May 18, 2009
[ONE // buckeyes know baseball]
Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes as they claimed the 2009 Big Ten baseball title this past Saturday! OSU compiled a league-best 18-6 mark in conference action with a 39-15 record overall. With the win, the Buckeyes earned the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Big Ten Baseball Tournament. The regular season conference championship is the seventh for head coach Bob Todd, the first for the program since the 2001 season, and the 15th all-time in school history.
[TWO // big ten baseball bracket announced]
The Big Ten announced Saturday the bracket for the 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament, held May 20-23 at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. The Big Ten title was decided during the final game of the last day of the season when an Ohio State win, combined with a Minnesota loss, gave the Buckeyes the No. 1 overall seed – their first since that 2001 championship season and a top-two seed for the first time since 2004. Minnesota garnered the No. 2 seed, followed by No. 3 Indiana, No. 4 Illinois, No. 5 Michigan State and No. 6 Purdue. For a complete breakdown of the tournament bracket, click here.
[THREE // nittany lion women back on track; back on top]
Heading into the last event of the Big Ten Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the 4x400 meter relay, defending Big Ten champion Penn State couldn't have been any closer to successfully defending its title, trailing Michigan by less than a point. A third-place finish by the relay, edging out the fourth-place Wolverine relay team, was all it took for the Nittany Lions to claim their second straight conference title. Penn State (139) just beat out Michigan (138.75), while Minnesota (131.5), Illinois (100) and Indiana (74.25) claimed top-five positions. Rounding out the field was Purdue (64), Michigan State (57.25), Ohio State (45), Wisconsin (38.25) and Iowa (31).
[FOUR // gopher men golden on big ten track]
Minnesota used a 21-point performance, including a title run by Hassan Mead in the 5,000 meters to secure the team crown at the 2009 Big Ten Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Sunday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Golden Gophers, who also won the Big Ten indoor team title, compiled 130 points, 27 better than runner-up and host Ohio State (103). Michigan (100), Purdue (81) and Penn State (80) followed in the top five, while Wisconsin (76), Iowa (69), Michigan State (62), Illinois (60) and Indiana (58) rounded out the field of 10 teams.
[FIVE // ohio state rolls on in ncaa men’s tennis]
Congrats to the No. 3-seed Ohio State men’s tennis team, which knocked off No. 6 Baylor, 4-1, Sunday in the quarterfinal round of the 2009 NCAA Championships at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. The Buckeyes garnered their first semifinal berth in program history after being eliminated in the quarterfinals in each of the last three seasons. Ohio State (35-1) extended its winning streak to 27 consecutive wins, while improving its NCAA slate to 21-9 in its last 10 seasons. The Scarlet and Gray will face No. 7 UCLA Monday at 2 p.m. (ET).
[SIX // northwestern women fall at the net to cal]
While Ohio State was enjoying the tennis action in College Station, the Northwestern women’s team endured heartbreak Sunday as the top-ranked Wildcats fell 4-2 to No. 8 seed California. NU, which blanked No. 16 Fresno State 4-0 on Friday to advance to the quarterfinals, concluded its 2008-09 season with an impressive 28-2 record. Prior to the loss Sunday, the Wildcats had won 20 consecutive dual matches.
[SEVEN // wolverines and buckeyes advance to softball super regionals]
Of the six Big Ten softball squads selected to participate in the NCAA Championship, only Michigan and Ohio State advanced to Super Regional play this past weekend. The Wolverines clinched their sixth consecutive NCAA Regional crown with a 4-0 victory over Notre Dame on Sunday. Michigan (44-10) will now host Baylor, the winner of the Region 12 championship series, in a best-of-three NCAA Super Regional this upcoming weekend. As for Ohio State, the 11th-ranked Buckeyes advanced to the Super Regional for the first time in six trips to the NCAA Tournament after taking down Kentucky, 7-2, Saturday afternoon. Ohio State (47-9), which now has the second-most wins in school history, will take on Georgia in the Super Regional beginning Thursday. For a complete breakdown of Big Ten/NCAA Softball action, click here.
[EIGHT // conference honors softball standouts]
The Big Ten office announced the 2009 softball All-Big Ten teams and individual honors Wednesday with Michigan and Northwestern each earning two individual laurels. NU’s Tammy Williams picked up Player of the Year accolades, while teammate Adrienne Monka was named Freshman of the Year. Michigan’s Nikki Nemitz was tabbed Pitcher of the Year, and her mentor Carol Hutchins earned Coach of the Year honors. In addition to the individual accolades, the conference coaches selected three All-Big Ten teams. Consensus first-team honors went to Nemitz and Michigan junior third baseman Maggie Viefhaus who highlighted the Wolverine squad, which had a conference-leading five players earn first-team distinction. Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern each featured two student-athletes on the first-team list, while Ohio State rounded out the lineup with one selection. The conference office also announced honorees from each of the 11 softball squads for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Follow this link to the official press release with awards and teams.
[NINE // men’s golf boasts five teams at ncaa championships]
At the conclusion of NCAA Regional action this past weekend, five Big Ten men’s golf programs advanced to the NCAA Championships, which will be held on May 26-30 in Toledo, Ohio. Illinois, the 2009 Big Ten Champion, took home third-place honors in the Northeast Regional while Ohio State tied for third in the Central region. In the South Central Regional, Northwestern tied for fourth as the Wildcats punched their ticket to the NCAA Championships. Iowa and Michigan both filled the last NCAA spots in their respective regionals by placing fifth. Check out all the scoring results by logging on to golfstat.com here.
[TEN // row that boat]
Congratulations to the Michigan rowing team for capturing the Central Region title on Sunday at the Aramark South/Central Regional Sprints. The Wolverines accumulated 348 points to edge Ohio State (328) for the regional crown, while Wisconsin (321), Michigan State (320) and Iowa (241) rounded out the top-five regional finishers. Minnesota (231) and Indiana (121) checked in at sixth and eighth place, respectively. Now the seven conference teams will await the announcement of NCAA National Regatta bids on Tuesday, May 19 at 5 p.m. (ET). Twelve teams from across the country will receive team bids for individual crews. Additionally, four schools will earn at-large bids for the first varsity eight only. The 2009 NCAA Rowing Championships will be conducted May 29-31 on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J. Villanova University will serve as host.
[ELEVEN // painted red, white and blue]
Finally this week, we mentioned a few weeks back that Michigan State head women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant was named as an assistant for USA Basketball. Well, this week Purdue’s Matt Painter earned that distinction on the men’s side. On Tuesday, Painter was selected by USA Basketball as one of two assistant coaches of the 2009 USA Basketball U19 World Championships Team. Painter will join University of Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, the team's head coach, and Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois University on the USA Basketball coaching staff. Sixteen countries will compete in the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men that will be held July 2-12 in Auckland, New Zealand.