Recently in Men's Basketball Category

Wednesday's Men's Basketball Results

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Illinois advanced in the NIT and Penn State marched on after a first-round win in the CIT, but Iowa dropped a hard-fought decision in the NCAA Tournament, falling to Tennessee in overtime in Dayton, Ohio.

NCAA TOURNAMENT
MIDWEST REGION

No. 11 Tennessee 78, No. 11 Iowa 65 (OT)

NIT
No. 2 Illinois 66, No. 7 Boston University 62

CBI
Penn State 69, Hampton 65

Wednesday's Postseason Men's Hoops Schedule

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Iowa will begin its NCAA Tournament run against Tennessee in Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday night, while Illinois will begin action in the NIT and Penn State will play its CBI opener.

Wednesday, March 19
NCAA TOURNAMENT
MIDWEST REGION)
No. 11 Iowa vs. No. 11 Tennessee, 9:10 p.m. (truTV) - Iowa Game Notes

NIT
No. 2 Illinois at No. 7 Boston University, 7 p.m. (ESPN2) - Illinois Game Notes

CBI
Hampton at Penn State, 7 p.m. - Penn State Game Notes

All times Eastern

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 9

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At least 187 Big Ten Medal of Honor winners have earned Academic All-America distinction, including nine three-time honorees - Michigan's Diane Dietz (1982, women's basketball) and Steve Grote (1977, men's basketball), Michigan State's Michelle Carson (2004, women's track & field), Chris Hill (2005, men's basketball) and Drew Neitzel (2008, men's basketball), Minnesota's Matthew Nohelty (2009, baseball), Northwestern's Shon Morris (1988, men's basketball), Ohio State's Kevin Stephan (2002, men's lacrosse) and Penn State's Joanna Lohman (2005, women's soccer). 

Minnesota Advances in NIT

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Minnesota became the first Big Ten men's basketball team to advance in the postseason, as the Golden Gophers posted an 88-81 win over High Point in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday night.

Tuesday, March 18
No. 1 MINNESOTA 88, No. 8 High Point 81 - Minnesota Recap

The Golden Gophers will take on the winner of tonight's St. Mary's (Calif.)-Utah game in the second round.

Minnesota Hosts High Point in NIT First Round

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The postseason officially begins for Big Ten men's basketball on Tuesday, with top-seeded Minnesota entertaining No. 8 High Point in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Tuesday, March 18
No. 8 High Point at No. 1 Minnesota, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN3)

All times Eastern

Four Teams Ranked in Top 25 of Both Polls

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The Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls were released on Monday, and the Big Ten was represented with four teams among the top 25 of both polls, including three in the top 15. In the AP poll, Michigan was ranked No. 7, followed by No. 11 Michigan State, No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 22 Ohio State. In the coaches' ballot, Michigan was ranked No. 8, followed by No. 13 Michigan State, No. 15 Wisconsin and No. 24 Ohio State. Nebraska and Iowa both received votes in the AP and coaches' polls. 

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 7

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During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature the University of Illinois.

Illinois All-Century Team - (1949/1963, men's basketball)
Illinois' Dike Eddleman (1949) and David J. Downey (1963) were both named to the Illini's All-Century Basketball Team. Eddleman was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, led the team in scoring in 1948 (13.9 ppg) and 1949 (13.2 ppg) and helped the Illini win the Big Ten Championship in 1949. Downey was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree, led the team in scoring and rebounding from 1961-63 and guided his team to the Big Ten Championship in 1963. Downey currently ranks No. 21 among Illinois' all-time scoring leaders with 1,360 points (18.9 ppg). Downey later went on to found The Downey Group (high quality life insurance, long term care, disability programs, and related planning for affluent individuals, families, and businesses), and is Chair of the Investment Policy Committee at University of Illinois Foundation Board and member of University of Illinois College of Business Board of Overseers.

Dee Brown (2006, men's basketball)
Brown won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2006 following a stellar four-year career at Illinois. The Maywood, Ill., native won the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard as a senior in 2006, along with collecting Consensus Second-Team All-America honors. In 2005, Brown led the Fighting Illini to the national championship game and was named the Sporting News National Player of the Year and a Consensus First-Team All-American. Brown collected first or second-team All-Big Ten honors all four years of his career and was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. He was named a finalist for Illinois' Male Athlete of the Year in 2006 and was also recognized as a Senior CLASS Award finalist.

Don Laz (1951, track & field)

A seven-time Big Ten Champion for the Illini from 1949-51, Laz was also the 1951 NCAA pole vault champion. He won three straight indoor conference crowns in the pole vault and swept that event and the long jump in the 1951 Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He won the silver medal in the pole vault at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Laz later became an architect before a stroke cut short his career. His best height was 15-3, or two inches less than the vault by his son, Doug, in setting an Illinois high school state record in 1972.

Ashley Berggren (1998, women's basketball)
Berggren, a 1998 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, was the first Illinois women's basketball player to have her jersey retired in 2009. Berggren ranks in Illinois' top 10 of numerous career categories, including second in points (2,089), seventh in assists (328) and 10th in rebounds (779) and steals (183). The Big Ten Player of the Year in 1997, she guided the Illini to a Big Ten Championship and back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in 1997 and 1998. She is the only Illini to be named first-team All-Big Ten in three seasons (1996-98). Following her collegiate career, Berggren played professionally with the Chicago Condors of the ABL before becoming a high school special education teacher and basketball coach. She also has run the Berggren Hoop Camp for the past 15 years.

Jonelle Polk (1987, women's basketball)
Awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1987, Polk has left her mark on Illinois basketball, ranking in the top 10 of various Illini career records, including first in field goals made (815), third in points (1,984), field goal percentage (.562) and double-doubles (40), fourth in rebounds (933) and fifth in blocks (135). She led Illinois in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots in three of her four seasons and was a three-time All-Big Ten selection (1985-87). Polk was tabbed a Fast Break All-American and Illinois' Female Athlete of the Year in 1986 and led the Illini to NCAA Tournament appearances in her final two seasons. Following her graduation, the Peoria, Ill., native played overseas for four years, before returning to the U.S. to get her masters' degree and delve into coaching. She currently works as a manager at Proctor Recreation Center in her hometown mentoring young girls

Trent Meacham (2009, men's basketball)
Meacham, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2009, scored 866 points, handed out 231 assists and recorded 74 steals during his career at Illinois. A co-captain during his senior year, Meacham led the Illini and ranked second in the Big Ten in three-point field goal shooting at 42.1 percent during the 2008-09 season. He currently ranks fifth at Illinois in career three-point field goal percentage (.408) and 11th in three-point field goals made (178). The Champaign, Ill., native was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and won the Lou Henson Courage Award in 2009. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in sport management and is currently in his second season with JSF Nanterre of the LNB Pro A in France.

Disa Johnson (1988, volleyball)

A 1988 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, Disa Johnson led the Illini to a 124-28 record in her four seasons. She guided Illinois to three NCAA Championship appearances, including the national semifinals in 1987, and a pair of Big Ten titles (1986-87). The setter ranks second in Illinois history in assists (5,550), third in aces (154) and 10th in block assists (339). She led the Illini in assists all four years she competed and topped the conference in that category for two years (1985-86). The Western Springs, Ill., native was an AVCA All Mideast Region team honoree (1987), a second-team Academic All-American (1987), and a three-time All-Big Ten selection and Academic All-Big Ten pick (1985-87). Johnson was also named to the Big Ten All-Decade Team in 1992. She earned a master's degree from Illinois in kinesiology and sports administration in 1992. Following her playing career, Johnson entered the coaching realm. She was an assistant coach with the Illini from 1990-93. She was the head coach at Missouri from 1994-99 and James Madison from 2000-09, where she was named CAA Coach of the Year twice in 2002 and 2006. Johnson returned to Champaign this fall when her husband, Ron Garner, was named head coach of the Illinois women's track & field program.

Tim Simon (1988, track & field)

A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and eight-time Big Ten Champion, Simon was tabbed Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year in 1988, the same year he was named Athlete of both the Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He finished third in the 400-meter run at the 1988 NCAA Championships behind two UCLA sprinters who won medals at that year's Seoul Olympics. Simon holds three Illini records in the 300- and 400-meter dash and 4x400 relay. He earned a medical degree from Howard University has been a colon and rectal surgeon in Georgia since 2002.



Illinois, Minnesota Accept NIT Bids

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The field for the 2014 National Invitation Tournament (NIT) was unveiled following the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night, with Big Ten members Illinois and Minnesota earning berths.

Minnesota (20-13, 8-10 Big Ten) received a No. 1 seed in the 32-team field, and will open play against High Point at Williams Arena on Tuesday night. With a win over the Panthers, the Gophers would face the winner of the No. 4 St. Mary's (Calif.) vs. No. 5 Utah game.

Illinois (19-14, 7-11 Big Ten) garnered a No. 2 seed in the NIT, and will travel to Boston University on Wednesday. The winner will face either No. 3 Clemson or No. 6 Georgia State. The Illini will hit the road in the tournament opener despite being the higher seed because of renovations being made to State Farm Center.


Craft Named Finalist for Cousy Award

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Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, annually given to the nation's top point guard.

The original list of 47 candidates was narrowed down to the below watch list of six student athletes by a nationally based committee.

In conference play, Craft became the second Big Ten player in the past three years to lead the conference in both assists (4.6 apg) and steals (2.7 spg). He is also the second Big Ten player since at least 1982-83 to lead the conference in steals in three different seasons, a feat also accomplished by Illinois' Bruce Douglas from 1984-86. Craft passed Douglas for the Big Ten career steals record this season.

Craft was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in the past three years. He was also tabbed second-team All-Big Ten by the media contingent and a third-team selection by the Big Ten's 12 coaches.

The winner of the 2014 Bob Cousy Award will be presented in Dallas as part of Hall of Fame events at the Final Four.

100 Days of the Big Ten Medal of Honor: Day 4

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A number of Big Ten Medal of Honor winners went on to become legendary coaches in their respective sports, including Bernie Biermann (Minnesota, 1916), who coached the Gophers to five national championships in football; Fritz Crisler (Chicago, 1922), longtime football coach and director of athletics at Michigan; John Wooden (Purdue, 1932), who led UCLA to a record 10 NCAA basketball titles; Bud Wilkinson (Minnesota, 1937), coach of Oklahoma football teams that won three national titles and compiled a 47-game winning streak; John Kundla (Minnesota, 1939), the first coach of the NBA's Minneapolis Lakers and later coach of the Gophers; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (Northwestern, 1986), and Tony Dungy (Minnesota, 1977), the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl while with the Indianapolis Colts.

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