Feb. 26, 2012
[ONE // michigan men cool in the pool]
Congratulations to the Michigan Wolverines, who won their second consecutive Big Ten Men's Swimming & Diving Championship Saturday at the Campus and Recreation Wellness Center in Iowa City, Iowa. The Wolverines totaled 738.5 points over the four-day event, while Ohio State finished second with 552.5 points and Indiana was third with 549 points. Minnesota (403) and Iowa (395) finished in the top five, while Penn State (332), Purdue (316), Wisconsin (225), Northwestern (157) and Michigan State (113) rounded out the field. First- and second-team All-Big Ten selections were also announced and those award winners can be found by clicking here.
[TWO // hooray for hoosiers]
For the first time since 1992, the Indiana's men's track and field program has won the Big Ten Championship. Indiana got individual titles from Andy Bayer, who scored 26 points in the meet, Kind Butler and Darius King on the final day to put an end to its’ 20-year drought. Leading by two and heading into the final event, Indiana sealed the victory in the 4x400m relay, taking fifth. The Hoosiers had 104 points to defeat second-place Minnesota by four after finishing second to the Gophers in 2011. Nebraska (99), Ohio State (94.33) and Wisconsin (75) rounded out the top five, while Penn State (51.33), Illinois (49), Iowa (45), Michigan State (32.33), Michigan (30) and Purdue (21) closed out the field.
[THREE // protecting their house]
Congrats to the Nebraska women’s track and field team, which completed the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships in historic fashion with a 114.50-106 win over defending champion Ohio State. The 2012 Championship gave the Huskers back-to-back indoor conference champions as they captured the Big 12 Indoor Conference Championship in 2011. Producing three individual champions during the two-day meet, the Husker women earned the second Big Ten title in school history and the first team title for the track and field program. Penn State (99), Illinois (79) and Michigan State (77.50) finished third through fifth, respectively, while Wisconsin (58), Michigan (57), Indiana (48), Purdue (31), Iowa (21), and Minnesota (11) rounded out the field.
[FOUR // lady lion luxury]
With 13,849 fans, including a record 505 survivors, filling the Bryce Jordan Center, the No. 11/15 Penn State Lady Lions (23-5, 13-3) defeated Minnesota (14-16, 6-10), 74-51, Sunday afternoon in the Sixth Annual WBCA Pink Zone game. The Lady Lions clinched the Big Ten regular-season championship outright for the fourth time in school history and earned their sixth regular-season crown overall. The 13,849 fans in attendance account for the fourth-largest crowd in school history and the largest to witness a Pink Zone game, which raised close to $160,000 in the fight against breast cancer Penn State's 13 conference wins are the most wins since the 2004-05 season.
[FIVE // going back to indiana….]
The Big Ten announced the bracket on Sunday for the 2012 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, with conference champion Penn State earning the No. 1 seed and first round bye. The tournament is set for March 1-4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. After finishing the season with a 13-3 mark in Big Ten play, Penn State receives the tournament’s top seed for the fifth time in school history, and the first since 2004. The Lady Lions put together their second consecutive 20-win season, closing out the regular season with a 23-5 overall record. They will play their first tournament game in Friday’s second session at 6 p.m. ET. Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue all put together 11-5 conference records, creating a four-way tie for second place. By virtue of their 3-0 combined record against other teams, the Buckeyes earned the tournament’s No. 2 seed. The Hawkeyes enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed, the Boilermakers receive the No. 4 seed and the Spartans earn the No. 5 seed. Rounding out the field is No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 10 Illinois, No. 11 Northwestern, and No. 12 Indiana.
[SIX // spartans sit on top of standings]
Speaking of crowning champions in Big Ten basketball, congratulations to Michigan State, which has clinched a share of the 2011-12 Big Ten men’s basketball title after the Spartans won on Saturday, and Michigan and Ohio State both lost over the weekend. The championship is Michigan State’s 13th overall, third in the last four years and the seventh for head coach Tom Izzo.
[SEVEN // just two weeks from indy]
Beginning Monday, Feb. 27, at 10 a.m. ET, both all-session and single-session tickets for the 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will be on sale to the general public. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000, and through the Bankers Life Fieldhouse box office. Single-session ticket prices range from $20 to $80 depending on the session and seat location. All-session tickets are available for $240 or $175 depending on seat location, which represents a savings over purchasing single-session tickets for all six sessions. Orders will be limited to eight all-session or single-session tickets. Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis will be the site of the men's tournament from March 8-11. Tournament week features all 12 Big Ten teams competing in 11 games over four days for the 2012 tournament crown and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
[EIGHT // hoop smarts]
The Big Ten is tied for the lead among all conferences with four men's and women's basketball players named Capital One Academic All-Americans, CoSIDA announced on Thursday. The Big Ten leads the nation with three men's basketball Academic All-Americans, as Ohio State's Aaron Craft was a first-team honoree, Northwestern's Drew Crawford earned a spot on the second team, and Michigan's Zack Novak received third-team recognition. In addition, Purdue women's basketball player Brittany Rayburn earned second-team honors.
[NINE // going green]
Congratulations to Michigan State's Draymond Green, who was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association announced on Tuesday. Green is the second Big Ten player to earn the honor this season, after Illinois' Brandon Paul won the accolade for the week of Jan. 15. Green, a 6-7 senior from Saginaw, Mich., had a pair of 20-point, 10-rebound games in Michigan State's wins over Wisconsin and at Purdue two weeks ago. Green, among 20 players named to the Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List on Feb. 6, entered the week leading the Big Ten in rebounds (10.5 per game) and double-doubles (15). He is the only player in the conference ranked in the top ten in points, rebounds and assists.
[TEN // a michigan man]
Michigan's Sam Mikulak was named NCAA Division I Gymnast of the Week, the Collegiate Gymnastics Association announced on Wednesday. Mikulak, the reigning back-to-back Big Ten Gymnast of the Week, posted an all-around score of 90.00 and took place in five of the six events to lead the No. 7 Wolverines to a tri-meet win over Ohio State and SUNY Brockport.
[ELEVEN // getting a hold on the rankings]
The NCAA announced its qualifier allocations for the 2012 Wrestling Championships this past Thursday, with the Big Ten setting a conference record and receiving the most of any conference with 74. The Big Ten will send at least five automatic qualifiers in all 10 weight classes, including 10 automatic bids at heavyweight, and boasts the highest amount of qualifiers of any conference in each class. The automatic bids will determine 290 of the 330 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships, while the remaining 40 slots will be filled by four at-large selections in each class. The 74 qualifiers marks the most in the Big Ten since the NCAA implemented the current qualifying process and 10 more than last year's total of 64. For the complete breakdown of qualifier allocations, click here. The final coaches' panel rankings can be seen here, while the RPI rankings can be found here.
[TWELVE // tourney ticket time]
Finally this week, single-session tickets for the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, set for March 3 and 4 at Purdue University's Mackey Arena, are currently on sale in the Purdue University Athletic Ticket Office. Single-session tickets are priced at $18 per session for reserved seating in each of Saturday's two sessions, and $15/$12 (Adult/Youth) for general admission, while Sunday's prices are set at $22 and $18/$15 for the day's single session. More than 2,200 all-session tickets already have been sold for the event, with just fewer than 1,000 reserved seats still available for purchase.