With Saturday’s win over Michigan, Purdue has seemingly punched its ticket to the Dance. At 9-7 in conference play, the Boilermakers are probably right where most expected them to finish this season–still solidly in the field of 68, but not a serious contender for the conference championship. But how they got to this point is very unexpected. Ever since the Baby Boilers arrived at West Lafayette, defense has been the calling card of this team:
It was a busy Sunday of Big Ten women’s basketball, as all 12 teams were in action on the season’s final day. No. 15 Penn State routed Minnesota to claim the outright Big Ten title, No. 23 Nebraska took down No. 14 Ohio State in a battle of ranked teams and Purdue blasted archrival Indiana. Catch up on all six games on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post. Also, the Big Ten tourney bracket was released Sunday night.
On this week’s “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012,” at 8 p.m. ET Sunday, our cameras take you behind John Shurna’s record-breaking day as the senior became Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer last weekend against Minnesota. We also profile Calbert Cheaney, the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer, who has returned to Indiana following a career in the NBA, both as a player and assistant coach. Watch a bonus clip now and see what else we’ll be profiling on Sunday’s show in this post. Also, follow the show on Twitter: @BTNJourney.
The Michigan men’s swimming and diving team won the Big Ten title Saturday night at the University of Iowa Recreation and Wellness Pool. The Wolverines’ victory marked their second consecutive and 36th all-time. Read the full recap at MGoBlue.com. Also, view the Championship Central page. BTN will re-air the championships at 10 a.m. ET Saturday, March 3.
The Nebraska women and Indiana men claimed 2012 Big Ten indoor track and field titles Saturday at the Devaney Center Indoor Track. For the Huskers, competing in their first Big Ten championship event, it was their second straight conference title, as they won the Big 12 crown last season. Read the full release at Huskers.com. Meanwhile, the Hoosier men won their first Big Ten crown since 1992. Read the full release at IUHoosiers.com.
With a little more than a week to go, it has come down to Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan in the race for the Big Ten title. But other story lines exist. Which four teams will secure first-round byes in the Big Ten tourney? The Spartans, Buckeyes and Wolverines look like locks for three of the slots. But who will get the fourth? Wisconsin? Indiana? Purdue? Or, how about white-hot Iowa?
Another night, another set of at-large hopes dashed. On Wednesday evening, Minnesota hoped to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, at least for another few days, with a crucial home matchup against Michigan State. Things were looking up when the Gophers took a nine-point lead with just over 10 minutes remaining. Maybe Minnesota really would pull this off and get back onto the bubble.