Big Ten Men's Basketball Weekly Release - Nov. 27

• The 19th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge begins Monday. All 14 Big Ten teams and all but one ACC member will participate and ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games of the event. Fifteen teams competed in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship: NCAA champion North Carolina; Sweet 16 teams Michigan, Purdue and Wisconsin, as well as early-round participants Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

• Several games are rematches from prior Challenges: Purdue-Louisville (last met in 2016), Indiana-Duke (2015), Northwestern-Georgia Tech (2014), Michigan State-Notre Dame (2014) Wisconsin-Virginia (2013), Iowa-Virginia Tech (2012), Minnesota-Miami (2009), Ohio State-Clemson (2004), Illinois-Wake Forest (2004) and Penn State-NC State, which last met in the Challenge in 2000.

• Four games will have first-time Challenge matchups: Maryland-Syracuse, Rutgers-Florida State, Michigan-North Carolina and Nebraska-Boston College.

• Five different Big Ten teams received votes in the latest Associated Press (AP) poll, while four earned votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll announced on Monday. Michigan State tops all teams at No. 3/3 (AP/USA Today), followed by No. 12/12 Minnesota. Purdue, Maryland and Northwestern received votes in the AP poll while Michigan and Purdue received votes in the coaches' poll.

• Three of the top 20 career active assists leaders hail from Big Ten Conference institutions. Northwestern's Bryant McIntosh is third in the nation with 586 assists in his career, while Michigan's Jaaron Simmons is tied for seventh on the list with 485 assists and Minnesota's Nate Mason is 16th at 408 assists (through games of Nov. 26).

• Two Big Ten students rank in the top 10 on the active career blocks list. Minnesota's Reggie Lynch leads the nation with 331 career blocks (71 blocks ahead of second place) while Nebraska's Duby Okeke is seventh with 173 career blocks. Lynch also leads the nation with a 3.12 blocks per game career average (through games of Nov. 26).

• The 2018 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held from Feb. 28-March 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time in history. The Big Ten Tournament will return to Chicago in 2019 and 2021 and Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022.

• Eight Big Ten teams rank in the top 30 in total blocks this season, including three in the top 10. Minnesota is second in the nation at 48 blocks this season, while Nebraska is third with 46. Penn State (t-8th, 42), Maryland (t-11th, 41), Michigan State (t-11th, 41), Purdue (t-11th, 41), Rutgers (t-21st, 37) and Indiana (28th, 34) round out the top 30 (through games of Nov. 26).

• Big Ten schools will play six non-conference games against top-25 teams in the latest polls this week.

• The Big Ten schedule gets underway with all 14 teams playing one conference home and road game between Dec. 1 and Dec. 5

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