ESPN: The Best Unbeaten Power 5 Schools

Ignatius L Hoops

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Sep 9, 2015
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Mechelle Voepel's Weekly wrap:
Big Ten
Unbeaten teams (four): No. 16 Northwestern (3-0), No. 17 Ohio State (4-0), No. 19 Michigan (5-0), Michigan State (6-0)

Northwestern didn't open its season until Dec. 10. The Wildcats have looked good so far -- including dominant wins over Big Ten opponents Minnesota and Purdue -- led by guard Veronica Burton (22.7 PPG). The Wildcats looked poised for perhaps their deepest NCAA tournament run in 2019-20 before the pandemic cut the season short. This year's players could have that in them, too.

Michigan State isn't ranked, but that could change soon. The Spartans' best victories are against Iowa and Central Michigan, with guard Nia Clouden averaging a team-best 19.2 PPG. Michigan State was 16-14 overall and 9-9 in the Big Ten last season and wasn't close to making Charlie Creme's final Bracketology. But the Spartans were in the field nine times in the previous 11 seasons and could be headed back.

Michigan's top victory thus far was against Notre Dame. The Wolverines were supposed to start the Big Ten season against Illinois on Saturday, but COVID-19 protocols postponed the game. Junior forward Naz Hillmon averages 24.8 PPG and 9.2 RPG.

The Buckeyes have cruised so far, but they also haven't played since Dec. 10. On a pause because of COVID-19, their next scheduled game is Jan. 4 against Penn State.

Predicted last unbeaten team: Northwestern

Player of the week: Arella Guirantes, Rutgers

The Rutgers senior guard averaged 27.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists in a loss to Maryland and wins over Hampton and Sacred Heart. Guirantes is averaging 24.2 PPG this season for the 4-1 Scarlet Knights.

North Carolina center Janelle Bailey (averaged 19.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in a loss to Miami and wins against No. 18 Syracuse and Wake Forest) and Central Michigan guard Micaela Kelly (combined 55 points in a win against Miami of Ohio and loss to Michigan State) also get shout-outs.
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