Big Ten poll update: Purdue up, Minnesota in, Indiana out of latest AP poll


Big Ten poll update: Purdue up, Minnesota in, Indiana out of latest AP poll

There were plenty of changes in this week's AP poll after a week of upheaval.

The national headlines belong to Baylor, which vaulted up to No. 1 and owns the top spot in the rankings for the first time in program history. But in the Big Ten, there was tons of shuffling, with Purdue moving up, Wisconsin moving down, Minnesota moving in and Indiana moving out of the top 25.

The Boilermakers moved up to No. 17, a three-spot jump, after a convincing win over the Badgers on Sunday afternoon in West Lafayette. Purdue is one of four teams tied atop the Big Ten standings with a 3-1 league record. Overall, the Boilers are 14-3 with losses to current No. 3 Villanova, current No. 14 Louisville and current No. 24 Minnesota.

The Badgers dropped five spots from No. 13 to No. 18 following their first loss of conference play. Wisconsin sits at 13-3 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten. The Badgers' three losses have come against current No. 8 Creighton, current No. 11 North Carolina and current No. 17 Purdue.

The Gophers are into the top 25 for the first time this season at No. 24. After wins this past week over Northwestern and Ohio State, Minnesota is a stellar 15-2 overall record on the year and tied at the top of the Big Ten standings with a 3-1 league mark. The Gophers' lone losses have come against current No. 9 Florida State and Michigan State.

The Hoosiers dropped out of the rankings after a loss last week to the Badgers. That loss to Wisconsin extended Indiana's losing streak to three games, a streak the Hoosiers snapped with a win over Illinois on Saturday. But Indiana sits at 11-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

Indiana also received votes this week, as did Maryland.

Big Ten reportedly talking about expanding conference basketball schedule


Big Ten reportedly talking about expanding conference basketball schedule

Conference play could be getting a bit longer in the Big Ten.

According to a Monday report from ESPN's Jeff Goodman, there are talks about expanding the Big Ten conference basketball schedule from 18 games to 20 games.

Commissioner Jim Delany told Goodman that while there hasn't been a vote among the league's coaches yet, there are ongoing discussions about lengthening conference play by a couple of games.

Conference play expanded a decade ago, when the number of league games jumped from 16 to 18 for the 2007-08 season.

In order for there to be enough days in between games for players, an expanded league schedule would mean the beginning of conference play coming earlier in December. Recently, conference play has typically started around New Year's. Of course, there will be a week earlier start to conference play this season with the Big Ten Tournament — at Madison Square Garden in New York — a week earlier than usual, wrapping a full week before Selection Sunday.

Similar moves have been made in football, with the Big Ten starting a nine-game conference slate last fall. It's meant league games in September — a no-no in the past — and this season will feature a conference matchup in the season's first week, when Indiana and Ohio State play on Aug. 31.

Expanding conference play in college basketball would have a similar effect as it has had on schedules in football. With fewer non-conference slots to fill, those games become more important to a team's NCAA tournament resume. It forces teams to schedule more high-profile opponents and eliminate games against small schools that generate little interest during the season's first couple months.

The ACC, a league that often runs neck and neck with the Big Ten in the debate over which is America's top basketball conference, announced it will be moving to a 20-game schedule last July, with that starting in the 2019-20 season.

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo shared some thoughts on the subject with Goodman, saying he expects the move to happen.

"I personally see us going to a 20-game schedule," Izzo told Goodman. "I don't think there's any question it's going to happen — and I'm not overly against it."

Ohio State has its new head coach in Butler's Chris Holtmann


Ohio State has its new head coach in Butler's Chris Holtmann

Ohio State found its next head basketball coach, going to one of Thad Matta's former employers to find the longtime coach's successor.

The school announced Friday morning that Butler head coach Chris Holtmann is the Buckeyes' new head coach.

Holtmann spent the past three seasons as the head coach at Butler, posting a 70-31 record and making NCAA tournament appearances in all three of those seasons, including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in March. He was named the Big East Coach of the Year this past season.

Holtmann spent two seasons as an assistant at Ohio under former Illinois head coach John Groce, a former Matta assistant, before serving as the head coach at Gardner-Webb for three seasons. Holtmann left Gardner-Webb for an assistant-coaching job at Butler, though he was quickly promoted to interim head coach and then head coach in Indianapolis.

Holtmann takes over for Matta, who himself was the Butler head coach in the 2000-01 season before becoming the all-time wins leader at Ohio State. Matta's mostly successful tenure was ended earlier this week, when athletics director Gene Smith saw recruiting misses teaming with declining win totals to create a dip in Matta's success.

This week has been dominated by rumors and declarations of lack of interest from numerous candidates and possible candidates for the job. Xavier head coach Chris Mack and Creighton head coach Greg McDermott both made their decisions to stay at their current schools known via social media, and a report linking Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg to the job forced a no-interest comment from Hoiberg, too.

Despite those repeated "no thank yous," though, Ohio State is still seen to be one of the best jobs in college basketball thanks to one of the highest-profile athletics departments and one of the best conferences in the country, providing ample resources.

Recruiting will be a big expectation for Holtmann, as Matta's performance in that area dipped near the end of his tenure. The Buckeyes missed the NCAA tournament in each of the past two seasons, while Holtmann just took Butler to a No. 4 seed in the Big Dance, the highest in that program's history.