(BIG 10 RELEASE)
[ONE // nittany lions roar to wrestling crown]
Penn State won the 2019 Big Ten Wrestling Championships titleon Sunday with a team score of 157.5. The Nittany Lions earned their sixth Big Ten Championship and first since 2016. Penn State claimed five individual titles from Jason Nolf (157), Vincenzo Joseph (165), Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (197) and Anthony Cassar (285). Ohio State finished in second place with 122.5 points, followed by third-place Iowa with 107.5. Minnesota finished in fourth place with 101.5 points and Nebraska rounded out the top five with 96.5 team points. Penn State’s Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf were named the Big Ten Co-Wrestlers of the Year, while Iowa’s Alex Marinelli and Nolf earned Outstanding Co-Wrestlers of the Championships honors. Penn State’s Cael Sanderson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and Minnesota’s Gable Steveson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
[TWO // hawkeyes take down terps for women’s basketball tourney title]
Megan Gustafson scored 26 points in the first half and finished with 45 on Sunday to lead No. 10 Iowa past No. 8 Maryland 90-76 for its first Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament titlesince 2001. It’s the longest gap between conference crowns since the tourney became an annual event in 1995. The Hawkeyes (26-6) also claimed the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid with a victory over the Big Ten’s regular-season champion. Gustafson’s point total was the second-most in tourney history, trailing only her 48-point performance in a quarterfinal loss to Minnesota last year.Kaila Charles scored a career-high 36 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Terrapins, who lost for just the second time in 14 games, both of which came against Iowa.
[THREE // handing out the hoops hardware]
The Big Ten announced its 2018-19 women’s basketball all-conference teams and individual award recipients on Monday during BTN’s Women’s Sports Report. Iowa’s Megan Gustafson was chosen as Big Ten Player of the Year by both the conference coaches and a select panel of Big Ten media members, receiving the honor from the media for the second year in a row. Maryland’s Taylor Mikesell was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the conference coaches, while Michigan’s Naz Hillmon was chosen for the honor by the Big Ten media. Hillmon was also voted the Big Ten’s Sixth Player of the Year by the coaches, while Maryland’s Brenda Frese took home Coach of the Year accolades from her colleagues as well as the media. In addition, the Big Ten coaches selected Purdue’s Ae’Rianna Harris as Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row. In other awards, 10 students were named first-team All-Big Ten honorees, while another 10 were second-team selections and honorable mention choices. The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award recipients.
[FOUR // big ten hockey tournament semis set]
The semifinals are setfor the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament with No. 3 Minnesota traveling to No. 2 Notre Dame on Saturday, while No. 4 Penn State visits top-seed Ohio State on Sunday for single-elimination play. In quarterfinal action, Notre Dame swept Michigan State in a best-of-three series, as did the Golden Gophers over Michigan. Despite Wisconsin getting the best of Penn State in an overtime thriller on Friday, the Nittany Lions responded with the final two wins to advance to the semifinals.
[FIVE // michigan state, purdue share big ten men’s basketball crown]
Michigan State clinched a shareof the 2018-19 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Championship after defeating Michigan, 75-63, at the Breslin Center on Saturday. The Spartans finished 16-4 in Big Ten play and share the title with Purdue (16-4), which claimed a share with a win at Northwestern earlier on Saturday. The Spartans have won consecutive titles and now have 15 in program history. Michigan State last won consecutive titles in 2009 and 2010.Purdue has now won a conference record24 Big Ten men’s basketball championships and its second in three years, claiming the title in 2017.
[SIX // big ten men’s hoops tourney bracket released]
Michigan State, Purdue, Michigan and Wisconsin are the top four seeds in the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, the conference office announced on Sunday evening. The 22nd annual event will be played from March 13 — March 17 at the United Center in Chicago. The tournament begins on Wednesday with two opening-round games of No. 13 Nebraska vs. No. 12 Rutgers at 5:30 p.m. CT followed by No. 11 Illinois vs. No. 14 Northwestern. BTN will broadcast games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with CBS set to televise the semifinals on Saturday and championship game on Sunday.
[SEVEN // time to talk tickets]
This past Friday, single-session tickets for the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament went on sale to the general public. The tournament will be held at the United Center in Chicago from March 13-17, including general admission seating for Wednesday’s first-round games. Single-session ticket prices range from $25 to $100 depending on the session and seat location. Tickets will be available at the United Center box office, Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Orders are limited to eight tickets per session.
[EIGHT // big ten students earn six ncaa indoor track and field titles]
Big Ten students earned six individual titlesat the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships that concluded Saturday at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, the Ohio State women and Wisconsin men led all Big Ten programs in the final team standings, with each squad winding up in fourth place. The Ohio State finish was the best for a Big Ten women’s program since 2008, when Michigan took third place. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin finish was the best for a Big Ten men’s program since 2013, when the Badgers placed third. Wisconsin’s Morgan McDonald was a two-time national champion during the weekend, claiming NCAA titles in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters, adding to his win at the NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championships in November. McDonald is the first Big Ten men’s competitor to win two NCAA indoor titles in the same year since 2005, when Indiana’s Aarik Wilson won both the long jump and triple jump events. Another Badger, Alicia Monson, was the NCAA champion in the women’s 5,000 meters, leading a group of four Big Ten women who earned titles at this weekend’s NCAA Championships. Ohio State’s Sade Olatoye took top honors in the weight throw, while teammate Julia Rizk did likewise in the mile. Penn State also produced its first NCAA indoor individual champion as Danae Rivers won the 800-meter crown.
[NINE // diamond notes]
A winner of three straight games, the Illinois baseball team pushed its league-best recordto 10-3 overall following a three-game sweep at Grand Canyon. Penn State (9-3), Michigan (9-4) and Maryland (9-5) follow closely behind and will seek their 10thwin of the season in the upcoming week. In softball, Indiana and Wisconsin have already eclipsed the 20-win plateau on the season as the Hoosiers are 21-3 while the Badgers are 20-3. Iowa and Penn State have each won their last six contests.
[TEN // concluding his contract of service]
Finally this week, the Big Ten announced that James E. Delany will officially conclude his term as Big Ten Commissioner at the end of his current contract which expires on June 30, 2020.