Today's links: Huge stretch for high-flying Gophers

Rodney Williams

Big Ten Blast: Jan. 9th Morning Edition

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

It all begins tonight for No. 8 Minnesota. And that’s why I’m beginning my daily links right here, America. You see, it’s put-up-or-shut-up time for the 14-1 Golden Gophers. And I love put-up-or-shut-up time. You should, too. We will discover how good this team is with a game at Illinois tonight (9 p.m. WET on BTN/BTN2Go) and a visit to Indiana on Saturday. Minnesota then returns home to play Michigan on Jan. 17. All together how: wow!

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Enter to win Fighting Illini Sixth Man prize

BTN is offering fans a chance to enter the Fighting Illini Sixth Man Experience! The winner of the sweepstakes will and a guest will follow the team captains to center court for the pregame handshake with officials at the Jan. 27 game against Michigan. They’ll also stand in the tunnel before the team arrives and on the baseline next to the team during the lineup introduction. The prize also includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Assembly Hall, two Illini sweatshirts and t-shirts, and two tickets and a parking pass to the Jan. 27 game. Enter for your chance to win.

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Matta reaches milestone in win over Purdue

Thad Matta

Aaron Craft Steal Layup

Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points to lead No. 14 Ohio State to a 74-64 victory over Purdue on Tuesday night. The angry Buckeyes (12-3, 2-1) rebounded from their first Big Ten loss by shooting 56.4 percent from the field. With the victory, Ohio State sent coach Thad Matta to his 100th Big Ten victory.

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