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Big Ten, Big East launch Gavitt Tipoff Games

Two of the most prestigious conferences in the nation, the Big East and the Big Ten, have announced the establishment of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual early-season series of eight men’s basketball games played between the two conferences and named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the Big East and basketball visionary. The Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on four consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball season. The series begins at the start of the 2015-16 season and will span eight years, with games played at home sites. The series will feature

Dienhart: My early 2014-15 hoops predictions

Last week, esteemed colleague Brent Yarina gave us a super-early look at the 2014-15 basketball season, picking an order of finish with three all-league teams. I’m gonna take a bit of a deeper dive into Brent’s early forecast. So, buckle up, and let’s take a ride into the future. Player of the Year: Nebraska G/F Terran Petteway. The athletic wing took the Big Ten by storm last season after transferring from Texas Tech and subsequently leading the conference in scoring. He had his draft stock evaluated and didn’t get high marks from NBA execs. So, expect an uber-motivate Petteway to

Yarina: Ranking 2014 ACC/B1G Challenge games

The matchups for the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Challenge have been announced, and now it’s time to rank the 14 games. Remember, this year, Maryland switches sides and Rutgers also is added to the Big Ten ledger. See my rankings in this post. In case you’re wondering, the ACC leads the event, 10-3-2, although the Big Ten has won or tied each of the last five seasons. [ MORE: 2014 Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchups announced ] 1. Duke at Wisconsin – Wed., Dec. 3 Duke brings all-world recruits Jahlil Okafor, the nation’s top recruit, and Tyus Jones into Madison to face

ACC/Big Ten Challenge games announced

Ready for some hoops – or at least news to get you excited about the season that is still five months out? Here you go: The matchups for the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Challenge were announced Thursday, and there are some really intriguing pairings. For example, Duke at Wisconsin. This year’s event will feature 14 games, with the Big Ten’s addition of Maryland, which comes over from the opposition, and Rutgers. That’s two more games than the previous three years, and five more than there were when the event launched in 1999. Speaking of history, after losing the event’s first 10

Jamal Crawford wins 2nd NBA Sixth Man of the Year

According to reports, former Michigan basketball player Jamal Crawford has won his second NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Crawford, who spent one season at Michigan, averaged 18.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.9 steals and 2.3 3-pointers to help the Clippers earn the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Crawford also won the prestigious award in 2010. View Crawford’s player page.

Ten B1G teams land on ESPN's Fab 50 for 2014-15

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman released his Fab 50 for 2014-15, a ranking of his top 50 men’s hoops teams, on Tuesday. Ten Big Ten teams make the list, including newcomer Maryland (No. 30), paced by reigning national semifinalist Wisconsin (No. 3). The No. 1 team? That’s Kentucky, of course. See Goodman’s analysis of all 10 Big Ten teams in this post. [ MORE: Yarina: My super-early 2014-15 Big Ten predictions ] No. 3 Wisconsin This is a team that was one shot away from playing for the national title game and also a group that will return seven of its top

Yarina: A super-early look at 2014-15 hoops predictions

With Mitch McGary announcing Friday that he will enter the NBA draft, we officially know what each Big Ten team will return for the 2014-15 season. So, naturally, that means it’s time to take a SUPER-early stab at next year’s standings and All-Big Ten teams. See my way-too-early predictions in this post. [ MORE: Big Ten roster updates: Who’s on the move? ] BIG TEN STANDINGS 1. Wisconsin – Everyone but Ben Brust is back from the Final Four team. 2. Nebraska – Terran Petteway and a healthy Shavon Shields form a fantastic 1-2 punch. 3. Michigan State – Speaking

Dienhart: How will Michigan look next year?

Mitch McGary turning pro puts another big chink in Michigan’s hopes for next season. The Wolverines already have seen Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III turn pro, two of their top players from last season’s Big Ten championship squad that advanced to the Elite Eight. The team also saw Jordan Morgan graduate and Jon Horford opt to transfer out for his last season. John Beilein’s 2014-15 team will be built around the trio of Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton, Jr., and Zak Irvin. Spike Albrecht also will play a key role. It will be vital for Mark Donnal to take the

Michigan's Mitch McGary declares for NBA draft

Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary says he tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA tournament and plans to forgo his final two years of college eligibility. Coach John Beilein announced McGary’s decision Friday, saying the 6-foot-10 forward would enter the NBA draft. [ MORE: Big Ten roster updates: Who’s headed to NBA? Who’s transferring? ] McGary says in a statement issued by the school he made a “poor decision” and was notified of the marijuana test result after the Final Four. He says he regrets disappointing family, coaches and the administration, but all have been “understanding and helpful.” Read a full

Dienhart: Here are my final Big Ten hoops grades

The dust has settled on another basketball season. And, it was a good one for the Big Ten, as three schools advanced to the Elite Eight (Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State) and one made it to the Final Four (Wisconsin). Another won the NIT (Minnesota). Let’s punctuate the season by handing out final grades. Illinois, 20-15, 7-11/T8th. The Fighting Illini had a roller coaster season. In earlier January after a home win vs. Penn State, Illinois was 13-2 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Alas, the wheels came off during an eight-game losing skid. Illinois would go on to lose