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Power Rankings: 12-1 Minnesota on the way up

Joe Coleman

Coleman's 3rd Dunk Against Lafayette

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Holidays! I have a “present” for you. It’s my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. So, if you manage to get some free time from all the family and delicious eats, take a moment to see where your team ranks before the conference season tips off.

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Nix, Michigan State turn away Texas, 67-56

Derrick Nix

Texas at Michigan State - Men's Basketball Highlights

Derrick Nix had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 20 Michigan State surged past Texas 67-56 Saturday afternoon. Nix was 7-for-10 from the field and 11-for-13 at the line, a major improvement for a 64.9-percent foul shooter.

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Big Ten Geeks: Digging deeper on Illinois' offense

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The 2011-12 Illini would push their record to 15-3 with a win over Ohio State (you remember, the Brandon Paul game), and they climbed all the way to 22nd in the AP poll. What followed was a complete collapse–Illinois went 2-12 the rest of the way, and what had looked like a surefire at-large team ended up with no postseason appearance at all. Somehow, the Illini had covered the full range of possibilities we had covered in our 2011-12 season preview (hey, the Brandon Paul/Kemba Walker comparison doesn’t seem quite so insane now!). Could such a nosedive happen again?

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Super Seven: Ranking best Big Ten hoops arenas

Nov 27, 2012; Bloomington, IN, USA; A general view of the opening tip of the game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the North Carolina Tar Heels at Assembly Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Superhero Night at Assembly Hall

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

When it comes to the best hoop arenas in the nation, places like Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse often are mentioned. But the Big Ten has its share of iconic venues, and I rank the conference’s seven best in this week’s Super Seven.

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