The sixth annual “BTN Awards Show” airs at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on BTN/BTN2Go. Mike Hall will host the special 30-minute show. But before all of the winners are announced, Brent Yarina offered his picks for several of the categories. See his selections in this post.
Breakout Performer of the Year
- Trey Burke, Point Guard, Michigan Basketball
- Venric Mark, Running Back, Northwestern Football
- Victor Oladipo, Guard, Indiana Basketball
- Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Penn State Football
My pick: Allen Robinson – The littlest known name among the quartet entering last season, Robinson led the Big Ten in receptions (77), receiving yards (1,013) and receiving touchdowns (11) en route to winning Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year. Not bad for a guy who came into the season with a career three receptions, 29 yards and zero touchdowns.
Most Dominating Performance
- Montee Ball, Wisconsin Football – 200+ rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, setting a new Big Ten touchdown record (vs. Purdue 10/13/2012)
- Mitch McGary, Michigan Basketball – second player in the last 50 years with 21+ points, 14+ rebounds and field goal percentage of 70% or higher in consecutive NCAA Tournament games
- Justin Parr, Illinois Baseball – set Illinois record for his 33-game hitting streak that lasted from March 9 – May 12, the longest streak in the nation at the time
- Denard Robinson, Michigan Football – 200+ passing yards, 200+ rushing yards and 4 touchdowns, becoming the first player in FBS history to pass and rush for 200+ yards in a game three times in his career (vs. Air Force 9/8/2012)
My pick: Mitch McGary – Yes, the award is named Most Dominating Performance, not Most Dominating Performances, but the freshman’s play in Michigan’s six-game run to its national runner-up finish was, well, absolutely dominating. The final numbers: 68% FG, 14.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 2 spg, 1.2 bpg.
Most Courageous Performance
- Rachel Banham, Minnesota Basketball – sidelined for months after a blood clot was discovered in her lung last summer, she bounced back to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors
- Jack Hoffman, Nebraska fan – 7-year-old brain cancer patient ran for a 69-yard touchdown at Nebraska’s 2013 spring game
- Robert Marve, Purdue Football – overcame his third career ACL injury and returned to help the Boilermakers win their final three games and reach bowl eligibility
- Drey Mingo, Purdue Basketball – suffered an ACL tear during the 2011-12 season. She came back this spring and led the Boilermakers to the Big Ten Tournament Championship where she was named the Tournament’s Most Outstanding
My pick: Jack Hoffman – I’m a sucker for things like this, and, let’s be honest, the young brain cancer survivor showed some nice breakaway speed on his unforgettable touchdown scamper. Keep fighting, Jack!
- Michigan’s Kenny Demens tackles Northwestern’s Tyris Jones on fourth-and-2, giving Michigan the victory in overtime. (11/10/2012)
- Illinois’ Tyler Griffey’s layup at the buzzer leads the Illini past the top-ranked Hoosiers, 74-72. (2/7/2013)
- Wisconsin’s Ben Brust hit a running half-court shot to force overtime, where the Badgers went on to win 65-62 against the Wolverines. (2/9/2013)
- After Michigan’s Trey Burke forces overtime with a 30-foot shot, Michigan goes on to beat Kansas 87-85, extending Michigan’s NCAA Tournament run. (3/29/2013)
My pick: Michigan drops Kansas – Holy, Trey Burke! Following a scoreless first half, the national player of the year busted out and helped Michigan rally from 14 down with less than seven minutes left and from five down with 21 ticks remaining to force overtime. In the final 25 minutes, Burke tallied 23 points, including a ridiculously deep trey in the closing seconds to force overtime.
Men’s Team of the Year
- Indiana, Soccer
- Michigan, Swimming
- Ohio State, Football
- Penn State, Wrestling
- Indiana, Baseball
My pick: Indiana, soccer – The Hoosiers are no strangers to winning soccer national championships. After all, they owned seven NCAA trophies prior to the 2012 season. But Indiana – or no men’s college soccer team, for that matter – had any experience doing it as such a low seed. The Hoosiers became the first No. 16 seed to win the national crown when they shut out Georgetown, 1-0, in the title match.
Women’s Team of the Year
- Minnesota, Ice Hockey
- Northwestern, Lacrosse
- Penn State, Soccer
- Penn State, Volleyball
My pick: Minnesota, ice hockey – So much for the saying that the second championship is harder to win than the first. The Golden Gophers went a perfect 41-0-0 en route to defending their NCAA crown this past winter. Factoring in Minnesota’s eight wins to close out the 2012 national championship campaign, it has won an eye-popping 49 consecutive games.
Game of the Year
- Indiana vs. Illinois, Men’s Basketball (2/7/2013)
- Michigan vs. Wisconsin, Men’s Basketball (2/9/2013)
- Indiana vs. Michigan, Men’s Basketball (3/10/2013)
- Michigan vs. Kansas, Men’s Basketball (3/29/2013)
My pick: Indiana vs. Michigan – To be honest, this could have been a finalist for “Best Finish,” as well. There was so much on the line when the Hoosiers visited Ann Arbor, as Indiana could wrap up its first outright Big Ten crown since 1993 with a win and Michigan could grab a piece of is second consecutive Big Ten title with a win. It was the Hoosiers who were celebrating after rallying for a late win that, if you remember, went down to the final second. Am I the only one who can still see Jordan Morgan’s putback hanging on the rim?