BIG 10 RELEASE

THIS WEEK IN THE BIG 10

[ONE // badgers upset unbeaten wolverines in madison; spartans move into first]

After falling on the road at No. 19/22 Maryland, 64-60, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team returned to Madison and pulled off its biggest win of the season on Saturday with a 64-54 upset over No. 2/4 Michigan.  The setback was the first for the Wolverines this year, which also dropped them out of the lead in the Big Ten race.  Michigan State maintained its perfect mark in league play as the No. 6/6 Spartans used a 70-64 victory at Nebraska on Thursday to improve to 7-0. Following its win over the Badgers on Monday, Maryland knocked off Ohio State 75-61 on Friday to take over second place in the conference standings – a full win ahead of Michigan (6-1).  Also moving into the mix is Purdue, which recorded an 89-54 home win over Rutgers on Tuesday and then scored a decisive 70-55 win over No. 25/25 Indiana on Saturday.  The Boilermakers are now 5-2 in Big Ten play, just ahead of 5-3 Iowa, which won 89-82 at Penn State and defeated Illinois 95-71 in Iowa City.  

 

[TWO // rutgers survives tough homestand to maintain women’s basketball lead]

This past week proved to be a tough two-game home stretch for the No. 20/23 Rutgers women’s basketball team, but the Scarlet Knights improved their league-leading record to 7-0with a 65-63 overtime win over Purdue on Wednesday, followed by a 76-62 victory over No. 17/22 Michigan State on Sunday.  Rutgers now owns a two-game lead over Iowa, Maryland and Purdue, which are all tied for second at 5-2.  No. 9/9 Maryland rebounded from a 77-60 loss to Michigan State on Thursday with a 79-67 home win over Penn State on Sunday.  Purdue responded from its loss to Rutgers with a 56-53 rivalry win over No. 25/RV Indiana on Sunday.  Iowa maintained course with two wins this past week, including a 75-61 result over Michigan on Thursday and a 94-75 victory at Illinois on Sunday. 

 

[THREE // michigan state, ohio state score sweeps on the ice]

In Big Ten men’s ice hockey this week, Notre Dame and Wisconsin faced off for game two of the weekend series at the United Center (5,301) in Chicago, where the teams skated to an NCAA-recognized 2-2 tie Sunday evening.  The tie followed a 6-4 victory by the Fighting Irish on Friday.  Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Ohio State swept its series with Penn State, having topped the Nittany Lions 4-1 on Friday and 6-4 on Saturday.  On both Saturday and Sunday, Michigan State netted 5-3 victories over Minnesota. 

 

[FOUR // sixteen standouts nominated for hobey baker award]

Sixteen standouts representing all seven Big Ten programs are among the 81 nominees for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given annually to the top NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey player in the nation. Following the conclusion of Phase I, the list of players will be narrowed to a Top-10 and that announcement will be made on March 20. Phase II voting on the Top-10 will take place from March 20-31.  The Hobey Hat Trick will then be announced on April 4 and the Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be presented to the winner on April 12 during the NCAA Frozen Four in in Buffalo, N.Y. For a complete look at the Big Ten representatives nominate for this award, click here.

 

[FIVE // women’s gymnastics opens conference competition]

Five Big Ten duals were on the docket this past week in women’s gymnastics action. No. 9 Michigan opened up its home and conference schedule with a win over Michigan State on Friday, 195.975-194.050.  Four meets were scheduled for Saturday.  No. 15 Nebraska defeated Rutgers194.850-194.325 in New Brunswick, N.J.  Illinois narrowly won against Maryland to earn its first victory of the season, 195.075-194.950, in Champaign.  No. 17 Ohio State collected its second consecutive win of the season with a season-high score of 196.075 against Penn State (194.850) at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa.  Minnesota outscored Iowa 195.475-194.350to win its first Big Ten matchup of the 2019 season.

 

[SIX // illini men’s gymnastics fight to fifth-straight windy city invitational title]

The Illinois men’s gymnastics team earned its fifth-straight Windy City Invitational title on Saturday, as the third-ranked Illini edged out No. 5 Michigan (402.000), No. 4 Minnesota (399.800), No. 9 Iowa (394.800), No. 17 Washington (370.150) and No. 18 UIC (357.250) with a final team total of 403.150.  Elsewhere, Penn State took down Army 396.50-391.00 in the Nittany Lions first dual meet of the season.

 

[SEVEN // northwestern wrestling runs wild in wisconsin]

With nine Big Ten wrestling matches on the docket this past week, Northwestern made the most of its first dual on Friday with a 25-18 upset at No. 11 Wisconsin.  NU was victorious in six of the 10 bouts, winning each of the first two as well as the last two to seal the result. The win was the second of the season over a top-15 squad for the ‘Cats after defeating No. 10 Virginia Tech in November.  Elsewhere on Friday, No. 4 Iowa topped No. 20 Rutgers 30-6, No. 6 Michigan defeated Michigan State 30-10, No. 7 Minnesota got past No. 19 Illinois 26-15, No. 9 Nebraska handled Maryland 37-6, and No. 18 Purdue bested rival Indiana, 18-11.  On Sunday, top-ranked Penn State beat No. 9 Nebraska 25-6, Michigan picked up its second win of the week with a 23-9 decision over Purdue, while the Golden Gophers denied Northwestern a second consecutive upset, 29-12.

 

[EIGHT // illini miler, hawkeye throwers highlight larry wieczorek invitational]

Illinois sophomore Jon Davis ran the second sub-four minute mile of his career on Saturday at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational hosted by Iowa. Davis won the race with a time of 3:58.06, eclipsing both his own personal best (3:58.46, Illini Classic, Jan. 27, 2018), and the Hawkeye Indoor Track facility record (4:02.34, Ken Popejoy, Michigan State, 1972). The finish time is currently the fastest mile time in the NCAA.  Davis became the 498th American to run a sub-four minute mile after accomplishing the feat with a time of 3:58.46 at the Illini Classic held at the UI Armory on January 27, 2018. As of September 5, 2018, just 522 Americans had accomplished a mile time under four minutes since 1957. Iowa earned the men’s team title with 89 points, followed by Missouri &9), Minnesota (72), Iowa State (69), Illinois (64), Baylor (61), Arizona (58), Purdue (46) and Wisconsin (46).  On the women’s side, Baylor (91) took the crown, followed by Minnesota (85.5), Iowa (84), Arizona (67.5), Iowa State (65), Purdue (58), Illinois (52.5), Wisconsin (50) and Missouri (30.5).  Of note, three Iowa shot put throwers recorded marks that ranks first, second and third all-time in program history.  Laulauga Tausaga bested her own school record (16.70m, 54-9 ½), Nia Britt improved on her No. 2 mark (16.19 meters, 53-1 1/2), and Erika Hammond moved up two spots with a throw 15.63 meters (51-3 1/2).

 

[NINE // big ten represented by 35 standouts in afc, nfc title games]

BTN.com’s Brent Yarina posted this week that 35 former Big Ten standouts, not including Maryland, Nebraska or Rutgers players who were in school before entering the conference, were on NFL AFC and NFC Championship Game rosters on Sunday.  All 14 Big Ten programs had at least one representative, with Ohio State’s nine leading the way, not only among the conference but all of college football. With the wins by the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, at least 17 of those 35 standouts will vie for the world title at Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3.

 

[TEN // the loss of an indiana icon]

Finally this week, former two-time Indiana All-American Jimmy Rayl, 77, passed away on Sunday.  Rayl played for the Hoosiers from 1960 to 1963 and earned All-American honors and first-team All-Big Ten accolades in 1962-63. He was named team MVP in 1962 and was inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.  The in-state product twice established an IU and then Big Ten record when he scored 56 points in a game in 1962 against Minnesota and in 1963 against Michigan State.  His efforts rank third all-time in Big Ten history and his 23 field goals in 48 attempts against the Spartans are the second-most in league history.