Twelve Big Ten teams have played half of their 18-game conference schedules. Maryland and Wisconsin have played eight conference games and are tied atop the conference standings at 7-1. Northwestern is alone in third place at 7-2, while Purdue sits in fourth place with a 6-3 conference record. Maryland enters this week’s action with 19 overall wins, just one victory short of the 20-win plateau.
• Maryland and Northwestern enter this week on six-game winning streaks, the longest current stretches in the Big Ten. The Wildcats’ six-game spurt is their longest since the 1932-33 season.
• Maryland’s Melo Trimble was named a watch list finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given annually to the nation’s top point guard.
• Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan tied a single-season school record with his 18th double-double on Sunday at Nebraska.
• After scoring 19 points at Penn State last Saturday, Illinois’ Malcolm Hill took over the Big Ten lead in career active scoring (1,628 points).
• Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the second straight week on Monday. Michigan State’s Miles Bridges earned Freshman of the Week honors, giving the Spartans seven such plaudits this season (four honors for Bridges, and three for Nick Ward).
• So far in the 2016-17 campaign, the Big Ten has welcomed 2,150,625 patrons, the 25th straight year the conference eclipsed the two-million mark in total attendance.
• Rutgers hosted Wisconsin in the second annual “Super Saturday – College Hoops & Hockey” doubleheader at Madison Square Garden last Saturday, with the Badgers posting a 61-54 overtime win. In the 2018 event, Minnesota will host Ohio State in basketball, while Michigan State will entertain the Gophers in hockey.
• Five different Big Ten teams received votes in Monday’s Associated Press (AP) or USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 polls, including a pair of top-20 teams. Wisconsin leads the way at No. 10/9 (AP/USA Today), followed by No. 17/17 Maryland, No. 23/24 Purdue and Northwestern, which debuted at No. 25 in the AP poll. The Wildcats also received votes in the coaches ballot, along with Indiana. Northwestern is ranked in the AP poll for the first time since the 2009-10 season, and for just the second time since the 1968-69 campaign.
• Purdue will take on a pair of ranked foes this week, when the Boilermakers host #25/rv Northwestern on Wednesday, before traveling to #17/17 Maryland on Saturday.