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Big Ten Weekly Women’s Basketball Central – Jan. 17-23


  • The majority of Big Ten Conference women’s basketball programs will reach the midpoint of the 2022-23 conference season this week, with three head-to-head Top 25 matchups on the docket. On Wednesday, No. 6/6 Indiana will travel to No. 21/23 Illinois (8 p.m. ET on B1G+), while next Monday (Jan. 23) will see a pair of ranked contests as No. 10/9 Iowa visits No. 2/2 Ohio State (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2) and No. 6/6 Indiana heads to No. 14/16 Michigan (8 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network). BTN will also carry a doubleheader on Thursday, with No. 2/2 Ohio State playing host to Northwestern (6:30 p.m. ET) and Rutgers welcoming No. 14/16 Michigan (8:30 p.m. ET). 
  • Ohio State rose to No. 2 in both major national polls this week, tying the program record for the highest-ever ranking, previously set on March 13, 2006 (the final AP poll that season and the last WBCA/USA Today poll prior to the NCAA Tournament). The Buckeyes remain one of the nation’s three unbeaten teams at 18-0, the best start in school history, and they have matched their best conference start (7-0) since 2009-10, when they also opened 7-0. In addition, OSU’s 18-game winning streak is now the third-longest run in program history, just two shy of the record set twice before (1984-85 and 2005-06).
  • Indiana has tied the best 17-game start in school history (16-1), matching its record in 1971-72, 1972-73 and 1974-75 (all predating the incorporation of women’s athletics by both the Big Ten Conference and the NCAA). Only once in program history have the Hoosiers moved to 17-1, that coming in their inaugural season (1971-72) before Indiana lost its final game that year, 49-46 in the quarterfinals of the first AIAW National Tournament to eventual national champion Immaculata.
  • Illinois has also matched its best-ever start with a 15-3 record through 18 games. The Fighting Illini also opened the 1981-82 season at 15-3, eventually reaching the first Big Ten Tournament championship game and earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Indiana head coach Teri Moren has tied Jim Izard for the most coaching wins in program history following the Hoosiers’ 93-56 win over Wisconsin on Sunday. Moren has a 188-90 (.676) record in nine seasons in Bloomington, while Izard posted a 188-159 (.542) mark in 12 seasons at Indiana from 1988-2000.
  • Indiana set a program record for regular-season single-game attendance on Sunday with 10,422 fans at Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall to watch the Hoosiers defeat Wisconsin. The only time Indiana drew a larger crowd was on March 31, 2018, for the WNIT championship game, when 13,007 fans watched the Hoosiers win their first national postseason title, defeating Virginia Tech, 65-57.
  • The Indiana-Wisconsin game was one of three Big Ten Conference women’s basketball contests last weekend to feature attendance figures of 10,000 or more. On Jan. 14, Iowa drew 12,436 fans for its win over Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, while Michigan topped 10,000 for the second straight game (a first in program history) when 10,534 supporters came to Crisler Center for the Wolverines’ victory over in-state foe Michigan State. For the season, there have been eight Big Ten women’s basketball games that have drawn at least 10,000 fans, including a season-high 13,802 for Iowa’s Dec. 7 win over Iowa State.
  • Tickets are now on sale for the 2023 Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament presented by TIAA, which will be played March 1-5 at the Target Center in Minneapolis. For more information, visit the official tournament web site at
  • On Jan. 13, the Big Ten Conference unveiled an energized redesign of the brand identity and logo for the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, the first logo change for the event in eight years. The new look debuts a globe basketball icon, transforming the lines on a basketball to the color palette of the conference and symbolizing the reach and global nature of the sport, atop the iconic logo of the Big Ten Conference. The vivid primary color (purple) is paired with treated metropolitan and landscape photography to purposefully celebrate the host city. The brand identity and logo for the tournament combines a contemporary sans-serif font with a bold handwritten font in a color inspired by the host city. The new brand identity also reveals a fresh and powerful evolution from the past pennant wheel tournament logo. The new identity connects the world-class tradition of the conference with the unique culture of Minneapolis, featuring dynamic lines that evoke the energy and vibrancy of the city.
  • Big Ten Conference women’s basketball is reaching new heights in its television exposure this season. Of the 30 highest-rated women’s basketball games in 2022-23, 12 of them (40 percent) have involved a Big Ten program, including two of the top five and six of the top 15. The Nov. 27 Iowa-UConn game at the Phil Knight Legacy in Portland drew 597,000 viewers on ABC (second in the nation), the Jan. 7 Iowa-Michigan game (the first-ever Big Ten women’s basketball game on the FOX broadcast network) brought in 564,000 viewers, good for fourth in the country, while the Dec. 11 Maryland-UConn game on ABC (the first-ever Big Ten regular season home game on ABC) had 470,000 viewers, sixth-highest in the nation.
  • There have already been nine Big Ten Conference women’s basketball games this season that have attracted more than 200,000 viewers after four Big Ten games reached the 200,000-viewer mark last season. In addition, the Nov. 8 Ohio State-Tennessee game on Big Ten Network drew 100,000 viewers, the second-largest audience for a regular season women’s basketball game in BTN history.
  • The Big Ten leads all Division I conferences with a remarkable nine schools among the top 50 in the latest NET rankings, including three in the top 10 and four in the top 15 — No. 5 Indiana, No. 8 Ohio State, No. 11 Iowa, No. 15 Michigan, No. 27 Illinois, No. 28 Maryland, No. 40 Michigan State, No. 41 Nebraska and No. 48 Purdue. The NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) is the primary sorting tool used by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee for determining NCAA Tournament teams.
  • The Big Ten Conference continues to lead all conferences with a season-high six schools in the Associated Press Top 25 poll for the fourth week this season, including three in the top 10. Ohio State moved up one spot to No. 2 this week, (tying the Buckeyes’ highest-ever ranking and best since the final 2005-06 poll on March 13, 2006), followed by Indiana at No. 6. Iowa is next at No. 10, returning to the top 10 for the fifth week this season, with Maryland on the doorstep of the top 10 at No. 11. Michigan follows at No. 14 (matching the Wolverines’ highest ranking this year) and Illinois is up to No. 21.
  • The Big Ten also remains No. 1 among all conferences with a season-high six teams in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today Top 25 poll, including three in the top 10. Ohio State rose to No. 2 this week, tying the Buckeyes’ best-ever ranking and highest since March 13, 2006 (the final poll prior to the NCAA Tournament). Indiana is next at No. 6, followed by No. 9 Iowa (the Hawkeyes’ seventh week in the top 10 this year), No. 11 Maryland, No. 16 Michigan (tying the Wolverines’ season high) and No. 23 Illinois.
  • The Big Ten is making a strong case as one of the nation’s top conferences this season, between its seven top-10 and 12 ranked wins in non-conference play, nine schools in the top 50 of the NET rankings and a nation-best six teams ranked in both major national polls. Now, add in the analytical component — in the latest Massey Ratings, the Big Ten has the nation’s No. 1 strength of schedule among all conferences and the country’s top offensive power rating.
  • During non-conference play this season, the Big Ten Conference posted seven top-10 wins and 12 victories over ranked non-conference opponents, both leading all Division I conferences. The seven non-conference top-10 wins (which included three away from home) were the most by the Big Ten in the past 20 years, more than doubling the three top-10 victories in both 2004-05 and 2008-09. The 12 Top 25 wins (seven of which came on the road or at neutral sites) tied for the most for the Big Ten in the regular season during the past two decades, matching the total from the 2004-05 season.
  • The Big Ten currently leads all Division I conferences in scoring (75.0 ppg.), field-goal percentage (.447), three-point percentage (.344), assists (16.6 apg.) and steals (9.1 spg.), while ranking fourth in free throw percentage/tops among Autonomy Five conferences (.730).
  • In recent years, the Big Ten Conference has cultivated a deserved reputation as the home for an exciting brand of up-tempo basketball. This season, eight Big Ten schools rank among the top 50 in the nation in scoring offense (four are averaging more than 80 points per game and five rank in the top 20), led by Iowa (3rd – 88.1 ppg.) and Ohio State (6th – 86.4 ppg.). In addition, nine Big Ten schools have scored at least 100 points in a game this season.
  • The Big Ten features some of the sharpest shooting teams in the country, with six schools among the top 20 (and four of the top 10) in the country in field goal percentage, according to the latest NCAA statistical report. Iowa leads the way (3rd – .500), followed by Indiana (4th – .500), Ohio State (7th – .487) and Michigan (10th – .480), with Illinois (16th – .471) and Purdue (20th – .467) also in the top 20 nationally. Individually, the Big Ten also has three of the nation’s top 10 (and four of the top 20) shooters this season in Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes (2nd – .688), Ohio State’s Taylor Thierry (3rd – .681), Iowa’s Monika Czinano (9th – .632) and Michigan’s Emily Kiser (20th – .580).
  • Illinois has been even more proficient from outside the arc this season, as the Fighting Illini rank No. 3 in the nation in three-point percentage (.410), one of three Big Ten teams in the top 15 nationally in that category, along with Iowa (12th – .375) and Maryland (13th – .375). The Big Ten also has four players ranked in the top 15 (and three of the top six) nationally in three-point percentage — Indiana’s Yarden Garzon (3rd – .474), Maryland’s Brinae Alexander (4th – .494), Illinois’ Genesis Bryant (6th – .484) and Iowa’s Makenna Warnock (14th – .451).
  • It’s called “sharing the sugar”, and no conference is sweeter in the assist game than the Big Ten. Eight conference schools rank among the top 40 in the country in assists (five in the top 20), paced by Iowa (4th – 20.1 apg.), Ohio State (7th – 18.8 apg.) and Indiana (8th – 18.7 apg.). Four Big Ten players rank among the top 20 nationally in assists — Iowa’s Caitlin Clark (4th – 7.3 apg.), Purdue’s Jeanae Terry (5th – 7.2 apg.), Nebraska’s Jaz Shelley (10th – 6.6 apg.) and Michigan’s Leigha Brown (16th – 5.8 apg.).
  • Three of the top 10 (and eight of the top 25) largest single-game attendances in the country this year have taken place on a Big Ten Conference campus, all topping 10,000 fans. The Big Ten is tied for No. 2 nationally with its three top-10 crowds and eight top-20 audiences, which includes four Iowa games (led by a season-high 13,802 fans on Dec. 7 for the Hawkeyes’ win over in-state rival Iowa State), Maryland’s win over UConn on Dec. 11 (12,566), Michigan’s first-ever back-to-back games with 10,000 fans (10,731 vs. Iowa on Jan. 7; 10,534 for a win over in-state rival Michigan State on Jan. 14) and Indiana’s regular-season school record of 10,422 on Jan. 15 against Wisconsin.
  • The Big Ten has consistently ranked among the top three conferences in women’s basketball attendance for the past three decades and that trend appears to be continuing this season. As of Tuesday, 11 Big Ten programs ranked among the top 45 in the nation (and five in the top 15, all averaging more than 5,000 fans per game) in average attendance, leading all Division I conferences by every attendance measure. Among the Big Ten contingent, Iowa is No. 2 in the nation (9,870), followed by Maryland (9th – 7,216), Indiana (11th – 5,547), Nebraska (12th – 5,219) and Ohio State (14th – 5,046).

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