October was a crazy and unpredictable month. The proof: Under-the-radar Penn State went 5-0 and sits comfortably atop the Leaders Division, Big Ten favorite Wisconsin lost back-to-back games on last-minute Hail Marys, Michigan State got through a stretch of Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin unscathed, and Iowa lost to struggling Minnesota despite getting 252 rushing yards from Marcus Coker. The list could continue, but you get the point.
Sophomore Meyers Leonard poured in a team-high 18 points in Illinois’ 79-51 exhibition win against Wayne State on Tuesday night at the Assembly Hall. Brandon Paul (15), D.J. Richardson (11) and Nnanna Egwu (10) also scored in double figures for the Illini, who used a 22-1 second-half run to cruise to victory. Watch now as Spencer Turkin talks with head coach Bruce Weber following the victory. Dive inside for a full wrap-up from our Student U crew that called the game.
The Minnesota men’s basketball team opened its season with a 71-58 exhibition win against Bemidji State on Tuesday night at Williams Arena. Trevor Mbakwe had 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds and Ralph Sampson III added 15 points and four rebounds to pace the Gophers. Freshman Andre Hollins dished out eight assists without a turnover and scored six points. Watch a wrap-up of the action from Matt Nelson and Quincy Lewis now, and then jump inside for a postgame interview with Mbakwe, the preseason first-team All-Big Ten honoree.
No, there wasn’t a Heisman Trophy winner among Big Ten defensive backs during the 2000s, a la Michigan’s Charles Woodson the decade before. But the position was hardly light on talent. In fact, the 2000s saw a pair of conference stars win the Jim Thorpe award, handed out to the nation’s top defensive back, in Wisconsin’s Jamar Fletcher (2000) and Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins (2008). Watch a clip from Tuesday night’s show now and see the complete top 10 list in this post.
The latest “BTN Soccer Report” previews the Big Ten Women’s Soccer Tournament, which starts Wednesday in Evanston, Ill. Host Kevin Egan is joined in studio by analyst Aron Hyde and analyst Kyndra de St. Aubin calls in. Watch the webisode now for their predictions and tweet @BTNSoccerReport afterward about whether you agree or disagree with their selections. Beginning Wednesday, all four opening-round matchups will be streamed live on BTN.com. The semifinals on Friday and the championship game on Sunday will all be aired live on BTN. Click here for the full bracket.