The 2012 Big Ten softball season is set to begin this week with 10 teams taking to the diamond on the opening weekend of play. Nebraska opens the season on Thursday, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State begin on Friday, and Minnesota opens its season on Saturday. Wisconsin begins the new year on Feb. 17, and Purdue opens its season on Feb. 18.
This is a nice week of action with five matchups that will go a long way toward determining the Big Ten title chase—and possible NCAA bids. The steak vs. lobster match between the first-place Buckeyes and second-place Spartans is a five-star affair. Don’t miss it.
Find out more about: Ranking the Games
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 plays from the past week?
Find out more about: Hoops Power Rankings
With the Super Bowl behind us, college basketball now becomes the center of the sports universe. And the Big Ten will get a lot of that attention this week with a collection of nice games headlined by Michigan State’s titanic visit to Ohio State on Saturday in a showdown between the top two teams in the Big Ten. In this week’s Big Ten Whiteboard, I draw up my game of the week, a sleeper matchup, the head-to-head battle between players you need to see, plus a few more items.
Find out more about: Big Ten Whiteboard
Former Michigan State star linebacker Greg Jones won a ring and handed one out Sunday night in Indianapolis. That’s right, the New York Giants’ rookie proposed to his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, as confetti fell from the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium following Super Bowl XLVI. Evidently, Jones had practice squad tight end Christian Hopkins hold the ring during the game and give it to him after the final play. Piechowski said yes, of course (see pictures of the proposal!). And here’s a picture of the proud groom-to-be, courtesy of teammate Mark Herzlich’s Twitter account.
Find out more about: Big Ten Pros
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held their weekly Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions each Monday right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive.
Find out more about: Teleconferences
On Monday’s Big Ten Pulse, former Michigan State star and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year Mateen Cleaves joined our guys in the studio. The crew interviewed Michigan State senior Draymond Green, fresh off a 14-point, 16-rebound effort against Michigan, and took its first look at the bubble teams. Which current Big Ten bubble team has the best chance to make the tournament? The guys debated it. Also, Pulse-ntages returned, and our crew conidered if Ohio State will lose another Big Ten game, among other topics.