March 31 Big Ten Softball Roundup

Iowa posted a doubleheader sweep over Illinois on Saturday at Pearl Field. The Hawkeyes won 5-1 in the opener before downing the Fighting Illini, 9-1, in six innings in game two. “I am proud of the kids for how they came out, took this week of practice and really implemented it in the ball game,” Iowa head coach Marla Looper said. Read the HawkeyeSports.com recap. Also, watch our highlights now and get scores and recaps from all of Saturday’s action in this post.

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Surprise Call: Michigan G Hunwick to Columbus

Talk about a whirlwind day. Waiting to attend his Astronomy 101 class Wednesday, former Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick received a phone call he’ll never forget. It was from Michigan assistant Brian Wiseman, who told him to get down to Yost Arena right away. The reason: The Columbus Blue Jackets needed a backup goalie for Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, of all teams.

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Final Four preview: Ohio State vs. Kansas

(AP) Welcome to “The Other Game” at the Final Four. OK, so, the Ohio State-Kansas matchup may not have the fantastic freshmen, the outspoken coaches or blood-feud story line of the opening semifinal between Kentucky and Louisville. But this one still should be worth a two-hour investment in front of the TV set Saturday night. Besides the chance to watch two top-line teams play for a spot in the national title game, the Buckeyes-Jayhawks game offers a rare opportunity to see two All-Americans going at it with everything on the line.

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Hummel wins Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Purdue All-American forward Robbie Hummel has been selected as the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner for men’s basketball. The announcement and trophy presentation were made Friday by Lowe’s, an official corporate sponsor of the NCAA, during the open practice sessions of Final Four Friday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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Football Fix: Fitzgerald Q&A

It is four bowls in a row and counting for Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern. But something is missing: A bowl victory. Fitzgerald is 0-4 in the postseason; Northwestern. But Fitzgerald presses on, coming off his first losing season (6-7) since his 4-8 debut in 2006. And his Wildcats have issues to address this spring. Chief among those is improving a defense that ranked 11th in the Big Ten overall (407.7 ypg), 12th vs. the pass (230.4 ypg) and 10th against the run (177.3 ypg). The offense also has work to do with Dan Persa gone under center. I caught up with Fitzgerald as he was in the midst of spring drills.

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