This Week in the Big Ten

The Big Ten Experience officially opened as a free exhibit to the general public on Saturday.

June 9, 2014

[ONE // a whole new experience for big ten fans]
The Big Ten Experience, an interactive digital museum located at the conference's headquarters in Rosemont, Ill., opened on Saturday as a daily free exhibit for the general public.  The new museum brings the conference's storied academic and athletic history to life and places it at fans’ fingertips.  Located at the conference’s headquarters at 5440 Park Place in Rosemont, the museum will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  The Big Ten Experience features a collection of 13 interactive exhibits showcasing conference notables dating back to 1896, the year the conference was founded. Highlights include the Big Ten Theater which gives patrons a behind-the-scenes, immersive audio and video experience looking at student-athletes and traditions, along with radio and television features of notable accomplishments on and off the field of play.  For more on the Big Ten Experience, click here.

[TWO // planning for the future]
The Big Ten announced Thursday that the Council of Presidents/Chancellors unanimously approved a recommendation from university administrators for future Big Ten Football Championship Games to be held in Indianapolis and for upcoming Big Ten Basketball Tournaments to be hosted by both Chicago and Indianapolis.  The Big Ten Football Championship Game will remain at Lucas Oil Stadium through the 2021 season. The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament will rotate between Chicago and Indianapolis, with the United Center hosting the event in 2019 and 2021 and Bankers Life Fieldhouse serving as the tournament's home in 2020 and 2022. Bankers Life Fieldhouse will also host the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament from 2017 through 2022.

[THREE // back for another women’s challenge]
The Big Ten and Atlantic Coast conferences announced on Wednesday the matchups for the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Women's Basketball Challenge. The annual challenge, which has been extended to 2020, is in its eighth edition and will feature 14 matchups for the first time.  Challenge games will be contested in a two-day format, beginning Wednesday, Dec. 3. Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Purdue will host games on the first day, while Indiana, Maryland and Minnesota will be on the road. On Dec. 4, Michigan State and Rutgers will host ACC foes, while Iowa, Northwestern, Penn State and Wisconsin visit their inter-conference opponents.  In last year's challenge, the ACC earned a narrow 7-5 victory over the Big Ten, with Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin each claiming victories.

[FOUR // hoosiers’ run ends at home]
The Big Ten baseball season came to an end this past Monday night when Stanford's Tommy Edman hit a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cardinal a 5-4 victory over Indiana in the Bloomington Regional final. The game was interrupted by a nearly three-hour long weather delay with the Hoosiers holding a 3-0 advantage in the top of the third inning. Stanford scored twice in the bottom of the third before tying the game in the sixth. Nick Ramos gave Indiana 4-3 lead in the eighth before Edman hit the walk-off winner in the ninth. The Hoosiers, who advanced to their first-ever College World Series last year, ended the season with a 44-15 record.

[FIVE // welcome to the bigs]
Twenty-one Big Ten players were selected during the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft, held Thursday through Saturday. Indiana led all programs with five players selected, including catcher Kyle Schwarber, who was taken by the Chicago Cubs with the fourth overall pick.  He is the highest Big Ten player selected in the draft since Michigan State pitcher Mark Mulder was the second selection in the 1998 draft.  Iowa and Nebraska each had three standouts chosen, while Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue each had two players selected, and Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State each had one player chosen in the annual draft.

[SIX // bench warmer]
Indiana junior catcher Kyle Schwarber has been named one of three finalists for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission this past Tuesday. The award is given to the top Division I catcher in the country. Schwarber is a finalist along with Mississippi's Will Allen and Kennesaw State's Max Pentecost. A final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series. All Finalists will be brought to Wichita and the winner will be announced at the 17th Annual Greater Wichita Banquet on June 26. Schwarber finished the 2014 season batting .358 with 14 home runs, 48 RBI with a slugging percentage of .659. In his final eight games for the Hoosiers (Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Regional), the Middletown, Ohio, native batted .469 (15-for-32) with four home runs, 12 RBI and slugged .938 during that stretch. He was named the Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player and to the All-Tournament team at the NCAA Bloomington Regional.

[SEVEN // district diamond]
Speaking of Indiana's Kyle Schwarber, the honors continued to roll in this past week as he was named the District V Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association on Friday. He earns the accolade for the second straight year after garnering second-team Louisville Slugger All-America honors. Schwarber ended the year with 14 home runs, 66 runs and 153 total bases, ranking seventh, fourth and fifth in the nation, respectively.

[EIGHT // six baseball freshman honored nationally]
Six Big Ten newcomers garnered Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America status by Collegiate Baseball Magazine, it was announced on Wednesday. Illinois' Adam Walton, Michigan's Brett Adcock and Carmen Benedetti, Nebraska's Ryan Boldt and Ohio State's Ronnie Dawson and Tanner Tully each garnered the honor after also earning conference All-Freshman Team honors this season. Tully was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and along with Dawson and Walton, were second-team All-Big Ten selections.

[NINE // eight net all-america honors]
A total of eight Big Ten tennis players earned 2014 ITA All-America recognition, the organization announced on Thursday, including seven men's tennis standouts and one women's tennis student-athlete. Illinois led all men's programs with four honorees as both Jared Hiltzik and Farris Gosea earned singles honors while Tim Kopinski and Ross Guignon garnered accolades in doubles. Minnesota's Leandro Toledo was named a singles All-American after reaching the Round of 16 at the NCAA Championships last month. Ohio State added a pair of honorees as the national runner-up tandem of Peter Kobelt and Kevin Metka earned All-America status in doubles. Kobelt also was named a singles All-American, making him one of just seven men's tennis players to be named an All-American in both singles and doubles this season. He is now a four-time All-American, having achieved the same feat last season. On the women's side, Michigan's Emina Bektas was named an All-American for the second time in her career, earning the honor in singles this season after garnering the accolade in doubles last season.

[TEN // a dozen earn academic distinction]
Twelve Big Ten student-athletes earned Capital One Academic All-America distinction, as announced on Thursday. Ohio State's Michael Newburger was tabbed the Capital One All-America of the Year. The complete list of Big Ten Academic All-America award recipients can be found by clicking here.

[ELEVEN // hoosiers honored in the water]
The Indiana Rowing coach staff has been named Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Central Region Staff of the Year, announced by the association this past Monday. The Hoosiers' staff led Indiana to its first NCAA Championships berth where IU finished 11th overall. Indiana spent most the season ranked No. 13 in the CRCA/USRowing Coaches poll. The Hoosiers finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships, the program's best finish at the championships. Additionally, head coach Steve Peterson was tabbed Central Regional Coach of the Year.

[TWELVE // skating for lord stanley]
Finally this week, there is some Big Ten flair in the 2014 National Hockey League Stanley Cup Finals.  A total of three players from Big Ten schools are competing for the NHL’s ultimate prize. New York Rangers teammates Carl Hagelin (Michigan), Ryan McDonagh (Wisconsin) and Derek Stepan (Wisconsin) will face the Los Angeles Kings with each player looking to hoist the Stanley Cup for the first time in their career.  For more information about the Big Ten and the Stanley Cup, click here.