(BIG 10 RELEASE)

[ONE // sparty edges rival michigan to win big ten tournament title]

Matt McQuaid scored a career-high 27 points, Cassius Winston converted the go-ahead layup in the closing minute, and Michigan State rallied to beat Michigan 65-60 for its sixth Big Ten Tournament championship on Sunday.  The top-seeded Spartans (28-6) rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half and scored the game’s final 10 points to capture their first championship since 2016. No other program has won the tournament as many times as Michigan State, and this one was particularly sweet.  After all, the Spartans prevented a championship three-peat by Michigan (28-6) and beat their rivals for the third time this season.

 

[TWO // big ten sends record eight teams to the big dance]

A record-setting eight Big Ten schools have been chosen to compete in the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, it was announced Sunday on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Show on CBS. Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin will all be taking part in this year’s tournament. All games will be televised on CBS Sports, TBS, TNT or TruTV.  This year’s collection of eight Big Ten schools in the NCAA Tournament surpasses the previous conference record of seven NCAA Tournament participants, set several times previously and most recently in 2017.  In addition, Indiana and Nebraska accepted bids to the National Invitation Tournament on Sunday night.

 

[THREE // handing out the hardware]

The Big Ten unveiled the men’s basketball All-Conference teams and individual award winners this past Monday night on BTN Live. Among the notables, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis was voted Freshman of the Year, and Purdue’s Matt Painter was recognized as Coach of the Year by both the coaches and media.  A total of 16 students were selected to either of the All-Big Ten teams selected by the coaches and media, while another 14 students were awarded honorable mention status.  The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees.

 

[FOUR // iowa’s gustafson named espnw national player of the year]

Iowa women’s basketball senior forward/center Megan Gustafson was selected as the 2018-19 espnW National Player of the Year, it was announced Friday. Gustafson is the first Big Ten student to earn a women’s basketball national player-of-the-year award since the 1998-99 season, when Purdue’s Stephanie White earned both the Wade Trophy and the Honda Sports Award while leading the Boilermakers to the NCAA national championship.  A two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, she also was chosen as the Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament after scoring a record-setting 45 points in the championship game as Iowa defeated Maryland, 90-76 in the highest-scoring title game in the tournament’s 26-year history. It was the Hawkeyes’ first Big Ten Tournament title since 2001 and secured an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

 

[FIVE // ohio state’s carmen grande named academic all-american]

Ohio State graduate student guard Carmen Grande earned Google Cloud Academic All-America honors, it was announced this past Monday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).  Grande was a third-team Academic All-America selection this year, having compiled a 3.92 postgraduate GPA in industrial and systems engineering. The Madrid, Spain, native was a first-team Academic All-America honoree last year while receiving her bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences from Ball State.  With Grande’s Academic All-America selection on Monday, the Big Ten has now had at least one women’s basketball student earn Academic All-America honors in seven of the past eight years, including two-time Google Cloud Academic All-American of the Year Ally Disterhoft of Iowa in 2016 and 2017.

 

[SIX // big ten wrestling set to compete at the ncaa championships]

Wrestlers from all 14 Big Ten schools will head to PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh to compete in the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships, which begin Thursday, March 21 and conclude Saturday, March 23. The Big Ten is sending 89 wrestlers, including 57 top-15 seeded grapplers and seven No. 1 seeds, across the 10 weight classes. Seventy-eight Big Ten wrestlers earned spots in the NCAA Championships field by virtue of their Big Ten Championships finish, while 11 others received at-large bids. The conference is sending at least eight wrestlers in nine of the 10 weight classes, including eight in the 133- and 149-pound weight classes, nine in the 184- and 285-pound weight classes and 10 in the 125-, 141-, 157-, 165- and 174-pound weight classes.  Seven Big Ten wrestlers hold the top seed in their respective weight classes – Iowa’s Alex Marinelli (165), Northwestern’s Sebastian Rivera (125), Ohio State’s Myles Martin (184), Penn State’s Mark Hall (174), Bo Nickal (197) and Jason Nolf (157), and Rutgers’ Anthony Ashnault (149).  Six Big Ten schools have claimed NCAA titles, led by Iowa with 23. Penn State won its third consecutive national championship last year and the eighth in program history.

 

[SEVEN // penn state stuns ohio state; set to meet notre dame in big ten hockey final]

Sophomore Alex Limoges scored the eventual game-winner setting the Penn State single-season goal record in the process as the fourth-ranked Nittany Lions defeated No. 1 Ohio State 5-1 on Sunday afternoon in semifinal action of the Big Ten Men’s Hockey Tournament.  Penn State advances to its second Big Ten Championship game in the last three seasons and will travel to South Bend next Saturday to face the second-seeded Notre Dame Irish with puck drop slated for 8 p.m. The second-seeded Fighting Irish needed overtime on Saturday to knock off No. 3 Minnesota, 2-1.

 

[EIGHT // finalists named for big ten hockey individual awards]

Finalists were announced this past Tuesday for 2018-19 Big Ten hockey individual awards. The winners, along with All-Big Ten teams, will be announced on March 19.  Three individuals were named finalists for Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year.

 

[NINE // spartans, huskers, badgers garner men’s indoor track and field hardware]

The Big Ten announced the 2019 Big Ten Men’s Indoor Track and Field postseason award winners on Tuesday following the NCAA Championships. Wisconsin senior Morgan McDonald was a unanimous selection as Track Athlete of the Year, while Michigan State junior Nick Guerrant claimed Field Athlete of the Year honors and Nebraska’s Mayson Conner was named Freshman of the Year. All three were selected following a vote from the conference’s 12 head coaches.  McDonald is the fourth Wisconsin student to earn Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year since the award was divided into separate track and field categories in 2007, and the first Badger to be chosen since Reed Connor in 2014.  Guerrant makes program history as the first Spartan student named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year.  Conner is the first Nebraska student chosen as Big Ten Freshman of the Year since the Huskers joined the conference prior to the 2011-12 academic year.

 

[TEN // buckeyes, nittany lions, badgers pick up women’s indoor track and field awards]

Finally this week, the Big Ten announced the 2019 Big Ten Women’s Indoor Track and Field postseason award winners on Tuesday following the NCAA Championships. Wisconsin junior Alicia Monson was named Track Athlete of the Year, while Ohio State senior Sade Olatoyewas a unanimous selection as Field Athlete of the Year, and Penn State’s Alexis Holmes was named Freshman of the Year. All three were selected following a vote from the conference’s 13 head coaches.  Last month, Monson and Olatoye were also named Big Ten Track and Field Athlete of the Championships, respectively, marking the third time in the past five years the same two students swept both honors. In 2015, Michigan State’s Leah O’Connor joined Wisconsin’s Kelsey Card as double winners, while in 2017, Olatoye and Purdue’s Devynne Charlton received both awards.  Monson, who collected Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2017-18, is the first Wisconsin student to earn Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year since the award was divided into separate track and field categories in 2007.  A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Olatoye earned her second Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year award in three years, having previously received the honor in 2017 (the only other time a Buckeye student was chosen for the top field athlete award).  Holmes is the fourth Penn State student chosen as Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the second in three years, following Danae Rivers in 2017.