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Reader Mail: NCAA Tourney, Illini Search & More

Michigan State Spartans center Adreian Payne (5) drives to the basket during practice the day before the semifinals of the west region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Four Big Ten teams advance to the Sweet Sixteen

You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mailbag. There is a lot going on, with the NCAA tourney at the Sweet 16 stage and spring football in full swing across Big Ten territory. Which of the four Big Ten teams has the best shot to reach the Final Four? What will Wisconsin do at quarterback? I address those questions—and more—in this week’s mailbag.

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Dienhart: Q&A with Gophers QB Gray

Minnesota's MarQueis Gray

Miami (Ohio) at Minnesota - Football Highlights

Minnesota kicks off spring practice Thursday. As part of our daily spring “Football Fix” feature, I caught up with MarQueis Gray, the Golden Gophers quarterback who is trying to build on a breakout 2011 season and lead Minnesota to a bowl. Gray started 10 games last season after splitting time between quarterback and receiver earlier in his career. The focus on quarterback benefited Gray, who hit 108-of-203 passes (50.7 percent) for 1,495 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. Read the Q&A in this post.

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Dienhart: Top Spring Questions

Michigan State's Andrew Maxwell

Bill O’Brien Conversation Pt. 2 Preview

Spring football is in full swing across the Big Ten. And each day, BTN.com will be the place to stop by for your daily gridiron fix as we roll toward spring games in April. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart will provide analysis, previews, videos and Q&As—among other things.

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Dienhart: Big Ten & Sweet 16 since 1985

Ohio State's William Buford

Four Big Ten teams advance to the Sweet Sixteen

All season, the computer rankings said that the Big Ten was the nation’s strongest conference. The league lived up to that hype through the first week of the NCAA tourney. Four of the six schools that received bids are still playing, with No. 1 Michigan State, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Indiana and No. 4 Wisconsin advancing the second weekend of the tourney. No. 4 Michigan fell in the second round to No. 13 Ohio, while No. 10 Purdue lost in the third round to No. 2 Kansas.

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Journey: Watch segment & bonus clips from finale

Big Ten Tournament trophy

The Journey 2012: Finale Episode

On Wednesday night, we aired a special one-hour season finale of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012.”  On the show, we went behind the scenes for the entire Big Ten tourney in Indianapolis. We also featured Senior Day at Michigan State and provided an inside look at the thrilling Ohio State-Michigan State season finale. Plus, we covered the emotional reunion of Illinois’ Meyers Leonard and his brother, Bailey, a U.S. Marine who recently returned from active duty. Watch a segment from the show now and see bonus clips in this post.

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March Madness: B1G Football Uniform Bracket

Michigan's Denard Robinson

Denard Robinson Conversation Preview

The word bracket overtakes our vocabulary every March — much to the delight of sports fans across the nation. Brackets don’t begin and end with the NCAA tournament, though. Every year around this time, people create brackets for pretty much everything, including coolest name. Here, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina decided to put together a Big Ten football uniform bracket. Cast your votes in this post.

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