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Dienhart: Payne's return is good news for MSU

Michigan State vs Valparaiso

Payne Alley-Oops Over Aaron White

It’s official: Adreian Payne is returning to Michigan State for his senior year, stamping the Spartans as the Big Ten favorite and top national title contender next season. Payne struggled with the decision, waiting until the final day (April 28) to render a choice. He was projected by many to be a first-round draft choice. Payne will return to a roster that welcomes back all of its key components, save for departed senior big man Derrick Nix.

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New divisions, schedules ahead for football

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B1G Replaces Division Names

So the Big Ten Conference will move to two new football East and West divisions in 2014 and a nine-game conference schedule in 2016. In an interview with BTN on Sunday, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “Being broader, being larger, geography had to play a larger part.”

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East meets West: Big Ten unveils new divisions

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B1G Replaces Division Names

It’s official: The Big Ten Conference will have new division alignments set to begin in 2014 and nine-game Big Ten Conference schedules for 2016 after the recommendations were unanimously approved by school athletic directors and supported by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors. In a statement released by the conference, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of East/West geography.”

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Big Ten buzzing over reports of new divisions

In a move that had been speculated for months with Rutgers and Maryland poised to join the Big Ten and make it a 14-team league in 2014, the conference is apparently set to announce divisional realignment based on geography. Conference presidents and chancellors will reportedly vote on the divisions, new division names, and an expanded league schedule format on Sunday.

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Photos: Rain, Mother Nature bring nice view

Weather has pounded much of the Midwest lately, and it’s impacted plenty of Big Ten sporting event schedules. If April showers truly bring May flowers, Big Ten country is in for some pretty big blossoms. Here’s a look at two images you may have missed. They were captured by BTN’s camera’s during Wednesday’s softball doubleheader between Michigan State and Ohio State in Columbus.

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5 things I'm confident about in 2013-14

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Ronnie Johnson Layup

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As we still await Adreian Payne’s NBA draft decision, I thought it would be fun to take another way-too-early look ahead to the 2013-14 season. This time, I’ll do it in prediction form, offering five things I’m confident about in 2013-14. See all five in this post. Have a prediction of your own? Feel free to leave it as a comment.

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