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Big Ten's best dunkers: One guy's top 5

This LostLettermen.com post got me thinking about the Big Ten’s top dunkers. There’s a bunch of them, and they’ve kept me busy this season on our Big Ten Dunk Archive. But who are the best of the best? I’ve come up with my top 5, plus honorable mention list, in this post. Let’s hear from you, too, though. There’s a poll included inside and feel free to send your nomination in the comment box. 1. Rodney Williams, Minnesota – In the open court, on alley-oops or with putback slams, Williams is the Big Ten’s most exciting and diverse dunker. Any

Power Rankings: Burke, Michigan bolster case

It’s time for my latest Big Ten hoops power rankings. While it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the top team, there’s plenty of debate after No. 2 Michigan. See where I rank your team in this post. Don’t agree with the rankings? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Or tweet it my way (@BTNBrentYarina). [ RELATED: View the latest AP & Coaches polls ] 1. Michigan, (15-0, 2-0) – The Wolverines have scored at least 93 points in three of the last four games, including 94 (at Northwestern)

Big Ten Geeks: Is Ohio State good?

It seems ludicrous that a Geek would pose such a question concerning the No. 11-ranked team according to Ken Pomeroy, but it’s fair. While the Buckeyes still look good in the computer’s eyes, but the computer’s eyes aren’t going to determine things like whether Ohio State will be invited to the Dance and how it will be seeded. So far on the season, OSU has faced three quality opponents (Duke, Kansas, and Illinois), and they’ve lost them all. In each of those three losses, the Buckeyes were led by Deshaun Thomas, who didn’t get much help from his teammates. In

Listen to your Big Ten hoops coach

The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held a Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions throughout the season right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive. Listen to Coach McCaffery:  Listen to Coach Groce:  Listen to Coach Carmody:  Listen to Penn State Associate Coach Burroughs:  Listen to Coach Painter:  Listen to Coach Izzo:  Listen to Coach Ryan:  Listen to Coach Beilein:  Listen to Coach Matta:  Listen

Trevor Mbakwe gets swat, then big-time slam

It took Trevor Mbakwe most of the nonconference season to work his way back from last year’s season-ending knee surgery. Either that, or Tubby Smith just decided to bring him back slowly. It was probably the latter, come to think of it, but the sixth-year senior sure looks good now. In Sunday’s win over Northwestern, we saw Mbakwe at his best, blocking a shot on one end and hammering down a powerful dunk on the other. Watch the sequence now. [ RELATED: Watch 2012-13 slams in our Big Ten Dunk Archive ] Quite impressive, no? One thing’s for sure: BTN

After slow start, No. 13 Minnesota rolls past Northwestern

Austin Hollins hit five 3-pointers during an impressive three-minute stretch in the second half (watch the barrage in featured video), finishing with 19 points and sparking No. 13 Minnesota to a 69-51 victory over Northwestern on Sunday night. Hollins missed his career scoring high by one, collecting 17 points during a 26-7 run that gave the Gophers a 45-25 lead. Minnesota (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten) has won 10 in a row for its longest winning streak since it opened the 2008-09 season with 12 straight victories. Dave Sobolewski had 10 points, five assists and four steals for the Wildcats (9-6,

Grab new BTN hoops Facebook headers

With the arrival of Big Ten Conference play in men’s basketball, we’ve updated our BTN Big Ten fan Facebook headers. Scroll down in this post and click on the thumbnail of your school to get the full-sized graphic. Right click to save the large image to your computer, then add it to your Facebook page to show off your school spirit. Enjoy! LEGENDS LEADERS Are we on Facebook? Let us count the ways: www.facebook.com/BTN: Updates, polls, interactive features and much more. www.facebook.com/BTNVideo: Video clips for viewing and sharing right on Facebook. www.facebook.com/BTNJourney: Follow our show “The Journey: 2012 Big Ten

Big Ten Geeks: Gophers take Spartans head on

In the opening game of the conference season, Minnesota held serve at home by pulling away from Michigan State in the final minutes. Over the last 10 minutes of the game, the Gophers outscored the Spartans 22-6, erasing a three-point lead by MSU. This was a game between two teams that play very similar styles. For the most part, neither squad is blessed with outside shooting, and they know it—only Purdue shoots fewer three-pointers than these teams. Instead, both squads rely heavily on getting second chance opportunities, and it showed on Monday. Michigan State grabbed 39 percent of its misses,

Minnesota takes down Michigan State in Big Ten opener

Andre Hollins had 22 points and six assists and Rodney Williams added 15 points and six rebounds to lift No. 9 Minnesota to a 76-63 victory over No. 18 Michigan State on Monday. Trevor Mbakwe had 11 points and 12 rebounds and the Golden Gophers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) shot 56.6 percent to open conference play with an emphatic victory over a team that has owned them for years. Keith Appling had 15 points and five assists and Gary Harris scored 12 for the Spartans (11-3, 0-1), who had beaten Minnesota 13 of the last 15 times the two teams

Yarina: My All-Big Ten noncon teams

And just like that, it’s time for the Big Ten season to tip. It was a highly successful nonconference season, with the Big Ten owning the national polls. We have even more to look forward in the coming months, however, as many feel this could be one of the better conference races in recent history. Check out my All-Big Ten Nonconference Teams in this post. [ RELATED: Watch 2012-13 dunks in our Big Ten Dunk Archive ] FIRST TEAM G: Trey Burke, Michigan G: Brandon Paul, Illinois F: Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State F: Rodney Williams, Minnesota F/C: Cody Zeller, Indiana