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Dienhart: My All-Big Ten NCAA tourney team

With Wisconsin’s heartbreaking national semifinal loss to Kentucky late Saturday night, the Big Ten’s 2013-14 hoops season is officially complete. It was a great season, one that saw three Big Ten teams make the Elite Eight. Now, it’s time for my All-Big Ten NCAA tourney team. [ MORE: Video: Wisconsin reacts to Final Four loss ] Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin. Yes, his NCAA tournament began and ended with a whimper, as he scored eight points vs. American in the opener and eight vs. Kentucky in the Final Four. But in between, the 7-0 junior was dominating in scoring 19 vs. Oregon,

Merriman: Top 10 B1G performances in the NCAA Tourney

Wisconsin’s season came to a close after a heartbreaking 74-73 loss to Kentucky in Saturday’s national semifinal matchup. The Badgers were the last team standing from the Big Ten, capping what was a memorable 2013-14 season for the conference. As a whole, Big Ten teams finished the NCAA Tournament with a combined record of 10-6. In those 16 games, there were plenty of standout individual performances. Here is a look at the 10 best individual performances from Big Ten teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament. [ MORE: Dienhart: My all-Big Ten NCAA Tourney team ] 10. Frank Kaminsky vs. Oregon.

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

Adreian Payne puts on a show in college dunk contest

Michigan State senior Adreian Payne had an impressive showing in Thursday night’s State Farm College Slam Dunk Contest. The Spartans’ big man didn’t win the event, but he left quite an impression with his first dunk of the evening. Check out this video of Payne’s monster first-round dunk, followed by an outstanding choreographed bowling celebration. What’s better, the dunk or the celebration? Both are perfect 10’s, if you ask me.

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

Vote for the best BTN Big 10K race shirt

There’s still time to enter the BTN Big 10K event in Chicago on Saturday, July 26. You can do that right here. Here’s what else you can do: Vote for your favorite BTN Big 10K school-themed race shirt. When you sign up, you can choose a unique, school-specific technical T-shirt inspired by the football jerseys of your favorite Big Ten team. Use the poll below to vote for your favorite look. We’re determining votes by hashtag. If you use a hashtag on Twitter or post any of the 14 hashtags on the BTN Big 10K Facebook page, we’ll count that

Dienhart: Ranking B1G Final Four teams since 2000

Since Michigan State cut down the nets as a No. 1 seed in the now demolished RCA Dome in Indianapolis in 2000 to win the national championship over No. 6 seed Florida, nine Big Ten teams have been to the Final Four—but none have won it all even though five have played for all the marbles. Wisconsin is the 10th to make it, trying to end the Big Ten’s 14-year drought. The No. 2 seeded Badgers will take on No. 8 Kentucky in a national semifinal game on Saturday. Here’s a ranking at the Big Ten’s Final Four squads since

Big Ten Geeks: Left Hanging

America’s High Five was locked out of the Final Four, as both Michigan State and Michigan fell in the Elite 8. And while each team lost for very different reasons, it was peculiar that both games came down to the other team scoring three points after the defense forced a contested heave from 23 feet. In Michigan State’s case, those three points came at the foul line after Keith Appling committed the cardinal sin of fouling a three-point shooter. It was a nightmare game for Appling, who recorded a mere 2 points to go along with 4 turnovers and 5

#BTNLive asks: What tourney outcome surprised you most?

If you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten social media polls for our weekday show #BTNLive. On tonight’s episode of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET, our experts discuss this question: Which NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament result surprised you the most this weekend? The choices: #WISCWon, #MSULost,  or #MichLost How do you vote via social media? It’s simple. On Twitter, just use any of the above hashtags and we will tabulate them. On Facebook, go to BTN’s Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/BTN) and post your chosen hashtag there. There’s another very easy way to vote

Merriman: Remember Appling's career for all he did right

Upset. Frustrated. Disappointed. Those are some tough words to describe a 22-year-old kid. That’s exactly what Keith Appling was when he committed to play basketball for Tom Izzo back in August 2008. A tough, gritty kid from inner-city Detroit, Appling came to Michigan State because he wanted to play in a Final Four – an experience that every four-year player under Tom Izzo had experienced until this season. Appling arrived in East Lansing with monumental expectations. A McDonald’s All-American, the guard gave MSU fans a taste of what was to come in the 2009 Michigan High School Basketball Championship game,