This Week in the Big Ten
March 5, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
March 5, 2012
[ONE // roar of the lion]
Penn State won its second straight Big Ten Wrestling Championships title on Sunday, claiming first place with a score of 149. The Nittany Lions claimed three individual titles en route to the conference crown. Minnesota finished in second place with 134 points, while Iowa took third with 126. Fourth-place Illinois (105.5 points) and fifth-place Ohio State (91 points) rounded out the top five. Penn State's David Taylor earned his second straight Big Ten Wrestler of the Year award, while Nittany Lion head coach Cael Sanderson picked up his second consecutive Coach of the Year accolade. Ohio State's Logan Stieber earned Freshman of the Year honors, while Michigan's Kellen Russell and Penn State's Frank Molinaro were named Co-Wrestler of the Championships.
[TWO // next round]
With the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships coming to a close on Sunday, 74 Big Ten wrestlers locked up berths to the NCAA Championships based on automatic qualifier allocations. The complete breakdown of automatic qualifiers from the Big Ten can be found by clicking here.
[THREE // boilers deny huskers big ten tournament title]
Congratulations to the Purdue women’s basketball team, which held off the conference’s eager newcomer Nebraska to win its eighth Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament title in Indianapolis on Sunday. The Boilermakers picked up a 74-70 double-overtime win over the Huskers, who were looking to become the first team to win the tournament with four victories in four days. KK Houser, a native of Lincoln, Neb., led the Boilers with 19 points in the win. Lindsey Moore scored 27 points and Jordan Hooper added 25 for Nebraska in the loss. Purdue’s Brittany Rayburn was tabbed as the Most Outstanding Player of the event and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team along with Houser, Hooper, Moore and Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis.
[FOUR // and the winners are…]
The Big Ten announced the women’s basketball All-Conference teams and individual award winners this past Monday. Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference coaches and media. Prahalis’ award marks the eighth consecutive year a Buckeye has been tabbed Player of the Year. Minnesota’s Rachel Banham was honored with the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award by the coaches and media, while Penn State head coach Coquese Washington received the nod from her peers and the media as conference Coach of the Year. Ohio State’s Amber Stokes earned Defensive Player of the Year accolades from the conference coaches, while Illinois’ Adrienne GodBold earned the Sixth Player of the Year award from the coaches. The coaches and media also selected three All-Big Ten teams, while the coaches also picked five-player All-Freshman and All-Defensive teams. Prahalis was a unanimous All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media. She was joined by Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper, Ohio State’s Tayler Hill and Penn State’s Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas on the coaches’ and media first teams. The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees and all postseason award winners can be found by clicking here.
[FIVE // men’s teams get slotted for indy]
The Big Ten announced on Sunday the bracket for the 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, which will be played Thursday through Sunday, March 8-11, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Michigan State is the No. 1 seed for the fourth time in tournament history and the first time since 2009, finishing the conference slate with a 13-5 record. No. 2 Michigan (13-5), No. 3 Ohio State (13-5) and No. 4 Wisconsin (12-6) also earned first-round byes. The tournament will tip off at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 8, as No. 8 Iowa (8-10) takes on No. 9 Illinois (6-12) on BTN. The second game of the day features No. 5 Indiana (11-7) and No. 12 Penn State (4-14), also on BTN. Thursday's second session tips off at 5:30 p.m. as No. 7 Northwestern (8-10) takes on No. 10 Minnesota (6-12) on ESPN2. The first day of games wraps up as No. 6 Purdue (10-8) takes on No. 11 Nebraska (4-14) also on ESPN2.
[SIX // men’s basketball brings regular season to an end]
Congratulations to Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State on concluding the men’s basketball regular season each with a 13-5 record to share the Big Ten title. Michigan and Ohio State both won shares of the Big Ten Championship on Saturday following the Wolverines’ win over Penn State and the Buckeyes’ victory against Michigan State. The Spartans had already clinched a title share on Feb. 26, giving the Big Ten three Co-Champions for the second time in the last three years. The Big Ten title is Michigan’s 13th overall and first since 1986. Ohio State earned its third consecutive championship and 20th overall, which is tied for second in the Big Ten. Wisconsin finished the conference slate fourth at 12-6, followed by Indiana (11-7), Purdue (10-8) in fifth and sixth, respectively. Iowa and Northwestern tied for seventh at 8-10, followed by Illinois and Minnesota in ninth at 6-12 and Nebraska and Penn State in 11th at 4-14 in conference play.
[SEVEN // halfway to the nasimith award]
Congratulations to Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor on being named to the Naismith Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Award Midseason 30 Watch List. The conference standouts learned of the honor this past Wednesday when it was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. For the complete release, please click here.
[EIGHT // welcoming wounded warriors]
The Big Ten has been and will continue to honor our nation's wounded heroes during its basketball tournaments in Indianapolis. In partnership with Wounded Warrior ProjectTM (WWP), the Big Ten has invited Wounded Warriors from various branches of service, including the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and Navy, to attend games of the tournaments and be recognized at halftime. Wounded Warriors attended the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament championship game on Sunday and will also be recognized at the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament during Saturday’s semifinals on Saturday. WWP is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors and make this the most successful, well-adjusted generation of veterans in our nation's history. Over 47,000 service members have been physically wounded during the current military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. WWP is equipped to serve our military with every type of injury - from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.
[NINE // indiana and penn state reps earn wayne duke award]
Indiana women’s swimmer Margaux Farrell and Penn State men’s gymnast Miguel Pineda were named this past week as the recipients of the 2012 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award. The award is an annual scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior student-athlete pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership. It is given out in conjunction with the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments. In recognition of the Big Ten’s leadership in fully integrating athletics into the academic mission of its member institutions, the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership initiated the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award in 2008. Each Big Ten institution was asked to nominate one male and one female student-athlete for 2012, with a $5,000 scholarship awarded to each winner. Farrell and Pineda will be honored during a presentation at halftime of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game on Friday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. ET. The Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award is named for the former Big Ten Conference commissioner who served from 1971-89.
[TEN // men’s swimming and diving honors announced]
The Big Ten office announced on Friday its 2012 men’s swimming & diving individual award winners. Michigan’s Dan Madwed was named Big Ten Swimmer of the Championships, while Indiana’s Darian Schmidt, Minnesota’s Kristoffer Jorgensen and Ohio State’s Shane Miszkiel were tabbed Co-Divers of the Championships. Penn State’s Nate Savoy took home Freshman of the Year honors, Michigan head coach Mike Bottom was named Swimming Coach of the Year, and Indiana diving coach Jeff Huber earned Diving Coach of the Year accolades. The Big Ten also recognized student-athletes from each team with the Sportsmanship Award. For a complete look at those honorees, follow this link.
[ELEVEN // row your boat]
Big Ten rowing opened the 2012 campaign this weekend, with Michigan traveling to Miami (Fla.) on Saturday for the first meet of the season. The Wolverines took first place in all 12 pieces and swept first and second in 10 of the 12 races. U-M’s first varsity boat checked in with the day's fastest time in their first piece, posting a 3:13.61. Six of the seven Big Ten rowing squads compete in their first regattas in March, while Wisconsin first competes on April 7. Michigan State follows the Wolverines a week later, competing in its season opener on March 10 against Virginia. Indiana and Iowa head to Clemson to compete against the Tigers and four other squads, and Minnesota travels to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Tennessee Challenge on March 17. Ohio State opens its season a week later, hosting Notre Dame on March 24, while Wisconsin begins the 2012 campaign against the Hoosiers and Golden Gophers in Bloomington, Ind., on April 7.
[TWELVE // spring football is near]
Finally this week, Big Ten football teams return to action this month with the start of spring football practice, culminating with spring games or controlled scrimmages in April. Indiana and Northwestern were the first two teams to take the field on Saturday, while Ohio State will be the last program to begin spring practice on Wednesday, March 28. Seven schools will conclude practice with spring games or controlled scrimmages on Saturday, April 14, including the Illini, Hoosiers, Hawkeyes, Wolverines, Cornhuskers, Wildcats and Boilermakers. Minnesota and Penn State will play their spring games on Saturday, April 21. The Big Ten spring football season will conclude with the two teams that played in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, Michigan State and Wisconsin, hosting their spring games on Saturday, April 28. The complete Big Ten spring football schedule can be found by clicking here.