The subject in the photo above is Northwestern’s all-time leading scorer John Shurna. [ MORE: Like this post? Check out our full Gone Viral section ] For real. The former baby-faced Big Ten star is playing overseas, and the now-famous beard was the catalyst for his Spanish Liga ACB team’s (Valencia) 28-game winning streak, which started in October and, amazingly, spanned six countries. Valencia finally lost last Tuesday, to Limoges of France, and the beard came off the following day. It took a half-hour to shave, if you were wondering. “My sister came to visit over the holidays, and she
The 2016 Pro Bowl selections are changing by the minute, it seems, but there will be plenty of Big Ten representation at the annual event Sunday at Aloha Stadium. [ MORE: View the complete Pro Bowl roster at NFL.com ] As of Tuesday afternoon, 13 former Big Ten stars will suit up in Honolulu, Hawaii. That figure doesn’t include Tom Brady (Michigan), who was named to the team but withdrew, Kawann Short (Purdue), who will miss the game due to playing in Super Bowl 50, or a trio Nebraska players who all played before their schools entered the Big Ten.
The matchup is set, and it will be the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. [ MORE: See how Big Ten names fared in AFC, NFC title games ] A total of 16 former Big Ten stars are on Super Bowl 50 active rosters, not including former Maryland TE Vernon Davis, who played for the Terrapins before they entered the Big Ten. Here are some more Big Ten-centric Super Bowl 50 stats: Of the two competitors, Denver has the most ex-Big Ten players (9). Ten Big Ten schools have at least one player in the Super
It was a big Sunday for former Big Ten stars in NFC and AFC title games. Four players scored at least one touchdown, with Owen Daniels (Wisconsin) hauling in a pair of scoring strikes in Denver’s win vs. New England. On defense, Kurt Coleman (Ohio State) picked off a pair of passes in Carolina’s rout of Arizona, and Bradley Roby (Ohio State) sealed Denver’s aforementioned AFC title game victory with an interception on New England’s potential game-tying two-point conversion in the final seconds. Before we consider how every former Big Ten star performed Sunday, let’s look ahead to Super Bowl
Aaron Craft built his game around defense and hustle at Ohio State. That’s not to say the two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year didn’t flash offensive skills or make clutch baskets during his four seasons in Columbus, Ohio. He did. For example, who could forget his buzzer-beater vs. Iowa State in the 2013 NCAA tournament to advance the Buckeyes to the Sweet 16? Craft was on the offensive again Saturday night, hitting a buzzer-beater in double overtime to send the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Golden State Warriors D-League affiliate, to a 128-126 victory.
The Big Ten knows all about Michael Caputo and what he adds to a defense. The former Wisconsin safety put his skills on display in the 91st East-West Shrine Game on Saturday at Tropicana Field. Caputo picked off a pair of passes, including one vs. ex-Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave, and tallied three tackles en route to claiming defensive MVP honors in the West team’s 29-9 victory. Caputo’s second interception came vs. a familiar foe, as well, as he picked off former former Iowa and Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock in the fourth quarter. The two interceptions were just one fewer than the
A handful of former Big Ten stars were named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team, released Tuesday. See the five players below: Stefon Diggs (Maryland), WR, Minnesota Vikings – 52 rec., 720 yards, 4 TD Brandon Scherff (Iowa), G, Washington Redskins – No stats Rob Havenstein (Wisconsin), T, St. Louis Rams – No stats Donovan Smith (Penn State), T, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – No stats Adrian Amos (Penn State), S, Chicago Bears – 67 tackles One-time Michigan RB Thomas Rawls, who transferred to Central Michigan, also made the team.
The AFC and NFC championship games are set, and it will be New England at Denver and Arizona at Carolina, respectively. Check out how former Big Ten names performed in NFL divisional playoff action Saturday and Sunday below. Editor’s note: Stats are from foxsports.com box scores. ILLINOIS Jeff Allen, OL, Kansas City Chiefs – No stats Tavon Wilson, DB, New England Patriots – No stats INDIANA Cody Latimer, WR, Denver Broncos – 2 rec., 18 yards IOWA Bryan Bulaga, T, Green Bay Packers – No stats Scott Chandler, TE, New England Patriots – No stats Mike Daniels, DT, Green Bay
With the NFL Wild Card weekend complete, it’s time to take a look at how Big Ten names fared in Saturday and Sunday’s playoff games. Former Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier highlighted the participants, registering 13 tackles and two forced fumbles, including the one that led to Pittsburgh’s dramatic game-winning drive in the final seconds. Other notable performances: Whitney Mercilus (Illinois) recorded eight tackles and three sacks in Houston’s loss to Kansas City, Fitz Toussaint (Michigan) totaled 118 yards in Pittsburgh’s aforementioned victory, Cliff Avril (Purdue) notched five tackles and three sacks in Seattle’s comeback win at Minnesota, and Trae
It was alumni day Saturday at the Wisconsin men’s basketball game. [ MORE: Remember this? Sam Dekker’s mom tweets picture of son mowing yard ] Former Wisconsin star and current Houston Rockets forward Sam Dekker learned this via text message from his mother, who said that Dekker should be at the Kohl Center. He would have been had he not entered the 2015 NBA Draft following his junior season, one that saw the Badgers make their second consecutive Final Four run, ending with a loss to Duke in the national final. The message also included a funny jab, with Dekker’s