Weekly Big Ten Men's Basketball Central


• Non-conference play wraps up for Big Ten schools this weekend as the conference’s 14 programs have compiled a 110-30 overall record in non-conference games for a 78.6 win percentage. The Big Ten has totaled 33 wins against power conference opponents. Conference action re-starts on Wednesday, January 2 with Nebraska travelling to Maryland and Michigan State hosting Northwestern with both games airing on BTN.

• Early-season Big Ten conference play wrapped up on Dec. 6 with nine of the first 14 conference games decided by 10 points or less and four games separated by just two points. Big Ten programs are playing a 20-game conference schedule for the first time. Each team will play seven opponents both home and away and six teams once (three home and three away).

• Seven different Big Ten programs are ranked in one of the two polls this week. Six Big Ten schools are ranked in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls. This is the sixth week in a row that at least six programs are ranked in each poll. It is the third week in a row that seven Big Ten schools are ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Dec. 3 Coaches Poll saw a season-high eight schools ranked while seven teams were ranked in the AP Poll three different weeks, the most since the 1998-99 season.

• Overall, nine Big Ten programs are ranked or receiving votes in a poll this week: Michigan (No. 2 AP/No. 4 USAT), Michigan State (No. 8/7), Ohio State (No. 13/11), Wisconsin (No. 15/16), Indiana (No. 23/25), Iowa (No. 24/21) and Nebraska (RV/No. 23). Additionally, Maryland and Purdue are among others receiving votes in the polls.

• Michigan (12-0) is one of five undefeated teams in the nation. The Wolverines are off to their best start since opening 2012-13 with 16 consecutive victories. Michigan has wins over each of the last two NCAA Champions, defeating Villanova, 73-46, in a rematch of the 2018 NCAA Championship Game and 2017 champ North Carolina, 84-67, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Wolverines lead the Big Ten and rank third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 55.3 points per game.

• Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 23 points and 9.5 rebounds in a pair of wins last week as the Buckeyes improved to 11-1 overall. Ohio State is off to its best start since the 2013-14 season, when they began 15-0.

• The 10-2 Badgers are led by Ethan Happ, who is tied for the national lead in double-doubles with nine. Averaging 19.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg and 5.0 apg, Happ is the only player in the nation averaging at least 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game. Happ became the 15th individual in Big Ten history to record 1,000 career rebounds as he surpassed that plateau on Dec. 22 vs. Grambling. Happ has earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors four times this season.

• The Hoosiers (11-2) lead the Big Ten and stand second in the nation in field goal percentage, making 52.9 percent from the floor, led by Big Ten individual leader Juwan Morgan, who is making 69.3 percent.

• Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy stands eighth in career rebounds in Big Ten history with a school-record 1,063 rebounds. He also holds the Minnesota record for career double-doubles with 54, including nine this season, tied with Happ for most in the country. Murphy leads the Big Ten and the nation in rebounds per game at 12.9.

• Seven active Big Ten coaches have posted 200 or more career wins, including four with at least 400 wins. Michigan’s John Beilein earned his 800th career coaching win against Norfolk State in the Wolverines’ 2018-19 opener. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has 584 career victories, all with the Spartans. Nebraska’s Tim Miles is 10 wins from the 400-win plateau in his career and won his 100th game with the Huskers on Nov. 14 against Seton Hall. Iowa’s Fran McCaffery and Maryland’s Mark Turgeon both surpassed 400 career wins in 2017-18. Purdue’s Matt Painter won his 300th game as Purdue’s head coach on Nov. 23 vs. Robert Morris. Rutgers’ Steve Pikiell also has more than 200 career wins.

• The 2019 Big Ten Tournament will be held from March 13-17, and will be played at the United Center in Chicago for the 10th time in conference history, equaling the number of events also held in Indianapolis. The Big Ten Tournament returns to the Midwest for a four-year span as it will be played in Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022 and in Chicago in 2021.

Big Ten Men's Basketball Scoreboard (Dec. 29-30)

Dec. 29, 2018

High Point at Ohio State

Columbus, OH

12:00 p.m.


UMBC at Penn State

University Park, PA

1:00 p.m.

BTN Plus

Northern Illinois at Michigan State

East Lansing, MI

2:00 pm


Southwest Minnesota State University at Nebraska

Lincoln, NE

2:00 pm

BTN Plus

Florida Atlantic at Illinois

Champaign, IL

3:00 pm

BTN Plus

Maine at Rutgers

Piscataway, NJ

3:00 pm

BTN Plus

Belmont at Purdue

West Lafayette, IN

4:30 pm


Wisconsin at Western Kentucky

Bowling Green, KY

5:30 pm

CBS Sports Network

Radford at Maryland

College Park, MD

6:30 pm


Bryant University at Iowa

Iowa City, IA

8:00 pm


Dec. 30, 2018

Binghamton at Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

12:00 pm


Mount St. Mary's at Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

4:00 pm


Columbia University at Northwestern

Evanston, IL

5:00 pm

BTN Plus

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