This Week in the Big Ten

Feb. 21, 2010

[ONE // black history month celebration continues]
The Big Ten's Black History Month campaign continued this week with human-interest features posted on former student-athletes from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Wisconsin.  The Illini's Terry Hite David was highlighted on Monday, followed by Iowa's "Downtown" Freddie Brown on Tuesday, Wisconsin's Robin Threatt-Elliott on Wednesday, Northwestern's Chris Hinton on Thursday and Minnesota's Liz Alabi on Friday.  Michigan State's Kisha Kelley was featured over the weekend.  For more on the Big Ten's Black History Month campaign, click here.

[TWO // hoosiers repeat as women's swimming and diving champs]
Indiana captured its second straight conference title Sunday at the Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in West Lafayette, Ind.  The Hoosiers amassed 758 points over the four-day event to successfully defend their conference crown. Minnesota finished second with 572.5 and Michigan was third with 462.5. Championships host Purdue tallied 460 points while Ohio State's compiled 399.5 points to round out the top five in the final team standings.  Annual Big Ten honors were also awarded this past weekend, with Indiana and Minnesota taking the majority of the accolades.

[THREE // hawkeyes earn third straight big ten dual crown]
Congratulations to the Iowa Hawkeyes on capturing their third straight Big Ten regular season championship, following a 31-6 victory over No. 14 Wisconsin on Sunday.  The Hawkeyes, who posted their second-straight undefeated dual season with a 23-0 record (8-0 Big Ten), picked up their 61st straight dual win and 41st straight road dual win to close out the 2009-10 regular season.  In two weeks Iowa will wrestle for its third straight and 34th overall conference team title at the 2010 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, which will be hosted by Michigan, March 6-7.

[FOUR // big ten network boasts baseball, softball coverage]
The Big Ten Network announced this past week it has nearly doubled its coverage plans for the Big Ten's baseball and softball seasons. The network will produce at least 102 baseball and softball games for the Big Ten Network or this spring.  The network will nationally televise up to 33 Big Ten baseball games, including the entire Big Ten Baseball Tournament, and stream an additional 20 games for Twenty two Big Ten softball games will be televised this spring, plus an additional 29 games for the internet. A selected number of streamed games will be televised on delay through the network's Student U initiative.  Every telecast will be produced in high definition.

[FIVE // big ten baseball begins]
The 2010 Big Ten baseball season began on Friday, featuring seven of the conference's 10 programs in action over the weekend. Illinois was scheduled to open its 2010 campaign at home against Bradley, but snow in the area forced the games to be canceled. Reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion Indiana opened the campaign with three losses to San Diego, but rallied to take Sunday's finale.  Iowa captured a win over Illinois State on Saturday, but fell to Austin Peay on Sunday. Michigan swept both games with Jacksonville State and then dropped a pair to Texas Tech, while In Greenville, S.C., Michigan State topped Furman and Miami (Ohio), and dropped a 10-2 decision to Clemson.  Minnesota used a walk-off home run on Sunday to capture a win over Akron, which gave the Gophers' a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-three series.  Ohio State opened with three wins, including victories over North Florida, Florida A&M and Richmond.  Northwestern struggled in Rock Hill, S.C., falling twice to George Mason and once to Winthrop and Marist.  Penn State was scheduled to open its 2010 campaign in Farmville, Va., with games against Coppin State and Longwood, but saw its season-opening games canceled due to snow.

[SIX // buckeyes give baseball coach milestone win]
Among the Buckeyes three big baseball wins this past week, Sunday's 20-9 victory over Richmond was extra special for OSU mentor Bob Todd. The ABCA Hall of Famer earned his 1,000th career win and became the 41st head coach in college baseball history to achieve the feat.  As for the game, 12 Buckeyes had an RBI in the contest, including all nine starters. Matt Streng finished 2-for-5 with five runs scored and Chris Griffin finished 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI off the bench. Ryan Dew also had three hits and two runs scored for Ohio State.

[SEVEN // going for gold]
Ohio State junior pitcher Alex Wimmers was named one of 50 preseason candidates for USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award, it was announced on Thursday. One of the Big Ten's Co-Pitchers of the Year in 2009, Wimmers was a semifinalist for the award last season and has been listed as a preseason All-American by several organizations.

[EIGHT // the ultimate honor]
Former Michigan great George Sisler became the Big Ten's latest selection to the College Baseball Hall of Fame, the organization announced Thursday. Sisler becomes the fourth Wolverine in the last three years to earn the honor, joining coach Branch Rickey and players Jim Abbott and Barry Larkin. Other Big Ten players to have earned induction into the Hall throughout its history include Minnesota player Dave Winfield and coach Jim Siebert and Ohio State pitcher Steve Arlin. In addition, Jerry Kindall, a player under Siebert, was inducted for his success as a coach at Arizona.

[NINE // anything you can do, i can do better]
Sunday was a unique afternoon on the hardwood for Big Ten rivals Michigan State and Ohio State.  On the men's side, the No. 9 Buckeyes earned a tough 74-67 victory over the 11th-ranked Spartans in East Lansing.  OSU's Evan Turner tallied 20 points and 10 rebounds, while William Buford had 17 points and 10 boards to lead the Buckeyes. Durrell Summers scored 16 points for Michigan State in the loss.  However, both schools also took to the court in Columbus on the women's side, and it was the Spartans who earned an impressive 71-68 overtime upset over the No. 7 Buckeyes. Brittney Thomas scored 19 points for Michigan State, while Jantel Lavender led OSU with 24 points and 11 rebounds.  The game was also played before the second-largest crowd (11,827) to witness a women's game at Value City Arena.

[TEN // hummel, turner named finalists for national award]
Ohio State junior Evan Turner and Purdue junior Robbie Hummel were among the 16 finalists named by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Tuesday for the 2010 Oscar Robertson Trophy.  The nation's oldest award, and the only named after a former player, the Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded to the USBWA's national player of the year. The presentation of this year's award will take place on April 2 in Indianapolis in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four.

[ELEVEN // big ten shines on one of hockey's grandest stages]
Finally this week, the Big Ten was well represented in Sunday night's USA-Canada Olympic hockey matchup.  In Team USA's 5-3 victory, former conference standouts combined for four goals, four assists and 42 saves.  Michigan State's Ryan Miller - the Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year in 2001 - recorded 42 saves for Team USA, while Wisconsin grad Brian Rafalski recorded a pair of goals and one assist in the win.  Also in the victory, Ohio State's Ryan Kesler added a goal and Wisconsin's Ryan Suter notched two assists.  For Team Canada, Wisconsin's Dany Heatley scored a goal, while former Michigan State standout Duncan Keith posted an assist.