The final week of the Big Ten men’s basketball season is in the books, meaning it’s time to run down the best plays from Feb. 27-March 4 action. What a final week it was, too, as we finished with three teams tied atop the Big Ten standings. There were also several highlight plays, but which ones found a spot on BTN.com blogger Brent Yarina’s latest Hardwood Highlights? See Brent’s top 10 plays in this post. Don’t agree? Cast your vote for the top play at the bottom of this post. Also, keep up with all the best highlights from across the Big Ten with our Did You See This? feature.
Throughout the 2011-12 Big Ten men’s basketball season, we’re spotlighting Gus Johnson’s best calls. The popular play-by-play announcer is calling men’s hoops for BTN all winter long, and we’ll clip and post his best calls and archive them here. Feel free to bookmark the page and come back all season right up through the Big Ten tourney. Right now, watch Johnson’s call of Victor Oladipo’s drive and highlight-reel jam and get all of his call from Sunday’s Purdue-Indiana game in this post.
(AP) Michigan State standout freshman Branden Dawson is out for the rest of the season after injuring his left knee against Ohio State. Dawson limped off the court with 10:16 left in the first half of Sunday’s 72-70 loss to the 10th-ranked Buckeyes, which left the No. 5 Spartans in a three-way tie for the Big Ten title with Ohio State and Michigan. After the game, Michigan State said Dawson has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward ranks third on the team in scoring (8.5) and is second in rebounds (4.6).
Penn State was simply dominant en route to winning its second consecutive Big Ten Wrestling Championship on Sunday, crowning three repeat champions in a memorable title match run at Mackey Arena. The Nittany Lions were nearly perfect throughout Sunday’s session and ran away from both Minnesota and Iowa in the team title race. Penn State also has qualified nine wrestlers for NCAAs, with a 10th alive for an at-large bid.
Winning on the road in the Big Ten is never easy. Doing it in back-to-back games is even tougher. Doing it with game-winning shots in the final seconds twice, that’s incredibly rare. Ohio State would know. The Buckeyes needed Jared Sullinger’s bucket with less than four seconds left to win at Northwestern on Wednesday and William Buford’s ridiculous jumper with one tick left Sunday at Michigan State. The late wins were as clutch as any this season, as they helped Ohio State claim a share of the Big Ten crown, along with Michigan and Michigan State. Watch Buford’s shot now and see Sullinger’s in this post.
KK Houser scored 19 points to help No. 21 Purdue defeat No. 24 Nebraska 74-70 in two overtimes in the Big Ten tournament final on Sunday. Houser, from Lincoln, Neb., also had five steals against her hometown team. Chantel Poston had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Sam Ostarello added eight points and 10 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers (24-8), who won the tournament for the eighth time in 17 years. Purdue’s Brittany Rayburn, who scored nine points and hit the game winner in the semifinal victory against Penn State, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. Read the full AP recap.
On Monday, the Big Ten Conference announced its Softball Players of the Week for Feb. 27-March 4. See who took home the honors and check out what they did to earn the distinctions in this post.