BTN School Days: Illinois Fighting Illini

When it comes to the 2011-12 athletic year for Illinois, many people will remember it for all of the transition. Football coach Ron Zook, men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber and women’s basketball coach Jolette Law all coached their last games and gave way to Tim Beckman, John Groce and Matt Bollant, respectively. But it also was a successful year, one highlighted by the men’s gymnastics team’s 10th NCAA title and first since 1989. The coach of the team, Justin Spring, 29, became the youngest gymanstics coach to win the national crown.

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Kentucky ousts Big Ten champ Purdue, 6-3

No. 14 Purdue baseball got off to a good start with two runs in the first inning Sunday, but another rally by the opposition was the difference in a 6-3 loss to Kentucky that eliminated the Boilers from the NCAA Gary Regional. It was a memorable season for Purdue (45-14), which won the Big Ten title for the first time since 1909, claimed its first Big Ten tourney crown, qualified for the NCAA tourney for the first time since 1987 and hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time en route to setting a program record for wins.

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Retweet This: Top 6/3/12 Tweets

Like many of us, Big Ten products are all over Twitter. They let us into their lives and put their personalities on display in 140 characters or less, and they often delight and enlighten in the process. See some of our favorite Big Ten-centric tweets from Sunday in this post.

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Mailbag: Are Buckeyes worthy of all the praise?

You have questions, and I have answers. With the calendar turning to June, the focus is on football, as you can see from the questions below. Answering these queries got me thinking: Are Michigan State and Ohio State the best teams in the Big Ten? Find out in this post. Also, have you checked out my 2012 weekly schedule analysis series, which just reached Week 13 yesterday, or my archive of Big Ten rankings?

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Breedlove, Boilers fall against Kent State

(AP) Ryan Bores scattered nine hits in his first career complete game, and Jimmy Rider drove in three runs as Kent State extended its winning streak to 19 with 7-3 win over top-seeded Purdue. The Golden Flashes (43-17), who have the nation’s longest active streak, will play in a NCAA regional final for the second consecutive year. Bores (9-2) saved a pitching staff that worked through 21 innings in a 7-6 victory over Kentucky on Friday night. Rider — the career hits leader for Kent State and Mid-American Conference — had three more to give him 349.

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