Latest Tom Dienhart News

Get Wednesday's Big Ten web links

In Wednesday’s web links, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart sends you to some of the best Big Ten spring football stories and offers his perspective on each one. Among the topics: Kirk Ferentz and his offense in need of a fix, a pair of receivers who need to prove something and an update on Maryland transfer QB Danny O’Brien, among other things. See the links, plus Dienhart’s take, in this post.

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Football Roundtable: Talking Illini

Illinois is the midst of spring practice under first-year head coach Tim Beckman, who was hired from Toledo to take over for Ron Zook. Beckman’s goal: Lead the Fighting Illini to the Big Ten championship, which they haven’t won since 2001 under Ron Turner. Zook couldn’t do it, going 34-51 overall and 18-38 in the Big Ten with three bowl bids in seven seasons. He was dismissed after a bizarre 2011 that saw the Illini open 6-0, then lose six in a row before winning their bowl game.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Gophers QB Gray

Minnesota kicks off spring practice Thursday. As part of our daily spring “Football Fix” feature, I caught up with MarQueis Gray, the Golden Gophers quarterback who is trying to build on a breakout 2011 season and lead Minnesota to a bowl. Gray started 10 games last season after splitting time between quarterback and receiver earlier in his career. The focus on quarterback benefited Gray, who hit 108-of-203 passes (50.7 percent) for 1,495 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Read the Q&A in this post.

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Read up on Tuesday's football links

With spring practice underway, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is scouring the web for the best Big Ten football headlines. Tuesday’s links include a story about Devin Gardner’s possible expanded role, Nebraska’s desire to extend its recruiting footprint south and an update on Penn State’s quarterback battle, among other things. Get all the links, plus Dienhart’s take, in this post.

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NIT: Williams, Gophers drop Miami

Rodney Williams scored 21 points to lead Minnesota to a 78-60 victory over Miami in a second round NIT game Monday night. The Gophers never trailed after starting the game on a 12-0 run. Williams scored 16 in the first half. Minnesota (21-14) advances to the quarterfinals at Middle Tennessee on Wednesday night. The Blue Raiders efeated Tennessee earlier Monday. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and get Tom Dienhart’s analysis in this post.

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Dienhart: Top Spring Questions

Spring football is in full swing across the Big Ten. And each day, BTN.com will be the place to stop by for your daily gridiron fix as we roll toward spring games in April. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart will provide analysis, previews, videos and Q&As—among other things.

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Dienhart: Big Ten & Sweet 16 since 1985

All season, the computer rankings said that the Big Ten was the nation’s strongest conference. The league lived up to that hype through the first week of the NCAA tourney. Four of the six schools that received bids are still playing, with No. 1 Michigan State, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Indiana and No. 4 Wisconsin advancing the second weekend of the tourney. No. 4 Michigan fell in the second round to No. 13 Ohio, while No. 10 Purdue lost in the third round to No. 2 Kansas.

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Dienhart: Sunday's NCAA breakdown

Michigan State held off Saint Louis on Sunday to advance to its fourth Sweet 16 in the last five seasons (recap). As usual, Draymond Green had an impressive all-around game (tweets). With the victory, Michigan State joins Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. It looked like Purdue may join the group, too, but it fell to Kansas in the final seconds of a game it led throughout Sunday night (recap).

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A Sweet Saturday for 3 Big Ten teams

Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana came into Saturday looking to take the next step in the NCAA Tournament but all three had formidable challenges ahead of them. First off, the Buckeyes held off a very tough Gonzaga team before the Badgers battled Vanderbilt right down to the end to win. Finally, the Hoosiers got some late-game heroics from Will Sheehey and defeated VCU.

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High Five: Big Ten teams prep for next round

It was bound to happen. Friday was a day of upsets in the NCAA tournament and the Big Ten did not go unscathed as Michigan fell. But Purdue rose up and won and Michigan State rolled as well leaving five Big Ten teams alive and kicking in the tourney. Read this post for my capsules on Friday’s action plus my take on Northwestern’s NIT loss, too. On now: Ohio State vs. Gonzaga. Later: Wisconsin vs. Vanderbilt, and Indiana vs. VCU.

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Michigan State, Purdue advance; Michigan falls

Ohio pulled out a stunning 65-60 upset over Michigan in the first of three Friday night games involving Big Ten teams. Purdue dropped St. Mary’s 72-69 in a day of upsets at the NCAA tournament. In the late game, Draymond Green recorded a triple-double to lift Michigan State to an 89-67 win over Long Island. In my daily links in this post, I found some interesting takes on Indiana’s win as well as what lies ahead for Purdue and Michigan. And did you hear what Bill Self said about the Illinois program? Dive on in.

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Reader Mail: Let's Talk Tourney

You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mail bag. A lot of March Madness queries, as you would suspect. But spring football also is in the air.

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Tourney Rolls On With Thursday in the Books

The NCAA men’s tournament got underway in full force today with three Big Ten teams playing openers: Earlier, Jordan Taylor scored 17, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out six assists to help Wisconsin past Montana 73-49. Also, Indiana topped New Mexico State. Get the latest scores. BTN.com’s Big Ten Geeks take a look at the Big Ten openers with a preview of Thursday-Saturday here and another preview of Friday-Sunday here. Best place to find a bracket? NCAA.com. Best place for TV coverage of Big Ten teams? “Big Ten Basketball and Beyond: Tournament Edition” on TV. Get TV show details here.

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Ready, set, click the lastest Big Ten links

In Wednesday’s web links, we look at what some of the Big Ten beat writers are saying about their school’s chances in the NCAA tournament, which tips Thursday for three Big Ten teams. Also, find links and my thoughts on a trio of Big Ten big men who are filling equally big roles for Indiana and Michigan State. There’s some football talk in here, too, as coaches discuss position changes. Find it all in this post.

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NIT: Iowa rolls Dayton; NU nips Akron

Iowa ran past Dayton (recap) and Northwestern survived a potential buzzer-beating defeat against Akron (recap) in first-round NIT action Tuesday night. Catch up on both games on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, recaps and BTN.com Tom Dienhart’s analysis in this post. Also, don’t forget to bookmark the NIT bracket.

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