Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
The Big Ten lost its top two rushers in Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball. And Nebraska standout Rex Burkhead also is gone. But most of the conference’s other top running backs are back. Here is how I rank the Big Ten running back units, and it’s my latest look at how the various football teams units stack up by position. Read the others right here. Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments below, email me about here, or track me down on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
Illinois and Indiana were selected to the 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship. The Hoosiers earned the Big Ten’s automatic bid after winning the conference tournament and are a No. 1 seed, hosting Regional play in Bloomington, Ind. Illinois earned an at-large selection and are the No. 3 seed in the Nashville Regional, marking the second straight season that two Big Ten teams have been selected to the field. Check out the full interactive bracket at NCAA.com.
One day after Nebraska used a walk-off blast to force Sunday’s winner-take-all game at the Big Ten tournament, Indiana walked-off to claim the tourney crown and earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tourney. Scott Donley provided the heroics Sunday, driving a liner to left-center with the bases loaded to clinch the 4-3 win.
And we’ll have more baseball Sunday afternoon. Facing elimination for the third straight game, Nebraska outlasted Indiana, 7-6, thanks to Tanner Lubach’s walk-off homer in the 11th inning. That means the Hoosiers and Huskers will meet again at 1:05 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go in a winner-take-all game at Target Field. The victor earns the Big Ten’s automatic berth to the NCAA tourney. Read Huskers.com recap.
Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Quarterback play hasn’t been at an elite level in the Big Ten in recent years. In fact, many feel that’s one reason for the conference’s struggles. But this year’s collection of passers teems with potential.
While Round 1 of the Big Ten Helmet Bracket was all chalk, Round 2 featured a couple upsets, including this stunner: No. 4 Indiana over No. 1 Ohio State. Big Ten fans advanced the Hoosiers, in a 54%-46% decision, setting up a Leaders Division final of Indiana vs. No. 3 Penn State.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Crean and Indiana spent a big portion of last season ranked No. 1 in the nation. As we all know, though, the Hoosiers lost a ton of talent, including Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford and Cody Zeller. They return Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey and also welcome a decorated incoming class, so the question needs to be asked: Should Indiana be ranked in the preseason polls? BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their thoughts below.