Feb. 28, 2010
[ONE // the celebration continues]
When looking back at the milestone achievements of African-Americans in Big Ten athletics, another celebration of Black History Month continues on the court, on the field, on the diamond and in the classrooms across the Big Ten universities. This past month the Big Ten took an in-depth look at several former student-athletes who have made a difference on and off the field of play. Take a look at some of the current Big Ten student-athletes whose everyday contributions to forwarding the conference mission also continue to build a rich tradition of black history in Big Ten athletics.
[TWO // ohio state claims swimming and diving championship]
Ohio State captured its 13th Big Ten Men’s Swimming and Diving Championship, and its first since 1956, on Sunday evening in front of a home crowd at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The Buckeyes earned the conference crown with 860.5 points – 355 more than second-place Michigan. Minnesota finished the meet in third place with 497 tallies, followed by Purdue (417) and Indiana (283) rounding out the top five in the overall team standings. Iowa (223), Penn State (219), Wisconsin (217), Michigan State (205) and Northwestern (169) concluded the event in positions No. 6-11, respectively. In addition, individual honors were announced Sunday. A complete list of those awards can be found by clicking here.
[THREE // minnesota earns men’s track and field title]
A sweep of the top three places in the heptathlon and five other individual champions propelled Minnesota to its second straight Big Ten Men's Indoor Track and Field Championship on Sunday. The Golden Gophers totaled 160.50 team points, the second most in Big Ten Championship history, to easily outdistance the rest of the field. Ohio State was second with 112.50 points and Wisconsin was third with 81 points. The point total also bettered the margin of last year's title, when Minnesota outscored second-place Michigan by 42 points. This marks the first back-to-back indoor titles for Minnesota, and the third overall in program history. Purdue (67) and Iowa (56) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while Indiana (51) and Penn State (51) tied for sixth. Michigan (42), Michigan State (41) and Illinois (40) rounded out the field.
[FOUR // penn state takes home women’s track and field crown]
Penn State captured its second-ever Big Ten Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship in front of a home crowd at Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track on Saturday afternoon. The Championships host posted four Big Ten titles and two runner-up finishes on the final day of competition to total 111 points for its first team title since 2004. Ohio State placed second with 88 points, followed by Indiana (83) and Minnesota (82) in third and fourth place, respectively. Wisconsin improved upon its seventh-place finish from last year’s meet, rounding out the top-five spots with 72 tallies. Rounding out the field was Purdue (71), Illinois (67), Michigan (61), Iowa (36) and Michigan State (30).
[FIVE // big ten women’s basketball tourney bracket announced]
The Big Ten revealed on Sunday the bracket for the 2010 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament, which will be held March 4-7 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. For the sixth-straight year, Ohio State will enter as the tournament's No. 1 seed, having finished the Big Ten season with a 15-3 record. Michigan State is the No. 2 seed, while No. 3 Iowa, No. 4 Wisconsin and No. 5 Purdue round out the top five. Penn State will be the sixth seed, followed by No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Indiana, No. 9 Illinois, No. 10 Northwestern and No. 11 Minnesota. Click here to view the official release and complete bracket.
[SIX // trio of men’s basketball standouts named naismith finalists]
The Big Ten saw three of its own named among the 30 midseason candidates for the Naismith Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Wednesday, including Michigan State's Kalin Lucas, Purdue's Robbie Hummel and Ohio State's Evan Turner. One of the most prestigious awards in college basketball, the Naismith Trophy is presented annually to the national player of the year. Finalists for the award will be announced on CBS during first-round action of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and the award will be bestowed upon its winner at the 2010 Final Four in Indianapolis. Mark your calendars for March 22, to begin casting your votes for the player of your choice. Fans will be eligible to cast their votes until 11:50 p.m. ET on April 3.
[SEVEN // women’s standouts boast a trio for naismith honor as well]
Illinois' Jenna Smith, Ohio State's Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis and Penn State's Tyra Grant were named among the 30 midseason candidates for the 2010 Women's Naismith Award presented by AT&T, the organization announced on Thursday. The Big Ten tied for second among all conferences with four players on the list, while Ohio State is one of just four schools with multiple players to be named.
[EIGHT // ohio state’s prahalis named finalist for another national award]
In addition to the Naismith Award honor, Ohio State sophomore Samantha Prahalis was named this week as one of eight finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate point guard in Division I women's basketball. An All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year candidate, Prahalis leads the league and ranks second nationally with 8.0 assists per game. Sportswriters from across the country have determined this final nominee list of eight players and will then select three finalists and one winner at the beginning of April. The announcement of the three finalists and one winner will be made during the Final Four Weekend (April 4-6, 2010).
[NINE // big ten falls to big east in annual baseball challenge]
The BIG EAST Conference captured seven of 10 games Sunday to take home the second annual Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge by a 17-10 margin. The Big Ten owned a 6-1 advantage after the first night of action on Friday, but the BIG EAST rallied Saturday to tie the series at 10-10 entering the Challenge’s final day. Check out complete coverage of the 2010 Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge, which was hosted by the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission.
[TEN // fighting illini take home nfca leadoff classic crown]
Congratulations to the Illinois softball team on capturing the NFCA Leadoff Classic Sunday, beating Arkansas 7-4 to complete a perfect 5-0 weekend. The Fighting Illini won their eighth straight game and improved to 14-1 on the season. Illinois and No. 6 Missouri were the only teams to go undefeated at the 23-team Leadoff Classic, with the Orange and Blue being crowned champions due to their run differential over opponents. For the weekend, the Illini outscored their opponents 43-14 and posted a team batting average of .341 while hitting eight home runs. The NFCA Leadoff Classic is one of the elite tournaments in the country, as the Illini were able to come out on top against a loaded field that included No. 4 Michigan, No. 6 Missouri, No. 9 Alabama, No. 11 Georgia Tech, No. 18 Louisiana Lafayette, No. 20 UMass and No. 22 Florida State.
[ELEVEN // former big ten commish to be inducted in hall of fame]
Finally this week, former Big Ten Commissioner Wayne Duke was among eight individuals announced Wednesday to be enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2010 induction ceremonies will be held on Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010, at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the historic Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. Duke will be inducted as a contributor and was the NCAA’s assistant executive director for 11 years before spending eight with the Big Eight and 18 with the Big Ten. He was chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee for four years and championed allowing more than one team from a conference into the NCAA tournament.