Latest Tom Dienhart News

Our Big Ten stories to read on this Thursday

Saturday is a huge day for spring football games. One of the teams in action will be Ohio State. Yes, many questions loom on a defense that too often was punchy when it came to defending the pass. But the offensive line also has work to do, as five starters are gone. Nebraska will conclude spring drills on Saturday, too. And, I’ll be honest: This could be a very good team. How good? Good enough to win the Big Ten West. Bo Pelini delivered a message along those lines to his team recently.

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Dienhart: Here's my top 5 incoming freshmen

Freshmen often are expected to contribute the moment they hit campus. Look at what guys like Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr., and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh—among others–meant to their teams last season.

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Dienhart: A sneak peek at 2014-15 Big Ten hoops

The 2013-14 season was punctuated with UConn’s win over Kentucky in the national championship game Monday night. Deep breath … exhale. That means it’s time to turn the page toward the 2014-15 season. Yes, already.

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Get an early, early look at 2014-15 hoops polls

It’s crazy-nutty to do 2014-15 college hoops polls the moment the final buzzer sounds on the national title game. But, hey, media outlets do it. And, we post it. So, here you go: polls from Bleacher Report, CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, USA Today and Yahoo! Sports.

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Scroll through today's top 10 Big Ten headlines

UConn’s win last night showed how good Michigan State could have been. Don’t follow? Well, it’s about guard play. The Huskies rolled to the title behind the backcourt tandem of Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. The Spartans had a similarly skilled backcourt in Keith Appling and Gary Harris.

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Dienhart: Time for college sports to join real world

I have to admit: Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports hit the nail on the head with his recent piece about the NCAA not seeing the totality of the picture when it comes to the future of intercollegiate athletics.

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Dienhart: Thoughts from Michigan spring game

This will be Michigan’s fourth season under Brady Hoke. And, make no mistake about it: It’s a crossroads campaign. No one in Ann Arbor was satisfied with the 7-6 record last season. And heads rolled, as offensive coordinator Al Borges was fired. Hoke looked to Alabama for a replacement, tabbing Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.

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Start your week off with these 10 Big Ten links

Wisconsin’s season ended one game short of the national title game. The loss to Kentucky on Saturday was close, painful and soon won’t be forgotten in Madison. Still, as Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out, there are many good memories from one of the best seasons in school annals.

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Dienhart: My All-Big Ten NCAA tourney team

With Wisconsin’s heartbreaking national semifinal loss to Kentucky late Saturday night, the Big Ten’s 2013-14 hoops season is officially complete. It was a great season, one that saw three Big Ten teams make the Elite Eight. Now, it’s time for my All-Big Ten NCAA tourney team.

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Wisconsin bows out in battle of clutch shots

Traevon Jackson has hit a number of big shots this season for the Badgers. The guy was money. The guy was clutch. But he didn’t have his magic touch on this night. Jackson missed a key free throw and potential game-winning shot that proved fatal in the dying moments of Wisconsin’s 74-73 loss to Kentucky in a national semifinal game.

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Dienhart: Four thoughts from NU spring practice

Northwestern is the lone Big Ten team that doesn’t play a spring game. Instead, the Wildcats just conduct a final practice. Hanging over the on-field goings-on on this day was the specter of NU players forming a union. The players will vote on April 25.

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How do Badgers beat UK? Let's count the ways

It’s almost time to tip off at the Final Four, as No. 2 Wisconsin is carrying the Big Ten flag in pursuit of the conference’s first national championship since 2000. Here’s a look at seven keys for the Badgers if they want to beat this white-hot Kentucky team that entered the Big Dance as a No. 8 seed but is playing like a No. 1 seed after starting the season as the preseason No. 1 team. Watch for these things during the game and see how they impact the outcome.

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Miss these Friday headlines? Read 'em all

How about those Minnesota Gophers! In his first year on the job, Richard Pitino led the Golden Gophers to the NIT title, as Minnesota downed Larry Brown and SMU last night. Yes, Pitino inherited some nice talent from Tubby Smith. Still, Pitino acquitted himself as a coach. The guy has a bright future. And, think of this: He’s just 31. Now, if Pitino can recruit like he can coach, Minnesota could be on to something.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Maryland coach Randy Edsall

The Big Ten beckons. And Maryland coach Randy Edsall can’t wait to help usher in the new era for the Terrapins. Edsall knows the challenges that loom, beginning with playing in a Big Ten East division that also will include Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State. But Edsall also knows the possibilities. Besides, Edsall isn’t afraid of a challenge as Maryland moves from the ACC.

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Big Ten Mailbag: Let's dive into your letters

Firing through my e-mail inbox on this rainy day, reading your Big Ten love letters and answering the best ones. Keep ‘em coming! You can always email me directly at the bottom of any of my posts – including this one.

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Catch up with 10 Thursday Big Ten headlines

The Final Four is drawing near, as Wisconsin will take on Kentucky in one national semifinal game. And a big reason why Wisconsin is there is because of junior 7-footer Frank Kaminsky. Check out this video of the big fella talking about this unselfish team.

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Is NIT final better than one-and-done NCAA trip?

Minnesota’s NIT semifinal overtime win over Florida State on Tuesday night wasn’t a thing of beauty. But, it doesn’t matter. The triumph means that the Golden Gophers will play SMU for the NIT title on Thursday night.

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Dienhart: How Wisconsin made it to Final Four

When the season dawned, Michigan State was the consensus pick to win the Big Ten. And for good reason, with talents like Gary Harris, Adreian Payne, Keith Appling and Branden Dawson, among others.

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Read today's 10 Big Ten headlines

Lots of excitement in the Dairy State, as Wisconsin gears up for its first trip to the Final Four since 2000. And that also has stirred memories of the coach who led the Badgers there: Dick Bennett. Yes, his style wasn’t always exciting. But the guy could coach. I miss him.

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Dienhart: Will they stay, or will they go to NBA?

Ohio State already has seen junior LaQuinton Ross opt to turn pro. Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh also is out the door. Ross looks like a second-rounder; Vonleh a lottery selection. What other Big Ten players may bolt? Players have until April 27th to make a decision. Here’s a look at the other seven Big Ten players who appear most likely to have a big decision to make soon.

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Dienhart: Ranking B1G Final Four teams since 2000

Since Michigan State cut down the nets as a No. 1 seed in the now demolished RCA Dome in Indianapolis in 2000 to win the national championship over No. 6 seed Florida, nine Big Ten teams have been to the Final Four—but none have won it all even though five have played for all the marbles.

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Ten for Tuesday: Get today's 10 Big Ten headlines

In case Wisconsin fans need a reminder, the Badgers will be facing a young and hot Kentucky team in the national semifinals on Saturday. One month ago today, Kentucky lost to a South Carolina club that would go on to finish 13th in the SEC. UK shot 27 percent in the 72-67 setback. Now, look at the Wildcats.

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Dienhart: Frank Kaminsky, in his prep coach's words

It has been fun for fans to watch Frank Kaminsky emerge this year and during Wisconsin’s run to the Final Four. But there’s one guy who isn’t shocked by all of this: Gene Heidkamp, Kaminsky’s high school coach at Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill.

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Take a look back at Frank Kaminsky, the 3-star recruit

Wisconsin big man Frank Kaminsky may be the most unlikely star among the players that will gather for the Final Four this weekend in North Texas.

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Jordan Morgan passes out 'Thank Yous' on Twitter

There are few classier acts than Michigan big man Jordan Morgan, who saw his career end with the heart-breaking loss to Kentucky in the Elite Eight in Indianapolis on Sunday. Morgan was a glue-guy whose production in the pivot was a boon for a team that had to play almost the entire season without Mitch McGary. Morgan took to Twitter (@JustJMo) after the loss yesterday to give thanks.

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