As is the case immediately following every Final Four nowadays, analysts and talking heads have shifted focus to next season by releasing their super-early 2012-13 top 25 polls. Several of the polls, by the way, feature a Big Ten team in the No. 1 spot. The team: Indiana. Yes, the Hoosiers, the same program that is fresh off its first NCAA tourney berth since 2008 and the same one that hasn’t been to the Final Four since 2002.
When a tornado touched down in Harrisburg, Ill., on Feb. 29, it ripped through much of the city and left seven people dead. However, the destruction was deemed too small for federal assistance. Good thing for Harrisburg, the Illinois baseball team has a proud native, Reid Roper, who wanted to lend a helping hand. Roper, with the help of his coaches and teammates, delivered 32,000 pounds of food and supplies to Harrisburg and presented a $10,319 check to the mayor during its spring trip to Carbondale in mid-March. Watch the entire touching feature now.
Minnesota is in the Frozen Four for the first time since 2005. The Gophers, which beat North Dakota in the West Regional finals, take on No. 1 seed Boston College at 8 p.m. ET Thursday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Beat Boston College, and Minnesota would play the Ferris State-Union winner at 7 p.m. ET Saturday. See GopherSports.com’s Frozen Four Preview and Frozen Four Central page, plus watch all of GopherAthletics YouTube videos.
It is four straight bowls (Alamo, Outback, TicketCity, and Meineke Car Care) and counting for Northwestern under Pat Fitzgerald, but he’s still looking to sip from the postseason championship cup as he enters his seventh season in Evanston. It could happen this year, if the Wildcats can answer some key questions this spring.
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The Big Ten Network will stream Illinois’ spring football game live at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 14, on both BTN2Go and the Big Ten Digital Network. BTN will have highlights and analysis from that day’s Big Ten spring games at 9:30 p.m. ET on B1G Tonight Spring Football Edition with Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith. The Illinois game will air on BTN at 7 p.m. ET Sunday, April 15.
Illinois center Meyers Leonard has opted to turn pro. And it isn’t a shock. “This was a very difficult decision because I love the University of Illinois,” Leonard said in a statement released by the school. “But I feel the timing is right for me to follow my dream of playing in the NBA and having the opportunity to provide for my mom and family.”
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The NCAA men’s basketball championship game is Monday night, but here at BTN.com, our fans already have crowned the 2012 Big Ten Football Uniform Bracket champion. And the winner is Michigan, the top seed in the field. The Wolverines toppled No. 5 Iowa in the title matchup. See the final tally for the championship tilt in this post and check out all of the tournament’s matchups: Finals | Semis | Quarters | First round.
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