BiG Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament News and Notes

  • The 2022 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament presented by TIAA marks the 29th in conference history. This will also be the 25th time the tournament will be played in Indianapolis, as well as the 20th time it is being contested at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. Tickets for this week’s tournament remain on sale through and the Gainbridge Fieldhouse box office, with further details on the tournament available online at the official Tournament Central web site (
  • Ohio State and Iowa earned shares of the Big Ten title after finishing the regular season with identical 14-4 records. The Buckeyes extended their conference record with their 17th Big Ten championship (first since an outright crown in 2018) while the Hawkeyes captured their 10th conference title and first since splitting the 2008 championship with Ohio State.
  • In determining the seeds for this week’s Big Ten Tournament, all four ties in the conference standings were broken on the basis of head-to-head results between the tied teams. Ohio State won its only meeting with Iowa, while Purdue did likewise against Minnesota, as did Wisconsin against Penn State. Michigan earned its higher seed on the basis of its two-game season sweep of Maryland.
  • During warmups prior to each Big Ten Tournament game, fans will notice a special patch on the sleeves of the players and game officials. The patch features the “TogetHER” logo, highlighting the joint Alliance (Big Ten-ACC-Pac-12) initiative to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, as well as recognize Women’s History Month. Throughout the tournament, the Big Ten will also honor a female trailblazer from each of its 14 member institutions during an in-game tribute on the Gainbridge Fieldhouse videoboard.
  • The 2021-22 all-conference teams and individual awards were announced Tuesday on the Big Ten Network’s “B1G Today” show. Iowa sophomore guard Caitlin Clark was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference coaches and a select panel of Big Ten media members, the first underclass player to receive that honor since 2015 (when Ohio State freshman Kelsey Mitchell and Minnesota sophomore Amanda Zahui B. were chosen by the coaches and media, respectively). Nebraska’s Alexis Markowski was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches and media, the second Husker to earn top freshman honors, while Maryland’s Shyanne Sellers took Sixth Player of the Year accolades. Michigan’s Kim Barnes Arico took home her second Coach of the Year honor from her colleagues as well as the media. In addition, the Big Ten coaches and media selected the Wildcats’ Veronica Burton as Defensive Player of the Year for the third year in a row, making her just the second three-time recipient of that award after Penn State’s Tanisha Wright from 2003-05. The all-conference teams and awards can be found on page 5 of the PDF version of this release.
  • The Big Ten had four teams appearing in the final NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee regular-season top-16 seed reveal on Monday night. Michigan came in at No. 8, followed by No. 12 Maryland, No. 14 Iowa and No. 15 Indiana. Michigan and Indiana were chosen in all three of the NCAA Committee’s seed reveals this season, while the Big Ten’s quartet of projected top-16 seeds this week tied the Big 12 for the most from any conference in the country
  • The Big Ten is among the national conference leaders with six teams in the top 35 (and five of the top 20) in Tuesday’s NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) rankings. Maryland leads the Big Ten contingent at No. 13, followed by No. 14 Michigan, No. 18 Iowa, No. 19 Indiana, No. 20 Nebraska and No. 31 Ohio State.
  • The Big Ten ranks among the national leaders with five teams in the Top 25 in both of the latest major national polls. No. 10/9 Michigan leads the way, followed by No. 11/11 Maryland, No. 12/18 Iowa, No. 13/16 Ohio State and No. 14/12 Indiana. Nebraska is also receiving votes in the current coaches’ poll.
  • With Michigan’s No. 4 ranking last month, this became the second season in Big Ten women’s basketball history (first in nearly 30 years) the conference has had three top-five teams in the same campaign. In 1992-93, Iowa, Ohio State and Penn State were all in the top five at some point, with the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes reaching the NCAA Final Four (and OSU playing for the national title).
  • In another indicator of the Big Ten’s strength this season, nine conference teams have at least one win over a Top 25 opponent, including five that have victories over top-10 teams, and four (Iowa, Maryland, Michigan and Nebraska) with multiple top-10 wins.
  • With 15 rebounds Sunday at Iowa, Michigan’s Naz Hillmon went over the 1,000-rebound mark for her career, making her the 26th conference player (and first in school history) to hit that mark. Hillmon is also be the eighth player in Big Ten history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career (the Cleveland, Ohio, native scored her 2,000th point Feb. 13 at Northwestern).
  • As of Tuesday, 21 NCAA Division I players are averaging 20 points per game this season, and five of those play in the Big Ten. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark leads the country in scoring (27.5 ppg.), with Penn State’s Makenna Marisa currently seventh (22.5 ppg.). Michigan’s Naz Hillmon is 12th (21.1 ppg.), Iowa’s Monika Czinano is 14th (20.7 ppg.) and Michigan State’s Nia Clouden is 15th (20.4 ppg.). No other conference has more 20-point scorers this season (the Big 12 and MAC are next with three each).
  • The Big Ten has four of the nation’s top 10 scoring offenses (and two of the four teams in the country currently averaging 80 ppg.) — Iowa (2nd – 85.4 ppg.), Ohio State (4th – 80.0 ppg.), Maryland (8th – 79.0 ppg.) and Nebraska (10th – 78.6 ppg.). Only one other conference has multiple schools among the nation’s top 10 scoring offenses (the Sun Belt has two), and combined, the Autonomy Five + BIG EAST conferences have just two top 10 scoring offenses.
  • When it comes to shooting percentages, the Big Ten also sets the pace. Iowa is first at .505, leading four conference schools in the top 20 in that category (Ohio State is eighth at .463, Michigan is 14th at .454, Indiana is 20th at .453) — no other conference has more than three in the top 20 (the ACC has three). Iowa also is the national leader in free-throw percentage (.846), while Ohio State is fourth in three-point percentage (.385).
  • The Big Ten leads all conferences in scoring (71.0 ppg.), field-goal percentage (.433) and three-point field-goal percentage (.340), while ranking second in free throw percentage (.737; tops among Autonomy Five conferences), with the latter fueled by Iowa’s nation-leading .847 mark from the stripe. Iowa’s free-throw percentage is on pace to break the Division I record set last year by Milwaukee (.838) and would surpass the Big Ten record the Hawkeyes set last year (.800).
  • The Big Ten leads the nation with five teams in the top 25 and 10 in the top 35 of Tuesday’s NCAA attendance report. Iowa is the top Big Ten team at No. 8 (7,403 fans/game), followed by Maryland (10th – 5,138), Nebraska (17th – 4,489) and Indiana (20th – 4,257). Michigan State is 23rd (3,755), with Michigan at No. 27 (3,341), Purdue at No. 28 (3,294), Ohio State 29th (3,274), Minnesota at No. 30 (3,166) and Wisconsin 34th (2,867).
  • Sunday’s Iowa-Michigan game at 15,056-seat Carver-Hawkeye Arena was sold out. It was the first women’s basketball sellout for Iowa since Jan. 31, 1988, vs. Ohio State (15,500 attended when the facility had a larger capacity), and it was the largest crowd to attend a Big Ten conference game since Jan. 28, 2007, when Wisconsin played host to Minnesota before 15,269 fans at the Kohl Center. The last time any Big Ten team played before a crowd of that size was Dec. 29, 2016, when Maryland faced UConn at the XFINITY Center before 17,950 fans. It also was the second-largest crowd in the nation this year, topped only by the Feb. 20 Tennessee at South Carolina game in Columbia, S.C. (18,000 fans).
  • The Big Ten led all Division I conferences with seven student-athletes earning Academic All-District honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), it was announced Feb. 17. Michigan had four of the seven Big Ten honorees — Leigha Brown, Emily Kiser, Maddie Nolan and Danielle Rauch — with the other conference selections being Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, Northwestern’s Veronica Burton and Penn State’s Makenna Marisa.
  • On Feb. 18, Minnesota head coach Lindsay Whalen was announced as one of 11 finalists for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Whalen, a four-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist who also led the Gophers to the 2004 NCAA Final Four, is appearing on the final Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. She seeks to be the third Big Ten women’s basketball representative in the Hall, along with current Rutgers/former Iowa head coach C. Vivian Stringer (Class of 2009) and former Ohio State All-American Katie Smith (Class of 2018). This year’s class will be announced April 2 at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in New Orleans.
  • Former Nebraska head coach Paul Sanderford has been named to the eight-person Class of 2022 for induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Sanderford, who will be enshrined in the Hall on June 11 in Knoxville, Tenn., coached the Huskers to an 88-69 record and three NCAA Tournament appearances in five seasons (1998-2002). He will be the 14th person with Big Ten ties to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame since its opening in 1999, joining a group that includes current Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer (Class of 2001), current Illinois head coach Nancy Fahey (Class of 2011) and the most recent Big Ten inductee, former Ohio State All-American Katie Smith (Class of 2018).
  • Five Big Ten alums played key roles in the United States, Canada and Nigeria advancing to the FIBA World Cup (Sept. 22-Oct. 1 in Sydney, Australia) following FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournaments last month in Washington, D.C. (USA), Osaka, Japan (Canada) and Belgrade, Serbia (Nigeria). Maryland graduates Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas joined Ohio State graduate Kelsey Mitchell in pacing the United States to wins over Belgium and Puerto Rico. Michigan State graduate Shay Colley was an important contributor to Canada’s win over Bosnia-Herzegovina and its OT loss to host Japan, while Northwestern graduate Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah was part of Nigeria’s qualifying team that defeated France and Mali.

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