Big Ten WBB heats up

by | Nov 15, 2022 | Basketball Blogs, RRSN News | 0 comments

  • While there’s only one Big Ten Conference team in action Monday, it’s a primetime matchup, as No. 12/11 Indiana travels to Knoxville, Tenn., for a 6 p.m. (ET) contest against No. 11/4 Tennessee. The game will be televised live to a nationwide audience on ESPN2 and can also be seen on the ESPN app.
  • The first Sunday of the 2022-23 season turned out to be a fun day for the Big Ten Conference, which went a perfect 10-0 against its non-conference slate. It’s the first time the Big Ten has gone unbeaten on a single day with a minimum of nine games played since the opening day of the 2017-18 season (Nov. 10, 2017), when conference teams went a combined 9-0.
  • Big Ten Conference programs now have a 29-4 (.879) combined record this season, prevailing by an average margin of 29.1 points per game, with more than half (15) of those 29 victories coming by at least 30 points. Highlighting the early success for the Big Ten is No. 14/15 Ohio State’s 87-75 win over No. 5/4 Tennessee on Nov. 8. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Big Ten Conference schools have gone a combined 297-93 (.762) in non-conference regular-season games, the best stretch in conference history.
  • Although many of the Big Ten’s wins to date this season have featured large margins, a handful have gone down to the wire and one has gone to overtime, with Iowa prevailing at Drake, 92-86 on Sunday. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, Big Ten teams are a combined 16-5 (.762) when going to overtime in non-conference regular season games and have won 11 of their last 13 OT contests against outside opposition.
  • Ohio State senior guard Jacy Sheldon piled up a career-high (and school record-tying) 11 steals in the Buckeyes’ 82-64 win at Boston College on Sunday. It also tied for the fourth-most steals by a Big Ten player in conference history and most since Nov. 14, 2014, when Northwestern’s Ashley Deary had 11 steals in a win at Chicago State. In addition, it was the third time in the opening week of the season that a Big Ten player had eight or more steals in a game — Sheldon had eight in OSU’s 87-75 win over No. 5/4 Tennessee on Nov. 8, while Penn State’s Leilani Kapinus posted nine thefts in the Lady Lions’ 77-49 win over Fairfield on Nov. 11.
  • For the second consecutive week, the Big Ten Conference leads the nation with six Top 25 teams in the Associated Press poll. Iowa remains steady at No. 4, while Ohio State is one of the high risers this week with a six-spot jump to No. 8. Indiana checks in at No. 12, with Maryland 19th, Nebraska 22nd and Michigan 23rd.
  • On Monday, Iowa fifth-year center/forward Monika Czinano was named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week, while Minnesota guard Mara Braun was chosen as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week. Both players became the Big Ten’s first 30-point scorers this season, with Czinano tallying 36 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday’s overtime win at Drake, while Braun scored 34 points (including the game-winning three-pointer as time expired) in Sunday’s victory over Lehigh.
  • With Ohio State’s win over No. 5/4 Tennessee on Nov. 8, three different Big Ten Conference schools have now collected four marquee top-five regular-season non-conference victories in the past four years. On Nov. 28, 2019, Indiana downed No. 5/6 South Carolina, 71-57 at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. A week later on Dec. 5, 2019, Ohio State ousted No. 2/2 Louisville, 67-60 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Value City Arena. More recently on Dec. 19, 2021, Michigan defeated No. 5/5 Baylor, 74-68 in overtime at the Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase in Uncasville, Conn., securing the Wolverines’ first-ever top-five win.
  • On Nov. 11, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame unveiled the 12 finalists for the Class of 2023 induction class. Among that group at two Big Ten Conference legends — former Purdue head coach Carolyn Peck, who led the Boilermakers to their first NCAA national championship in 1999, and current Minnesota head coach/former All-America guard Lindsay Whalen, who guided the Golden Gophers to their first NCAA Final Four berth in 2004 and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame back in September. This year’s Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction class will be announced Nov. 27 live on ABC at halftime of the Phil Knight Invitational championship game. There have been 12 enshrinees with Big Ten ties, with the most recent being former Ohio State All-America guard Katie Smith in 2018.
  • The Big Ten Network announced its Nov. 8 broadcast of No. 14/15 Ohio State defeating No. 5/4 Tennessee drew 100,498 viewers, ranking as the second-most watched women’s basketball non-conference game in BTN history. The only higher-drawing game took place on Dec. 21, 2016, when 141,041 viewers tuned in for Nebraska’s matchup with UConn at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
  • The Big Ten Conference has rolled out a robust women’s basketball television package for the 2022-23 season, with all 126 conference games nationally produced and distributed for the ninth consecutive season. All told, no less than 76 Big Ten women’s basketball games are scheduled to be televised nationally by three of the conference’s TV partners (Big Ten Network, FOX and ESPN). Included in this year’s Big Ten television package are 62 games on BTN, nine games on ESPN networks (highlighted by the first regular-season Big Ten women’s basketball game on ABC on Dec. 11 when Maryland hosts UConn), and five games on FOX or FS1, the first time the conference package has includes games on the FOX broadcast network (and the third consecutive year Big Ten games will air on FS1).

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