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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Did You See This? Illinois' Tim Beckman takes ice bath

It was a hard days work for Illinois football coach Tim Beckman on Friday. Or perhaps, he really felt like bonding with standout linebacker Jonathan Brown. Either way, the first-year head coach capped Friday’s practice with a plunge in the ice bath. No joke. And from the picture @IllinoisFootball tweeted, it sure seemed as though Beckman enjoyed the cold temperatures. See the photo in this post.

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Big Ten Web Links: Get Friday's top clicks

Last night, we watched the Huskers practice on the second stop of our BTN bus tour. Up next, it’s Minnesota on Saturday. You can watch the Nebraska Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET tonight. Until then, check out these quality Big Ten web links.

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Cox Communications to Launch BTN in California

CHICAGO and SAN DIEGO – Cox Communications and Big Ten Network announced Thursday that it will add BTN to Cox’s lineup in Orange County, Palos Verdes, San Diego and Santa Barbara on Aug. 15, 2012. BTN is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premiere collegiate conferences in the country.

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Clothes Call: Ranking Big Ten football helmets

When Tom Dienhart wrote that Penn State should put blue ribbon stickers on both sides of its helmet, it got my attention. No helmet, it seems, is as sacred as Penn State’s  – not even Michigan’s. After all, the Wolverines are coming off a season in which they added numbers to their lids and put gray facemasks in the rotation, both nods to the past. It’s back to the usual look in 2012. The last time Penn State made a significant change to its helmet: 1987, when it went from gray to blue facemasks.

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