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B1G Whiteboard: Setting the stage for this week

An interesting week awaits, as teams jockey to improve their NCAA resume. As for the Big Ten title chase, Michigan State’s loss at Wisconsin on Sunday made things more interesting. The Spartans don’t have much very heavy lifting this week. Conversely, this will be a big week for Michigan, which is trying to keep pace. Here’s a look at what’s ahead. Game of the Week: Michigan at Ohio State. Teams seemingly going in opposite directions. This is the only meeting of the season between these rivals. And, it’s a biggie. After losing five of six games, the Buckeyes have come

Here's one topic mentioned every time your team plays

Watch a conference enough, and you can’t help but notice that every team has a common theme that gets mentioned in every broadcast. Chances are, you know your team’s topic of conversation. But what about the rest of the Big Ten teams? Here’s my recurring subject for every Big Ten team. Illinois. Bruce Weber didn’t recruit Champaign native Rayvonte Rice. Indiana. Yogi Ferrell has a new role now that Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller are in the NBA. Iowa. Depth! Michigan. Tie: Nik Stauskas isn’t just a shooter. And, the Wolverines are without preseason All-America Mitch McGary. Michigan State. Injuries!

Photo: Rick Pitino attends Indiana-Minnesota game

Rick Pitino was back at “The Barn” on Saturday, his first visit since December 10. Pitino and son Ryan watched Richard Pitino and Minnesota top Indiana. And, it was nearly impossible not to notice the two behind the Minnesota bench. The Hall of Fame coach is one of the game’s most recognizable faces, of course, while Richard’s brother, well, he was dressed in a chicken suit. Rick Pitino is taking in tonight's Indiana/Minnesota game… Next to a chicken! You gotta see this – pic.twitter.com/iQMbCSV8Ao — Sean Merriman (@BTNSean) February 9, 2014 According to a tweet from Seth Davis, Ryan lost

B1G Recap: Iowa cruises to win over Michigan

There were four Big Ten hoops games on Saturday. Nebraska kicked off the action with a 53-49 win over Northwestern. Iowa followed with an impressive 85-67 victory over Michigan, Ohio State knocked off Purdue, 67-49, and Minnesota got the best of Indiana, 66-60. Catch up on all the scores, stats and video highlights in this post. [ MORE: Enter our Trip to the Big Ten Tournament Sweepstakes! ] MINNESOTA 66, INDIANA 60 | RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY (AP) DeAndre Mathieu had 10 of his 16 points in the second half, helping Minnesota overtake Indiana for a 66-60 victory on

New 'Journey' airs Saturday night

This week on “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014” we see how Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell’s role has expanded as a sophomore, learn more about Michigan’s only senior Jordan Morgan, and watch Minnesota’s Richard Pitino embraces being the son of a Hall of Fame coach. Also, catch our usual highlights from Michigan-Indiana and Minnesota-Purdue. The new episode airs Saturday at 10:15 p.m. ET immediately after Indiana’s men’s basketball game at Minnesota. [ MORE: Enter the Buffalo Wild Wings Trip to the Tourney Sweepstakes ] Don’t forget that all basketball season you can also watch past episodes of our show at BTN2Go

What if the Big Ten had a dunk contest?

The NBA recently announced six contestants who will be competing in the 2014 Slam Dunk contest during NBA All Star weekend. That got us thinking about if the Big Ten had a dunk contest. Who are some of the top dunkers in the Big Ten this year? Here is a breakdown of the six Big Ten players I would want to see in a dunk contest. Did I miss anyone? Tweet them to me @BTNSean. [ MORE: Check out the Big Ten’s Best Dunkers show on BTN2Go ] 1. Sam Thompson, Ohio State 2. Austin Hollins, Minnesota 3. Rayvonte Rice,

B1G Clicks: Tracking today's Big Ten trends

Did you miss something while you stepped away from your computer? We’re tracking some of the best Big Ten social media happenings and posting them all right here. Check out today’s edition, including an awesome dunk by former MSU star Draymond Green Like what you see? We do this every weekday. Visit our Clicks archive. Here are Friday’s B1G Clicks: Our take: NBA highlights dunk of the day. Rightfully so! "You're greedy. You wanna win everything." President Obama, at MSU, after meeting Izzo and Dantonio. — David Harns (@isportsDave) February 7, 2014 Our take: President Obama visiting East Lansing today.

Review & preview: Track the latest ups & downs

It’s good to be Ohio State … at least for this week. The Buckeyes have risen from the dead, notching two big wins in the last week to breathe life into a season that had gone terribly bad. Here’s a look back at the last week—with a peek ahead, too. THREE STOCKS TO BUY 1. Ohio State. Just when it looked like the Buckeyes were circling the drain, they rise up. Very impressive. Ohio State had lost four in a row and five of six games, falling from 15-0 and No. 3 in the nation to out of the polls

Big Ten Geeks: Bringing the Payne

Michigan State welcomed back Adreian Payne in a blowout of Penn State. The big man played very well in 18 minutes off the bench, and the Spartans performed much better than the final margin suggests. Penn State made a big run in garbage time to turn a 25-point deficit into a 15-point loss, but it was done entirely on a lineup that included guys like Colby Wollenman, Keenan Wetzel, and Dan Chapman. Final 3:32 Points Possessions Efficiency Penn State 15 7 2.14 Michigan State 5 6 0.83 Before garbage time, Michigan State dominated at both ends. First 36:28 Points Possessions

Six B1G teams in latest ESPN tournament bracket

With so many Big Ten programs constantly beating up on each other this season, how many teams from the conference will receive bids in this year’s NCAA Tournament? That has been one of the most popular questions among Big Ten hoops fans this season. ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi projects the Big Ten to get six teams into the dance, according to his latest NCAA tournament projections. Here is a breakdown of the Big Ten teams Lundari lists in his bracket, as well as where they are seeded and what region they would be playing in. EAST Wisconsin (18-5, 5-5)-