Three more spring games are in the books, as Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota punctuated their drills with games on Saturday. Michigan State and Wisconsin are the only schools left playing, with each conducting a spring game this Saturday when the NFL draft still will be going on.
With the wind howling in Sunday in the first game of a Big Ten doubleheader at Indiana, Northwestern showed its power prowess with a pair of deep home runs and seven total extra base hits that aided an 8-3 Wildcats’ win at the IU Softball Field. In the second game, it was all Indiana en route to an 11-3 win in six innings. The win gave Indiana two wins over Northwestern in the same season for the first time since 1997. The Hoosiers connected for three home runs, matching a season high. Watch our highlights from the Northwestern-Indiana doubleheader now and get our Sunday softball roundup in this post.
The University of Iowa baseball team beat Penn State, 4-2, Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes scored three first-inning runs and never looked back en route to snapping a three-game losing streak. Iowa starter Sasha Kuebel was terrific, earning his fourth win of the year to remain perfect (4-0). The rookie threw seven and a third solid innings, yielding just two runs, striking out two while scattering seven hits. Read the full recap at HawkeyeSports.com and get our Sunday baseball roundup in this post.
The Fighting Illini men’s gymnastics team climbed back from a two-point deficit in the final two rotations of the night to win the 2012 NCAA Championship Friday evening at the Lloyd Noble Center. The Orange and Blue posted a season-high score of 358.850, including a school record-breaking 60.750 on pommel horse, to edge host and top-ranked Oklahoma (357.450), which finished second in the field of six. Penn State (354.800) placed third, followed by California (353.000), Stanford (352.650) and Michigan (351.050). Read more at FightingIllini,.com including some great videos.
Last year brought us some epic Big Ten games. We soon won’t forget Michigan State over Wisconsin; Ohio State beating the Badgers; Nebraska rallying over Ohio State. What classics are waiting to be hatched in 2012, you ask? Good question. Get out your red Sharpie and circle these games that land on my Top 15 Big Ten clashes of 2012. Earlier, I ranked the top 15 nonconference games. Did I miss one? Tell me which Big Ten games have you fired up the most. I’m on Twitter and Facebook, too.
BTN lead football analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith recently completed their spring trek across Big Ten country, and now it’s time for the impressions from the trip. Lucky for us, DiNardo is a dedicated tweeter. See some of Coach’s thoughts from his travels in this post.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is a genius–at least when it comes to spicing up spring football games. Let’s face it: These spring “games” often are little more than glorified scrimmages to appease and tease fans. The interest? Minimal—aside from the true cognoscenti. Many coaches don’t like them, preferring to run a scrimmage or just conduct another practice for fear of injury. Lack of depth is another reason many coaches don’t like intrasquad scrimmages, as it often makes it difficult to split teams into even squads.