Including a fourth career multi-homer game from Cameron Perkins, No. 13 Purdue baseball hit a season-high four home runs en route to defeating Iowa, 11-8, to clinch the Big Ten Conference title outright Thursday. The Boilermakers (41-10, 17-5 Big Ten) won the opening game of every Big Ten series this season. The four long balls were the most by the Boilers since connecting for five in an April 2010 home win against Penn State.
The tight end spot continues to evolve into a more prominent position across the football landscape, as teams are featuring them more often as vertical passing threats.
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In my last Big Ten football schedule analysis post, I examine Wisconsin, your defending Big Ten champions. What will be the Badgers’ toughest non-conference and conference games? Where does the schedule get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post to what else I picked.
Big Ten softball’s regular-season champion Michigan and Northwestern play their NCAA Tournament openers on Friday. The Wolverines open at 4:30 p.m. ET in the Louisville regional against Kentucky, and yopu can find lot of good softball stuff on the team’s page at MGoBlue.com. Meanwhile, NUsports.com has you covered as the Wildcats face Texas in Austin regional Friday at 5 p.m. ET. The first-round regionals are double elimination and a great way to track all games is on the NCAA.com interactive bracket. The B1G Diamond Report show will cover both of these teams on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
BTN will televise four conference baseball matchups over the next three days, with each game playing a large role in determining postseason seeding. Following the Ohio State at Indiana game on Saturday, Mike Hall, Cal Eldred and Tammy Williams will have highlights and analysis of the day’s baseball games, and break down the NCAA Softball Tournament on B1G Diamond Report. And the baseball blog at BigTen.org has game-by-game previews, too.
In the NCAA Womena’s Lacrosse Tournament quarterfinals Saturday night No. 2 seed Northwestern hosts No. 7 seed Duke at 8 p.m. ET on BTN and BTN2Go with Mike Wolf and Rob Coons calling the action. Also for the Big Ten, Penn State visits No. 1 seed Florida on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. with a trip to the NCAA semifinals on the line. Click here for a full NCAA Tournament interactive bracket. And yes, they’re both on twitter – @NUlax and @GoPSUwlax
Bet you didn’t know that Nebraska hasn’t won a conference championship since 1999. But, it’s true. If Nebraska is to break that dry spell in its second season in the Big Ten, it will need its defense to improve. The unit must replace lots of star power, headed by the likes of lineman Jared Crick, linebacker Lavonte Davis and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. All were NFL draft picks.
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