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Izzo, Hollis release statement on Lacey Holsworth

Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo and athletics director Mark Hollis released a joint statement on the passing of Lacey Holsworth, the eight-year-old Adreian Payne fan who died late Tuesday night. Read both statements in this post. [ MORE: Lacey Holsworth, 8, dies | Twitter: Reaction to Holsworth’s death ] Matt Holsworth texts there will be a memorial for Lacey on April 17 at Breslin. And he adds: "Continue her legacy! Love unconditionally." — Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) April 9, 2014 Tom Izzo: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Holsworth family today. Princess Lacey has taught us all

Spartans, Big Ten mourn Lacey Holsworth's death

The Michigan State family and the Big Ten basketball community are mourning the loss of Adreian Payne superfan Lacey Holsworth. Holsworth, the adorable 8-year-old who suffered from neuroblastoma, died late Tuesday night. Read more here. The news hit the basketball world hard, and many people went to social media to offer their condolences. See the messages in this post. [ MORE: Watch all of BTN’s Lacey Holsworth videos ] It was time for my lil princess to go home & feel no more pain,now she's happy & she's my angel watching over me. pic.twitter.com/bpUPCipcif — Adreian Payne (@Adreian_Payne) April 10,

Merriman: What lineups could look like if stars leave

April 27th. Remember that date, Big Ten basketball fans. That is the day in which college basketball players across the nation must decide whether they are going to stay in school or make the jump to the NBA. There are several Big Ten players who currently face that decision and will have to make a choice in the upcoming weeks. On that list is Michigan’s Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary, Michigan State’s Gary Harris and Branden Dawson and Purdue’s A.J. Hammons. Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are also included on the list, although several media outlets,

Adreian Payne fan Lacey Holsworth, 8, dies from cancer

Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old who befriended Michigan State superstar Adreian Payne, died late Tuesday night. Her parents confirmed the news Wednesday morning with a photo posted to Instagram that read: “Princess Lacey has achieved the ultimate victory. She now dances among angels…. The world is a better place because you were in it. Our hearts are broken. We love you Doll. Dance all night… Mommy and Daddy, Will, Mitchell, and Luke.” [ MORE: Watch all of BTN’s Lacey Holsworth videos ] Holsworth, who suffered from neuroblastoma, met Payne two years ago. The two formed a genuine friendship, and Holsworth quickly

Three B1G teams finish in top 10 of Coaches Poll

Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all made runs to at least the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. Their reward: A top 10 ranking in the final Coaches Poll. The Badgers, who advanced to their first Final Four since 2000, finished No. 4, while Michigan and Michigan State came in at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively. See the full poll in this post. Coaches Rankings Rankings as of 4/8/2014 Rank School Record Votes Prev Rank 1 Connecticut Huskies 32-8 791 (30) 19 2 Kentucky Wildcats 29-11 759 (1) 22 3 Florida Gators 36-3 735 1 4 Wisconsin Badgers 30-8

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

Merriman: Here's how I rank Big Ten's NCAA wins

There’s a reason they call it March Madness. No matter how hard we try to get it right every year, no matter how many times we pick a winner, change it, and then go back to it again, the NCAA tournament always leaves us with a bevy of unforeseen results. A 7 vs. 8 matchup in the championship game… Who could have possibly guessed that? But that’s what makes this tournament so enjoyable. The 2014 tourney has been a memorable one for the Big Ten. While it will be 14 years now since the conference has produced an NCAA Tournament