Big Ten WBB Tournament Weekly Release

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Feb. 26, 2007

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BIG TEN TOURNAMENT PRESENTED BY XBOX 360
In February 2006, the Big Ten and Xbox entered into a three-year sponsorship agreement, making Xbox the presenting sponsor of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Single-session tickets for the tournament are on sale from $12-$16. In addition, all-session tickets can be purchased for $65.  Fans can buy tickets through any Ticketmaster outlet, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone numbers (317-239-5151 in central Indiana), www.ticketmaster.com and the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.

The Big Ten Tournament presented by Xbox 360 will be held March 1-5 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. No tournament games will take place on Saturday, March 3, due to the IHSAA Girl's State Basketball Finals.

WELCOME BACK TO INDIANAPOLIS
The 2007 Big Ten Tournament presented by Xbox 360 will mark the 12th in Indianapolis and the 13th modern day women's basketball tournament in conference history.  It will be the seventh time the tournament has been held at Conseco Fieldhouse, as the venue was home to the 2000 event and has served as host since 2002.  Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse will return as hosts of the postseason event annually through 2012.  Prior to competing at Conseco Fieldhouse, the conference held its postseason tournament at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse from 1995-96 and at the RCA Dome from 1997-99.  The lone year the tournament was played outside of the Circle City was in 2001 when Grand Rapids, Mich., served as host.  

OSU FIRST TO GRAB THREE-STRAIGHT NO. 1 SEEDS
For the first time in the 13-year history of the Big Ten Tournament, a team will enter the event as the top seed for the third-straight year.  Ohio State, which has won the outright conference title the past two seasons and shared the championship with Michigan State in 2004-05, earned its third consecutive No. 1 seed.

NOTES ON THE NUMBER ONE SEED
Since 1995, the tournament's No. 1 seeds have won the event on just three occasions - Penn State (1995), Purdue (1999) and Ohio State (2006).  Over the last 12 tournaments, the top seeds have a combined record of 20-10 (.667).  Three of the last five No. 1 seeds, Purdue in 2002, Penn State in 2003 and Ohio State in 2005, dropped out in the semifinals.

GOOD TO BE NO. 2?
Despite falling in the tournament final in 2006, the No. 2 remains the event's leader in championships.  The No. 2 seed won the event in 2004 and 2005 and was a finalist in 2006.  In the past 12 years, the second-seed has won the tournament four times, followed by the No. 1 (three wins) and the 3 and 4 seeds, which have each won the event twice.  Purdue's 1998 squad and Indiana's 2002 team were both the fifth seed when they went on to capture the title as the lowest-seed ever.

BOILERMAKERS AVOID FIRST-DAY PLAY
With its No. 2 seed in this year's bracket, Purdue has kept alive its streak of never having competed on the first day of the tournament.  With exception of the 1996 and 1998 seasons, when Purdue earned the No. 4 seed, and in 2005 as the No. 5 seed, the Boilermakers had never been seeded outside of the top three since the inception of the tournament.  The Boilermakers own a conference-best five Big Ten Tournament crowns (1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004) and have been the top seed on four occasions.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
In the 12 editions of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament, one of the teams from the state of Indiana -- Purdue and Indiana -- has advanced to the championship game on nine occasions, including eight of the last nine years.  Three of the last five tournament titles have gone to Indiana teams, as Purdue won the 2003 and 2004 events, while the Hoosiers were crowned champions in 2002.  In 2006, Purdue defeated Indiana in the semifinals and advanced to the championship game before falling to Ohio State, 63-60.  The Hoosiers and Boilermakers are a combined 33-16 (.673) in Big Ten Tournament play since 1995 and 30-14 (.682) when the event is held in Indianapolis.

HOOSIER-STATE HOMECOMINGS
A total of 10 student-athletes who will be in action at the Big Ten Tournament hail from the state of Indiana.  Half of the 10 Indiana natives play for the Hoosiers, while three play for Purdue.  Both Northwestern and Wisconsin boast one Indiana representative on their roster.  Indiana's Kim Roberson (Cathedral) and Carrie Smith (Brebeuf Jesuit) both hail from Indianapolis, while Purdue's Katie Gearlds (Beech Grove) is from nearby Beech Grove.  Below is a complete list of 10 Indiana natives:

Name, School Hometown High School
Leah Enterline, IND Monroeville Heritage
Kim Roberson, IND Indianapolis Cathedral
Carrie Smith, IND Indianapolis Brebeuf Jesuit
Whitney Thomas, IND Bloomington North
Vanita Smart, IND Evansville Bosse
Beth Marshall, NU Fishers Hamilton S.E.
Katie Gearlds, PUR Beech Grove Beech Grove
Jodi Howell, PUR Alexandria Alexandria-Monroe
FahKara Malone, PUR Evansville Reitz Memorial
Janese Banks, WIS Indianapolis Ben Davis

TOURNAMENT ATTENDANCE RECORDS SET IN 2006
The 2006 tournament attendance of 38,638 and session average of 7,728 were both event records in the 12-year history of the tournament.  The previous marks of 37,635 and 7,527 were set in 2004.  The single-session record of 9,417, which was set in 2004, still stands.  The five most recent editions of the women's tournament have posted the highest attendance in the event's history, surpassing the 30,000-patron mark each year.

BRACKET CHANGES FOR 2007 TOURNAMENT
The Big Ten Conference announced changes to the bracket for the 2007 Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox 360 as an effort to continue attendance growth highlighted by record fan turnout in 2006.  The most significant changes to the bracket will now boast the tournament's top-seed and No. 4/5 and No. 8/9 games in primetime.  The No. 8/9 game, in which the eighth seed holds a slim 7-5 advantage, will now be played in primetime as the final of three games on Thursday, instead of as the opening contest in years past.  On Friday, the No. 1 seed will now play at 6 p.m. ET, a change from years past when the top-seed played in the day's first game.  That contest will be followed by the No. 4/5 game in the nightcap, with each seed winning six of the 12 all-time games.  

THE ONE GETS IT DONE
The 2006 tournament final marked the first time in the 12-year history of the event that a No. 1 seed defeated a No. 2 seed to take home the championship.  Top-seeded Ohio State defeated No. 2 Purdue, 63-60.

SPEAKING OF EXCITING GAMES...
Tournament games have been highly competitive in recent years.  Three games reached overtime in 2002 and 2005, while 17 games in the last five tournaments have been decided by five points or less.

EASY AS 1-2-3-4?
Only twice in the 12-year history of the Big Ten Tournament have the top four seeds advanced to the semifinals.  In 2005, No. 1 Ohio State, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 3 Penn State and No. 4 Minnesota all advanced, while in 2000, No. 1 Penn State, followed by Michigan, Purdue and Illinois, advanced to semifinal play.

DOUBLE DIPPING
For the second-straight season and the fourth time overall, a Big Ten team claimed the regular season and tournament championships in 2006.  Ohio State clinched the outright title in the regular season and won the 2006 Big Ten Tournament trophy, after Michigan State, who shared the regular season title two years ago with the Buckeyes, won the 2005 event.  The other two occasions this instance occurred was with Purdue in 1999 and Penn State in 1995, the first year of the Big Ten Tournament.

TOURNEY FINALE BOASTS NATION'S BEST
Over the past three years, the Big Ten Tournament championship final has been fought over by two of the nation's top teams.  In 2004, the tournament championship was decided by two teams ranked in the nation's top 10 for the first time in the event's history.  Penn State entered the final game ranked fifth in the Associated Press poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, while Purdue was seventh in both polls.  In 2005, a pair of top 15 squads battled for the title in No. 8 Michigan State and No. 15 Minnesota.  The 2006 final featured No. 2 Ohio State and No. 12 Purdue, which marked the fifth time in 12 years the Big Ten Tournament title was decided by a pair of teams in the nation's top 15.

TITLE GAME NAILBITERS
Since 2001, the tournament's title game has been decided by six points or less, including three or fewer in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.  Indiana claimed its lone tournament title in 2002 with a 75-72 win over Penn State, while Purdue handed Ohio State a 67-65 loss in the 2003 final.  In 2004, Purdue defeated Penn State, 59-58, in the closest tournament final in league history, while Michigan State topped Minnesota by six, 55-49, in the 2005 title game.  Ohio State won the 2006 event with a 63-60 victory over Purdue.  In the 12-year history of the tournament, the title game has been decided by an average of 4.8 points and the winning margin has only reached double figures once, when Purdue defeated Penn State, 59-49, for the 1998 title.

BIG TEN TOURNEY WINS BREED NCAA SUCCESS
Recent history has shown that winning in the Big Ten Tournament breeds success for conference teams in the NCAA Tournament.  Since 1995, the teams that have won the Big Ten Women's Tournament have combined to post a 26-11 (.703) record in the NCAA Championship.  Purdue captured the conference's first-ever NCAA women's title in 1999 after winning the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed.  Penn State appeared in the 2000 NCAA Final Four after finishing as the runner-up in that year's Big Ten Tournament, while Purdue made an appearance in the 2001 NCAA Championship title game after finishing second in that year's conference tournament.  After competing in the 2004 Big Ten Tournament, Minnesota went on to its first Final Four appearance in school history.  Michigan State, the 2005 conference tournament champion, entered NCAA play as a No. 1 seed and finished 5-1 after falling to Baylor in the national championship game.

OHIO STATE WINS BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP NO. 10
With a win over Michigan on Feb. 25, Ohio State clinched its third straight and 10th overall Big Ten Championship.  The Buckeyes are the first Big Ten team to repeat as outright champions since Penn State was the top team in the conference from 2002-03 to 2003-04.  OSU claimed its first back-to-back outright titles since the Buckeyes won three outright championships from 1983-86.  The Buckeyes are also the first team to win at least a share of three titles in a row since Iowa won the conference four straight seasons from 1986-87 to 1989-90.  OSU shared two of those conference crowns with the Hawkeyes in 1987 (17-1) and 1989 (16-2). Ohio State holds the record by winning five consecutive Big Ten Championships from 1982-83 to 1986-87.

OHIO STATE'S OUTRIGHT TRIPLE CROWN
For the first time in Big Ten history, one school has earned outright conference titles in the sports of football and men's and women's basketball in the same season. Last year, the Buckeyes became the first conference school to earn Big Ten titles in all three sports, but shared the football crown.

UW'S ANDERSON CLAIMS BIG TEN SCORING TITLE
With a 26-point effort in the final game of the regular season, Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson ended Ohio State's Jessica Davenport's quest for three-straight conference scoring titles.  However, Anderson did so by only one point.  The Badger junior finished the 16-game slate with 309 points and a scoring average of 19.31 points per game.  Davenport finished the final regular season contest of her career with 25 points against Michigan to bring her total to 308 points, a rate of 19.25 points per game.  Anderson is the Badgers' first Big Ten scoring champion.

BROWN EARNS PSU'S FIRST REBOUNDING CROWN
For the first time since Penn State began Big Ten play in 1992-93, the Lady Lions boast a conference rebounding queen.  Senior Amanda Brown completed the 16-game schedule as the only Big Ten rebounder in double digits, averaging 10.9 boards per contest.  She pulled down 175 rebounds, including 123 on the defensive end during Big Ten play.  Her rate was the eighth-best in the conference over the past 25 years and the highest for a Big Ten player since Illinois' Cindy Dallas posted a mark of 11.1 rebounds per game in 2003-04.


OSU'S ALLEN 'STARS' AS NEW BIG TEN FG% QUEEN
Ohio State sophomore Star Allen set a new Big Ten record during the 2006-07 season for field goal percentage in conference games.  During the 16 Big Ten games this season, Allen shot .694 (84-of-121) from the field, which shattered the previous record held by Minnesota's Janel McCarville, who shot .686 (94-of-137) over 16 Big Ten contests in 2002-03.  Allen's teammate, Jessica Davenport, has led the conference in the category the past three years, and a Buckeye has now been the Big Ten's conference leader in 12 of the past 25 seasons.

IOWA'S AUSDEMORE NEARLY SETS FT% RECORD
In addition to crowning new Big Ten scoring and rebounding champions, as well as having a new field goal percentage record established, the conference nearly saw a record change hands at the free throw line.  Iowa's Wendy Ausdemore made 39-of-40 attempts at the line during conference play for a percentage of .975.  In 2003-04, Indiana's Cyndi Valentin set the record of .977, after finishing conference play having made 42-of-43 free throws.

PURDUE'S DEFENSE SETS TWO BIG TEN RECORDS 
With a scoring defense of 51.3 points per game over the 16 Big Ten contests, Purdue posted a new conference record, bettering Iowa's mark of 52.3 set in 1987-88.  In addition, Purdue broke its own conference mark for field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to .354 (325-of-919) shooting from the field.  The Boilermakers' previous Big Ten record was .355 (416-of-1171), set during the 1990-91 campaign.

HAWKEYES SHATTER BIG TEN MARK FROM THE ARC 
Yet another Big Ten record was shattered this conference season as Iowa shot .461 (95-of-206) from beyond the three-point line.  Northwestern's 1991-92 ballclub previously held the conference's best three-point percentage record of .431 (88-of-204).   

BADGERS & HAWKS END BIG TEN PLAY WITH A BANG 
In the final Big Ten game of the 2006-07 season, Iowa and Wisconsin did not not seem to want the conference portion of the schedule to end.  In Iowa's 103-93 victory over the Badgers on Feb. 25, the 196 total points became the second-highest combined point total in a Big Ten game. The only time two conference teams scored more points in a Big Ten contest was when Minnesota defeated Purdue, 115-88, on March 10, 1983, accounting for a total of 203. The combined output is also the fourth highest overall total in conference history. Iowa's 103 points is the largest point total by any Big Ten team since Penn State scored 114 against Northwestern on Jan. 2, 2000, and is the first time a conference team has scored over 100 points since Michigan State put up 101 against the Wildcats on Feb. 3, 2005.

THREE BIG TEN TEAMS RANKED IN NATION'S TOP 20
Heading into Big Ten Tournament week, three conference squads were ranked in the top 25 of both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.  The Big Ten was represented by No. 5 Ohio State, No. 15 Purdue and No. 22 Michigan State.  This week's coaches poll will be released on Tuesday.

FOUR TEAMS RANK AMONG NCAA TOP 50 RPI
In the last NCAA RPI rankings (Feb. 19), three Big Ten schools -- No. 5 Ohio State, No. 6 Purdue and No. 18 Michigan State -- were rated in the top 20, while No. 42 Indiana rounded out the Big Ten contingent in the top 50.

SEVEN SQUADS RANKED IN TOP-30 ATTENDANCE
In the weekly unofficial attendance figures compiled by the University of Wisconsin, seven Big Ten teams ranked in the nation's top 30 for average attendance heading into Big Ten Tournament week.  Purdue (7,585 fans per game), Michigan State (6,646) and Wisconsin (6,387) are Nos. 8-10, while Minnesota (6,159) is 13th.  Penn State (5,777) is ranked 16th overall and Ohio State (5,001) and Iowa (4,132) are 20th and 27th, respectively.

A PERFECT DOZEN ACTIVE IN ECLIPSING 1,000 PTS
The final game of the regular season marked a milestone moment for two Big Ten players as Illinois' Erin Wigley (1,001 points) and Wisconsin's Janese Banks (1,006) joined the 1,000 career-point club.  The additions marked the 11th and 12th active members to the club.  Banks joins her teammate Jolene Anderson (1,536) on a list that is also represented by three Purdue standouts in Katie Gearlds (1,794), Erin Lawless (1,298) and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton (1,026).  Ohio State's Jessica Davenport leads all active Big Ten scorers with 2,206 career points.  A complete breakdown of the 1,000-point club can be found on page 12 in the media guide.

NEW KID ON THE 'BLOCK'
Michigan State freshman Allyssa DeHaan is moving up the Big Ten record chart as her 129 blocked shots this season stands third all-time in conference single-season history.  The Spartan newcomer, who is currently second in the nation with an average of 4.5 swats per game, is one of only four players in conference history to block 100 shots in a season and now trails only Michigan's Trish Andrew and her 136 blocks in 1991-92 and Wisconsin's Janetta Johnson with 130 in 1988-89.

BIG TEN VENUES TO HOST NCAA FIRST & SECOND ROUNDS
Two Big Ten teams that have endured much success in the NCAA Tournament will play the role of host during the 2007 NCAA Championship First- and Second-Round Games.  Minnesota, a 2004 Final Four participant, will host eight teams March 17 and 19, 2007 in Williams Arena (14,669).  An NCAA Championship finalist in 2005, Michigan State will welcome eight teams to the Breslin Center (15,085) for action on March 18 and 20.


 

 

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