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April 7 Big Ten Softball Roundup

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Iowa at Northwestern - Softball Highlights

Iowa and Northwestern split a doubleheader Saturday afternoon, with the Hawkeyes taking the first game, 5-2, and the Wildcats claiming the second game, 7-6. Northwestern scored four run in the fourth to rally from a 2-0 deficit in Game 2 to avoid the doubleheader sweep. In Game 1, Iowa pushed five runs across the plate in the second inning to bury Northwestern. The Wildcats did score single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, but it wasn’t enough. Watch highlights now and see Saturday’s other Big Ten scores in this post.

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Illinois wins Big Ten Men’s Crown

Illinois Men's Gymnastics 2012

Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships - Team Highlights

Iowa hosted the 2012 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships Friday which featured the team and all-around competitions. Illinois won their fourth straight Big Ten title and freshman CJ Maestas took home the all-around crown in Friday’s session. Watch the highlights now and tune in Saturday for the individual event finals. The session starts at 8 p.m. ET and will air live on BTN. More results can be found here.

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Gophers mourn death of LB Tinsley

Minnesota linebacker Gary Tinsley was found dead in his campus apartment Friday morning, university officials said. He was 22. Tinsley was found unresponsive in his apartment at Roy Wilkins Hall on the Minneapolis campus, according to the university police chief. Tinsley completed his eligibility at the end of the 2011 season. He lettered all four years and started every game over his final two seasons with the team. He was No. 2 in total tackles with 87 last season and finished with 198 total tackles for his career.

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Reader Mail: Can Huskers win Big Ten?

You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mail bag. A lot of football queries, as April is the month of the spring football game. As always, thanks for the questions. Great ones, as usual. Keep them coming! In addition to filing regular football fix posts, writer roundtables, and one-on-one interviews, I’m monitoring the news around Big Ten practices. And I’ll be going to a few Spring Football games, too. Stay in touch with me on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BTNTomDienhart), too.

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Minnesota knocked out of Frozen Four

Playing in its first NCAA Frozen Four game since 2005, the Minnesota men’s hockey team was eliminated from the tournament with a 6-1 loss to No. 1 overall seed Boston College at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla. The Eagles have handed the Gophers their last two NCAA Tournament losses. The Eagles (32-10-1) will carry an 18-game winning streak into Saturday night’s Frozen Four final against Ferris State, which beat Union College 3-1 in the first semifinal. Boston College is seeking its fifth national title. Minnesota (28-14-1) made its first Frozen Four appearance since 2005. Full bracket at NCAA.com. And read more at GopherSports.com.

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Gophers Experts Talk Spring Football

Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Marqueis Gray (5) runs for a touchdown in the first half against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Minnesota - Signing Day 2012

The building continues in Minnesota for second-year coach Jerry Kill, who is coming off a 3-9 season and last-place finish in the Legends Division. Hope floats in Minneapolis, but Kill has a long to-do list if he wants to get the Golden Gophers back to the postseason since Tim Brewster took them to consecutive bowls in 2008-09. The top priority? Improving a porous defense that finished 11th in the Big Ten vs. the run (186.4 ypg), ninth against the pass (216.7 ypg) and 10th overall in the Big Ten (403.1 ypg).

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Stay or Go? Past Big Ten early NBA draft entrants

Illinois’ Meyers Leonard declared for the NBA draft Monday (story), and on Wednesday, it was Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger’s turn (story). With Leonard and Sullinger, both sophomores, leaving early and the deadlines to declare for the draft approaching (April 10, NCAA; April 29, NBA), BTN.com’s Brent Yarina considers some of the previous Big Ten sophomores – plus freshmen – who have left early since the new millennium. How did the decisions work out? Find out in this post.

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