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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Big Ten Geeks: Who are the Gophers?

I’ll admit—I’ve never truly forgiven Minnesota for 2010. Back in those days, when the internet was over, it was my opinion that the Gophers should have been contending for a Big Ten championship. I wasn’t even close, as Minnesota finished the season at 9-9, and squeaked into the NCAA Tournament (the Gophers barely had enough time to check into their hotel before Xavier dispatched of them in the first round).

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Point guard play: What does our survey say?

The Big Ten is loaded with great point guards. In fact, no conference may have a better collection. There’s Michigan’s Trey Burke, Minnesota’s Andre Hollins, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Michigan State’s Keith Appling, among others. The collection would be even better if Penn State’s Tim Frazier and Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser weren’t out for the season with injury.

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Big Ten hoops: Sunday's 'Journey' caps off weekend

It was an entertaining day of hoops Sunday, with No. 3 Michigan dropping Illinois, No. 8 Indiana taking down No. 11 Michigan State and Purdue outlasting Iowa in OT. After all the action, of course, it was the debut of the latest episode of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2013.”

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