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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/28/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Men's Basketball Central - Nov. 28-Dec. 4

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  • The Big Ten Conference enters tonight’s action with a combined 65-23 record. Its 65 victories stand second among all conferences, behind only 70 for the Big 12, while its .738-win percentage sits behind the Big 12 (.842 //70-15) and the SEC (.750 // 63-21).  Among the Big Ten’s 65 victories are a Div. I-best five wins over AP Top 25 opponents.

  • Purdue and Nebraska are two of just 24 remaining undefeated teams in the country. While the Boilermakers have started 8-0 (2021-22), 13-0 (2022-23), and now 6-0 (2023-24) over the last three seasons, this is rare air for the Cornhuskers, who join Houston and UConn as the nation’s only 7-0 teams. This is the fifth time in school history, and first since 1992-93, that the Cornhuskers have started a season 7-0. The team’s seven-game win streak is also its longest since an 11-game run during the 2010-11 season.

  • After winning three games vs. top 15 opponents at last week’s Allstate Maui Invitational, Purdue climbed to the top of both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls. This is the third consecutive season the Boilermakers have been ranked No. 1, marking the first time in Big Ten history that a team has been ranked No. 1 in three consecutive years. Purdue has now been ranked No. 1 for nine weeks over the last three seasons, tied with Gonzaga for most in the country during that stretch. Illinois checked in at No. 24 on both polls, while the coaches listed Michigan State in 25th. Ohio State received votes in both polls, with Nebraska and Michigan State getting attention on the AP ledger.

  • Purdue’s Zach Edey was named Big Ten Player of the Week, presented by Air National Guard, for the week of Nov. 20-26. Edey was named MVP at the Allstate Maui Invitational after averaging 25.3 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots. Edey earned his seventh Player of the Week honor after posting three consecutive 20-10 games, as Purdue scored wins over then-No. 11/10 Gonzaga, then-No. 7/8 Tennessee, and then-No. 4/5 Marquette. The center shot .577 from the field and .667 from the free throw line, while playing 31.3 minutes in the three games.

  • Wisconsin’s John Blackwell collected his first claimed Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolade after averaging 10.0 points and 6.5 rebounds, as Wisconsin won the 2023 Fort Myers Tip-Off. The freshman guard paired 10 points and four rebounds in the Badgers’ victory over No. 18/24 Virginia. He then fell just shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine boards in 22 minutes off the bench in the championship game win over SMU.

  • Purdue was one of three Big Ten teams to win their Feast week events. In winning the Allstate Maui Invitational, the Boilermakers joined UConn (March 10-12, 2011) as the only teams over the last 40 years to beat teams ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll on three consecutive days. Ohio State extended its win streak to four games with wins over then-No. 17/15 Alabama (92-81) and Santa Clara (86-56) to claim the Emerald Coast Classic. Bruce Thornton was named MVP after averaging 20.0 points and 5.5 assists, while Roddy Gayle Jr. was also named to the All-Tournament Team. Wisconsin upset then-No. 24/18 Virginia (65-41) and stopped SMU (69-61) to win the Fort Myers Tip-Off. Tyler Wahl was named MVP after pairing 11.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. Steven Crowl also claimed a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

  • MILESTONE WATCH... Iowa head coach Fran McCaffrey stands just seven wins from topping Tom Davis for most victories in program history. Davis collected 271 wins during his 13 seasons in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes’ first conference win of the season will also break a record with Davis for most Big Ten wins in program history... Maryland head coach Kevin Willard is just five wins shy of his 300th career victory. Willard will become the league’s fifth active coach with 300 career wins and join his father, Ralph, who amassed 336 wins as a coach at Western Kentucky, Pitt and Holy Cross. Willard would join Virginia’s Tony Bennett as the only active coaches with 300 wins whose fathers also have 300 victories.

  • Big Ten Conference play will open on Friday, as Maryland will visit Indiana (7 p.m.) and Northwestern will host Purdue (9 p.m.). Both games will be broadcast on BTN. Illinois will visit Rutgers on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., while Minnesota will travel to Ohio State on Sunday (6:30 p.m.) in this week’s other conference contests. Eight Big Ten games will be played next week before the conference play begins in earnest on January 2

  • The Big Ten boasts some of the top defensive teams in the country. Four teams rank in the NCAA’s top 30 in scoring defense, led by Rutgers, who 55.5 points allowed per game ranks third. Illinois (11th), Maryland (17th), and Nebraska (30th) also surrender less than 62.0 points per contest. Four teams also list in the top 10 in field goal defense, led by Illinois (.340) and Rutgers (.346), who rank first and second. Michigan State (.355) and Nebraska (.361) also rank seventh and 10th, respectively. 

  • Eleven Big Ten teams currently rank in the top-60 in the Kenpom rankings. Purdue leads the way at No. 2, followed by Michigan State (#20), Wisconsin (#23), Ohio State (#25), Illinois (#26), Iowa (#40), Nebraska (#46), Michigan (#54), Rutgers (#56), Northwestern (#57), and Maryland (#59). The conference’s 11 teams are tied with the Big 12 for the most teams in the top 60. The SEC has eight entrants, one more than the ACC, BIG EAST, and Pac 12. 

  • Entering tonight’s action, five Big Ten teams rank in the NCAA’s top 40 in toughest future schedule. Michigan ranks ninth, as its future opponents own a .753-win percentage (113-37). Wisconsin sits in 17th (.735), followed by Indiana in 28th (.722), Nebraska in 38th (.713), and Purdue in 39th (.710).

  • Nearly 828,000 fans have watched Big Ten basketball this season, including almost 650,000 fans in our 14 home venues.  Seven Big Ten teams rank in the top-20 in average attendance. Indiana leads the league with 17,222 fans per game, fifth in the country. Spots 10-13 are filled by Big Ten teams with Wisconsin in 10th (14,900), followed by Purdue in 11th (14,876), Michigan State in 12th (14,797), and Illinois in 13th (14,343). Nebraska checks in at 15th (13,822), while Maryland is in 20th (13,183). 

  • For the sixth consecutive year, each Big Ten Conference member institution will compete in a 20-game conference schedule. The Big Ten Conference season begins Friday, Dec. 1, when Maryland visits Indiana and Northwestern hosts Purdue, the first of 12 conference games played between Dec. 1-10. Following a break in conference play, Big Ten action will resume on Jan. 2. During the conference season, schools will play seven teams twice -- once at home and once on the road -- and six teams once, with three of those games being at home and the other three away.

  • The 27th annual Big Ten Tournament will be played at Target Center in Minneapolis between March 13-17, 2024, marking the first time the tournament has been played in Minneapolis. All 14 teams will advance to the tournament, with two 1st round games slated for Wednesday, March 13th. The top four teams will receive 1st and 2nd round byes and advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, March 15th.

  • A Big Ten media panel has chosen 2023 Consensus National Player of the Year Zach Edey as 2023-24 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. The league’s reigning Player of the Year, Edey became the first Boilermaker since Glenn Robinson in 1994 to win National Player of the Year accolades and the fifth Big Ten Player in the last 14 years to be named National Player of the Year joining Evan Turner (2010), Trey Burke (2013), Frank Kaminsky (2015) and Luka Garza (2021) as National Players of the Year.

  • The media panel also selected the 2023-24 Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Edey joined Illinois’ Terrence Shannon Jr., Maryland’s Jahmir Young, and Northwestern’s Boo Buie as unanimous selections. Also named to the team were Maryland’s Julian Reese, Minnesota’s Dawson Garcia, Michigan State’s A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker, Nebraska’s Keisei Tominaga, and Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi. All ten members of the 2023-24 Preseason All-Big Ten Team received All-Big Ten honors following the 2022-23 campaign. Buie and Shannon joined Edey with First Team accolades, while Omoruyi, Walker, and Young were named to the Second Team. Hoggard earned a spot on the Third Team, with Garcia, Reese, and Tominaga receiving Honorable Mention.