Illinois junior defensive end Whitney Mercilus announced Tuesday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. Mercilus entered the season as a relative unknown and finished it as one of the nation’s elite defensive players. During his breakout campaign, he led the nation with 16 sacks, forced a Big Ten-record nine fumbles and registered a Big Ten-leading 22.5 tackles for loss.
Every year, it’s a test of one’s will to avoid drawing any conclusions prior to the beginning of conference play. For instance, two years ago the Texas Longhorns jumped out to an undefeated mark before beginning their conference slate. Non-conference opponents included Pitt, UNC, and Michigan State. After opening conference play with wins over what turned out to be the bottom of the Big XII, Texas sat atop both polls (I still don’t understand the point of polls in college basketball) and was generally recognized as the best team in the country.
Eight of the 12 Big Ten women’s hoops teams are in action Monday, including the conference’s three ranked teams. No. 12 Ohio State took down Iowa, 81-74, and No. 17 Penn State throttled Wisconsin, 84-49. No. 21 Purdue is taking on Illinois right now. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard, watch our highlights and interviews from Ohio State win now and get recaps from every game in this post.
Every Sunday night during the hoops season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina recaps the week that was on the men’s hardwood and hands out his weekly honors. See Brent’s latest installment, for action from Dec. 26-Jan.1, in this post. And get ready for the coming week of Big Ten action with our Big Ten scoreboard.
It was a crazy day of Big Ten hoops Saturday, highlighted by a pair of exciting upsets. No. 15 Indiana knocked off No. 2 Ohio State (recap) and Iowa stunned No. 11 Wisconsin at the Kohl Center (recap). In other action, Purdue defeated Illinois (recap) and No. 17 Michigan State held off Nebraska (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get recaps, video and stats in this post. We have the call from the final seconds of Indiana’s upset win ready for your viewing here.
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