The way Bo Pelini’s been delighting the masses on social media since the end of last season, you had a feeling he was going to do something special Saturday at Nebraska’s spring game. He did something special, all right, carrying a cat in his arms for the team’s famed tunnel walk. As Pelini entered the field, he hoisted it above his head – a move that delighted the fans and reminded many of “The Lion King.”
Nobody needs to be reminded that it was a long, long winter. The grass at Ross-Ade Stadium during Saturday’s spring game is all the proof anyone needs. One of the Big Ten’s three fields still with natural surface, the field had a yellow hue to it in several spots and a couple streaks near both 30-yard lines that stretched from one sideline to the other. See a photo of the field in this post.
Earlier this week, Illinois basketball coach John Groce participated as the “celebrity contestant” for the “Shoot the Puck” contest during intermission of the NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks. Groce and Illinois are fresh off a 20-15 season and an NIT berth in his second season. Watch the video in this post to see how he did.
The Michigan State softball team honored Lacey Holsworth during its game Wednesday afternoon vs. Indiana. Holsworth, the 8-year-old with neuroblastoma who befriended Michigan State star basketball player Adreian Payne, died from cancer late Tuesday night. Watch the softball team’s tribute in this post.
Rutgers product Jamaal Westerman has played for five teams in his five NFL seasons. Looking to catch on with a another team this offseason, Westerman is turning some heads with a piece of equipment. More specifically, his Darth Vader-esque elevation training mask.
There’s been plenty of talk about what Maryland’s move to the Big Ten, official July 1, means for the Terps athletic teams and the conference. The impact of the move is felt throughout the school, though, and it’s one that is benefiting students and faculty alike. See what Maryland thinks about its move to the Big Ten in its “Live B1G” video in this post.
You don’t have to ask Ohio State fans twice to bust out the O-H-I-O chant. Put a camera in front of four Ohio State fans, and there’s a very good chance they’ll form O-H-I-O. Here are a few examples: 1, 2, 3, 4. Don’t have four people? No worries, they’ll get creative and use props – even a casket. Or a beautiful setting sun, as Ohio State fan Melissa Green’s family did on a recent vacation in Florida.
If Big Ten fans didn’t know Aaron Harrison’s name before last week, they sure do now. Harrison, the freshman Kentucky guard, drained ridiculously similar – and deep – game-winning 3-pointers to beat Michigan in the Midwest Region and Wisconsin in the national semis. Both shots came in the final seconds, both from the deep left wing, and both led Kentucky past the Big Ten. See how similar the shots were in this post.
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There was no shortage of Wisconsin royalty at the Badgers’ national semifinal game vs. Kentucky on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas. NFL stars J.J. Watt and Russell Wilson were there, and so was 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball, among others. Unlike his former Wisconsin teammates and current NFL rivals, Ball was there in costume – in what looked like either a frog or alligator suit.
The way uniforms change nowadays, nothing is out of the question. Like, could adidas one day outfit the Michigan football team in an all-maize uniform? Possibly, although the school and company have not announced any such plans. For what it’s worth, Devin Gardner and the rest of the quarterbacks were in all-maize for Saturday’s annual spring game.
Urban Meyer and Ohio State hosted its Student Appreciation Practice on Saturday afternoon. As expected, the team and fans had a lot of fun. Even Brutus joined in on the good times. Check out a video and photo of the school’s popular mascot trying to block Nicki Meyer’s field goal in this post.
There was some serious talent and royalty on the sideline Saturday afternoon at the Michigan spring game. Heisman winners Desmond Howard (1991) and Charles Woodson (1997) were at Michigan Stadium to get a sneak peek at the 2014 Wolverines. Our Lisa Byington caught up with both during the action to see their thoughts on what they were seeing.
Russell Wilson earned quite a reputation during his standout senior season at Wisconsin. Now, fresh off a Super Bowl Championship, Wilson has become one of the most popular athletes on the planet.
How did former Ohio State star Nick Swisher celebrate his first home run of the 2014 season? With an O-H-I-O after crossing home plate, obviously. Swisher drilled the homer in Cleveland’s 7-2 home win over Minnesota on Friday, and he finished the game 2-for-5 with three RBI. Watch Swisher form O-H-I-O and see a photo of it in this post.
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Michigan State senior Adreian Payne had an impressive showing in Thursday night’s State Farm College Slam Dunk Contest. The Spartans’ big man didn’t win the event, but he left quite an impression with his first dunk of the evening.
Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals saw their season come to an end last weekend with a 74-69 loss to Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Therefore, Pitino got the chance to take in tonight’s NIT Championship game between Minnesota and SMU. Of course, Pitino’s son, Richard, is the head coach of the Gophers.
Wisconsin reserve Zach Bohannon is taking advantage of his first trip to the Final Four. The senior spent Thursday walking around AT&T Stadium taking selfies of himself with each Final Four coach and other familiar faces. See Bohannon’s picture of him with Florida’s Billy Donovan UConn’s Kevin Ollie, Kentucky’s John Calipari and, of course, Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan in this post.
If you weren’t hungry, you will be after reading this: Barack Obama was in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, and as everyone must do while on Michigan’s campus, the President went to Zingerman’s for lunch. His order: A Reuben sandwich. See a few pictures of Obama’s visit to Zingerman’s in this post.
Coaches love to fire up the home fanbase when they speak at fundraisers. The latest example comes from Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner, who spoke at the team’s spring football kickoff luncheon on Wednesday. Warinner delighted the crowd with a couple jokes at heated rival Michigan’s expense. See the jokes in this post.
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Minnesota didn’t make the NCAA tourney, but it compiled one of the better seasons in team history. The Gophers set a record for wins in a single season (25) on their way to claiming their third NIT crown. Not bad for a team with a first-year coach and a revamped roster from a team that won a game in the NCAA tourney a season ago.
Headed to its first Final Four since 2000, the Wisconsin Badgers grace this week’s Sports Illustrated. Josh Gasser and Frank Kaminsky are featured on one of the magazine’s four regional covers leading up to the Final Four. Wisconsin’s cover is a terrific reaction shot of the team’s celebration after topping No. 1 seed Arizona in the West Region final. See the cover in this post.
ESPN asked this simple poll question today: Which team are you rooting for to win the men’s college basketball national title? The results were interesting and pretty humorous. The interesting: Wisconsin led the way, with 37 percent of the votes, at the time of the picture below. The humorous: Only one state was rooting for Kentucky. See the poll results in this post.
Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers play at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. One might ask what that has to do with the Big Ten, and he or she would be right. Thanks to Paul, though, there’s an important Iowa angle to the event.
It’s not Thursday, but, boy, was there a Throwback Thursday-worthy Bo Ryan photo tweeted out Monday. Ryan is the man in the middle, the one wearing glasses, an oversized bow tie and plaid pants.
Wisconsin is headed to its first Final Four since 2000. And knowing this team, the national media should be thrilled. The Badgers are a team filled with engaging personalities and excellent soundbites. For example, this guy. Only a freshman, Nigel Hayes is someone fans and media already love and appreciate. But, again, this is a team full of characters, and here’s a look at some of the fun they’ve had on their way to the Final Four.