Illinois guard Makira Cook seems to move the ball round Wisconsin guard Brooke Schramek throughout a ladies’s school basketball recreation on Dec. 29, 2022. Illinois has had one of many largest turnarounds this season. (Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire through Getty Images)
It’s Big Monday within the Big Ten.
There is not any scarcity of high-stakes video games this week (we advocate doing all your errands on Tuesday evening), and it begins on Monday with two top-15 matchups. No. 10 Iowa (15-4, 7-1) will face off in opposition to No. 2 Ohio State (19-0, 8-0) in Columbus, Ohio, on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. And No. 6 Indiana (17-1, 7-1) is in Ann Arbor to play No. 13 Michigan (16-3, 6-2) at 8:15 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
The 4 groups concerned are throughout the prime 5 of the convention standings and are the highest 4 in Big Ten profitable margin. They are three of one of the best offenses and defenses within the league.
This week will start to separate these groups on the prime since not one of the prime three have performed one another but. These video games will go on to find out the convention champion and seeding for the convention event.
Ohio State is undefeated in Big Ten play, averaging 86.3 ppg (second) and permitting 62.9 ppg (fourth), however has performed solely two of the top-seven groups of the 14-team convention. After going through Iowa, the Buckeyes will face Indiana on Thursday and Maryland the week following. Additional video games in opposition to Indiana, Michigan and Maryland are additionally nonetheless on the schedule.
Indiana is permitting the fewest factors of any within the convention (58.6 ppg), however has a loss to Michigan State (11-9, 3-6). The Hoosiers needed to play extra time to beat Nebraska (12-8, 4-5) and have six video games on the schedule in opposition to the present top-five groups. It’s tied with Ohio State for the a lot of the convention leaders.
Iowa has the league’s greatest offense (87.9 ppg) and most harmful deep shooter (Caitlin Clark’s 26.7 ppg are third in D-I), however struggles defensively. Its 70.6 ppg allowed are tenth within the convention, trailing Indiana by 12 factors. Iowa, which took a loss to upset-minded Illinois (16-4, 6-3), may have break day after the OSU recreation earlier than going through Maryland on Feb. 2. The Hawkeyes nonetheless have two video games in opposition to Indiana and two in opposition to the Terrapins.
Maryland is an outlier at fourth within the standings given its offensive and defensive rankings and a seventh-ranked profitable margin, which is the one single-digit one of many group. The Terps have misplaced to Nebraska and Indiana, and haven’t performed Illinois. They nonetheless have two video games every in opposition to Ohio State and Iowa that might push them out of first-place rivalry.
Michigan is the second-best defensively to rank fourth in profitable margin and has already performed each Ohio State and Iowa, dropping by 9 to every. Like Maryland, it has but to play Illinois.
The Fighting Illini are one of the shocking turnaround groups of any convention after ending the 2021-22 season final at 1-13 in Big Ten play. Illinois ranks fifth offensively (79.6 ppg) and defensively (63.2 ppg) in convention contests. Its 40.3% clip from 3-point vary leads the convention and it averages 41.2 rpg to rank second. The workforce has saved it to single digits in opposition to the top-three groups within the standings and is profitable within the convention by a mean of 16.4 ppg (fifth).
Illinois misplaced by 6 to Ohio State, misplaced by margins of 4 and 11 to Indiana and defeated Iowa by 4. It has an awesome probability to upend Maryland and Michigan to slip into the highest 5 and make it attention-grabbing down the again finish of the season.
Winner: Maddy Siegrist and Sister Rose Marie
Maddy Siegrist is now Villanova’s all-time main scorer after reaching 2,414 factors in a 73-57 win over Creighton on Friday. She broke the mark of two,408 set by Shelly Pennefather from 1983-87. Kerry Kittles is third all-time at 2,243 factors from 1992-96 and holds the document for the lads’s program.
Siegrist has a particular relationship with Pennefather, who gained three Big East Player of the Year trophies and the National Player of the Year award in 1987. Pennefather turned a cloistered nun in 1994 and is now Sister Rose Marie of the Queen of Angels.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Jensen wrote of the 2 Villanova superstars assembly, which needed to be carried out by way of a display screen separating guests in a home connected to a chapel in Virginia. Former head coach Harry Perretta, Pennefather’s coach who was there for Siegrist’s first season, and senior affiliate athletic director Lynn Tighe, who performed with Pennefather, additionally visited. It was at their first assembly that Sister Rose Marie was instructed Siegrist broke her freshman scoring document.
“Well, why don’t you get all of them?” Sister Rose Marie instructed Siegrist of her scoring data, through the Inquirer. “I don’t want them in right here.”
Siegrist, a 6-foot-2 senior ahead, is 2 factors away from turning into the main scorer within the historical past of Philadelphia Big 5 ladies’s basketball, per Villanova. The different 4 packages are Temple, Saint Joseph’s, Penn, La Salle and Drexel. She has scored 20 factors in all 21 video games and is averaging a Division I-best 28.5 ppg with 9.6 rpg (thirty first).
Villanova (18-3, 9-1 Big East) is off till Sunday when it travels to Hartford with an opportunity to take down Big East chief UConn (17-2, 10-0).
Maddy Siegrist lately turned Villanova’s all-time main scorer throughout ladies’s and males’s basketball. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Loser: Louisville’s fourth quarter
It’s the little moments that make a season and the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 63-51 loss to NC State can sum up lots for Louisville.
The Cardinals had been outscored, 15-4, after getting into the ultimate quarter trailing by 1 level. Through the primary eight minutes, their solely factors had been a single free throw by Morgan Jones. Their solely bucket got here with 1:35 on a steal-and-score from her. And by the buzzer, they went 1-of-16.
Louisville is the ACC’s best-shooting workforce at 48.9% and NC State’s protection is middling, permitting groups to hit 39.3% of their pictures. The 3-point distinction is much more stark between them. This was a case of the Cardinals’ offense stumbling once they wanted it, which may’t occur for a workforce that makes up for OK protection. It was their second-worst total taking pictures share (30.3%) of the season and their lowest assists quantity (six). In solely 4 video games have they dished out fewer than 10.
The loss is a tricky loss for Louisville (15-7, 6-3) since it might have been the largest win of the season within the event choice committee’s eyes. Losses in opposition to South Dakota State and Middle Tennessee harm. Their most defining win is likely to be in opposition to Florida State two weekends in the past.
Loser: Timing of UConn vs. Tennessee
The assembly of two storied powerhouses will all the time be price a watch, however this yr, it may very well be with out the celebrities.
Connecticut will journey to Knoxville for a Thursday evening function on ESPN in opposition to Tennessee (16-6, 8-0 SEC). The Huskies lead the sequence, 16-9, and have gained all three video games because the sequence got here again within the 2019-20 season.
UConn will possible be with out its early Player of the Year contender, Azzi Fudd, after the sophomore reinjured her knee. The workforce mentioned it is not going to launch a timeline for her return.
Tennessee senior starter Jordan Horston (15.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 3.6 apg) didn’t journey with the workforce for its win in opposition to Missouri on Sunday as a consequence of sickness, head coach Kellie Harper mentioned. The workforce is already with out heart Tamari Key, who’s out for the season after docs found blood clots in her lungs.
While it’s disappointing the largest stars could also be sidelined, it opens up the door for a brand new star within the rivalry’s lore.
Athletes squeezing onto press row for in-game TV appearances might be distracting and boring. Didi Richards was neither.
Richards actually yelled “sure” into her headset on the finish of the third quarter when Jana Van Gytenbeek made a 3-pointer for her alma mater Baylor Bears. And she exhaled a upset “oh my gosh” when Texas answered.
The New York Liberty guard joked she ought to be sponsored by Wendy’s for going 4-for-4 in Big 12 championships and shouted out a neighborhood Brooklyn eatery close to Barclays Center.
“I need to additionally put on the market I’ve additionally by no means misplaced to the University of Texas in my life. I’ve not,” mentioned Richards, who went 9-0 in opposition to the Longhorns. “And I don’t plan on it ever taking place.”
When it was famous that Baylor misplaced its 13-straight profitable streak in opposition to Texas final yr, the primary season since Richards left, she popped in with a, “Ya know, I didn’t need to say that.”
It was additionally good to listen to with such honesty a former participant’s evaluation of how the youthful gamers have grown. She was complimentary of the protection of Jaden Owens, who used to protect her in apply. And she was animated speaking about junior guard Sarah Andrews, who blocked a shot late within the third, and her elevated potential to get again on protection since freshman yr.
Rori Harmon was injured Sunday, and Texas may very well be in hassle with out its star level guard. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Loser: Texas, if it’s with out Rori Harmon
Baylor (13-6, 4-2) might have used Richards because it fell to Texas, 68-55. The Bears had been outrebounded by 14 and dedicated 20 turnovers.
Texas is surging again into the Big 12 lead, however star level guard Rori Harmon went down with an damage late within the recreation. She was on the entrance of the handshake line, however seemed to be strolling gingerly. Head coach Vic Schaefer didn’t need to give “untimely updates” instantly after the sport and mentioned she’ll be checked out “and we’ll go from there.” The sophomore guard was “day-to-day” with a foot damage to start out the season.
Texas struggled with out her, going 2-3 and averaging 70 ppg with extra turnovers. With her within the lineup, it’s 11-3 and averaging 11.3 extra factors (81.3 ppg). Its turnover margin is +8.1 versus +2.
“She simply units the tone,” Schaefer mentioned, through The Daily Texan. “She’s taking part in her guts out, on the market on the ball, and there’s a lot worth to that that you simply simply can’t take it with no consideration. She is aware of I don’t take it with no consideration.”
The Longhorns (14-6, 5-2) bounced again from losses in opposition to UConn, Marquette, Louisville and South Florida to defeat USC, Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State and now Baylor. Hopefully, Harmon will probably be prepared for a recreation in opposition to conference-leading Oklahoma (16-2, 6-1) on Wednesday.
Winner: Recruits becoming a member of early
UConn is including one other physique to its diminished roster.
Jana El Alfy, a 6-4 prospect from Egypt, will enroll for the spring semester at UConn, the workforce introduced on Monday. El Alfy dedicated to the Huskies in November as a Class of 2023 recruit.
She averaged 24.7 factors, 11.5 rebounds and a couple of.5 assists in a silver-medal-winning marketing campaign on the FIBA U18 African Championship final yr and led Egypt to gold on the U17 African Championship in 2021. She participated within the NBA Academy Women’s Camp and UConn head coach Geno Auriemma mentioned in November the younger participant desires to be a trailblazer for gamers from her nation.
The spring semester started per week in the past, however course registration is open till Jan. 30 and El Alfy started lessons on Monday, a day after arrival. The program mentioned she is “not anticipated to take part through the 2022-23 season,” however can apply and journey.
UConn might use her because it has precisely the Big East minimal of seven obtainable gamers. It will nonetheless profit from one other participant in practices whereas constructing chemistry and manufacturing for subsequent season when Paige Bueckers and Ice Brady return from damage. It would even be helpful for El Alfy to realize expertise in opposition to NCAA-level gamers.
She joins a small group of early enrollees over the previous handful of years who’ve taken an early begin at college. Saylor Poffenbarger enrolled early at UConn in January 2021 and a yr later transferred to Arkansas.
Olivia Miles, who enrolled early at Notre Dame in 2021, has three collegiate triple-doubles already. Her 7.2 assists per recreation rank sixth within the nation (first within the ACC). Cassandre Prosper, a member of the Canadian youth nationwide groups, joined the workforce in December and is averaging 10 minutes per recreation over seven contests for the Fighting Irish.
Must watch this week
Iowa (15-4, 7-1 Big Ten) at Ohio State (19-0, 8-0), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2 — Neither workforce has performed a top-four workforce within the Big Ten standings till now.
Oklahoma (16-2, 6-1 Big 12) at Texas (14-6, 5-2), 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network — The Big 12 standing leaders will play the primary of two instances this season. They meet in Oklahoma on Feb. 25.
Ohio State (19-0, 8-0 Big Ten) at Indiana (17-1, 7-1), 8:30 p.m. ET — The Big Ten standings might change by then, however the two lead the convention in the intervening time and have one of the best profitable margins.
Florida State (18-4, 7-2 ACC) at Notre Dame (16-2, 7-1), 8 p.m. ET, ACCNX, and Virginia Tech (16-3, 6-3 ACC) at Duke (17-2, 7-1), 8 p.m. ET, ACCN — The ACC’s prime two groups in Duke and Notre Dame will host the third- and fourth-best within the convention standings, respectively. The ACC is jam-packed with three groups becoming a member of the Hokies at three losses apiece and NC State rounding out the plus-.500 group at 5-4.
Villanova (18-3, 9-1) at UConn (17-2, 10-0), 2 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network — Villanova has one of the best possibilities at giving UConn a convention loss in the intervening time.
What else to observe this week
DePaul (11-9, 4-5 Big East) at UConn (17-2, 10-0), 7 p.m. ET, SNY
Indiana (17-1, 7-1 Big Ten) at Michigan (16-3, 6-2), 8:15 p.m. ET, BTN
Michigan (16-3, 6-2 Big Ten) at Maryland (16-4, 7-2), 6:30 p.m. ET
UConn (17-2, 10-0 Big East) at Tennessee (16-6, 8-0 SEC), 8 p.m. ET ESPN
USC (15-4, 5-3 Pac-12) at Utah (16-2, 6-2), 9 p.m. ET
UCLA (17-3, 6-2 Pac-12) at Colorado (15-4, 6-2), 9 p.m. ET
Oklahoma (16-2, 6-1 Big 12) at Iowa State (13-4, 5-2), 4 p.m. ET, ESPN+
UCLA (17-3, 6-2 Pac-12) at Utah (16-2, 6-2), 2 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Duke (17-2, 7-1 ACC) at Florida State (17-2, 7-1), 2 p.m. ET, ACCN
USC (15-4, 5-3 Pac-12) at Colorado (15-4, 6-2), 2 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
Notre Dame (16-2, 7-1 ACC) at N.C. State (15-5, 5-4), 3 p.m. ET, ESPN
Oregon (13-6, 4-4 Pac-12) at Stanford (19-2, 7-1 Pac-12), 4 p.m. ET
1. South Carolina (20-0)
2. Ohio State (19-0)
3. Stanford (19-2)
4. LSU (19-0)
5. UConn (17-2)
6. Indiana (17-1)
7. Notre Dame (16-2)
8. UCLA (17-3)
9. Utah (16-2)
10t. Iowa (15-4)
10t. Maryland (16-4)
12. Virginia Tech (16-3)
13. Michigan (16-3)
14. Oklahoma (16-2)
15. North Carolina (14-5)
16. Duke (17-2)
17. Gonzaga (19-2)
18. Iowa State (13-4)
19. Arizona (15-4)
20. NC State (15-5)
21. Villanova (18-3)
22. Illinois (16-4)
23. Middle Tennessee (16-2)
24. Florida State (18-4)
25. Colorado (15-4)