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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 3/13/2024, Last updated: 3/28/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central - March 13-17

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  • The 2024 TIAA Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will kick off on Wednesday, the first of five days of basketball action at the Target Center in Minneapolis, home of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA Minnesota Lynx. Wednesday’s opening round games will be broadcast live on Peacock, with games on Thursday and Friday scheduled for BTN. For the 27th consecutive season, Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s championship game will air on CBS. For more information on the 2024 TIAA Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, please visit

  • Purdue captured the 2023-24 Big Ten Championship with a 17-3 record in league play. This is Purdue’s second consecutive Big Ten title and its 26th overall, four more than Indiana for the most in conference history. The repeat marks the first for the program since raising three straight crowns in 1994, 1995, and 1996.

  • The 2023-24 Big Ten postseason honors were announced on Tuesday. Purdue’s Zach Edey was named Player of the Year by both the league’s coaches and the media for the second consecutive season. Edey joins Luke Garza (2020, 2021), Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves (1998, 1999), and Ohio State’s Jim Jackson (1991, 1992) as back-to-back players of the year. Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr. was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, while Indiana’s Mackenzie Mgbako and Iowa’s Owen Freeman shared Freshman of the Year honors from the coaches, while Freeman collected the accolade from the media. Purdue’s Mason Gillis was named Sixth Man of the Year. Both the coaches and media selected Nebraska’s Fred Hoiberg and Purdue’s Matt Painter as Co-Coaches of the Year, while Purdue’s Brandon Brantley is this year’s recipient of the Howard Moore Assistant Coach of the Year Award.

  • MILESTONE WATCH... Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is on a short countdown to coaching his 1,000th career game. With two more games on the Michigan State bench, Izzo will join a club that included just 12 active coaches at the beginning of the season.

  • Four teams were included in this week’s AP and USA Today Coaches polls, released on Monday. Purdue remains at No. 3 in both polls, while Illinois moves to No. 13 in the AP and No. 14 in the coaches poll. Nebraska collected votes in both listings, while Northwestern earned recognition from the coaches.

  • Purdue’s Zach Edey was named Men’s Basketball Player of the Week presented by Air National Guard for the week of March 4-10, 2024. The award is the 12th of Edey’s career, most in Big Ten history, while his six awards this season are one shy of Evan Turner’s single season mark set in 2009-10. Edey averaged 26.5 points, 11 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 2.5 blocks as Purdue scored wins over then-No. 12 Illinois and Wisconsin. The center scored 28 points with eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots in a 77-71 win at Illinois and closed the regular season with a 25-point, 14-rebound performance in a 78-70 victory over the Badgers.

  • Wisconsin’s John Blackwell earned his fourth Freshman of the Week honor after posting 17.5 points on 62.5 percent shooting with six rebounds as the Badgers split a pair of contests. Blackwell paired 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench in a 78-66 win over Rutgers, then matched a career-high with 18 points, a team-high, in the loss at Purdue.

  • Eight Big Ten teams rank in the top-60 in Tuesday’s NET rankings, including four in the top 25. Purdue’s No. 2 ranking is tops in the league, while Illinois sits at No. 15, followed by No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 22 Michigan State, No. 37 Nebraska, No. 50 Northwestern, No. 55 Ohio State, and No. 60 Iowa.

  • Nine Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-60 in today’s Kenpom rankings, including four in the top-25. Purdue leads the way at No. 3, followed by Illinois (#10), Michigan State (#19), Wisconsin (#22), Nebraska (#342, Northwestern (#41), Ohio State (#49), Iowa (#52), and Maryland (#59).

  • According to KenPom, the Big Ten currently owns a 108.2 efficiency rating, second in the country among power conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) and ninth highest overall.

  • In Big Ten play, teams are protecting their home floors to the tune of a 68.3-win percentage (95-44), second best home winning percentage among all conferences. The Big Ten’s 89 home conference victories are the most of any league in the nation.

  • Eight Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-50 of the ESPN Basketball Power Index (BPI) listing. Purdue leads the way at No. 2, followed by No. 12 Illinois, No. 19 Michigan State, No. 22 Wisconsin, No. 38 Nebraska, No. 39 Northwestern, No. 44 Ohio State, and No. 45 Iowa.

  • The Big Ten ranks among the nation’s best conferences on both sides of the hardwood. Offensively, the league is tied for third among all conferences in scoring (75.0 ppg), fourth in total assists (6,269), and sixth in total points (32,787). According to, the Big Ten also ranks third in the country with a +14.82 Adjusted Efficiency Margin (AdjEM), the difference between a team’s offensive and defensive efficiencies.  Twelve teams average north of 72.0 points per game, led by Purdue’ Big Ten-best 84.2 points, which ranks 11th in the country, a tick ahead of Illinois’ 83.9 points per game. Five teams also rank in the top-55 in the country in field goal percentage, led by Purdue at 49.1 percent. Indiana (48.3), Iowa (47.7), Minnesota (47.2), and Illinois (47.1) also rank in the nation’s top 55. Much of that offensive efficiency stems from taking care of the ball, as five team list in the top-40 in assists/turnover ratio. Iowa leads the country with a 1.85 ratio, while Northwestern (1.81) and Michigan State (1.67) rank sixth and 10th, respectively.

  • Defensively, the Big Ten boasts nine teams that hold their opponents below 72 points per game, led by Maryland, who surrenders just 65.7 points per outing, good for 22nd nationally, followed by Michigan State at 65.9 and Rutgers at 66.6. Five Big Ten teams also rank in the nation’s top 70 in field goal percentage defense. Nebraska leads the way at 39.6 percent, ninth nationally, while Rutgers holds its opponents to 40.7 percent shooting. Rutgers also ranks 14th in the country with 5.2 blocked shots per contest, just ahead of Minnesota at 4.6 and Maryland at 4.5, while Rutgers and Penn State force 14.81 and 14.74 turnovers per game, respectively, good for 25th and 28th in the country.

  • Big Ten players also rank in the top-10 in several individual statistical categories. Purdue’s Zach Edey ranks second in the country with 24.2 points per game, third in rebounds per game (11.7), and third in double-doubles (22), while his 337 free throw attempts and 242 free throws made lead the nation. Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr. joins Edey on the scoring list, as his 21.6 points per game rank eighth. Ohio State’s Jamison Battle is hitting threes at a 44.0 percent clip, seventh in Div. I. Iowa’s Payton Sandfort is one of just seven players to record a triple-double this season while his 91.8 free throw percentage ranks eighth. Minnesota’s Elijah Hawkins and Purdue’s Braden Smith rank second and third, respectively, with 224 and 222 assists on the season. Hawkins 7.5 assists per game rank second, while Smith lists fifth with 7.2. Ohio State’s Bruce Thornton ranks eighth in the country with a 3.46 assist/turnover ratio. Defensively, Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi’s 2.94 blocked shots per game rank third in the country, while Penn State’s Ace Baldwin Jr.’s 2.71 steals per game rank fifth. 

  • More than 5.1 million fans have watched Big Ten basketball this season, including more than 2.9 million fans in our 14 home venues. Seven Big Ten teams rank in the top-25 in total attendance. Indiana (296,427 fans) and Nebraska (277,338) rank sixth and eighth, followed by Illinois (269,827), Michigan State (266,346), and Wisconsin (263,436) in 10th, 11th, and 12th. In total, 11 Big Ten schools rank in the top-45 in total home attendance.

  • The Big Ten closed its nonconference slate with a combined 117-37 record. The Big 12 (144-34), SEC (132-47), Atlantic 10 (131-60), and ACC (119-46) collected more wins, but the Big Ten’s .760-win percentage falls behind only the Big 12 (.809). Among the B1G’s 117 victories are 9 wins over AP Top 25 opponents.