This Week in the Big Ten

Michigan's Erin Finn was named Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, Track Athlete of the Championships and Freshman of the Year this past week.

May 25, 2014

[ONE // indiana baseball shines in baseball tournament and postseason honors]
In front of the largest single-game conference tournament crowd in NCAA history, Big Ten Baseball Tournament Most Outstanding Player Kyle Schwarber hit his second home run of the tournament to pace Indiana in its 8-4 victory over No. 2 Nebraska in the championship game on Sunday at TD Ameritrade Park. It marks the fourth tournament title for the top-seeded Hoosiers and second straight, becoming the first conference team to win back-to-back tournaments since Ohio State in 2002 and 2003.  Sunday's attendance of 19,965 ranks as the largest single-game conference tournament attendance in NCAA history, and brought the five-day total to a Big Ten Tournament record 62,020. Four days of the tournament featured attendance of more than 10,000, including Wednesday (10,400) Thursday (11,756) and Saturday (12,319). The previous NCAA record for conference tournament attendance was established by Florida State and North Carolina in 2005 with a crowd of 17,860.  On Tuesday, the Conference office announced the 2014 baseball All-Big Ten Teams and individual award winners, as voted by the league's coaches. Indiana's Sam Travis was the unanimous choice for Player of the Year, teammate Joey DeNato garnered Pitcher of the Year accolades and Tracy Smith was tabbed Coach of the Year, while Ohio State's Tanner Tully took home Freshman of the Year honors.

[TWO // softball season concludes; standouts remain eligible for national awards]
After sending three softball teams to the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time in conference history, the conference season came to an end this week with Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska concluding their respective seasons.  Minnesota fell short in game two of its Super Regional series against host and No. 1 Oregon, 6-2, ending its season with a 44-12 record.  Michigan (47-15) was eliminated after dropping a 4-2 contest to ninth-ranked Florida State, while Nebraska (44-18) was stopped 2-1 by No. 2 Alabama.  Despite the season coming to an end, a handful of Big Ten standouts are still being honored nationally.  Michigan's Sierra Romero was named one of three finalists for the 13th Annual USA Softball Player of the Year Award on Wednesday.  On Thursday, Purdue's Andie Varsho, Northwestern's Marisa Bast and Michigan's Nicole Sappingfield were all named to the Capital One Academic All-America Teams. Varsho was a first-team selection, while Bast and Sappingfield both received second-team All-America nods.

[THREE // ohio state, indiana grab postseason rowing honors; four squads head to ncaas]
The Big Ten office announced on Wednesday the rowing individual award winners, as chosen by the conference coaches. Ohio State's Catherine Shields was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year, while Indiana's Alice Wright was tabbed Freshman of the Year. Buckeye head coach Andy Teitelbaum earned Coach of the Year honors.  One day prior to the release of those honors, four Big Ten teams were selected for the 2014 NCAA Division I Rowing Championships, the NCAA Rowing Committee announced on Tuesday. Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin earned berths into the national event, marking the fifth time in the last six years four conference teams have participated in the NCAA Championships.  

[FOUR // five schools garner end-of-year track and field honors]
Five schools were represented this past week when the Big Ten announced the postseason honors for men's and women's outdoor track and field.   The Big Ten announced Tuesday that Wisconsin's Mohammed Ahmed was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year, while Purdue's Raheem Mostert claimed Track Athlete of the Championships honors. Penn State's Darrell Hill was tabbed Field Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships and Minnesota's Trevor Yedoni earned Freshman of the Year laurels. Badger head coach Mick Byrne was named Coach of the Year by his peers.  On the women's side, Michigan's Erin Finn was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year, Track Athlete of the Championships and Freshman of the Year, while Purdue's Dani Bunch was tabbed Field Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships. Penn State head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan was named Coach of the Year by her peers.

[FIVE // back on track]
The NCAA announced Friday the participants for the 2014 NCAA Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Preliminary Championship competition, scheduled for May 29-31. The East Region will be held at North Florida in Jacksonville, while the West Region is in Fayetteville, Ark. The qualifiers out of these regions will compete in the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships held June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.  Qualifiers can be found by selecting the respective links for each gender:  Men: East - West and Women: East - West.

[SIX // buckeye pair advances at ncaa tennis doubles; wildcat tandem falls shy of round of 16]
Congratulations and best of luck to Ohio State's Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka, who advanced to Monday's national championship match with a win on Sunday at the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships in Athens, Ga.  The Buckeye pair defeated Arjun Kadhe and Jakob Sude of Oklahoma State, 7-6 (2), 6-3.  On the women's side, Northwestern's tandem of Alicia Barnett and Veronica Corning fell Friday in the Round of 16 - the last Big Ten pair competing in the NCAA Women's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships.

[SEVEN // illini and boilermakers prep for ncaa men's golf action; 19 golfers honored regionally]
Through two rounds of play at the NCAA Men's Golf Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., Illinois sits in 10th place, while Purdue is in 25th place. Round three was suspended Sunday due to lightning and play will resume Monday morning.  Following the 54-hole competition, the top 40 players will advance for one additional day of stroke play next Monday to determine a 72-hole stroke play individual champion. The top eight teams after 54 holes of play will advance to match play competition, which will be held Tuesday and Wednesday.  Additionally, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced its Division I PING All-Region honorees on Thursday.  A total of 157 players across six regions earned all-region honors, including 19 Big Ten golfers. The complete list of Big Ten PING All-Region award recipients can be found by clicking here.

[EIGHT // ready to build something B1G at the fort]
The Big Ten announced this past Thursday that The Fort Golf Course in Indianapolis will be the site for the 2015 and 2016 Big Ten Women's Golf Championships. The 2015 championships will be held April 24-26, while the 2016 event will take place April 22-24.  Michigan State and Ohio State shared the 2014 Big Ten title with the championships being played at the Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Ind. Five Big Ten teams were selected to the NCAA Women's Golf Regionals field with three of those teams - Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State - advancing to the NCAA Women's Golf Championships.

[NINE // rookies reel in nba honors]
Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller and Michigan's Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. were all named to the NBA All-Rookie Team on Thursday. Burke, Hardaway and Oladipo were all named to the All-Rookie First Team, while Zeller was a second-team selection. All four standouts were first-round selections in the 2013 NBA Draft.

[TEN // welcome to the hall]
Former Big Ten standouts Shane Conlan of Penn State and Dave Butz of Purdue each have been named part of the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class, the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame announced on Thursday. The 16 inductees were selected from the national ballot of 75 All-America players and six elite coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 87 players and 26 coaches from the divisional ranks.  Butz, Conlan and the rest of the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be inducted together at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 9, 2014, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2015, and they will be recognized at their respective collegiate institutions with on-campus salutes during the fall.

[ELEVEN // ready to drop the puck on year two]
The Big Ten office announced the dates and opponents for the 2014-15 hockey season this past Thursday, featuring 20-game schedules for each of the six Big Ten hockey schools - Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin. The schedule concludes with the 2015 Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, to be held March 19-21, 2015, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.  The 2014-15 Big Ten hockey schedule will feature 60 games beginning in late November, with the majority of contests being played on Friday and Saturday. The schedule will also include a limited number of games on Thursday and Sunday. The Big Ten hockey schedule begins with a pair of series to be held Nov. 20-22.

[TWELVE // a warm wrestling welcome]
Finally this week, a B1G welcome to Tony Ersland, who after serving as assistant coach at Nebraska for the past eight seasons, was hired this past week by Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke as the school's new head wrestling coach. Ersland takes the helm of the Boilermaker program with extensive Division I coaching experience and success in the Big Ten, Big 12 and Mid-American conferences.  While on staff, the Huskers have tallied a 102-41-2 dual record, seven top-20 team finishes at the NCAA Championships and grapplers have earned 17 All-America honors.