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Ranking 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games

It’s time to talk the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The event might be six-plus months away, but the 2013 matchups were released Wednesday afternoon. This year’s event is Dec. 3-4, with six games each night, and it features first-year ACC members Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. That last part, the addition of the three perennial Big East contenders, makes this event even more intriguing and far more daunting for the Big Ten. Not only does the ACC gain those three teams, but with 15 teams total, it gets to keep last year’s three-worst teams (Clemson, Virginia Tech & Wake Forest) out

Dienhart: Should NBA have MLB style draft?

Michigan’s John Beilein recently broached a good idea: Make the NBA draft like the MLB draft. “(My preference would) probably be very much like baseball,” Beilein said. “I think that would be a great thing. If there’s a Kobe (Bryant) or LeBron (James) out of high school, he can get that big contract and go. “If not, go (to college) for three years and make an educated decision. Then guys can redshirt and do all these things. That’s ideal in my mind.” Really, it’s a brilliant idea that I would love to see adopted. We know the colleges would like

Big Ten Geeks: Looking Ahead to 2013-14

We’re now officially in the college basketball offseason, a long seven months where the NBA playoffs, major league baseball, and eventually football serve as poor stand-ins for our sports attention. But before we shift into that fruitless exercise, let’s take a quick look at what awaits us beyond the gap. While these numbers will likely change over the next week (especially for Michigan), here’s a current summary of what each team returns for 2013-14: With these numbers in mind, here’s a few thoughts on each team: Indiana will take a major drop, but it helps to drop from such a

Power Rankings: Super-early first look at 2013-14

It’s never too early to look ahead to next season, right? Actually, yes, the day after the completion of one season is entirely too early to start analyzing the next. But even if we don’t know which stars will return and which ones will go pro, it’s fun to consider what next season may bring. See my super-early 2013-14 power rankings in this post. And once all the NBA decision are made, I’ll update this list. [ RELATED: How did I do with last year’s super-early rankings? ] No. 1: Michigan State – If Gary Harris and Adreian Payne stay

Video: Watch Pitino's press conference

As the new men’s basketball coach at Minnesota, Richard Pitino spoke with the media on Friday morning to discuss his style and approach to the game. Watch the entire announcement here and here. Pitino called Minnesota a place where he and his family hope to be “for the rest of our lives.” That rarely happens in modern college basketball, but possibility, hope and potential were the predictable themes at an event that was open to the public and had the feel of a pep rally. “We’re going to press on every possession, on every make. We’re going to create offense from our

Watch Pitino press conference on BTN/BTN2Go

Minnesota will introduce Richard Pitino as their school’s 17th men’s basketball coach on Friday morning  and you can watch the entire press conference on BTN/BTN2Go beginning at 10 a.m. ET. BTN’s Mike Hall and Shon Morris host our coverage. Earlier, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart wrote that this hire fits the job. We also tracked Twitter reaction to the news on Wednesday. Pitino comes from Florida International where he was the school’s seventh coach in the history of the program and helped them to an 18-14 record. He becomes the 17th head coach of the Golden Gophers. Before that, he spent three seasons with the Louisville Cardinals

Twitter: Reaction to Minnesota hiring Pitino

Minnesota hired Florida International coach Richard Pitino as its new men’s basketball coach Wednesday. Pitino, 30, is the son of legendary coach Rick Pitino, who guided Louisville to this year’s Final Four, his seventh career such trip. See the Twitter reaction to the hiring of the younger Pitino in this post. [ RELATED: Dienhart: ‘Pitino’ name enough for Minnesota ] Congrats Coach Pitino on becoming the new Coach. Look forward to watching you do great things at the U. #GopherBasketball #skiumah — Trevor Mbakwe (@TMbakwe32) April 3, 2013 Welcome Richard Pitino to the Big Ten. He is very bright, hard

Dienhart: 'Pitino' name enough for Gophers

The hiring of Richard Pitino as Minnesota coach is a gamble. But, it’s one worth taking. What does Minnesota have to lose by taking a chance on a 30-year-old coach with a famous last name who has one measly year of head coaching experience? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The Golden Gophers have been stuck in a malaise for years, as scandal and NCAA sanctions often have enveloped the program. Bill Musselman’s tenure (1971-75) was marred by infractions and an ugly brawl with Ohio State in 1972. [ RELATED: Twitter reaction to Richard Pitino’s hiring ] The Clem Haskins era (1986-1999) was

Video: Tom Izzo reacts to Tubby Smith's firing

During his Monday morning press conference with reporters, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was asked about Minnesota’s decision today to fire Tubby Smith as the Golden Gophers head basketball coach. Watch Izzo’s reaction and answer in this video clip. The Michigan State coach takes a sip of water and then takes a long pause before answering. “Tubby’s a good friend of mine,” Izzo said. “So that does hit me a little bit harder.” [ RELATED: Embed BTN video on your site | Twitter reaction | Dienhart: ‘It’s Shaka Smart or bust’ ] Izzo was a vocal defender of Bruce Weber around this time last year when Illinois

Dienhart: 'It's Shaka Smart or bust'

Tubby Smith did many good things while head coach at Minnesota. He won some big games, advanced the program to three NCAA tourneys and two NITs in six years on the job. But, the school decided today that all of that wasn’t enough. Smith was fired. Now what for the Golden Gophers, who join Northwestern as Big Ten schools in search of a coach? Many feel Smith wasn’t given enough time, that he was often in a tough spot because of injuries, poor facilities or defections. Call them excuses or true hurdles to progress—it doesn’t matter. Minnesota A.D. Norwood Teague is