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Latest Tom Dienhart News

Big Ten links: Denzel Valentine, Iowa players-only meeting & more

Good to see Michigan State promoting Denzel Valentine for postseason honors by sending out a trinket. And, it’s a perfect embodiment of the versatile Valentine: a multi-purpose tool that includes a small knife, flashlight and bottle opener. It is green and includes Valentine’s name, number, and the Spartans’ logo. The guy was a stud last night in the win at OSU and has to be the fav to be national player of the year. *** Break up the Golden Gophers! That’s two wins in a row after downing Rutgers last night. *** As for the Scarlet Knights … well, they

Game Rankings: Nothing tops Wisconsin at Iowa (BTN) this week

Another interesting week, as Indiana, Iowa and Maryland keep their sights set on the Big Ten title. The Hoosiers have a half-game edge over the Hawkeyes and a one game advantage over the Terrapins. [ MORE: Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Game Rankings | Bracketology | Ready for the week ahead? | Best of week that was | Early look at B1G tourney bracket | Standings | Stats | Scoreboard | Polls ] And Ohio State is making a push to get on the NCAA bubble, as the Buckeyes have won four in a row. Here is a ranking

2016 spring football preview: Maryland Terrapins

Maryland turns the page on a new era with D.J. Durkin taking over in College Park. Durkin replaces Randy Edsall, who had a largely uneventful four-plus year tenure in going to just two bowls after taking over in 2011. Offensive coordinator Mike Locksley took over after Edsall was fired during last season, as Maryland finished 3-9 and lost nine in a row at one time. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s Big Ten spring football coverage ] The staff must adapt to the personnel, so the spring will be a critical time to develop chemistry for all parties. Durkin,

Bracketology: Seven Big Ten teams remain in experts' latest mocks

It’s time to take the temperature of the Big Ten’s NCAA hopes with a weekly check of the mock brackets from Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com and Joe Lunardi of ESPN. [ MORE: Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Game Rankings | Bracketology | Ready for the week ahead? | Best of week that was | Early look at B1G tourney bracket | Standings | Stats | Scoreboard | Polls ] The Big Ten continues to look like a seven-bid league, tied for the most in the nation. The ACC and Big 12 also each have seven projected seeds. Michigan slid

Big Ten links: Player of the year race, football updates & more

Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine is in a tight race with Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield to be national player of the year. At least according to Kyle Austin of Mlive.com. Hey, I’m not gonna argue that. Valentine may be the best all-around player in the nation, a multi-purpose threat who can do it all and is pushing this team to great heights. Is any Big Ten team playing better? Nope. After a three-game stretch during which he’s averaged 27 points and 11 assists, Valentine is firmly back in the national player of the year race that some had called for Buddy Hield

Big Ten Whiteboard: Wisconsin at Iowa (BTN) spotlights week's slate

The Big Ten has become a three-team race, with Indiana, Iowa and Maryland battling at the top with two weeks remaining in the regular season. Don’t sleep on Michigan State, either. [ MORE: Power Rankings | Ready for the week ahead? | Best of week that was | Early look at B1G tourney bracket | Standings | Stats | Scoreboard | Polls ] Here is a look at this week’s action. Game of the week: Wisconsin at Iowa, Wednesday (BTN/BTN2Go). The Hawkeyes have been in a bit of a funk, losing two of their last three games. Iowa lost at Maryland, then got stunned

2016 spring football preview: Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern is coming off a special season in which it won 10 games. And it was a much-needed elixir for a program that was coming off consecutive 5-7 seasons. Now, can the Wildcats continue their evolution? [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s Big Ten spring football coverage ] The offense needs to get better after ranking last in the Big Ten in scoring (19.5 ppg) and last overall (327.1 ypg). The passing attack lacked big-play ability, as NU ranked—what else?—last in the conference (138.5 ypg). No staff changes were made, so any improvement will have to come through maturation.

Big Ten links: Jim Leonard's return, Michigan's spring plans & more

Good to see former Wisconsin star DB Jim Leonhard return to Madison as DB coach. Leonhard will replace Daronte Jones, who left Wisconsin earlier this month to take an assistant defensive backs coach position with the Miami Dolphins. Leonhard, 33, began his Badgers career as a walk-on in 2001 and went on to play 10 years in the NFL before retiring after the 2014 season. He is a classic Badger. *** Michigan’s offensive line should be pretty good next season. But there’s a big hole at center with Graham Glasgow gone. A possible solution: moving left tackle Mason Cole to

Survey: Who is the most exciting Big Ten hoops player?

What Big Ten player is the most exciting? Who would you plunk down your hard-earned cash to watch? Who brings you out of your seat and makes you say “AHHHH!”? I asked some media members for their choice. Jess Settles, Big Ten Network: Denzel Valentine. Magic Johnson passes, hits H-O-R-S-E shots in big games, always a triple-double threat. Fearless. Marcus Fuller, St. Paul Pioneer Press: Most exciting to me is A.J. Hammons. In today’s world, the 7-footers are mainly shot blockers and rebounders. Or you’ll see them trying to be guards and hanging out on the perimeter. But Hammons is

Big Ten links: Gophers' upset win tops Friday's news digest

Minnesota is still celebrating an incredible upset win. Illinois's new AD has challenges ahead. Which Iowa player has the highest NBA potential? We round up all of Friday's top headlines in this Big Ten news digest.