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Six Big Ten teams ranked in ESPN's 50 in 50 series

If you haven’t checked out ESPN.com’s 50 in 50 series, do yourself a favor and click that link. The feature ranks the nation’s 50 most successful men’s basketball programs of the last 50 years, and it includes half of the Big Ten teams. Indiana leads the Big Ten, at No. 7, while Michigan State (No. 11), Michigan (No. 13), Ohio State (No. 15), Purdue (No. 20) and Illinois (No. 33) round out the conference’s representatives.

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Summer of Deron Williams: Contract, Gold Medal, Bubba

Is there anyone having a better summer than Illinois product Deron Williams? Honestly, in the matter of two months, the guy made Team USA for the second consecutive Olympic games, agreed to a $99-million contract with Brooklyn, traveled to London for free and became the first Big Ten men’s basketball player to win multiple gold medals. To top it all off, he’ll play golf with 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson at this week’s Barclay’s Pro Am at Bethpage.

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Illinois product Deron Williams wins gold medal

Make it two-time gold medal winner Deron Williams. The former Illinois and current Brooklyn Net point guard helped Team USA capture the gold medal with a 107-100 victory over Spain on the final day of the 2012 London Olympics. The gold medal marks Team USA and Williams’ second consecutive Olympic championship, and it makes Williams the first Big Ten men’s basketball player ever to win multiple gold medals. See a photo of Williams and his two gold medals in this post.

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Start times announced for 2012 Challenge

The start times for each game of the 14th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge, presented by DICK’s Sporting Goods, to be played Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 27 and 28, were announced Tuesday morning. See when every game will be played in this post.

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TheBigLead.com: 50 best players for 2012-13 season

TheBigLead.com’s Jason McIntyre posted his list of the 50 best players in college basketball for the 2012-2013 season Friday, and Indiana rising sophomore Cody Zeller topped the list. Zeller beat out highly touted UCLA recruit Shabazz Muhammad for the No. 1 spot and was one of seven Big Ten players who made the cut. See the entire Big Ten list in this post.

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Team USA: Who'd fill out a Big Ten-only roster?

Team USA tips off its Olympic training slate with its first exhibition game Thursday in Las Vegas. USA is stacked, per usual, and it’s the favorite to win gold next month in London. With the action about to start, I got to thinking: what if Team USA was comprised of only former Big Ten players, starting with the 2007-08 season (the BTN era)? See what my 12-man roster would look like in this post.

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