Video boards are the new thing when it comes to updating football stadiums. And the bigger, the better. Illinois is the latest example of this, as it will add a new HD video board above the south end zone in time for the 2013 season.
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Let me confess something before I start: I’m 5-foot-11, and I’ve never dunked. With that out of the way, it’s easy to understand why I’m such a big fan of the slam dunk. The number of high-flyers we currently have in the Big Ten doesn’t hurt matters, either, and it’s the reason I thought it would be fun to assemble the Big Ten’s Ultimate Dunker. Here goes.
Just a couple weeks ago, Minnesota was 15-1 and in the top 10 of the national polls. Fast forward to today, and the Gophers have lost four straight – a funk that keeps them dropping in my Power Rankings. Where does your team land on my latest list? Find out in this post. Oh, and feel free to send me your thoughts, either in the comment box at the bottom of the post or on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina).
NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller once scored eight points in 11 seconds. The Spartans had a quick – albeit less memorable – outburst of their own in Sunday’s defeat at Indiana. In a span of 3.7 seconds, Adreian Payne slammed home Travis Trice‘s miss and Branden Dawson, after stealing the ensuing inbound pass, dunked again. Yes, that’s two dunks in less than four seconds. Some teams don’t get two dunks in an entire game! Watch the sequence now.
Former Nebraska basketball coach Doc Sadler is doing just fine. Now the director of basketball operations at Kansas, Sadler’s team is ranked No. 1 in the latest Coaches Poll. He’s also having some fun with his new team, if a YouTube video uploaded today is any proof. The video opens with Jayhawks shooting halfcourt shots following shootaround at West Virginia, and ends with Sadler making his attempt.
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It’s Monday, and that means it’s time to take a look at BTN.com’s top 10 most-read stories and most-watched videos from the past week. See both lists in this post.
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Indiana’s A.J. Guyton and Michigan State’s Mateen Cleaves are some of the best players to wear their respective jerseys. During Sunday afternoon’s Michigan State-Indiana game at Assembly Hall, the two old rivals took to Twitter to interact about the big-time matchup that featured two one-loss Big Ten teams. See some of the highlights of their interactions in this post.
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It’s Coaches vs. Cancer weekend, and that means coaching staffs around the nation are wearing gym shoes on the sidelines to help raise awareness for the deadly disease. And, in some cases, coaches opt for a more comfortable look, like Tom Crean. Check out photos of all the Big Ten coaches’ footwear from this weekend in this post.
Traevon Jackson beat the shot clock in the final seconds to lift Wisconsin past No. 14 Minnesota on Saturday. Or did he? This one was about as close as buzzer-beaters come. Remember, if the shot clock buzzer sounds and the ball has yet to leave the shooter’s hand, it’s a violation. On this play, it’s hard to tell if the ball is out of Jackson’s fingertips before the horn goes off. See for yourself in this video and check out a screengrab in this post.
Since his 360 slam in mid-December, Rodney Williams has been uncharacteristically quiet on the jaw-dropping dunk front. He’s had his share of slams (watch in our Dunk Archive), but nothing to the level we’re accustom to. That changed Wednesday at Northwestern, when Williams was on the receiving end of a nice alley-oop. To be honest, the pass, from Joe Coleman, might have been as pretty as the dunk. Watch it now.
Pop quiz: Which school has the longest streak of putting at least one player in the Super Bowl? Alabama? Florida? LSU? Nope, it isn’t a SEC school; it’s Nebraska, according to this USA TODAY story.
What is it about Aaron Craft’s style of play that makes so many respect him? Pardon the terrible cliches, but it’s that the Ohio State point guard gives 100 percent all the time and does whatever to help his team- even if it means he puts his body at risk. Craft showed these qualities in Tuesday’s win over Iowa, when he jumped over the first row of seats as he tried to keep the ball in play. Watch the play right now.
No company outfits more Big Ten schools than Nike. Let’s see, there’s Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue, for a total of seven schools. If you caught the recent Gonzaga-Butler game, you probably have a good idea why this is being mentioned. Nike put Gonzaga in the awful (practice) jerseys that featured the school’s logo above the number.
Here’s something well worth your time. It’s a new Infiniti commercial that features ESPN’s Bill Raftery, Indiana’s Tom Crean, Purdue’s Matt Painter and Butler’s Brad Stephens as teammates in a Best Ball Scramble. Thing is, the rivals on the hardwood have a hard time understanding that they’re on the same team. It’s all in good fun, of course.
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The “CMS40” patch and warm up shirts Iowa wore Saturday were a nice touch to honor former Hawkeye Chris Street on the 20th anniversary of his death. The Hawkeyes wanted to do even more to remember Street, however the NCAA nixed the team’s first idea. According to HawkCentral.com, the NCAA wouldn’t grant Iowa permission to wear special jerseys with “STREET” on the nameplate.
The matchup for Super Bowl XLVII is set, and it will be the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens meeting Feb. 3 in New Orleans. In all, there are 15 Big Ten products on the teams’ active rosters – San Francisco 10; Baltimore 5 – not including players on IR or practice squads. See all the former Big Ten players who will participate in the Super Bowl in this post.
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For the second consecutive week, there’s a new team atop my Big Ten power rankings. This week, it’s Michigan, the team that held the top spot two weeks ago. See where your team lands on my latest list in this post. Don’t agree with the rankings? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Or tweet it my way (@BTNBrentYarina).
Twenty years to the day of his death, Iowa honored former basketball player Chris Street at halftime of Saturday’s game against Wisconsin. Street died in a car accident on Jan. 19, 1993, during his junior season in Iowa City. On Saturday, the Hawkeyes welcomed back Street’s family, honored every Iowa Chris Street Award winner, first handed out in 1993, and aired a video montage of Street as a player and person. Watch the tribute now.
Iowa didn’t only beat streaking Wisconsin on Saturday, it did so with some flair. The Hawkeyes have plays from Melsahn Basabe and Eric May to thank for that. Each player helped lift the roof off Carver-Hawkeye Arena with slams that should make all the highlight shows. Both dunks were nice, but they were even bigger because they came off great defensive plays. Which dunk was better? Watch both now and cast your vote in the poll inside.
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Earlier this season, Indiana coach Tom Crean dropped a piece gum on the court and put it right back in his mouth (watch it here). To be fair, as Crean later tweeted, it was a fresh piece that he fumbled in the process of putting in his mouth. The five-second rule applies there. But what about a wet mouthpiece that rests on the floor for several seconds?
Iowa will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Chris Street’s death at Saturday night’s game vs. Wisconsin on BTN/BTN2Go. Street, who died in a car accident on Jan. 19, 1993, will be honored at halftime, along with Iowa’s Chris Street Award winners, first handed out in 1993. The Hawkeyes also will wear a patch on their jerseys, just above the “B1G” logo, that includes Street’s initials and number (CMS 40).
Quick Change. Frisbee Dog. Add shirtless man showing off his abdominal strength to the list of Big Ten halftime entertainment. That was the intermission show for Wednesday’s Michigan State-Penn State game at the Bryce Jordan Center. And our guys loved it, especially analyst Jim Jackson. Listen to Jackson and Dave Revsine analyze the halftime entertainment now.
Tom Crean and Bo Ryan have long been bitter rivals. The rivalry goes back to Crean’s Marquette days, when the two coaches faced off once a season. Nowadays, they typically play twice a year. And since Crean came to Indiana, in 2008, Ryan has owned the rivalry, to the tune of a 9-0 record. The latest win came in Tuesday’s upset at Assembly Hall, and neither coach seemed overly excited about greeting the other in the postgame handshake line. Watch the ultra-quick handshake now.
BTN analyst Tim Doyle has been repping Jared Berggren’s underrated athleticism for some time now. To be fair, it’s pretty easy to do so after the Wisconsin senior threw down the second dunk in this clip vs. Penn State.