 34, followed by Michigan State at No. 36, with Purdue knocking on the door at No. 51.
• The Big Ten has eight schools appearing in the top 60 of Tuesday's Sagarin ratings, including five in the top 25. The conference contingent is led by No. 12 Maryland, No. 13 Ohio State, No. 20 Rutgers, No. 21 Iowa and No. 22 Michigan State. Also in the top 60 are No. 30 Michigan, No. 49 Minnesota and No. 60 Purdue.
• Five Big Ten schools are ranked or receiving votes in the latest Associated Press or USA Today polls, led by No. 10 (AP)/No. 10 (USA Today) Ohio State. Maryland is also ranked in both polls at No. 13/13, as are Iowa at No. 18/17 and Michigan at No. 22/20 (the Wolverines have been ranked all nine weeks this season, tying the school record for consecutive weeks in the polls, first set in 2001-02). Rutgers is No. 25 in the current USA Today poll and is receiving votes in the AP poll. Ten of the 14 Big Ten schools have been ranked or receiving votes in the polls for at least one week this year.
• In Tuesday's NCAA statistical rankings, three Big Ten schools rank in the top 25 nationally in scoring offense -- Ohio State (3rd - 89.7 ppg.), Maryland (5th - 88.5 ppg.), Minnesota (10th - 86.9 ppg.) and Iowa (23rd - 81.3 ppg.).
• Among Tuesday's other NCAA statistical reports, Iowa leads the nation in fewest fouls (11.4 per game). Individually, the Hawkeyes' Megan Gustafson is tied for the NCAA lead with 14 double-doubles, and Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell is the country's top scorer (25.8 ppg.).
• As of Tuesday, five of the nation's top 15 scorers come from Big Ten schools, led by Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell, who is No. 1 at 25.8 points per game. Michigan's Katelynn Flaherty is 5th (22.8 ppg.), Iowa's Megan Gustafson is 7th (22.5 ppg.), Minnesota's Kenisha Bell is 13th (21.7 ppg.) and Rutgers' Tyler Scaife is 14th (21.6 ppg.).
• Five of the nation's top 10 active NCAA Division I scoring leaders are Big Ten students --Ohio State's Kelsey Mitchell (1st - 2,940), Michigan's Katelynn Flaherty (2nd - 2,361), Rutgers' Tyler Scaife (6th - 1,956), Indiana's Tyra Buss (9th - 1,904) and Minnesota's Carlie Wagner (10th - 1,868).
• Nine Big Ten students (representing six conference schools) have scored 30 points in a game this season. The Big Ten's 30-point scorers this year include: Iowa's Megan Gustafson (twice), Maryland's Kaila Charles and Eleanna Christinaki, Michigan's Katelynn Flaherty (twice), Minnesota's Kenisha Bell (three times) and Carlie Wagner, Ohio State's Stephanie Mavunga and Kelsey Mitchell (six times) and Penn State's Jaida Travascio-Green.
• Eleven of the 14 Big Ten programs rank among the top 50 in the nation in attendance, including six in the top 25, according to Tuesday's NCAA statistics report. Purdue leads the way at No. 7 nationally (5,855 fans per game), joined by No. 10 Ohio State (5,623), No. 11 Maryland (5,511), No. 14 Michigan State (5,193), No. 18 Iowa (4,229) and No. 22 Nebraska (3,843). The other Big Ten schools currently among the top 50 in the nation in attendance are Penn State (27th - 3,346), Wisconsin (28th - 3,320), Indiana (38th - 2,871), Minnesota (43rd - 2,682) and Michigan (44th - 2,668).
• The 2018 NCAA Women's Final Four will be played March 30 and April 1, right in the heart of Big Ten country in Columbus, Ohio, and co-hosted by Ohio State and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission at Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. This will mark the seventh time the Women's Final Four is held within the Big Ten Conference footprint, with three visits to Indianapolis (2005, 2011, 2016), two others in the state of Ohio (Cincinnati-1997, Cleveland-2007) and the 1995 event in Minneapolis (the last time it was held in a city featuring a Big Ten institution).
• Next season, the Big Ten will return to an 18-game conference schedule, following approval by the Big Ten Administrators Council in October. Under the new format, schools will play five opponents twice and eight teams once (four home, four away) each season. The model will also emphasize in-state rivalries and competition between regional opponents. Big Ten women's basketball programs played 18 regular-season conference games for the first 12 seasons of Big Ten play (1982-83 through 1993-94) and returned to that format from 2007-08 to 2009-10 and again in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
• For the fourth consecutive year, every Big Ten women's basketball conference game, including 112 regular-season and 13 tournament games, will be produced and distributed by BTN, BTN Plus or an ESPN network.
• Big Ten programs produced 61 Academic All-Big Ten selections in 2016-17, the 10th consecutive season at least 45 women's basketball students received the award. That list includes returning Academic All-Americans Amanda Cahill of Indiana and Carlie Wagner of Minnesota, plus Academic All-District honoree Kristen Confroy of Maryland.
|Jan. 3, 2018||at Michigan State 81, Northwestern 51||East Lansing, MI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Penn State 77, Indiana 74||University Park, PA||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #RV/25 Rutgers 76, Illinois 37||Piscataway, NJ||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Jan. 4, 2018||at #13/13 Maryland 80, #18/17 Iowa 64||College Park, MD||RECAP||BTN
|at #10/10 Ohio State 91, Minnesota 75||Columbus, OH||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|#22/20 Michigan 80, at Wisconsin 57||Madison, WI||RECAP||BTN
|Jan. 6, 2018||at Indiana 72, Purdue 54||Bloomington, IN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #RV/25 Rutgers 70, Penn State 65||Piscataway, NJ||RECAP||BTN
|Jan. 7, 2018||#10/10 Ohio State 78, at #22/20 Michigan 71 (OT)||Ann Arbor, MI||RECAP||ESPN2
|#18/17 Iowa 84, at Illinois 71||Champaign, IL||RECAP||BTN
|Nebraska 69, at Northwestern 59||Evanston, IL||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|#13/13 Maryland 71, at Wisconsin 44||Madison, WI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Minnesota 83, Michigan State 77||Minneapolis, MN||RECAP||BTN
NOTE: Rankings from the Jan. 1-2 Associated Press/USA Today Sports polls (RV - receiving votes/NR - not ranked; when only one ranking is listed, it is from the Associated Press poll)