If you have no rooting interest in tonight’s BCS title game, cheer on Auburn fullback Jay Prosch. Prosch, who spent his first two seasons at Illinois, transferred to Auburn following the 2011 season to be closer to his mother, Iris, who was diagnosed with brain cancer. Iris passed away from the brain cancer last season. Watch our 2011 feature on Prosch and his mother here.
Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery was not happy with the officials Sunday night, and he let the crew knew about it during a timeout in the second half of Sunday’s loss at Wisconsin. It appeared that McCaffery was upset about a foul being called on the previous play when Iowa forward Gabe Olaseni was whistled for a hand check foul on Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes.
“Rise to the Occasion.” That slogan was featured prominently on Michigan’s Adidas warmup shirts during last year’s memorable NCAA basketball tournament run.
Austin Hollins had a pair of slams on BTN.com’s top 10 nonconference dunks. The Minnesota senior exploded for another impressive flush in Sunday’s home game vs. Purdue. This time, Hollins used a shot fake from beyond the 3-point line to get to the basket for a powerful right-handed throw-down. Watch the dunk in this post.
Northwestern freshman Aaron Liberman received his first action in a Big Ten game in Sunday’s 74-51 defeat at Michigan. By getting on the court, Liberman became the first player to wear a yarmulke in a Big Ten basketball game. In fact, according to this story, he’s only the second Division I player ever to do so.
Basil Smotherman showed off his explosive hops early in the nonconference season with a driving, posterizing left-handed dunk vs. Rider. Believe it or not, the Purdue freshman went for a very similar dunk in Sunday’s loss at Minnesota. Watch Smotherman posterize Austin Hollins here, plus see his dunk vs. Rider at the bottom of the post.
Tempers flared in the second half of the Penn State-Illinois game, and the scuffle led to an extended delay and the ejection of Penn State guard D.J. Newbill. The mix-up occurred when Kendrick Nunn collided with Newbill on his way up the court after driving for an Illini bucket. Newbill didn’t take kindly to the collision and swung his left hand into the back of Nunn’s head. The two players had to be separated. Watch the scuffle in this post.
Big Ten officials were targets of flying bodies Saturday. First, an official leaped over a falling Tim Frazier in the Penn State-Illinois game, and then another had his legs taken out under him when Will Sheehey tried to make a hustle play on a ball going out of bounds in the Michigan State-Indiana game. Luckily, for John Higgins, he nailed the landing and avoided any injury.
Illinois senior Joseph Bertrand has plenty of highlight-reel plays to his name. But none may be better than his reverse alley-oop in Tuesday’s Big Ten opener vs. Indiana. Now, Bertrand has slammed down a previous reverse alley-oop (watch it in this post), but this one was even better. Like, a lot better. See for yourself in this post.
So Wisconsin’s Nicole Bauman had a pretty big shot in the Badgers’ game against Green Bay on Monday. With her team trailing 55-52, the sophomore guard tied up the game with a long jumper with just 0.2 seconds left in the second half. The shot forced the game into overtime.
With the conference hoops season set to tip, it’s time to consider BTN.com’s top 10 dunks from the nonconference season. See our complete list in this post. Did we miss one? Feel free to leave your favorite dunk in the comment box at the bottom of the post.
Sam Dekker is no stranger to making highlight-reel plays, and he added another jaw-dropper in Wisconsin’s 80-43 win over Prairie View A&M on Saturday afternoon. This time, Dekker soared for a crowd-pleasing one-handed transition alley-oop. Plain and simple, Dekker got up. And his Wisconsin teammates loved the play. Watch the alley-oop and reaction to it in this post.
How much Outback Steakhouse food can two football teams eat in one sitting? If you guessed 5,000 pounds, you’d be right. That’s the estimated weight in sirloin steak, chicken, ribs and a host of sides and desserts that Iowa and LSU football players took down Thursday at the annual Outback Bowl Welcome Dinner. Yikes, right?
Still not in the holiday mood? Maybe this video from Wisconsin athletics can do the trick. It’s a fun video, set to “Jingle Bell,” and it includes members from every Wisconsin sport decked out in holiday gear, singing and dancing. Coaches like Gary Andersen even make a cameo, same goes for AD Barry Alvarez. Watch the video in this post.
Penn State won its record-tying sixth NCAA volleyball crown Saturday night in Seattle. This time, the Nittany Lions, who have won five of the last seven national titles, dropped rival Wisconsin, 3-1, in what was the first all-Big Ten final. Watch our interviews and get all the best reaction to Penn State’s historic win in this post.
How often do you see a 7-footer make a successful behind-the-back pass? It doesn’t happen a lot, but it did Sunday in Iowa City. Iowa sophomore Adam Woodbury got fancy in transition vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and found Aaron White for a powerful dunk. White added even more flair to the play by hanging on the rim and pulling himself up. Watch the highlight in this post.
If Luke Fischer reminded Indiana basketball fans of Cody Zeller in Sunday’s 90-66 win over Kennesaw State, they weren’t alone. BTN color analyst Jim Jackson noticed it, too, and how could he not with the way the freshman big man ran the floor? Watch Fischer’s Zeller-like sequence in this post.
What do Hollywood movie stars Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis do when they aren’t filming movies? How about taking in an Iowa vs. Penn State wrestling match?
For the first time since 2008, Illinois has Braggin’ Rights. The Illini held off rival Missouri, 65-64, in a thrilling back-and-forth affair Saturday at Scottrade Center. The win snapped the Illini’s four-game losing streak in the series and also marked the Tigers first loss of the season. See reaction to the victory in this post.
It is no secret to Michigan State fans that the Spartan football program has built quite a relationship with Atlanta rapper, Rich Homie Quan. The Spartans have made an ongoing tradition of gathering in the lockeroom and dancing to Rich Homie Quan’s hit song, “Type of Way” following victories.
Look what we came across today while searching for the top Big Ten social media trends across the web. Notice anything odd about this mini helmet collection?
Michigan Stadium will host the 2014 NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, and “The Big House” is starting to look like it’s ready to host a hockey game. Check out a photo gallery, courtesy of USA TODAY Sports, from media access day Thursday in this post.
Who doesn’t like a good highlight-reel one-handed grab? Typically, the play is reserved for wide receivers, and plenty of Big Ten wideouts obliged this season. But a couple defensive backs, the guys who play defense because they don’t have the best hands, turned in two of the better one-handed grabs of the 2013 season.
Tom Izzo liked how buddy Tom Crean and Indiana honored longtime official Ed Hightower last month so much that he decided to do the same Tuesday. With 2:01 left in an easy win over North Florida, Izzo grabbed the mic and thanked Hightower – who will retire at the end of the month and was officiating his final game at the Breslin Center – for his 32 years as an official.