Recently in Winter Sports Category

Three Big Ten Teams Finish in Top-10 of Coaches Poll

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
The final men's college basketball USA Today Coaches top 25 poll was released on Wednesday, and the Big Ten was represented with three teams among the top-10. Wisconsin finished the season ranked No. 4 in the poll, followed by No. 6 Michigan and No. 8 Michigan State. Ohio State and Minnesota also received votes in the final ballot.

Wisconsin advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 2000 and ended its season with 30 wins, tied for the second-most in school history. Michigan won its first outright Big Ten Championship since 1986, and Michigan State claimed its second Big Ten Tournament title in the past three seasons. The Badgers, Wolverines and Spartans all made regional final appearances, marking the third time in the last 15 years that three conference teams advanced to the Elite Eight.

Ohio State made its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, dropping a heartbreaking decision versus eventual Elite Eight participant Dayton in the second round. Minnesota captured the NIT Championship, the second in school history, and won a school-record 25 games. 



 
Four Big Ten women's basketball squads were ranked in the final USA Today Coaches Poll of the 2013-14 season, released on Wednesday. Penn State led the list of ranked conference teams, coming in at No. 14. Nebraska checked in at No. 17, followed by No. 19 Purdue and No. 23 Michigan State. Iowa was receiving votes in the poll.

Four Teams Earned Berths to NCAA Championships

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Four Big Ten women's gymnastics teams earned berths to the NCAA Championships, as Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State all advanced to the national meet, which will be held April 18-20 in Birmingham, Ala. The Fighting Illini will make their second consecutive appearance and fourth overall. The Wolverines will make their 21st appearance in program history, while the Cornhuskers advanced for the 22nd time in school history. The Nittany Lions will be making their first appearance at the NCAA Championships since 2009.

Illinois Release
Michigan Release
Nebraska Release
Penn State Release

Wisconsin Comes Up Short Versus Kentucky in Final Four

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
NCAA TOURNAMENT FINAL FOUR
No. 8 Kentucky 74, No. 2 WISCONSIN 73


Four Badgers scored in double figures, and Wisconsin shot 52.2 percent from the field in the second half, but Kentucky's Aaron Harrison drilled a go-ahead three-pointer with 5.6 seconds remaining to lead the Wildcats past the Badgers, 74-73, on Saturday night at AT&T Stadium. Kentucky will take on UConn in Monday's national championship game.

The Badgers' Ben Brust and Sam Dekker both scored a team-high 15 points, and were joined in double figures by Traevon Jackson and Bronson Koenig. Kentucky's James Young scored a game-high 17 points. The Wildcats shot 50 percent for the game, but made just two three-pointers.

Wisconsin's senior class includes Brust and Zach Bohannon. The Badgers are scheduled to return starters Dekker, Jackson, Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky next season.


Friday's Softball Schedule

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Friday's Big Ten softball schedule includes Michigan hosting Ohio State, Michigan State entertaining Penn State and Purdue playing host to Indiana.

Friday, April 4
Penn State at Michigan State, 3 p.m.
Indiana at Purdue, 4 p.m.
Ohio State at #5/5 Michigan, 6 p.m.

Rankings are USA Softball/NFCA Coaches
All times Eastern

Minnesota Captures NIT Championship

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Thursday, April 3
NIT Championship

No. 1 MINNESOTA 65, No. 1 SMU 63 - AP Recap

Minnesota secured the Big Ten's 10th NIT Championship on Thursday, defeating SMU at Madison Square Garden, 65-63.

Senior Austin Hollins led all scorers with 19 points, and was joined in double figures by Andre Hollins (14 points) and Deandre Mathieu (13). Nic Moore scored 17 points to pace the Mustangs. Hollins made a tiebreaking three-pointer with 46.1 seconds remaining.

Under the leadership of first-year head coach Richard Pitino, Minnesota set a school record for overall wins this season. The Gophers are slated to return four starters next season, including Elliot Eliason, Andre Hollins, Joey King and Mathieu.

Minnesota also captured the NIT title in 1993. 

Craft Named Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named a Senior CLASS Award First-Team All-American in the sport of collegiate men's basketball on Thursday.

Craft was named one of 10 finalists for the Senior CLASS Award in mid-February along with Penn State's Tim Frazier. Craft, who was named the NABC National Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday, is a two-time Academic All-America of the Year. He is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard, and was named to the Allstate Good Works Team. For more on Craft's career, CLICK HERE.  

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Creighton's Doug McDermott was named the 2014 Senior CLASS Award winner.  

Craft Named NABC National Defensive POY

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Ohio State's Aaron Craft was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) National Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday. Craft will be presented the award at the annual Guardian of the Game Awards Show in Dallas on Sunday night.

Craft becomes the third Big Ten player, and second straight, to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Indiana's Victor Oladipo claimed the honor last year, while Ohio State's Greg Oden was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.

Craft ended his career as both the Ohio State and Big Ten all-time leader in steals with 337. The Big Ten coaches selected Craft as the 2014 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, an honor he also earned in 2012. As a member of the 2014 All-Big Ten Defensive team, Craft is just the second student-athlete to earn a spot on the team four times.

The NABC honor has been awarded since 1987. Craft is just the third point guard to garner the honor.


Weekend Schedule

| No Comments | No TrackBacks
Friday, April 4th
ILLINOIS at Tiger Track Classic - Auburn, Ala.
INDIANA, #17 PENN STATE at Crimson Tide Invitational - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
INDIANA, IOWA, MINNESOTA, #17 PENN STATE at Stanford Invitational - Palo Alto, Calif.
IOWA, NEBRASKA at Arkansas Invite - Fayetteville, Ark.
MICHIGAN STATE at Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational - East Lansing, Mich.
MINNESOTA at South Florida Collegiate - Tampa, Fla.
PURDUE at Texas State Invite - San Marcos, Texas
WISCONSIN at Florida Relays - Jacksonville, Fla.
WISCONSIN at Rex Foster Invitational - Whitewater, Wis.

Saturday, April 5th
ILLINOIS at Tiger Track Classic - Auburn, Ala.
INDIANA, #17 PENN STATE at Crimson Tide Invitational - Tuscaloosa, Ala.
INDIANA, IOWA, MINNESOTA, #17 PENN STATE at Stanford Invitational - Palo Alto, Calif.
IOWA, NEBRASKA at Arkansas Invite - Fayetteville, Ark.
MICHIGAN, California at Virginia - Charlottesville, Va.
MICHIGAN STATE at Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational - East Lansing, Mich.
MINNESOTA at Hamline Invitational - St. Paul, Minn.
OHIO STATE at LSU Battle on the Bayou - Baton Rouge, La.
PURDUE at Texas State Invite - San Marcos, Texas
WISCONSIN at Florida Relays - Jacksonville, Fla.

Michigan State's Adreian Payne will compete in the 2014 State Farm Slam Dunk Championship at Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU on Thursday.

The three-point and dunk contests will begin at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, and will be televised by ESPN. Payne will go head-to-head against seven other Division I competitors.

In addition, Purdue's Courtney Moses and Nebraska's Jordan Hooper will both participate in the women's three-point shootout, also to be held at Moody Coliseum.