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Illinois Fighting Illini

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Tom Dienhart's top 5 players to replace: Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois has to welcome putting 2015 in its rear-view mirror. It was a bizarre season that saw Tim Beckman fired a week before the season started for alleged mistreatment of players. Bill Cubit was appointed interim and then permanent head coach, going a disappointing 5-7 a year after the program made a bowl. Then, A.D. Mike Thomas was fired. The defense made strides, but the offense struggled. The run game was the worst in the Big Ten (129.3 ypg). Things have to improve, right? Cubit will have some talent to work with, as players like S Taylor Barton, E Dawuane

BTN's Shane Sparks: Big Ten's wrestling schedule heats up

Ohio State's Kyle Snyder will debut this season. Iowa won the Midlands again. Penn State is packed with talent. Plus a look at a few key upcoming conference showdowns. BTN wrestling analyst Shane Sparks has all this and more in hos weekly wrestling report.

BTN LiveBIG: Living 'B1G' in 2015, Part II

Beyond athletics, 2015 was a big year for the Big Ten. On Monday, we looked back at several of the best stories from the previous year from universities in the East Division of the conference. Now, we turn our attention to the West Division. This roundup features Big Ten universities taking on issues that range from world hunger to apocalyptic asteroid strikes. Take a look below. ILLINOIS Illinois professor works to prevent asteroid armageddon Illinois’ Orange Krush drops dimes for team, local community IOWA Hawkeye homecoming queen takes on engineering, international aid and triathlons Hawkeyes get inspirational leadership from ‘Captains’

Eighty former Big Ten standouts listed on NFL playoff rosters

The NFL playoffs are set, and former Big Ten standouts litter the 12 teams’ active rosters. A total of 80 players find themselves on active rosters, paced by Ohio State (14), and every Big Ten team has at least one representative. To be clear, the number does not include players currently on injured reserve or Maryland, Nebraska and Rutgers players who played before the schools entered the Big Ten. See the team-by-team breakdown below. ILLINOIS (4) Jeff Allen, OL, Kansas City Chiefs Whitney Mercilus, DE, Houston Texans Pierre Thomas, RB, Washington Redskins Tavon Wilson, DB, New England Patriots INDIANA (1)

Power Rankings: Maryland remains atop Jon Crispin's latest list

For the second consecutive week, Maryland sits atop my Big Ten Power Rankings, presented by ArcelorMittal. The Terrapins edged Penn State in their Big Ten opener and cruised to victory at Northwestern to improve to 13-1.

Tom’s Take: Honors, stock watch, top performers, notes & quotes

The lid has been taken off Big Ten play, and five schools are off to 2-0 starts. Two of them aren’t a shock, as Maryland and Indiana are out of the gates quickly. But it’s a surprise to see Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa also 2-0 in Big Ten action.

Video: Ohio State survives Illinois' last-second heave

The Illinois-Ohio State men’s basketball game Sunday night featured an exciting finish. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, and the game wasn’t decided until the final shot. Trailing 74-73 after a Malcolm Hill 3-pointer with three seconds left, Illinois fouled Marc Loving, who hit the first free throw and missed the second. Hill grabbed the missed free throw, took a few dribbles and heaved a potential game-winner from the other side of the court. The shot looked like it was on line, but it went to the left the rim, meaning Ohio State survived, 75-73, and moved to 2-0