2018 Big Ten Football Weekly Release – January 29

By: Contributor Last Updated: January 31, 2018

Big-Ten-LogoThe Big Ten is tied for the nation’s lead with four teams ranked in both the Associated Press’ and USA Today Coaches’ poll Top 25 rankings.

The Big Ten is one of three conferences that features all of its men’s basketball teams in the top 115 of the College Basketball Power Index (BPI) and the top 135 of the KenPom ratings. Teams in 10th to 14th place in the current standings all own wins against Top 60 RPI teams this season, including three on neutral courts.

Big Ten Conference men’s basketball programs played the most non-conference games against teams in the AP Top 25 and USA Today Top 25 polls in the country. Big Ten teams played, collectively, 22 games against non-conference opposition ranked in the polls this season.

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. All 14 teams will advance to the tournament, with two first-round games slated for Wednesday, Feb. 28. The top four teams will receive first and second round byes and advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, March 2. The Big Ten Tournament will return to Chicago in 2019 and 2021 and Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022.

The 2017-18 Big Ten Men’s Basketball schedule is unlike any other in conference history. Moving the 2018 Tournament up one week, meant 18 conference games would be scheduled in a nine-week window. Historically, the Big Ten has been able to deliver the fewest one-day preps of any other conference. The 2017-18 conference schedule has 34 instances of one-day prep, with 20 occurring after the early-December games. That represents about 8 percent of the schedule in January and February, but the Big Ten had only one instance of single-day prep over the past two conference seasons.

Four Big Ten teams are in the latest Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches' Top 25 polls for the second week in a row. Purdue tops all teams at No. 3/3 (AP/USA Today) and one first-place vote in each poll. No. 5/4 Michigan State jumped back into the Top 5 this week while No. 17/18 Ohio State and No. 24/25 Michigan remained in the Top 25 this week.

10 Big Ten teams rank in the top 40 in total blocks with Michigan State leading the country at 184 blocks. Five Big Ten teams rank in the top 30 in assist-turnover ratio, led by Purdue (1.59) at eighth in the country. Four Big Ten teams rank inside the top 30 in scoring defense this season, led by Rutgers (62.0 ppg allowed) at fifth in the country. Four teams rank in the top 30 in field-goal percentage defense led by the nation’s leader Michigan State (35.6). Four teams rank in the top 35 in scoring margin with Purdue (21.1) and Michigan State (20.2) at first and third in the country, respectively. The Big Ten features five teams in the top 30 of total assists this year including the top three teams of Michigan State (1st, 471), Iowa (2nd, 430) and Purdue (3rd, 422) (through games of Jan. 28).

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