BTN announces its most-compelling non-con men's hoops schedule

The slate features six matchups of teams that appeared in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, including the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats at Purdue on Nov. 14 as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games and the 2014 national champion Connecticut Huskies at Ohio State on Dec. 10.

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Dienhart: What I'll be watching for at Purdue practice

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Darrell Hazell needs a big year. It’s no secret. He has yet to get this program off the ground in his first three seasons. The struggles can’t be sugarcoated or minimized, as Hazell has gone 6-30 overall and 2-22 in the Big Ten. Three of the victories have been vs. FCS foes; another was vs. a MAC team. Will 2016 be the year the script is flipped? Hazell will move forward with a veteran roster that has potential and a staff that has two new coordinators.

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Dienhart: What I will be looking for at Illinois practice

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Hopes are high in Champaign, as Illinois takes the wraps off the Lovie Smith era. Will he be the coach to deliver a consistent winner to the Illini Nation? Smith arrives from the NFL with a big reputation, but he will be Illinois’ fifth coach since 1997 following Ron Turner, Ron Zook, Tim Beckman and Bill Cubit.

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