March 13, 2011
[ONE // buckeyes top penn state for big ten tournament crown]
Congratulations to the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, who earned a 71-60 victory over sixth-seeded Penn State Sunday for the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Championship. The Buckeyes captured their second consecutive Big Ten Tournament title, becoming just the second team in conference history to accomplish the feat. Michigan State won back-to-back crowns in 1999 and 2000. In addition, OSU claimed its third Big Ten Tournament title, the most of any team. Named to the All-Tournament Team was Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas, Northwestern’s Michael Thompson, Ohio State’s William Buford, Jon Diebler and Jared Sullinger, and Penn State’s Talor Battle, while Sullinger was named the Most Outstanding Player. All week long BigTen.org provided extensive coverage of the tournament in the Big Ten Blog, which can be found here.
[TWO // big ten’s big seven earn ncaa bids; osu selected as overall top seed]
A record-tying seven Big Ten teams were selected Sunday to participate in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin will represent the conference in this year's tournament. Seven Big Ten teams also participated in 1990 and 2009. The Buckeyes were tabbed as the overall No. 1 seed in the tournament and the top seed in the East Region and will start at the Cleveland, Ohio second/third round site. The Buckeyes will face the Texas-San Antonio/Alabama State winner from the First Four matchup. Purdue is the No. 3 seed in the Southwest Region and will be in Chicago for its second/third round games. The Boilermakers will take on No. 14 Saint Peter's to open the tourney. Wisconsin is the No. 4 seed in the Southeast Region and will travel to the Tucson, Ariz second/third round site. First up for the Badgers will be No. 13 Belmont. Michigan State is the No. 10 seed in the Southeast Region and will visit the Tampa, Fla second/third round site. The Spartans are slated to play No. 7 UCLA first. Michigan is the No. 8 seed in the West Region and will be traveling to the Charlotte, N.C. second/third round site. Up first for the Wolverines is No. 9 Tennessee. Illinois is the No. 9 seed in the Southwest Region and will head to Tulsa for its second/third round matchups. The Fighting Illini will first face No. 8 UNLV. Penn State is the No. 10 seed in the West Region and travels the Tucson, Ariz. second/third round site. The Nittany Lions will take on No. 7 Temple to open tourney play.
[THREE // limited tickets remain for big ten-hosted ncaa action]
The NCAA and Big Ten announced on Sunday that a limited number of all-session tickets remain on sale for the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Second and Third Rounds, to be held Friday and Sunday, March 18 and 20, at the United Center in Chicago. The 68-team field for the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship was announced Sunday and the eight teams set to play in Chicago are Akron, Florida State, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Purdue, St. Peter's, Texas A&M and either Southern California or Virginia Commonwealth. Fans can purchase tickets online at www.ncaa.com/mbbtickets. The price of an all-session ticket is $243 and includes three sessions -- two sessions (four games) on March 18 and one session (two games) on March 20. Single-session tickets will be sold only if seats remain available on March 17, 2011.
[FOUR // big ten hoops boasts 10 all-district honorees]
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced this past Wednesday its Division I All-District teams, naming 10 Big Ten men's basketball players to the District 7 first and second teams. Student-athletes selected to the All-District teams are eligible for the State Farm Coaches' Division I All-America teams, which will be announced on Saturday, April 2. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, Penn State’s Talor Battle, Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson and Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor were named to the first team, while Michigan’s Darius Morris, Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe, Ohio State’s William Buford and David Lighty, and Purdue’s E'Twaun Moore were tabbed as second-team honorees.
[FIVE // illinois hurdler, indiana jumper earn ncaa track and field titles]
For the third straight year, Indiana and Minnesota led all Big Ten conference teams at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Hoosiers and Gophers both tied with 27 team points at the conclusion of the two-day event this past week. Iowa racked up 20 points as the Hawkeyes tied for eighth place, followed by Penn State tied for 11th place with 16 team points. Illinois earned 23 points while Purdue, Michigan State and Wisconsin tallied 4.50, 4.00 and 3.00 respective team points. Among the individual highlights, Andrew Riley of Illinois grabbed his first NCAA Indoor title, sprinting to victory in the 60-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 7.58, while Hoosier junior Derek Drouin claimed his third NCAA title in the high jump, breaking the all-time Big Ten indoor record with a clearance of 2.33m (7-7.75).
[SIX // men’s track and field nabs regional honors]
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the NCAA Division I indoor track & field 2011 season this past Monday with the Big Ten earning several awards. In the Great Lakes Region, Indiana’s Andy Bayer and Derek Drouin were named Track and Field Athletes of the Year, respectively. The Hoosiers’ Ron Helmer was tabbed Coach of the Year in the region, while Wisconsin’s Mick Byrne was selected as Assistant Coach of the Year. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, Penn State’s Ryan Foster and Joe Kovacs were tabbed as the Track and Field Athletes of the Year, respectively, while Minnesota’s Steve Plasencia and Iowa’s Joey Woody were named Head and Assistant Coaches of the Year.
[SEVEN // wolverines lead all big ten squads at ncaa women’s track and field championships]
Michigan led all Big Ten teams as competition came to a close at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M University on Saturday. The Wolverines tallied 12 team points to finish tied for 12th place. Rounding out the Big Ten contingent was Wisconsin (T36), Indiana (T36), Ohio State (T40), Penn State (T45), Illinois (T50), Iowa (T50), Minnesota (T50) and Michigan State (T57). Oregon earned the NCAA team crown with 67 points, followed by Texas with 38 and LSU with 37. Individually, Michigan’s Jillian Smith finished runner-up in the 800-meter run (2:04.78), while Indiana’s Faith Sherrill took fourth in the shot put with a throw of 17.08m (56-0.5). Sherrill had the best finish in the shot put indoors by a Hoosier since 1989.
[EIGHT // women’s track and field earns regional honors]
Like the men’s awards, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the Region Athletes and Coaches of the Year for the NCAA Women’s Division I indoor track & field 2011 season last Monday. In the Great Lakes Region, Ohio State’s Chrstina Manning was named the Track Athlete of the Year, while Indiana’s Faith Sherrill was tabbed as the Field Athlete of the Year. Ohio State’s Karen Dennis was named the Coach of the Year in the region, while Michigan’s Mike McGuire took home top assistant honors. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, Penn State’s Chris Johnson was named the Assistant Coach of the Year.
[NINE // 55 swimmers, six divers selected for ncaa men’s swimming and diving championships]
A total of 61 Big Ten swimmers and divers have earned spots in the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be hosted by Minnesota at the University Aquatics Center, March 24-26. On the swimming side, Michigan leads the way with 12 representatives, followed by Ohio State (11), Indiana (9), Minnesota (8), Penn State (5), Iowa (4), Northwestern (3), Michigan State (2) and Wisconsin (1). Six of the seven “Zone C” diving slots were won by Big Ten divers this past weekend, including Indiana’s David Piercy (2nd, 3-meter) and Darian Schmidt (3rd, 1-meter), Ohio State’s Christian Holstein (4th, 3-meter) and Purdue’s David Boudia (1st, platform), JP Perez (3rd, 3-meter) and Danny Cox (2nd, platform).
[TEN // 58 swimmers, seven divers earn bids for ncaa women’s championships]
A total of 65 Big Ten swimmers and divers have earned spots in the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, which will be hosted by the University of Texas at the Texas Swimming Center in Austin, March 17-19. Indiana leads the way with 13 swimmers, followed by Minnesota (12), Penn State (9), Purdue (7), Michigan (6), Ohio State (6) and Wisconsin (5). On the diving side, seven Big Ten student-athletes were among the top 10 finishers at the “Zone C” championships this past weekend. Earning NCAA bids were Indiana’s Gabriella Agostino (1st, 3-meter) and Amy Cozad (2nd, platform), Michigan’s Amanda Lohman (5th, 3-meter), Ohio State’s Bianca Alvarez (1st, 1-meter) and Katie Bell (3rd, platform), and Purdue’s Kara Cook (1st, platform) and Erin Mertz (2nd, 1-meter).
[ELEVEN // big ten wrestling sends 68 to ncaa championships]
Finally this week, the brackets for the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships were announced, with 68 Big Ten wrestlers earning spots in the field of 330. Sixty-four conference grapplers punched their tickets to the national tournament at last weekend's Big Ten Championships, while four earned at-large berths from the NCAA selection committee. The 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships are set for March 17-19 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.