Sixth-seeded Illinois fired a one-over-par 289, the best round of the day, to win the NCAA Fayetteville Regional by three strokes over host and second-seeded Arkansas at the par-72, 7,251-yard Blessings Golf Club on Saturday. It marks the first regional title in school history and extends the Illini’s streak of consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championships to six straight seasons.
Remember this terrific Ricky Stanzi America-themed print from last summer? The artist, Sean Thompson, is at it again. This year, Thompson has a piece that will interest a few Big Ten fan bases; it’s called “Evy,” and it’s of former Michigan player, Michigan State assistant and Iowa head coach/athletic director Forest Evashevski.
Find out more about: Clothes Call
Two of the Big Ten’s four NCAA softball tourney teams advanced to Sunday’s regional finals. Big Ten regular-season champ Michigan and Nebraska, both regional hosts, are still alive following wins over Cal and Stanford, respectively; the two teams are another win vs. the same teams away from advancing to the second weekend. Catch up on all of Saturday’s Big Ten NCAA action in this post.
Indiana clinched at least a share of its first Big Ten baseball title since 1949 with a 7-2 victory in 11 innings against Ohio State on Friday night. The Hoosiers move to 16-7 in Big Ten play with the win over the Buckeyes and hold a 39-13 overall record. The Hoosiers can clinch the championship outright, and the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten Baseball Tournament, with a win Saturday.
Michael Basil is Indiana’s senior shortstop, which means he’s been around long enough to know any ball he can reach he can probably catch. He proved that Friday night against Ohio State. With the Hoosiers down 2-0 in the seventh inning, Basil made a leaping catch to close out the inning. Watch the play here.
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Some think Ohio State is the best team not just in the Big Ten but perhaps the best team in the nation as it comes off a 12-0 debut under Urban Meyer. A wealth of talent is one reason for optimism, as the Buckeyes are NCAA probation-free and eligible to win the Big Ten and BCS crowns. A favorable schedule is another reason for optimism. Ohio State should be favored in every game but one in 2013: the season finale at Michigan on Nov. 30.
Find out more about: Schedule Analysis
It’s the time of week when I reach into my mailbag. Another good batch of correspondence from BTN readers and viewers. I appreciate all of the cards and letters. Keep them coming.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag