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Spring football: Interviews & features from across the Big Ten.

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1:00 PMMinnesota at NebraskaWatch
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Ranking the games: Will anything top Iowa at Wisconsin?

There are 12 games this week to open the Big Ten season. And many of the matchups will go a long way toward shaping the race, with Iowa’s trip to Wisconsin being the headliner. In fact, it could be one of the better games of the season. Here’s a ranking of this week’s games. [ MORE: Get Dienhart’s preview to the opening week of Big Ten play ] 1. Iowa at Wisconsin, Sun., Jan. 5. A must-see early Big Ten game that won’t disappoint, right? The undefeated Badgers will pose a challenge for a deep and talented Hawkeyes’ club that

Big Ten Geeks: First semester grades

We’re all set to tip-off conference play on Tuesday, which means it’s time to hand out our final grades for the nonconference season. We’ll do this in alphabetical order. Illinois: B The Illini have probably hit par, by going 11-2 in the non-conference schedule. By doing so, the team really hasn’t moved any closer or further away from an at-large berth. Coming into the season, we thought it was more likely than not that Illinois would miss the Tournament. With the Illini hovering at around 50 in the Pomeroy ratings, that still looks right—but there will be plenty of chances

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Morning Download

Since the beginning of November, we’ve been sharing the inspiring stories of Big Ten students, faculty and alumni who are making a difference in the world through innovations in research, education and community service. In an effort to shine a light on even more wonderful Big Ten happenings, we’ll be serving up positive headlines every Monday morning, right here on the BTN LiveB1G blog. Indiana University announced a $40 million gift from Cindy Simon Skjodt for renovations to Assembly Hall. Throwback Thursday: The original Assembly Hall, build in 1896, and the current Assembly Hall, opened in 1971. #tbt pic.twitter.com/nq5Xt2y7Qv — Indiana University (@IUBloomington)

Here are 14 hoops thoughts as we enter 2014

The conference hoops season tips off New Year’s Eve. I hope you’re excited, too! Before the games really start to count, here are 14 (random) thoughts I have entering 2014. For the record, no, these thoughts are in no particular order. [ MORE: Video: Watch our top 10 nonconference dunks ] 1. As many as three Big Ten teams could hold the No. 1 ranking this season. Michigan State already has been No. 1, while No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Wisconsin could also get their time atop the polls. Both the Buckeyes and Badgers are undefeated, and if

B1G nonconference thoughts in 140 characters or less

The Big Ten went 5-1 on Saturday to close out the nonconference season with a bang. There were plenty of memorable moments early on this year, so how do we go about summing up 12 teams and 153 total nonconference games? Simple — We follow the rules of twitter. Here is a summary of every Big Ten teams’ nonconference performances in 140 characters or less. [ MORE: View Stephen Bardo’s latest Big Ten Power Rankings ] 1. Ohio State (13-0): Great defense and better than expected on offense. Craft has been terrific. Consistent play down low makes this a championship-caliber

Big Ten Geeks: Getting Defensive

We sit mere days away from Big Ten play, so it seems a proper time to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the conference’s defenses. Possibly the best way to do that is through detailed shot data. The best defenses will limit open threes and shots at the rim while forcing opponents to take low value two-point jumpers. Courtesy of Hoop-Math, the following table contains defensive shot data for the teams in the Big Ten, sorted from fewest shots allowed at the rim to most shots allowed at the rim. Team % Shots At Rim % Shots 2pt Jumpers %

Yarina: My All-Big Ten Most Improved Team

With the nonconference season almost behind us and the conference season just a week away, it’s a good time to consider the Big Ten’s most improved players. There’s plenty of players to choose from, that’s for sure. See who made the cut for my all-improved team in this post. Editor’s note: This list only considers players who played in the Big Ten last year, meaning the Rayvonte Rices and Terran Petteways of the world aren’t eligible. G: Yogi Ferrell, Indiana. A season ago, Ferrell was a true freshman distributor who took a back seat to Indiana’s four 1,000-point scorers. He

Sunday hoops roundup: B1G goes for 5 for 5

The Big Ten went a perfect 5-0 for the second consecutive day Sunday. Indiana (Kennesaw State), Iowa (Ark-Pine Bluff), Northwestern (Brown), Penn State (Mount St. Mary’s) and Purdue (West Virginia) all carded nonconference wins. Catch up on all the stats, scores and select video highlights in this post. INDIANA 90, KENNESAW STATE 66 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) Yogi Ferrell had 25 points while Noah Vonleh added 14 points and nine rebounds as Indiana easily defeated Kennesaw State 90-66 on Sunday afternoon. The Hoosiers (10-3), who open Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve at Illinois, shot a

Video: Luke Fischer does best Cody Zeller impression

If Luke Fischer reminded Indiana basketball fans of Cody Zeller in Sunday’s 90-66 win over Kennesaw State, they weren’t alone. BTN color analyst Jim Jackson noticed it, too, and how could he not with the way the freshman big man ran the floor? Watch Fischer’s Zeller-like sequence in this post. INSTANT HIGHLIGHT: As @BTNJimJackson said, Luke Fischer looking like Zeller on this @IndianaMBB sequence. WATCH – http://t.co/YOZLa3LidN — Indiana on BTN (@BTN_Indiana) December 22, 2013 How much did Fischer look like Zeller? Here you go! Fischer also did a lot of other good things Sunday. Like this: VIDEO: What isn't

$40M Skjodt gift to renovate IU's Assembly Hall

(AP) Indianapolis philanthropist Cindy Simon Skjodt has donated $40 million to Indiana University to renovate Assembly Hall. [ MORE: IUHoosiers.com: Historic gift will renovate Assembly Hall ] University President Michael McRobbie announced the gift during a news conference Thursday in which he said the home court of the men’s and women’s basketball teams would be renamed the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall once renovations are complete as early as 2016. IU says the improvements to the 42-year-old arena will include revenue-generating box seats, a new south entryway, a state-of-the-art video scoreboard, escalators and remodeled restrooms and concession stands. [ MORE: IUHoosiers.com: