With another week of Big Ten basketball behind us, it’s time to run down the best plays from Feb. 13-19 action. If you like jaw-dropping plays, this was the week for you. But which ones reserved a spot on BTN.com blogger Brent Yarina’s latest Hardwood Highlights? See Brent’s top 10 plays in this post. Don’t agree? Cast your vote for the top play at the bottom of this post. See last week’s top plays and keep up with all the best highlights from across the Big Ten with our Did You See This? feature.
In the waning moments of Michigan’s upset win over Ohio State on Saturday, the Twitterverse started naming Trey Burke the Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The point guard was instrumental in the win, scoring 17 points and dishing out five assists, but let’s not consider this thing over. The race is just heating up, as Indiana’s Cody Zeller has been every bit as impressive — probably even more so the past couple of weeks. Brent Yarina breaks down the two worthy candidates in this post.
Indiana big man Cody Zeller has been named a finalist for the 2012 Wayman Tisdale Award, presented annually to the men’s National Freshman of the Year. Zeller is averaging 15.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, all while shooting a Big Ten-leading 64.8 percent. One of only a couple new faces for the Hoosiers this season, Zeller is the biggest reason for Indiana’s turnaround, which has seen the team go from 12-20 a year ago to 19-6.
With three weeks left in the Big Ten men’s basketball season, five teams have all but locked up NCAA tourney bids: Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. At this point in the season, though, the intrigue centers around the dreaded bubble teams. There are four of them this Big Ten season: Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern and Purdue. How many will make the field? Brent Yarina tries to break it all down in this post.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 Big Ten plays from the past week? Watch them and vote for your top play.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson has a love song: “I Love You Denard.” Seriously. The song was written by Pat Stansik and performed by Ann Arbor band Mind’s Eyes. Robinson has endured his share of struggles during his time in Ann Arbor, from losing records to injuries to passing struggles, but this proves how much Michigan fans adore their exciting quarterback. Hear the song and see the lyrics in this post.
You look at this picture, courtesy @BigWeitz, and probably ask yourself, “Why is Fran McCaffery’s autograph on a Michigan State chair?” Fair question. OK, think back about a month ago when McCaffery and the Hawkeyes visited the Spartans. It was a forgettable performance — Iowa lost 95-61 — but few will forget the second-year coach’s intense and passionate display during a timeout. You remember it — McCaffery, fresh off being hit with a technical, gathered his players, yelled some words of encouragement and spiked the chair pictured above to the floor. No wonder the autograph includes “Coach with passion.”
Another week of Big Ten basketball is in the books, and that means it’s time to run down the best plays from Feb. 6-12 action. There were plenty of highlights this past week, but which ones have a spot on BTN.com blogger Brent Yarina’s Hardwood Highlights? See Brent’s top 10 plays in this post. Don’t agree? Cast your vote for the top play at the bottom of this post. See last week’s plays and keep up with all the best highlights from across the Big Ten with our Did You See This? feature.
Not only was No. 12 Michigan State’s upset victory at No. 3 Ohio State huge for the Spartans (AP recap), but it did wonders to the Big Ten title race. Entering Saturday night’s contest at Value City Arena, where the Buckeyes hadn’t lost during the Jared Sullinger era, Ohio State had a chance to move two games ahead of the Spartans and the other legit Big Ten title contenders (Michigan and Wisconsin). That didn’t happen, of course, and now four teams are within one game of the top spot in the Big Ten.
Looking for a Valentine’s Day present for that special someone? If your sweetheart is a college sports fan, you’re in luck. FTD is selling dyed roses in the colors of some of the nation’s most popular college teams, including Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin. If your school isn’t available, you can hit up FTD’s Facebook page and request it. As you’d expect, the roses don’t come cheap. A half dozen roses, with a vase, will run you $49.99; a dozen $89.99. Read more about the roses on Dr. Saturday’s Blog.
More than likely, Ohio State football fans can rattle off the number their favorite Buckeyes wore during their college career. But what about, say, Donte Whitner’s high school number? Probably not. Well, there’s a place for that: Candy Painted Tees. A company comprised of “two longtime friends crafting original Midwest inspired designs,” according to their Twitter bio, it makes vintage shirts that feature the high school and high school number of select former Buckeyes. They’re pretty sweet. Take a look at Whitner’s shirt. And Eddie George’s.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 plays from the past week?
Former Michigan State star linebacker Greg Jones won a ring and handed one out Sunday night in Indianapolis. That’s right, the New York Giants’ rookie proposed to his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, as confetti fell from the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium following Super Bowl XLVI. Evidently, Jones had practice squad tight end Christian Hopkins hold the ring during the game and give it to him after the final play. Piechowski said yes, of course (see pictures of the proposal!). And here’s a picture of the proud groom-to-be, courtesy of teammate Mark Herzlich’s Twitter account.
Fourteen former Big Ten players will be fitted for rings after the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, 21-17, Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI (AP recap). Ex-Michigan WR Mario Manningham highlighted the group with five receptions for 73 yards, including a ridiculous 38-yard grab (watch the catch!) that helped set up New York’s game-winning score in the final minute. See how all Big Ten products did in the Super Bowl in this post.
Another week of Big Ten basketball is in the books, and that means it’s time to consider the best plays from Jan. 30-Feb. 5 action. There was a lot of competition as the calendar flipped to February, but which plays made BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina’s Hardwood Highlights? See Brent’s top 10 plays in this post. Don’t agree? Cast your vote for the top play at the bottom of this post.
There’s a designer out there, Charles Sollars, who is designing FAUX Nike Pro Combat helmets for BCS conference schools. While the helmets are just concepts and something he does as a hobby, I assume, they’re still really fun for all of us to consider and critique. Many of the lids are pretty cool, too. He has a design for every Big Ten school — some good, some ridiculous — and you can see them in this post.
LeBron James’ ridiculous dunk against Chicago on Sunday and Blake Griffin’s silly slam against Oklahoma City on Monday got us thinking about the best dunks of the 2011-12 Big Ten season. Rodney Williams, Victor Oladipo and Sam Thompson’s highlights immediately come to mind, but there have been so many other memorable dunks. See my top 10 slams in this post. Did I forget a dunk? If so, click “other” on the poll or enter your selection in the comment box at the bottom of this post. Also, check out a collection of our dunk-centric highlights with our Did You See This? archive.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. This week’s rankings feature a new wrinkle, as I offer up my Big Ten MVP for all 12 teams now that we’ve reached the midpoint of the conference season. The stats that go along with each MVP includes conference games only.
The Illinois football team may have a much different look when it takes the field in 2012. Already with a new head coach, Tim Beckman, the Illini could also have new helmets. According to Illinois SID Derek Neal, the team is displaying three helmets for recruits visiting campus.
ESPN2 is running a contest on Facebook for the 2012 Dunk of the Year (you must like the page to vote), and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo and Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr. are both nominees. Oladipo is in the mix for his one-handed throwdown in Indiana’s upset of No. 1 Kentucky, while Hardaway is in there for his driving, one-handed flush at Indiana. Both dunks were terrific. Go to the page and cast your vote for the Big Ten. According to the page, the Dunk of the Year will be featured March 26 during Dunks of the Year on ESPN2.
Big Ten players were all over the field at the Senior Bowl on Saturday afternoon. Twenty-one Big Ten stars participated in the game, including 19 on the North Team, which won 23-13. Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson and Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins both threw one touchdown and Purdue’s Carson Wiggs hit three field goals and a pair of extra points to help the North Team tally the victory. See how all the former Big Ten players did in this post.
Most teams go an entire season, if not longer, without even attempting an alley-oop on an inbound pass. Then again, most teams don’t have an athlete quite like Ohio State’s Sam Thompson. Only a freshman, Thompson was on the receiving end of his second such play in Big Ten action alone Wednesday night. Which inbound alley-oop was better, though: Tonight’s or the one at Indiana on New Year’s Eve? Watch both incredible plays and vote on the best one in this post.
Now that the deadline to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft has passed, it’s a lot easier to analyze what could be in store for the Big Ten next season. This is far too early, admittedly, but you can find my list of the top candidates for the 2012 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in this post. Disagree? Did I leave someone off the list? Leave your thoughts in the comment box, or tweet @BTNBrentYarina.
As many as 20 Big Ten products will participate in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, headlined by New England QB Tom Brady (Michigan), a three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time Super Bowl MVP. Brady is the biggest name, by far, but it’s the New York Giants who have the most Big Ten players (14 players to six). See all the Big Ten products in the Super Bowl in this post.