This Week in the Big Ten

April 25, 2010

[ONE // purdue claims yet another big ten women’s golf title]
Congratulations to the Purdue Boilermakers on clinching their third-straight Big Ten Women’s Golf Championship on Sunday, after finishing with a team total of 6-over-par 1158 in Madison, Wis.  Michigan State finished second in the team standings with 33-over-par 1185 performance, while Ohio State was third with 1189 and Wisconsin was fourth with 1194.  Individually, Purdue’s Laura Gonzalez-Escallon was the third-straight Boilermaker to win medalist honors, shooting a tournament record 280 by way of 72-70-70-69 totals.  In addition, Michigan State’s Laura Kueny was named Big Ten Golfer of the Year, Purdue’s Gonzalez-Escallon was named Freshman of the Year, and Boilermaker coach Devon Brouse won Coach of the Year honors. Purdue’s Maude-Aimee LeBlanc won the Mary Fossum Player of the Year Award, which is given to the player who has the lowest cumulative stroke average vs. par.  All-Conference teams and Sportsmanship Award honorees were also announced and can be viewed here.

[TWO // buckeyes earn outright big ten men’s tennis crown]
The Ohio State men’s tennis team has done it again!  Congrats to the Buckeyes on claiming their fifth-consecutive outright Big Ten regular-season title Sunday at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.  OSU picked up four singles victories en route to a 4-3 win over No. 27 Wisconsin to finish the regular-season an undefeated 10-0 in conference play for the fifth straight year.

[THREE // all set for big ten men’s tennis tournament]
The Big Ten office announced on Sunday the seedings and pairings for the 2010 Big Ten Men’s Tennis Tournament set to begin on Thursday at the Indiana University Tennis Center. Ohio State will enter as the No. 1 seed and has won 59 straight matches against Big Ten opponents.  Illinois is the tournament’s No. 2 seed, while Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota earned seeds 3-4-5, respectively.  Rounding out the tournament is No. 6 Indiana, No. 7 Iowa, No. 8 Penn State, No. 9 Northwestern, No. 10 Purdue and No. 11 Michigan State.

[FOUR // wolverines earn outright women’s tennis championship]
There is a new team atop the Big Ten Women’s Tennis standings.  Congratulations to the No. 4-ranked Michigan Wolverines on earning the 2010 outright conference title following a perfect 10-0 record.  The win marks the Wolverines' first Big Ten championship since 1997, the last time U-M finished 10-0 in the conference.  Michigan also hit the 20-win mark for only the third time in school history (1990, 1997).

[FIVE // michigan earns top seed in big ten women’s tennis tournament]
The seedings and pairings have been determined for the 2010 Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex on the University of Iowa campus. The top seed in this year’s tournament will be the Michigan Wolverines, who ended second-seeded Northwestern’s string of 11 straight conference championships.  No. 2 seed Northwestern received a first round bye, as did third-seeded Illinois, while fourth-seeded Iowa will face No. 5 Indiana.  Rounding out the field is No. 6 Ohio State, No. 7 Purdue, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 9 Minnesota, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 11 Penn State.

[SIX // big ten gymnastics trio posts impressive finishes at ncaa championship]
On the final night of the 2010 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships, three Big Ten gymnasts garnered top eight honors in four different events Saturday at the Steven C. O’Connell Center on the University of Florida campus.  Michigan’s Natalie Beilstein placed seventh on floor, teammate Kylee Botterman was seventh on vault, and Penn State’s Brandi Personett was second on floor and seventh on balance beam.  Personett finished second in Saturday’s floor final, scoring a 9.900, and was seventh on the balance beam, recording a 9.8375. The senior and Honda Award candidate earned first team All-American honors on the balance beam, floor exercise and all-around.

[SEVEN // spring is in the air and spring championships are on the btn]
May is the month for spring championships, and the Big Ten Network announced Thursday it will televise eight Big Ten events in the sports of baseball, men’s and women’s golf, rowing, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.  Each of these events will be produced in high definition.  Broadcast coverage begins at 5 p.m. ET on May 9 with the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament, while the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Tournament will follow at 7 p.m.  The Big Ten Network will televise the Big Ten Rowing Championships at noon on May 16, followed by the conference’s Women’s Golf Championships later that day.  On Saturday, May 22, the network will have coverage of the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships from Indiana, while the Big Ten Men’s Golf Championships will air on Sunday, May 23.  For the second straight year, the Big Ten Network will televise every game of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament live. The event will take place May 26-29, with a game on May 30 if necessary, from Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Coverage begins with two opening-round games at noon ET on Wed., May 26.

[EIGHT // former football standouts selected in nfl draft]
This past week 34 former Big Ten football players representing all 11 conference institutions were selected in the 2010 National Football League Draft.  Three league standouts were taken in the first round as Michigan linebacker Brandon Graham was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 13, Iowa offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga was taken 23rd by the Green Bay Packers, and Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick was selected 28th by the Miami Dolphins.  Click here for a complete look at the 34 Big Ten players drafted this past week.

[NINE // spring football concludes]
After five Big Ten football teams took to the field last week for their Spring Games, the remaining six squads concluded their campaigns this past weekend.  Illinois saw its Orange team best the Blue squad 24-6, Michigan State’s Green team beat the White squad 17-10, and Ohio State’s Gray outlasting the Scarlet, 17-14.  In Penn State’s Blue-White Game, the Nittany Lions’ Blue team took home a 17-3 victory.  Minnesota and Northwestern also brought their respective Spring seasons to a close on Saturday. 

[TEN // big ten football ready for prime time]
Big Ten institutions released game times and television plans Wednesday for 12 home football contests to appear on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or the Big Ten Network. At least one Big Ten contest will be featured during prime time in the first four weeks of non-conference play and on four of the first five Saturdays of conference action. Every Big Ten team will play at least one prime-time game, while nine of the 11 schools will host at least one prime-time contest. The schedule announced this past week included four games for Ohio State and a pair of outings each for Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State.

[ELEVEN // football coming back to the friendly confines]
Finally this week, college football is coming back to the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field for the first time in 72 years.  The Chicago Cubs and Northwestern announced Friday the Wildcats football team will host rival Illinois at Wrigley Field at 11 a.m. CT Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010. The matchup will mark the first college football game at Wrigley Field since 1938, when DePaul University played home games at the ballpark. The contest will be the first football game of any kind at the Friendly Confines since the Chicago Bears last played there in December of 1970. This will be the first time in more than 87 years that Northwestern and Illinois will play at Wrigley Field. On Oct. 27, 1923, the Wildcats and the Illini squared off at the Friendly Confines (then called Cubs Park) in front of 32,000 fans. This year's Northwestern-Illinois game with mark the 104th game between the Big Ten rivals since the two first met in 1892.