Latest Tom Dienhart News

Whiteboard: Purdue + Michigan = big week for IU

This is a nice week that is anchored by a Titanic prime-time clash on Saturday: No. 1 Michigan at No. 3 Indiana, which began the season No. 1. This should be a battle of first-place teams, with the winner in the driver’s seat to win the Big Ten.

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Dienhart: Ranking the top Big Ten teams of BCS era

Got a case of the “football blues” with basketball season in full-tilt mode? If so, than chew on this piece from Athlon Sports that picks the 12 best Big Ten teams of the BCS era. Or, if you prefer, the 12 best Big Ten teams since 1998. As you would suspect, Ohio State is well-represented with half of the countdown being Buckeye squads: 2002 (No. 1); 1998 (No. 2); 2006 (No. 4); 2012 (No. 5); 2007 (No. 7); 2010 (No. 12).

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Today's links: Michigan keeps drawing praise

Let’s begin daily links with a homage to Michigan. I think it’s the best team in America, at least this week. And count the great Loren Tate of the Champaign News-Gazette among those who also are impressed with Michigan, which quelled any notion Illinois had of upsetting the Wolverines with impressive penetration and passing on Sunday en route to improving to 19-1 with a win over the Fighting Illini.

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Mailbag: Brackets, handshakes & clutch choices

It’s that time of the week for me to reach into my mailbag and answer some of your questions. The buzz is about basketball, which makes sense as the conference season steams toward the midpoint with four teams in the thick of the race: Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State. So, let’s get right to your questions.

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Dienhart: Three rise up, three others fall

Fortunes continue to rise and fall in the Big Ten race, which drips with intrigue. No game this weekend is more fascinating than Michigan State’s visit to Indiana on Sunday. The Hoosiers already have lost once at home to Wisconsin. And that loss isn’t looking too good in hindsight. Indiana surely can’t afford another slip, right? But here come the Spartans, winners of six in a row and the hottest team in the Big Ten.

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Today's links: Here comes Indiana vs. Michigan State

There are story lines galore for this Sunday’s Michigan State at Indiana game. So, let’s start Friday’s daily links right there. Tom Izzo will be matching wits with his protégé, Tom Crean. The battle of big men Adreian Payne and Cody Zeller will be epic. Also fascinating: How Indiana fans will react to Michigan State freshman Gary Harris, an Indianapolis area product who shunned the Hoosiers for the Spartans.

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Dienhart: Fresh football faces arrive on campus

For some players, it’s all about getting a jump on the college experience in hopes of getting a jump on winning a job. That’s why players enroll in college early.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Wisconsin's Jared Berggren

Wisconsin big man Jared Berggren knows what’s at stake when Minnesota visits the Kohl Center on Saturday. The Badgers need a win—badly. Following a surprising 4-0 start in Big Ten play, Wisconsin has lost two games in a row, at Iowa last weekend and against Michigan State on Tuesday.

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Dienhart: Purdue names new OC

BTN has confirmed that new Purdue coach Darrell Hazell has made the final big hire of his first Boilermakers staff, tabbing John Shoop as offensive coordinator.

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Today's links: Will Michigan jump up?

With top-ranked Duke going down hard, and I mean hard, last night against the Miami Hurricanes, the No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll may be there for the taking for AP No. 2 Michigan if it beats Purdue at home tonight and then prevails at Illinois on Sunday. Right now, Michigan is No. 3 in the Coaches Poll behind Duke and Kansas.

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Who would you pick to take the last shot?

Your team has the ball and is trailing by two points with less than 10 seconds to play. Who do you want to take the last shot? It’s no time for the faint at heart or the timid. Nope. This is the time for the clutch players with ice in their veins to step up.

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Big Ten links: No team appears safe at home

Tough loss for Wisconsin on its homecourt last night to Michigan State. Among legit Big Ten contenders, the Badgers, Gophers and Hoosiers all now have suffered defeats on their turf. Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State have held serve at home, which is key. No shame in Wisconsin losing to a very good Michigan State team, which is where I will begin daily links on this chilly Wednesday.

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Dienhart: A look at the Big Ten in mock brackets

It’s never too early to think about March Madness and how the NCAA tourney bracket may fill out. The Big Ten figures to be well-represented in March, with as many as seven projected tourney teams in some mid-January brackets.

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Dienhart: Ranking this week's games

There are some intriguing matchups this week that will go a long way toward determining the Big Ten race, led by Michigan State’s visit to Indiana on Sunday. Will the Hoosiers lose another game in Assembly Hall?

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Latest look at the week ahead in men's basketball

Another week, another slate of big games in the Big Ten, which has five Top 25 teams this week: No. 2 Michigan; No. 7 Indiana; No. 12 Minnesota; No. 13 Michigan State; No. 14 Ohio State. Illinois dropped out, while Wisconsin looked poised to join the ranks of the ranked after winning at Indiana on Tuesday but then lost at Iowa on Saturday.

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