This Week in the Big Ten

Michigan sophomore Sara Driesenga impressed on the mound Saturday, throwing both a one-hitter and no-hitter at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

Feb. 25, 2013

[ONE // gopher women golden in the pool]
Minnesota won the 2013 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championship Saturday at the University Aquatic Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The title marked the Golden Gophers’ second consecutive crown and fifth overall.  Minnesota amassed 831.5 points over the four-day event.  Indiana finished second with 671.5 points and Penn State was third with 498.5 points. Ohio State tallied 384 points, while Purdue compiled 363 points to round out the top five in the final team standings.  Minnesota took home six individual Big Ten titles and three relay titles. Minnesota head coach Kelly Kremer picked up Swimming Coach of the Year laurels for the second consecutive year, while Wenbo Chen was named Diving Coach of the Year. Golden Gopher junior Maggie Keefer was tabbed Diver of the Championships for the second consecutive season. Indiana's Lindsay Vrooman claimed Swimmer of the Championships honors, while Hoosier teammate Brooklynn Snodgrass earned Freshman of the Year accolades.

[TWO // badgers the best in big ten track]
The Wisconsin men took home the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships title on Saturday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Three individual champions and five second-place finishes led Wisconsin to its 23rd overall Big Ten indoor title and first since 2008. The Badgers tallied 90 points over the two-day event, followed by Illinois with 87.5 points to finish second overall, the closest finish since 2003. Penn State came in third with 87 points, followed by Nebraska (86.7) and Minnesota (86) to round out the top five.  BTN will air tape-delay coverage of the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships at Noon ET on Saturday, March 2.

[THREE // illini incredible indoors]
The Illinois women won the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championship on Saturday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The Illini posted five individual crowns and two runner-up finishes en route to championship. The Illini scored 115 points at the championships, followed by second-place Nebraska (112), marking the closest score since the 2002 event. Michigan finished in third place with 89 points, followed by Penn State with 73 points and Ohio State tallied 66 for a fifth-place finish.  BTN will air tape-delay coverage of the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships at Noon ET on Saturday, March 2.

[FOUR // lady lions roar to big ten title]
With its 68-57 win over Michigan on Sunday afternoon, Penn State has clinched at least a share of the Big Ten Championship. It marks the program’s second consecutive Big Ten Championship and the Lady Lions’ seventh title overall.  The Lady Lions boast a 13-1 conference record and 23-3 mark overall. In Sunday’s game, Maggie Lucas led all Penn State scorers with 21 points. With Nebraska’s 66-46 win over Iowa on Sunday afternoon, the Huskers improved to 11-3 in conference play to remain in the running to share the regular season title with the Lady Lions.

[FIVE // buzzer beaters headline week in women’s hoops]
In addition to Penn State securing at least a share of the Big Ten women’s basketball title, which was witnessed by 14,173 fans, including a record 621 breast cancer survivors Sunday, a full week of hoops action took place this past week, highlighted by a pair of thrilling buzzer-beaters.  On Wednesday, Indiana took down No. 22/21 Purdue 62-61 on a buzzer-beater by senior Jasmine McGhee who finished with 26 points to lead all scorers.  The next night, Rachel Banham nailed a jumper with 0.02 seconds to play to lift Minnesota to a 57-56 victory over Ohio State in Columbus.

[SIX // hoosiers create distance in big ten race]
The Indiana men’s basketball team opened a bit of a gap at the top of the Big Ten standings this past week, as the Hoosiers are 12-2 in conference play this year, while Michigan State is second at 11-4.  Michigan and Wisconsin sit third at 10-4 each.  Top-ranked Indiana opened the week with a thrilling 72-68 win over No. 4/5 Michigan State on Tuesday.  Wednesday’s action was highlighted by No. 18/18 Ohio State dropping Minnesota, 71-45, and Thursday saw Illinois defeat Penn State, 64-59.  On Sunday, Michigan guard Trey Burke scored a game-high 26 points to become the seventh sophomore in program history to reach 1,000 career points, while No. 18 Ohio State knocked off the Spartans 68-60 in Columbus.

[SEVEN // men’s hoops trio honored for academics]
Academic All-America of the Year Aaron Craft of Ohio State was one of three Big Ten players selected to the Capital One Academic All-American Men's Basketball Team, as announced by CoSIDA on Thursday. Craft was named a first-team Academic All-American for the second straight year and is joined on the first team by Indiana sophomore Cody Zeller, making the Big Ten the only conference with multiple first-team standouts. Indiana's Jordan Hulls was also named to the Academic All-America squad, earning a spot on the third team, making the Hoosiers the only program with two selections. The three Big Ten student-athletes honored as Academic All-Americans is tied for the most of any conference in the country. It is the second straight season the Big Ten has had three student-athletes earn Academic All-America laurels.

[EIGHT // sweet home chicago]
The conference office announced Thursday that the 2013 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, scheduled for March 14-17 at the United Center in Chicago, is now sold out. After the original allotment of general public tickets for the 2013 event sold out in January, the conference office made a limited number of additional all-session packages available on Feb. 1, but all tickets have now been sold.  The 2013 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament returns to Chicago, which hosted the inaugural event in 1998 and will serve as the site for the eighth time in the tournament’s 16-year history. The conference tournament averaged 18,882 fans per session when the event was last held at the United Center in 2007. The men’s tournament set total and average attendance records while in Chicago in 2001 with 109,769 fans in attendance for an average of 21,954 patrons per session.

[NINE // gophers golden on the mat too]
For the second year in a row, the Minnesota wrestling team beat Oklahoma State to win the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Dual ChampionshipNo. 3 Minnesota handled the No. 1 Cowboys, 28-9, on Saturday, which marked the eighth time that Minnesota has captured the title.

[TEN // big ten tandem named to ita all-tournament team]
Two Big Ten men's tennis players were named to the 2013 ITA All-Tournament team following the ITA National Men's Indoor Championships, it was announced on Friday. Ohio State's Blaz Rola was named to the team in the No. 1 singles position, while Rola and teammate Kevin Metka earned all-tournament recognition in the No. 3 doubles slot.  For the complete team, click here.

[ELEVEN // a-maize-ing pitching performance]
Congratulations to Michigan sophomore Sara Driesenga, who threw her first career no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Hofstra after combining for a one-hitter in a 6-0 victory over UC Davis Saturday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic held at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. 

[TWELVE // pioneers of the game]
Finally this week, BTN aired a 30-minute special Black History Month presentation called “Football Pioneers” on Friday.  Hosted by Howard Griffith, the show featured interviews with former Northwestern head coach Dennis Green, who was just the second African-American head coach in Division I history. BTN also talked with Sidney Williams, a former Wisconsin quarterback who was Big Ten’s first African-American starting quarterback, and current Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell.  For more on the show, click here.