[ONE // plot thickens at halfway point of men’s basketball slate]

Another week of Big Ten men’s basketball is in the books and the plot has thickened as the conference slate as reached the halfway point.  Following Michigan’s 65-49 home win over Ohio State on Tuesday, Iowa knocked off the Wolverines 74-59 in Iowa City on Friday, dropping them to 9-2 in Big Ten action. Michigan shares first place with Michigan State, which fell at home in overtime to Indiana, 79-75, in the Spartans’ lone game of the week.  A 73-63 victory at home over Minnesota gave Purdue its seventh straight win and 10thin its last 11 contests overall.  The Boilermakers now share first place with Michigan and Michigan State at 9-2.  Wisconsin follows in the standings at 9-3, having defeated both Maryland and Nebraska on the week.


[TWO // gophers golden over league-leader rutgers]

A stingy Minnesota defense led the way as the Golden Gophers knocked off first-place No. 17/19 Rutgers, 60-46, Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena in women’s basketball action.  The loss dropped the Scarlet Knights to 9-2 in league action, leaving them in front of Maryland, which captured its fourth-straight win in a 75-57 win over Wisconsin.  The Terrapins are 8-2 in league play, just ahead of Iowa (8-3), which was stunned by Michigan, 90-81, on Friday.  The game was originally scheduled for Thursday night but was postponed due to frigid weather that closed the university for two days.  The Hawkeyes responded with an 81-61 win at Penn State, where Teniya Page scored her 2,000th career point on Sunday.


[THREE // maryland named unanimous favorite in big ten women’s lacrosse preseason poll]

Maryland was the unanimous choice by the conference coaches as the preseason favorite to claim their fifth consecutive Big Ten championship in 2019. The Terrapins were followed in the preseason poll by Northwestern in second and Penn State in third. Johns Hopkins followed at fourth and Michigan was tabbed at No. 5. Ohio State was picked sixth and Rutgers rounded out the poll at No. 7. All seven head coaches voted in the preseason poll and selected three players from their own teams to a preseason honors list.  Maryland advanced to the national semifinals in 2018 for the 10th straight season and earned its fourth Big Ten title. The Terrapins defeated Penn State for their third consecutive Big Ten Tournament title a season ago.  The Preseason to Watch List features 21 standouts from all seven schools, including the 2018 Big Ten Defender of the Year, Maryland’s Julia Braig and the 2018 Goaltender of the Year, Maryland’s Megan Taylor. Eight 2018 All-Big honorees were selected to the Preseason list.


[FOUR // trio of women’s lacrosse teams ranked nationally]

Three Big Ten women’s lacrosse teams are ranked in the Inside Lacrosse preseason media poll.   Maryland leads the Big Ten at No. 2, followed by No. 7 Northwestern and No. 10 Penn State. 


[FIVE // johns hopkins voted preseason favorite in men’s lacrosse]

For the first time since 2016, Johns Hopkins was selected as the preseason favorite to claim the men’s lacrosse Big Ten Championship in the preseason coaches’ poll. All six conference head coaches also selected three students from their own teams as preseason honorees. The Blue Jays were followed in the preseason poll by Maryland in second, Penn State in third, Ohio State and Rutgers in fourth and Michigan in sixth.  The Preseason to Watch List features 18 standouts from all six schools, including the 2018 Big Ten Specialist of the Year, Penn State’s Gerard Arceri. Three 2018 first-team All-Big honorees, Maryland’s Jared Bernhardt, Ohio State’s Ryan Terefenko and Penn State’s Arceri, were selected to the Preseason list, as well as five 2018 second-team All-Big Ten selections.


[SIX // six big ten men’s lacrosse teams ranked in national preseason polls]

Six Big Ten men’s lacrosse teams are ranked among the top 20 of the Inside Lacrosse and United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) preseason polls.  The Inside Lacrosse media polls lists Maryland at No. 3, followed by Johns Hopkins at No. 7 and Penn State at No. 9. Rutgers is ranked No. 12 in the preseason poll, Ohio State is No. 16 and Michigan rounds out the list at No. 20. The USILA poll ranks the Terps at No. 3, the Blue Jays at No. 7 and the Nittany Lions at No. 9. The Scarlet Knights grabbed the 12th spot and the Buckeyes earned No. 15. Michigan is receiving votes.  Both preseason polls can be found here.


[SEVEN // let the lacrosse begin]

With Big Ten preseason favorite Johns Hopkins in exhibition action at Marquette over the weekend, four other league teams officially opened their 2019 seasons, including Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers.  The Terrapins notched an 11-6 home victory over Bucknell, while the Buckeyes edged Cleveland State, 12-9.  Penn State bested Villanova 17-7 and Rutgers stopped Lafayette, 14-8.


[EIGHT // six softball teams ranked in preseason]

Six Big Ten schools are ranked or receiving votes in the preseason polls released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and USA Softball on Tuesday.  Reigning Big Ten Champion Michigan leads the Big Ten contingent in the preseason rankings, standing No. 14 in the Softball poll and No. 19 in the USA Today/NFCA poll. Three-time defending Big Ten Tournament champion Minnesota is also appearing in the top 25 of both rankings, ranking 21st in the USA Today/NFCA poll and appearing at No. 23 in the Softball poll.  Ohio State earned a No. 24 ranking in the Softball poll and is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA poll.  Northwestern is receiving votes in both preseason polls, while Nebraska and Wisconsin earned votes in the Softball balloting.


[NINE // registration open for btn big 10k]

Registration is now open for the BTN Big 10K, the summer race that turns Chicago into a Big Ten tailgate party. The eighth annual BTN Big 10K and 5K takes place on Sunday, Aug. 11, with a course navigating city streets and a start and finish in Grant Park along Chicago’s picturesque lakefront.  Registration begins at $55 for adults for the 10K and $40 for the 5K. For children 12 and under, registration is $25 for the 5K. For all additional information on the BTN Big 10K, visit or Facebook. Those who register will also receive a school-specific technical race shirt, available in each of the 14 Big Ten school colors, as well as a general BTN Big 10K option.


[TEN // former wolverine makes history in super bowl]

Finally this week, former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady continued his Super Bowl dominance, winning an NFL record sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy on Sunday as he led the New England Patriots to a 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Brady’s sixth Super Bowl title in nine appearances breaks a tie with Charles Haley for the most championships won in a career; Haley won two as a member of the San Francisco 49ers and three with the Dallas Cowboys.  Brady now owns Super Bowl records in appearances (9), titles won (6), MVP awards (4), passes attempted (392), passes completed (256), passing yards (2,838) and touchdown passes.  In addition to Brady, 10 other standouts from Big Ten programs played key roles in the Patriots’ victory Sunday.