It was a busy week this past week, what with the 2012 NBA Draft and college football approving a four-team playoff. To no surprise, both topics are represented in our top 10 stories from last week. See the entire top 10 in this post.
10. Big Ten NBA Draft picks since 2000
With the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday, I thought it would fun to consider all of the Big Ten draft classes since 2000. The new millennium got off to a strong start, with eight Big Ten products selected in the 2000 draft, including Jamal Crawford, Joel Przybilla, Morris Peterson and Michael Redd.
9. CBSSports.com: What if there was a playoff last six years?
CBSSports.com’s Matt Hinton is a playoff advocate, so he must have been thrilled with Tuesday’s news that a four-team playoff is official. If his latest work is any indication, he can’t wait for the 2014 field to be determined. Curiously wondering what the playoff would have looked like in recent years, Hinton recently scribed a post that includes the playoff bracket for each of the past six seasons.
8. 2012 NBA Draft: A fun mock draft & mock links
What if the NBA drafted solely on NCAA production and didn’t stress potential or what a player could become? According to ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan, the Big Ten would dominate Thurday’s NBA draft lottery. After the obvious choice, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis at No. 1, Brennan has a Big Ten player making up the rest of his production-based mock top 5.
7. Presidents approve college football playoff
Playoffs and tournaments long have determined champions of every college sport from baseball to bowling. The exception was major college football. That ended Tuesday. Come 2014, the BCS is dead.
6. Dienhart: Q&A with Illinois’ Billy Gonzales
Billy Gonzales is ready for this. He’s ready to take the Illinois offense to the next level under new Fighting Illini coach Tim Beckman. The Illinois attack struggled in the second half of last season in what was a bizarre campaign that saw Illinois open 6-0 and then lose six in a row before ending the year with a bowl win over UCLA.
5. Four ex-Big Ten stars taken in 2012 NBA Draft
Illinois’ Meyers Leonard (No. 11, Portland), Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (No. 21, Boston), Michigan State’s Draymond Green (No. 32, Golden State) and Purdue’s Robbie Hummel (No. 58, Minnesota) were all selected in the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
4. A look ahead: Top Big Ten 2013 NBA Draft prospects
With the 2012 NBA Draft in the rearview mirror, it’s time to rank the Big Ten’s top 2013 draft prospects. There’s a ton of talent across the conference, from freshmen to seniors. For the sake of this post, though, only sophomores through seniors are considered. Let’s call it the Harrison Barnes rule.
3. After the fall: Who’s coming back from injuries
Injuries can have a cruel way of twisting the fate of team. Lose a key player and a team’s season can take an entirely different direction. Just ask Purdue, which has had more than its share of key players injured in recent seasons, or Penn State, which saw several key players go down in 2011.
2. Iowa unveils throwback uniforms for Iowa State game
It was known that Iowa would wear throwback uniforms for its annual rivalry game vs. Iowa State this season, but now we know what the duds will look like. Iowa SID Matt Weitzel confirmed Tuesday that the Hawkeyes will wear uniforms to commemorate the 1921-22 back-to-back Big Ten championship teams that went a combined 14-0.
1. Dienhart: Q&A with Michigan DC Greg Mattison
No assistant coaching hire may have had as much impact as the arrival of Greg Mattison to Michigan as defensive coordinator prior to last season. Brady Hoke plucked Mattison from the Baltimore Ravens, where he served as defensive coordinator. And the results were swift and immediate during an 11-2 season that was capped by a Sugar Bowl triumph over Virginia Tech.