This Week in the Big Ten

March 12, 2018

[ONE // four men’s teams ready to dance]
Four Big Ten teams were selected to participate in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, as announced on Sunday on the NCAA Men's Basketball Selection Show on TBS. Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue will all be taking part in this year's tournament. All games will be televised on CBS Sports, TBS, TNT or TruTV. Michigan, the Big Ten Tournament champion, is the No. 3 seed in the West Region and will head to the Wichita first and second round site. The Wolverines play on Thursday vs. No. 14 Montana, with the winner facing either No. 6 Houston or No. 11 San Diego State. Michigan State, the Big Ten champion, is a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region and travels to Detroit for first and second round games. The Spartans will face No. 14 Bucknell on Friday with the winner advancing to face either No. 6 TCU or No. 11 Arizona State/Syracuse. Ohio State is the No. 5 seed in the West Region and heads to Boise for its first and second round site. The Buckeyes will square off with No. 12 South Dakota State on Thursday with the winner taking on No. 4 Gonzaga or No. 13 UNC Greensboro. Purdue, is the No. 2 seed in the East Region and will face No. 15 Cal State-Fullerton on Friday at the Detroit first and second round site. The winner of that game will play the winner of No. 7 Arkansas vs. No. 10 Butler. Additionally, Nebraska and Penn State accepted bids to the National Invitation Tournament on Sunday night.

[TWO // btn sees spike in viewership of big ten men’s basketball tournament]
The 2018 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament on BTN delivered significant audiences, featuring the most-watched programming across all cable sports networks in BTN’s 12 metered markets over four doubleheaders on Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2, it was announced by BTN this past week. The average audience for the sessions, two on Thursday and two on Friday, bested competing programming on every other national cable sports network in Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Additionally, the 2018 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament not only produced BTN’s largest aggregate tournament viewership ever, up 99% over the 2017 tournament and 142% over the 2016 tournament, but also the top basketball viewing audience over a three-day period in network history.

[THREE // usbwa announces all-district teams]
The 2017-18 USBWA Men’s All-District Teams were announced this past Tuesday with 10 Big Ten students recognized on the District II, V and VI teams. Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop earned the District V Player of the Year award while head coach Chris Holtmann was named the District V Coach of the Year. Penn State’s Tony Carr was honored in District II, Nebraska’s James Palmer, Jr., was recognized in District VI, while eight standouts shined in District V, including Indiana’s Juwan Morgan, Michigan’s Moritz Wagner, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston, Ohio State’s Bates-Diop, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Vincent Edwards, and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ. The full teams can be viewed here.

[FOUR // top-two seeds to meet for big ten hockey title]
No. 1 seed and Big Ten regular season champion Notre Dame and No. 2 Ohio State will meet on the ice for the Big Ten title Saturday, March 17 at 8 p.m. in South Bend, Indiana. The title bout will be carried live on BTN. This past Saturday, the Fighting Irish defeated No. 4 seed Penn State, 3-2, while the Buckeyes got past rival and No. 3 seed Michigan by the same score in overtime. In addition to tournament action, finalists were announced on Wednesday for major individual postseason awards. The winners, along with All-Big Ten teams, will be announced on March 13.

[FIVE // penn state’s lucas captures national title in men’s weight throw]
Penn State netted 18 points to tie for 10th overall at the NCAA Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championships this past week. Nebraska tied for 28th with eight points, while Indiana (7) tied for 34th, Ohio State (6) tied for 36th, and Michigan (4) and Wisconsin (4) tied for 45th. Individually, Penn State’s David Lucas captured the NCAA crown in the weight throw, while Michigan’s Joseph Ellis placed fifth. Nebraska’s Antoine Lloyd was second in the 60-meter hurdles, Penn State’s Isaiah Harris and Indiana’s Daniel Kuhn were second and fourth in the 800 meters, Ohio State’s Zack Bazile was fourth in the long jump, and Wisconsin’s Oliver Hoare was eighth in the 3,000 meters. Ohio State’s Nick Demaline was ninth in the shot put, Nebraska’s Landon Bartel was ninth in the high jump, and Kaiwan Culmer was 10th in the triple jump. Wisconsin and Indiana finished sixth and seventh in the Distance Medley Relay, and Ohio State and Iowa were eighth and ninth in the 4x400-meter relay.

[SIX // gophers, boilermakers pace big ten women at ncaa indoor track and field championships]
The Minnesota and Purdue women’s indoor track and field programs led the conference contingent by tying for 14th at the NCAA Championship this past week with 14 points each. Iowa tied for 32nd overall with seven points, followed by Wisconsin (6) and Indiana (5) in 35th and 37th, respectively. Penn State (4) tied for 40th and Ohio State (3) tied for 45th to round out the scoring for Big Ten squads. Individually, Wisconsin’s Georgia Ellenwood and Penn State’s Madeline Holmberg were third and seventh, respectively, in the pentathlon. Purdue’s Brionna Thomas and Iowa’s Briana Guillory were fifth and sixth in the 400 meters. Iowa’s Jahisha Thomas was fifth in the long jump and Minnesota’s Kiley Sabin was fifth in the shot put. In the weight throw, Ohio State’s Sada Olatoye and Purdue’s Sarah Loesch were sixth and seventh. Penn State’s Danae Rivers was seventh in the 800 meters. Additionally, Indiana was fourth in the Distance Medley Relay, and Purdue was second in the 4x400-meter relay, while Iowa was ninth.

[SEVEN // big ten wrestling preps for another run at an ncaa title]
A total of 88 wrestlers representing all 14 Big Ten programs will be among the 330 competitors vying for national titles at the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, March 15-17. Of the 10 weight classes, the Big Ten is best represented at 165 pounds with 11 grapplers, while 10 standouts will take to the mat at 125, 141, and 149. With 11 Big Ten programs ranked in the latest USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll, No. 2 Ohio State leads the conference contingent with 10 Buckeyes in all 10 weight classes, while No. 1 Penn State, No. 4 Michigan and No. 7 Iowa will field nine participants. The remainder of Big Ten’s representation includes No. 13 Nebraska (7), No. 18 Minnesota (7), No. 21 Purdue (7), No. 22 Wisconsin (7), No. 19 Rutgers (6), No. 16 Illinois (5), No. 17 Northwestern (4), Indiana (4), Maryland (3), and Michigan State (1).

[EIGHT // diamond notes]
Seven Big Ten baseball squads finished the week at or above .500 ball, including Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Rutgers. Nine teams currently boast overall records of .500 or better, led by Indiana at 11-4 (.733), Purdue at 9-4 (.692), and Illinois and Iowa at 8-4 (.667). In softball, No. 22 Michigan won its 12th straight game on Sunday to move to 18-6 overall, while Ohio State remains atop the standings in non-conference play with a 14-2 mark. Wisconsin scored a 2-0 upset over No. 24/25 USC Upstate this past week. Elsewhere, after being named Big Ten Player of the Week this past Monday, Michigan junior infielder Faith Canfield picked up two national awards, earning National Player of the Week accolades from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and espnW. She is the first Big Ten softball student to receive these honors since the week of April 3, 2017, when Nebraska’s Kaylan Jablonski was chosen as the NFCA National Player of the Week and Ohio State’s Emily Clark was named the espnW National Player of the Week.

[NINE // johns hopkins scores big road win at syracuse]
This past week in Big Ten men’s lacrosse, Johns Hopkins scored a huge road win as the 17th-ranked Blue Jays dominated No. 6 Syracuse 18-7 on Saturday. On Friday, Michigan defended its home turf with a 14-9 victory over Air Force. No. 2 Maryland just missed out in a battle of the nation’s top two teams, falling 11-10 at home to No. 1 Albany (NY). Elsewhere, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers fell in non-conference action.

[TEN // women’s lacrosse teams dominant over the week]
Finally this week, Big Ten women’s lacrosse captured six wins in eight contests this past week, including a top-10 battle with No. 5 Maryland besting No. 8 Syracuse, 18-11. Ohio State defeated Binghamton on Friday, John Hopkins and Northwestern stopped Hofstra and Marquette, respectively, while Sunday’s wins went to Michigan and Penn State as well as the Terps.