Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 Big Ten Championships Begin

The strength of the Big Ten – especially in tennis – has never been as strong as it is today, but despite that, the Championships have consistently produced the same result.  The men’s final has been Illinois vs. Ohio State for seven years in a row, with the Buckeyes taking the last five. On the women’s side, Northwestern has claimed an astonishing 12in a row. Just the last few have been against Michigan, but the fact is the Wildcats have taken a total of 14 titles.
Will this year be any different?  It may.  There has been a bit of a shake-up among the Big Ten men, with Indiana surprising everyone to go through an undefeated conference season.  Minnesota has also had a great season, and a win against the Illini last week help them secure third place and push Illinois to fourth.  I’ve never counted out the Orange and Blue, who still made it to the finals last year without the No. 2 seeding, but I’d look for some very tough matches among the Big Ten men.  Even top-seeded, undefeated, Ohio State should watch their backs.

As for the women, I’m not anticipating much else than another Northwestern-Michigan battle.  This may be Michigan’s year, especially since they have the homecourt advantage, but the Wildcats will not be going down without a cat fight.  Colette Lewis of Zoo Tennis will be at this event and I’m sure she’ll be offering plenty of reports and insight.

2011 Big Ten Men’s Conference Championship
Day One
Michigan State 4, Northwestern 2
Wisconsin 4, Penn State 1
Purdue 4, Iowa 2

Day Two-Quarterfinals
10 a.m. Ohio State (1) vs. Michigan State
10 a.m.  Illinois (4) vs.  Michigan (5)
2 p.m. Minnesota (3) vs. Wisconsin
2 p.m. Indiana (2) vs. Purdue
2011 Big Ten Women’s Conference Championship
Minnesota 4, Iowa 2
Illinois 4, Michigan State 0
Indiana 4,  Penn State 0

Day Two-Quarterfinals
10 a.m.  Michigan (1) vs. Minnesota
10 a.m. Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (5)
2 p.m.   Purdue (3) vs. Illinois
2 p.m.  Northwestern (2) vs. Indiana
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