Michigan’s run of dominance at the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships was in serious doubt until the very end of the 2011 meet in Minneapolis. The Wolverines (196.600), however, finished strong on the beam and floor to edge out Penn State (196.375) and Illinois (196.075) en route to claiming their fifth straight Big Ten crown. The fact the victory was so close and that it came down down to the very end made it all the more rewarding, Michigan coach Bev Plocki said: “That makes it that much sweeter, because they did it under pressure.”
BTN host Mike Hall loves going across Big Ten country and learning how to play sports he’s not, um, very good at. Hall visited East Lansing, Mich., more specifically Munn Arena, recently to get some pointers from a trio of Spartans, Torey Krug, Drew Palmisano and Derek Grant. Hall isn’t the best skater in the world, so how did his session? Not all that well. Check out inside
Well, I didn’t envision writing 2011-12 Big Ten hoops look-aheads quite this early, but following Ohio State and Wisconsin’s Sweet 16 defeats, it’s that time. These will certainly change before next winter, considering possible roster changes and coaching moves. That said, check out way-too-early initial 2011-12 Big Ten hoops power rankings:
Find out more about: Hoops Power Rankings
With the 2010-11 Big Ten hoops season now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look to next year and offer some predictions. The Big Ten will lose its share of talent, but it returns a ton of firepower, as well. Ohio State, of course, will be chasing its third straight Big Ten crown, both regular season and postseason. Now for the predictions, which will almost certainly make me look silly in a year:
Find out more about: B1G Predictions
The Big Ten received five bids to the 2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, including regular-season champ Michigan State and postsesason champ Ohio State, both as No. 4 seeds. Iowa, Penn State and Purdue round out the Big Ten contingent in the annual 64-team field. “The five teams that we saw get in are solid teams,” said Big Ten Network analyst Stephanie White, who won a national championship during her storied career at Purdue.
It’s an exaggeration, but only a slight one, to describe Red Grange as the “Babe Ruth of College Football.” Grange played only three varsity seasons at the University of Illinois, in the nation’s heartland, while Ruth was a larger-than-life presence on New York’s Yankees for nearly two decades. He’s credited with rescuing baseball from the throes of a gambling scandal, and there’s no doubt Ruth transformed how the game was played through his unprecedented and prodigious slugging.
Find out more about: Big Ten Icon Profiles
To say that Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender was dominant in her time at OSU would be an understatement. Lavender became the first men’s or women’s basketball player in conference history to win Player of the Year honors for four consecutive seasons, was selected fifth overall in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks, and ended her Buckeye career as the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder. She also set an NCAA record for most consecutive games with 10 or more points, scoring in double digits in each of her 136 career games. Watch now as the BTN cameras followed Jantel around during her senior year in Columbus.