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Magnificent 7: An early look at 2014-15 MVP race

The Big Ten has suffered some big attrition when it comes to players leaving early for the NBA Draft as Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Michigan State’s Gary Harris and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III all declared. Michigan’s Mitch McGary still is weighing his options. If he bolts, it will leave another gap to fill. On top of that, stars like Roy Devyn Marble of Iowa, Adreian Payne of Michigan State and Tim Frazier of Penn State are departing seniors. Who’s left? Who will be the front-runners for Big Ten Player of the Year in 2014-15,

Role playing: One ultimate Big Ten hoops roster

Here’s a question to ponder: What does every great college basketball team have in common? We know every one has a superstar. This year’s national champion UConn had Shabazz Napier, last year’s champion Louisville team had Russ Smith, and the 2012 Kentucky team had Anthony Davis, and so on. Every great college basketball team also has players who fill specific roles. For example, in addition to superstar Nik Stauskas, this year’s Michigan Big Ten title team had a shooting specialist in Zak Irvin, a bench spark in Spike Albrecht and a team leader in senior Jordan Morgan. This got me

If B1G basketball players formed a football team ...

Here’s a question that college basketball fans have probably asked themselves at one point or another: How good would that guy be if he played football? The which-basketball-players-would-be-great-at-football topic always makes for a great conversation point, but rather than pointlessly flirting with the idea, let’s go ahead and actually put it into action. With both the college football and basketball seasons now in the books, I went ahead and put together a 22-man football lineup made up of all Big Ten hoops players from the 2013-14 season. Did I miss someone? If so, tweet me @BTNSean. OFFENSE Quarterback: Josh Gasser,

Dienhart: A sneak peek at 2014-15 Big Ten hoops

The 2013-14 season was punctuated with UConn’s win over Kentucky in the national championship game Monday night. Deep breath … exhale. That means it’s time to turn the page toward the 2014-15 season. Yes, already. How will the Big Ten look? Not too bad. Take a peek. Illinois 20-15 overall; 7-11 Big Ten Key personnel back: G Tracy Abrams; F/C Nnanna Egwu; G Malcolm Hill; G Kendrick Nunn; G Rayvonte Rice; G Jaylon Tate Key losses: G Joseph Bertrand; F Jon Ekey Key newcomers: F Leron Black; G Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall transfer); F Michael Finke; F Darius Paul (Western Michigan transfer);

Yarina: 5 B1G breakout players for 2014-15

While analysts across the nation are busy compiling their super-early 2014-15 hoops polls, I thought I’d go with a more exact-inexact exercise and share my top five 2014-15 breakout candidates. You know the names from this season, but they’re certain to be even bigger names next season. Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan. Two names for you: Darius Morris and Trey Burke. Those are John Beilein’s previous two point guards, and both made gigantic strides as a sophomore. Walton Jr. isn’t going to win National Player of the Year, as Burke did, but he’s a do-it-all guard who will continue the recent

Gallery: Top Big Ten images of NCAA tourney

The 2013-14 college basketball season is officially in the books after the UConn Huskies were crowned national champions on Monday night. Despite not having a team in the National Championship game, it was a memorable NCAA tournament for the Big Ten. Here is a photo gallery of the top Big Ten images from this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Get an early, early look at 2014-15 hoops polls

It’s crazy-nutty to do 2014-15 college hoops polls the moment the final buzzer sounds on the national title game. But, hey, media outlets do it. And, we post it. So, here you go: polls from Bleacher Report, CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, USA Today and Yahoo! Sports. Know this: There’s lots of love for the Badgers, including a spot atop the Bleacher Report early, early, early poll for Wisconsin. [ MORE: Dienhart: Who will turn pro? | NBA draft analyst on B1G prospects ] Why not? The Badgers lose only one key senior: guard Ben Brust. Otherwise, Wisconsin expects to welcome back the

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Last week, the University of Illinois announced that astronaut Mike Hopkins will deliver the commencement address on May 17. The University of Nebraska Medical Center hosted a team of Russian scientists recently. A professor at Michigan State is nationally known for his potato research. Yesterday, the annual FestiFools parade hit the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich. Find out more about this collection of “magnificent, huge, bizarre and politically incorrect” art on their website.  

Stadium Journey ranks Crisler top Big Ten arena

The website StadiumJourney.com recently released a list, ranking the best college basketball arenas across the nation. The rankings are based on several categories, which include: food and beverage in the arena, overall atmosphere, the neighborhood in which the arena resides, the fans, the access (including traffic, parking, restrooms, and ability to move around in the arena), overall return on investment, and a catchall category for any extras. [ MORE: Best sights and sounds from Final Four Media Day ] The highest-ranked Big Ten arena on the list is Michigan’s Crisler Center, which comes in at No. 7 overall. “It wasn’t

Merriman: Ranking Big Ten's McDonald's All-Americans

The 37th annual McDonald’s High School All-American game is set to take place tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET at the United Center. The game will feature three future Big Ten players in James Blackmon Jr. (Indiana), D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Melo Trimble (Maryland), all of who will play for the East Team. The McDonald’s All-American game is known as being the most prestigious high school all-star game around, bringing together the top prep players in the nation for one night of exciting hoops action. There is a long list of former Big Ten standouts who have participated in this