This Week in the Big Ten

Wisconsin's Japheth Cato captured the Husker Invitational heptathlon title this past weekend, becoming one of just three standouts to eclipse 6,000 points more than once.

Feb. 4, 2013

[ONE // from big ten to baltimore; former conference reps win super bowl]
As noted last week, a total of 19 former student-athletes and 11 coaches with conference connections appeared on the rosters of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers when Super Bowl XLVII kicked off Sunday night.  Six players from five current Big Ten schools on the Ravens roster have earned the right to call themselves Super Bowl Champions after a 34-31 victory over the 49ers.  Congratulations to former Indiana wide receiver Tandon Doss, Iowa safety Sean Considine and guard/tackle Marshal Yanda, Nebraska punter Sam Koch and Purdue safety Bernard Pollard on the win, including Illinois offensive lineman Jack Cornell, who is on the Baltimore practice squad.  Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh was once an assistant coach at Indiana, while five other coaches boast Big Ten ties.

[TWO // the big battle in bloomington]
The college basketball world got what it was looking for on Saturday with a thrilling top-five battle in Bloomington as No. 3 Indiana defeated top-ranked Michigan, 81-73.  Cody Zeller finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and Victor Oladipo added 15 points to give the Hoosiers a great chance of returning to the No. 1 spot in the country.  Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are all tied for second at 7-1, one game behind 8-1 Indiana.  At the halfway point of the conference season, Wisconsin sits fifth at 6-3, followed by Minnesota at 5-4.  Earlier this past week, No. 11/11 Ohio State dropped Wisconsin by a 58-49 count, while Minnesota earned a pair of wins over Nebraska and Iowa. 

[THREE // additional all-session tickets available]
After the original allotment of general public tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament sold out earlier this week, the conference office have made a limited number of additional all-session packages available to the general public. The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will be held at the United Center in Chicago from March 14-17.  Additional upper-level all-session tickets for the men's tournament may be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or through the United Center ticket offices at 312-455-4668 or These additional all-session tickets are located in the 300 level of the United Center and are available for $240. Orders are limited to eight all-session tickets.

[FOUR // seven standouts to watch]
Seven Big Ten standouts were named to midseason watch lists for various national honors this past Thursday. Each list is comprised of 12 players, with the winners announced at the College Basketball Awards banquet on April 15.  Four student-athletes were selected to the Oscar Robertson Midseason Watch List, which is awarded annually to the national player of the year, more than any other conference. Indiana was one of two programs with two players named to the list in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, while Michigan's Trey Burke and Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas were also selected to the midseason list. Six Big Ten players were named the USBWA National Player of the Year, with Ohio State's Evan Turner the most recent recipient in 2010. Three Big Ten players were chosen to the Wayman Tisdale Midseason Watch List, which is presented to the national freshman of the year. Michigan is one of two programs with multiple standouts selected to the list, with Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas among the 12 selected, which also includes Indiana's Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell. Michigan's Chris Webber and Ohio State's Jared Sullinger won USBWA National Freshman of the Year in 1992 and 2011, respectively.

[FIVE // four honored academically in the district]
Four Big Ten student-athletes were named Capital One First Team Academic All-District performers, it was announced on Thursday. The four standouts are now eligible to earn Academic All-America recognition, which will be announced on Feb. 21. Indiana's Jordan Hulls and Cody Zeller and Ohio State's Aaron Craft make up 60 percent of the District 5 first team, while Wisconsin's Jared Berggren was named to the District 6 first team. It is the second time Craft and Berggren have been named first team All-District performers.

[SIX // penn state, purdue sit atop women’s basketball standings]
At week’s end, Penn State and Purdue sat tied atop the women’s basketball standings at 7-1, followed by Illinois and Nebraska tied for third at 6-3.  On Thursday, Wisconsin upset No. 7/8 Penn State to snap the Lady Lion’s 11-game winning streak.  Morgan Paige led Wisconsin with a game-high 33 points, while Jacki Gulzynski joined her double digits with 16.  Purdue also stopped Indiana on Thursday to move into a tie for first place in the league.  On Sunday, the week concluded with Northwestern knocking off No. 24/25 Iowa in Iowa City.  Down by as many as 15 points in the second half, the Wildcats stormed back to earn a 67-65 victory, marking their first in Iowa City since 1995. Kendall Hackney led Northwestern with 18 points in the victory, and was one of four Wildcats in double figures. 

[SEVEN // an academic trio]
Three Big Ten women's basketball student-athletes were named Capital One First Team Academic All-District performers, it was announced on Thursday. The three standouts are now eligible to earn Academic All-America recognition, which will be announced on Feb. 21. Michigan's Jenny Ryan and Kendall Hackney are represented on the District 5 first team for the second consecutive year, while Iowa's Morgan Johnson was named to the District 6 first team.

[EIGHT // here’s a handful to watch]
Five Big Ten standouts were named to the Top 50 "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of Year award, it was announced on Friday. Michigan's Haylie Wagner, Michigan State's Kylene Hopkins, Northwestern's Emily Allard and Marisa Bast and Penn State's Cassidy Bell were named to the 50 player list, which will be narrowed to 25 in early April. Bast is one of 15 juniors named to the list, while Wagner is among a group of eight sophomores chosen for preseason recognition. All five have earned first team All-Big Ten accolades in their careers, with Bell and Wagner each unanimous selections last season.

[NINE // hawkeyes hold on]
The Iowa wrestling team remained in sole possession of first place of the Big Ten wrestling standings this week at a perfect 6-0, followed closely behind by Minnesota and Penn State at 6-1 each in conference action.  In front of a sold-out Carver Hawkeye Arena on Friday night, No. 3 Iowa knocked off top-ranked Penn State 22-16.  Another top-10 matchup took place Friday with No. 5 Ohio State defeating No. 6 Illinois, 25-9.  The Fighting Illini then fell to the Nittany Lions on Sunday by a 37-0 decision. 

[TEN // now on the tee]
The Big Ten women’s golf season resumed play on Sunday with Illinois battling Illinois State in the Illinois Challenge in Venice, Fla.  The fifth-annual event featured teams competing in four ball matches before golfers from each school go head-to-head in the individual matches in an all-day event.  Ten other conference teams take to the course for the first time in February, while one squad begins play in March.

[ELEVEN // rare air]
Wisconsin’s Japheth Cato joined an exclusive fraternity Saturday while successfully defending his heptathlon title at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational.  With a winning score of 6,024 points, Cato became just the third collegian to top the 6,000-point threshold multiple times. He joins collegiate record holder -- and 2012 Olympic decathlon champion – Ashton Eaton and former Texas national champion Donovan Kilmartin in that select group.  Cato fell just shy of his own Big Ten record score of 6,082 points but, in scoring at least 5,900 points for the fourth time in his career, now owns the top four marks in conference history.  The big mark ranks Cato No. 3 in the world this year and has him trailing only Arkansas’ Kevin Lazas on the NCAA list.

[TWELVE // former hoosier striping it down the fairway]
Finally this week, a tip of the cap, or perhaps a nod to the pants will do for former Indiana golfer and Big Ten Player of the Year Jeff Overton.  While competing at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Saturday, the PGA Tour member showed his Hoosier pride by wearing the iconic candy-stripe warm-up pants the Hoosiers wear prior to every men’s basketball game.  Overton displayed his support throughout the round and received several cheers from Hoosiers in attendance at the raucous par-3 16th hole.  After watching his Hoosiers upend top-ranked Michigan on the hardwood Saturday night, he went on to finish tied for 70th at 2-under 282 on Sunday.