THIS WEEK IN THE BIG TEN
February 18, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
BIG TEN GENERAL PRESS RELEASE
[ONE // hoosiers, spartans remain tied for men's hoops lead]
Another week of Big Ten men's basketball is in the books and Indiana and Michigan State have continued to separate themselves from the rest of the field. The Hoosiers and Spartans are tied for first at 11-2 in conference play, two games ahead of Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin in third at 8-4. No. 8/8 MSU started the week with a 75-52 victory over No. 4/5 Michigan on Tuesday, which marked the first top-10 matchup in the long-standing rivalry. The thrillers continued Thursday as Minnesota upset No. 20/19 Wisconsin 58-53 in overtime, only to have the Badgers rebound with 71-49 upset win over No. 13 Ohio State on Sunday.
[TWO // lady lions continue to roar]
Penn State's women's basketball team continues to boast a two-game lead in the Big Ten race after earning an 81-69 road win at Iowa on Valentine's Day. Nebraska follows in second at 9-3, while Purdue and Michigan are both 8-4 in conference play. The Boilermakers scored a 58-48 win over Wisconsin on Thursday, but dropped a 72-52 decision against Iowa on Sunday. Among the other newsmakers this past week, Michigan bested in-state rival Michigan State 70-69 in front of nearly 6,000 fans at Crisler Arena on Saturday.
[THREE // watching winter championships]
For the sixth consecutive year, BTN will televise seven winter Big Ten Championships, including men's and women's swimming and diving, wrestling, men's and women's indoor track and field and men's and women's gymnastics. Every event will be produced in high definition. Coverage begins with the Big Ten Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will air at noon ET on Saturday, March 2. Both the men's and women's events will take place in Geneva, Ohio. Coverage continues at 10:30 AM ET on Sunday, March 3, with the Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships from Minnesota. The Big Ten Men's Swimming and Diving Championships will air at 10 AM ET on Saturday, March 9, from Indiana. BTN's coverage of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships will be carried live at 2:30 PM ET on Sunday, March 10, from Illinois. On Saturday, March 23, BTN will televise the first session of the Big Ten Women's Gymnastics Championships live at 1 PM ET, followed by the second session live at 6 PM ET. Michigan State will host the women's event. The network will also have live coverage of the Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships on consecutive nights at 8 PM ET on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6. The men's event will take place at Minnesota.
[FOUR // coverage you can count on]
BTN will offer its most extensive baseball and softball coverage ever, with over 220 events airing on BTN, BTN2Go and BTN.com for the 2013 season. BTN will air at least 84 conference matchups, including the entire Big Ten Baseball Tournament, which will take place at Target Field in Minneapolis, and the semifinals and final of the Big Ten Softball Tournament, staged in Lincoln, Neb. BTN's television coverage of Big Ten baseball begins with the third game of a three-game series between Indiana and Penn State. Coverage begins at Noon ET on Sunday, March 24, from Bloomington. BTN's television coverage of Big Ten softball begins by airing a doubleheader between Wisconsin and Northwestern on Thursday, March 28, with games at 6 PM ET and 8 PM ET.
[FIVE // hoosiers heralded as preseason favorite]
Indiana has been selected by the conference coaches as the favorite to win in 2013, the Big Ten office announced on Tuesday. The conference's baseball coaches voted on the top six teams and also selected three players from their own squads to a Players to Watch list. Following the Hoosiers on the coaches' preseason top six list are No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Minnesota and No. 6 Illinois. The complete Players to Watch list and top-six preseason poll can be found by clicking here.
[SIX // big ten baseball opens season]
All 12 Big Ten baseball squads were in action this past week, opening their respective 2013 campaigns across the country. Indiana captured two of its three games to sit atop the league with an overall record of 2-1. Purdue is second at 2-2 overall, while Michigan State and Northwestern split their first two games of the season over the week.
[SEVEN // nebraska near perfect in softball]
At week's end, nine of the 12 Big Ten softball programs remained above .500 in the conference standings, including league leader Nebraska, which sits 9-1 overall on the year. Wisconsin is second at 4-1, followed by 6-2 Michigan and Indiana, Iowa and Ohio State at 7-3 overall. Teams were in action in several tournaments, challenges, classics and invitationals this past week, and complete results from each game can be found by clicking here.
[EIGHT // dueling at the national duals]
Big Ten wrestling hit the mats this past week, highlighted by four teams at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals regional competition. No. 13 Nebraska topped No. 11 Virginia 28-8 before falling 42-0 to No. 10 Cornell. Michigan splits its duals, falling to host No. 9 Oregon State, 22-13, before earning a 27-19 victory over No. 25 Oklahoma. No. 16 Purdue topped 20th-ranked Wyoming, 20-16, but fell to sixth-ranked Missouri, 27-15. Elsewhere, Wisconsin opened with a dual against Northern Iowa, falling 24-15 to the Panthers. In the consolation round, the Badgers posted a 33-10 loss to tournament host Kent State.
[NINE // gophers dig to first in gymnastics standings]
The Minnesota women's gymnastics team sits atop the Big Ten standings with an undefeated 4-0 conference mark to go along with an overall record of 12-0 this year. Michigan is second at 5-1 in the Big Ten, followed by Nebraska at 4-1. While Minnesota and Nebraska were battling in non-conference action this past week, three conference duals took place. The third-ranked Wolverines tied a program record on floor exercise (49.625) and recorded a new season-high team score in a 197.375-196.700 win over Penn State. The No. 19 Ohio State women's gymnastics team defeated Michigan State, 195.575-194.250, while Illinois edged out Iowa, 195.975-195.875, with the Illini's Alina Weinstein breaking both the school all-around and floor records.
[TEN // b1g men's tennis has winning ways]
Nine of the Big Ten's 12 men's tennis squads remain above the .500 mark at week's end, with Ohio State owning a league-best overall record at 10-1. Based off percentages, Iowa and Wisconsin sit tied for second overall at 5-1, while Purdue follows at 8-2 and Northwestern rounds out the top-five at 10-3. For a complete breakdown of the competition B1G men's tennis faced this past week, click here.
[ELEVEN // penn state perfect; nebraska leads the conference]
As is the case with Big Ten men's tennis, the women's tennis programs have been equally successful as 10 of the 12 squads currently sit at .500 or better in terms of winning percentage. Penn State is a perfect 7-0 on the season, while Nebraska, which is 9-1 overall, sits atop the league standings at 1-0, following a B1G win over Ohio State two weeks ago. Taking up third and fourth in the conference standings are Indiana and Michigan, who own 8-2 and 7-2 overall records, respectively. Among the highlights this past week, No. 24 Purdue earned a top-25 win over No. 19 Notre Dame, 4-3, on Friday.
[TWELVE // badger hockey soldiers up against gophers]
Finally this week, in front of the 52,051 fans in attendance for the OfficeMax Hockey City Classic, No. 18 Wisconsin (13-10-7, 10-7-7 WCHA) scored three goals in the second period and held off No. 2 Minnesota (20-6-4, 12-6-4 WCHA) for a 3-2 victory. Minnesota earned a 3-2 victory on Friday to open the series.