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As we await the start of bowl season, it’s a good time to look back at the Big Ten’s best plays of the 2012 season. From Devin Smith’s one-handed TD grab in Week 1 to Montee Ball’s highlight-reel touchdown run in the Big Ten title game, here are my top 10 plays of the 2012 season.
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No Big Ten football, no problem. Big Ten basketball is in full swing, and as a result there was no shortage of video highlights from a jam-packed week on the hardwood.
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There are posterizing dunks, and then there is Victor Oladipo’s in-your-face slam from Saturday night. Oladipo, he of several highlight-reel dunks in his two-plus seasons (remember this one?), threw down perhaps the best poke of his career in the first half against Central Connecticut State. In transition, no one accounted for Oladipo, and he drove to the rim, where Terrell Allen went for the block. Needless to say, Allen didn’t get it.
Indiana University’s unofficial First Couple took in Saturday night’s men’s basketball game vs. Central Connecticut State. Yes, we’re talking about John Mellencamp and wife Meg Ryan. The Hoosiers, in particular junior guard Victor Oladipo (Watch Oladipo’s dunk-a-thon), treated the two celebrities to quite the highlight show. It was almost difficult to keep up with all the slams (Watch all of them here). See our camera catch Mellencamp and Ryan now.
The Nittany Lion in a flight suit. The Nittany Lion balancing on a pair of rifles. The Nittany Lion marching and twirling a rifle. It was a special afternoon Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center, as Penn State hosted Army, on the same day the service academy played its annual rivalry game vs. Navy on the gridiron. And with the Black Knights in town, the Penn State mascot teamed with Army Cadets to provide the halftime entertainment. Watch the Nittany Lion entertain the crowd now.
Only a sophomore, Sam Thompson has plenty of individual highlights ahead of him. Thing is, the high-flying Buckeye may have a difficult time topping the highlight reel he directed in Saturday’s rout of Long Beach State. Thompson made a living high above the rim, throwing down a pair of impressive alley-oops and slamming home an inbound pass. Watch Thompson dunk the inbound pass now, and see his two alley-oops in this post.
Wisconsin fans are excited to have former coach and current AD Barry Alvarez on board to guide the Badgers in the 2013 Rose Bowl vs. Stanford. And who can blame them? Not only is Alvarez a school legend who made Wisconsin football relevant, he’s a perfect 3-0 in the Rose Bowl.
No doubt about it, Indiana fans are passionate about their men’s basketball program. How much so, you may ask? Enough to light up a house this holiday season in a way that would leave every Indiana fan impressed. Check out a YouTube video of the house that screams Indiana basketball right here.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be inside the locker room with Tom Izzo at the half? The legendary Michigan State coach gave BTN an all-access pass Wednesday night, and it didn’t disappoint. Watch Izzo, he of six Final Four appearances and seven Big Ten titles, address his team in this video.
Former Ohio State standout Greg Oden stopped by the BTN booth to talk with Tom Hamilton and Jim Jackson during Saturday’s game against Northern Kentucky. At one point, he was asked what he remembered most about the season that ended one win short of an NCAA championship. Oden didn’t miss a beat and replied: “We lost.”
Illinois’s Joseph Bertrand showed off some acrobatics on Wednesday night against Georgia Tech, including the twisting shot in this video. Up 62-58 in the second half, Bertrand takes the ball almost the length of the court, leaps a good distance from the rim, twists in the air, and banks the shot in off the glass. And he drew the foul. Bertrand finished with 15 points, one of four Illini players in double digits.
Coaches never know what questions await them during a postgame press conference. Penn State coach Bill O’Brien knows this all too well following an emotional 24-21 overtime victory over Wisconsin on Senior Day at Beaver Stadium.
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Saturday was a big day at Ohio Stadium. Not only did Ohio State beat heated rival Michigan to clinch a perfect 12-0 season, the school celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 national championship team. And yes, the festivities included Jim Tressel, the former coach responsible for the current team’s NCAA probation. That didn’t matter on this day, as the Ohio State faithful gave Tressel a rousing ovation. Watch the fans shower Tressel with love now.
Entering the season, we heard a lot about how Michigan State big man Adreian Payne had extended his range. That may be true, but Payne spends most of his time down low, and for good reason. In Sunday’s 69-41 victory over Texas Southern, the 6-foot-10 junior threw down two highlight-reel dunks. Watch his alley-oop on the inbound pass now and see his athletic and powerful putback of a missed 3-pointer in this post.
Saturday was a special day at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. Not only was it Senior Day, the game marked the 500th, and final at Memorial Stadium, of Tom Osborne’s career at Nebraska. The former head coach and current athletic director will retire Jan. 1, 2013, and the school honored him and the team’s seniors Saturday. Watch the school’s halftime tribute to Osborne now, plus see the day’s other tributes in this post.
BTN color analyst Chris Martin asked for it, and he got it on the very next play. After Indiana running back Stephen Houston received two carries in the first half of Indiana’s game at Penn State on Saturday, Martin begged for Houston to get involved prior to a 1st-and-10 play early in the third quarter. And guess what happened seconds later?Yep, Houston scored. See exactly what Martin said in this video.
This is not the way Penn State’s Michael Mauti wanted to leave Beaver Stadium, perhaps, for the final time in his career. Already having suffered a pair of knee surgeries, Mauti left Saturday’s game on a cart after injuring his left knee. Mauti is a fan favorite, both for his incredible play and leadership, so it’s no surprise the Penn State faithful gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name as he left the field. Watch the ovation now and see the injury in this post.
By all accounts, few things went wrong for No. 1 Indiana during its blowout win over Sam Houston State on Thursday night. In Tom Crean’s postgame interview with BTN’s Jim Jackson, the Indiana coach stressed how his team him with the sustained effort from his team for the entire game. That’s why we hope his players didn’t give their coach a hard time about one specific mishandling of the gum near the end of the win.
There were plenty of highlights during No. 5 Michigan’s 91-54 victory over IUPUI on Monday night at Crisler Center. One would be hard pressed to find two better ones than Tim Hardaway Jr.’s coast-to-coast slam dunk or Jon Horford’s powerful two-handed flush. Watch Hardaway’s dunk now and see Horford’s in this post.
No matter what happens from here on out, Michigan wide receiver Roy Roundtree will be remembered for his catch in Saturday’s game vs. Northwestern. The 53-yard tip reception was jaw-dropping regardless of the game situation, but it was all the more ridiculous because it set up Michigan’s game-tying field goal with two seconds left at Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines, of course, went on to win the game in overtime.
Wisconsin running backs Montee Ball and James White torched Indiana’s defense in Saturday’s 62-14 win, to the tune of 359 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Ball and White had their share of help on the ground, too, as the Badgers racked up a school-record and Memorial Stadium-record 564 yards, not to mention seven rushing touchdowns. Watch every one of Wisconsin’s rushing scores in this video.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points – including career point No. 1,000 – and grabbed 10 rebounds and Trey Burke added 21 points as they teamed up to lead No. 5 Michigan to a 100-62 victory over Slippery Rock on Friday at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.
Few things in sports top the reaction to a goal in soccer. From Andres Cantor’s iconic call to the players’ funny, creative and, at times, embarrassing celebrations, it’s plenty of reason to watch. Indiana’s Eriq Zavaleta came up with quite the celebration following his goal in Thursday’s double-overtime draw with Northwestern. We’re not going to spoil the surprise, so go ahead and be delighted by Zavaleta’s celebration in this video.
Coaches will go to extreme measures to pump up their players. We saw a perfect example of it prior to Saturday afternoon’s Penn State-Purdue football game. There, on the sideline of Ross-Ade Stadium, Penn State strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald took off his shirt and did a belly flop, of sorts, to get his players excited. It seemed to work, as Penn State cruised 34-9. Watch Fitzgerald in action now.
Here are a few individual highlights from Michigan’s exhibition game on Thursday night, including Glenn Robinson III with the steal and coast-to-coast drive for the jam against Northern Michigan. There was also an alley-oop from Tim Hardaway Jr. to Robinson. Michigan won the game 83-47 and Spike Albrecht led the Wolverines with 16 points. For game stats and notes, check out the GameTracker on MGoBlue.com.