Big Ten: Newsy Notes

By - October 29, 2006

I've since retreated to my room at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare to post some last newsy notes over some Gino's East deep-dish delivery. While my pizza-snob friends back in New York insist almost angrily that the product served in Chicago isn't pizza by definition, all I know is that this stuff -- whatever it is -- is a bleeding godsend.

Now that I've whet your appetites, on to the fodder:

  • The Big Ten non-conference season opens on Nov. 8 when Brown travels to East Lansing to face Michigan State.

  • Wisconsin's Alando Tucker, the only returning member of last season's All-Big Ten first team, will be vying for his second consecutive conference scoring title after leading the Big Ten with 20.0 points per league contest as a junior. The Lockport, Ill., native would be the first Big Ten player to win back-to-back scoring titles since Purdue's Glenn Robinson turned the trick in 1993 (22.5 ppg) and 1994 (31.1 ppg).

  • Iowa enters the 2006-07 season with the longest current home winning streak in the conference. The Hawkeyes were the only Big Ten team to go undefeated at home last season and have won 18 consecutive contests at Carver-Hawkeye Arena dating back to a loss at the hands of Illinois on Feb. 19, 2005. The current streak is tied with Akron for third in the country behind Gonzaga (40) and Connecticut (19). The Big Ten record for consecutive home victories was established by Michigan State, which won 53 straight games at the Breslin Center from 1998 through 2002.

  • Entering his seventh season as a Division I head coach, Ohio State coach Thad Matta continues to make his mark on the NCAA record books. Last season's Big Ten Coach of the Year has recorded the fifth-most victories among all Division I coaches through the first six years of a career. Matta has amassed 148 victories in one season at Butler (24), three at Xavier (78) and two at Ohio State (46). The record for most coaching victories throuhg six years is held by North Carolina State's Everett Case (161).

  • Five Big Ten alums were among the 60 players selected in last June's NBA draft. Michigan State's Shannon Brown went to Cleveland with the No. 25 pick, while teammates Maurice Ager (No. 28 to Dallas) and Paul Davis (No. 34 to the L.A. Clippers) went soon after. Orlando took Illinois big man James Augustine at No. 41 and Utah grabbed teammate Dee Brown at No. 46.

  • With six Final Four appearances since 2000, the Big Ten trails just the ACC (7) in trips to the national semifinals over that span. Michigan State leads the conference with three appearances (2000, 2001 and 2005), while Illinois (2005), Indiana (2002) and Wisconsin (2000) have each earned a single Final Four berth.

Posted by at 09:09 PM on October 29, 2006

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