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Big Ten links: Ready for a projected hoops tourney bracket ... in November?

Today we have USA Today projection - wait for it - an early NCAA men 's basketball bracket. It's not even Thanksgiving yet! Also, which Ohio State assistant football coaches are ready to be come head coaches? And Tom Izzo is very high on his latest basketball recruiting class. Get caught up on these stories and more with Tom Dienhart's roundup of these Thursday Big Ten headlines.

Photos: See your Big Ten hoops team's 2015-16 schedule poster

The Big Ten men’s basketball exhibition season is in the books, and now it’s time for the ball to go up for real. [ MORE: See our preseason power rankings | And preseason player rankings ] The Big Ten enters the 2015-16 season with six teams ranked in the preseason AP Poll, released earlier this month, paced by Big Ten preseason favorite Maryland (No. 3). It figures to be another very competitive season in the Big Ten, which is still seeking its first national title since Michigan State cut down the nets in 2000. Before the regular season tips, I

Jon Crispin: Why you should be excited about Big Ten hoops

For years, I have listened to my fellow pundits around the country make comments and predictions about Big Ten basketball. Whether it be that they felt it was a “down year,” or if the style of play just doesn’t provide a favorable matchup for Big Ten teams, I always got the feeling that they never took a good enough look at what makes Big Ten basketball elite.

Valentine, Trimble lead ESPN's top 100 college hoops players

The 2015-16 Big Ten basketball season is set to tip off next week. In anticipation of the season, ESPN put together a list of the top 100 players. [ MORE: BTN Plus (subscription) airs 11 exhibition games this week ] A total of 26 ESPN college basketball writers, editors and analysts ranked players based on expected performance for the 2015-2016 season. Players were rated on both quality and quantity of contributions to their team’s ability to win games. There are 16 Big Ten players featured on the list, highlighted by Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine, who is listed at No.

Jon Crispin: A coaching staff's mindset for exhibition games

Exhibition Week is an exciting time for the basketball enthusiast around the country. While it is simply the week before the start of the official season, it is the first time you get to see your favorite team in action against someone other than themselves. [ MORE: BTN Plus (subscription) airs 11 exhibition games this week ] To a lot of fans, exhibition games are viewed as the equivalent of The Globetrotters playing the Washington Generals. To most, it should be a game of dunks, high shooting percentages and kid-friendly entertainment. As someone who played in and actually lost one

Catch 11 Big Ten exhibition games on BTN Plus this week

The Big Ten men’s basketball exhibition season continues this week, and BTN Plus is the place to catch all 11 exhibitions. [ MORE: Six Big Ten teams ranked in preseason AP Poll | Follow @BTNJonCrispin! ] Indiana hosts Ottawa at 7 p.m. ET Tuesday to open the week’s festivities, which will feature six ranked teams in action, including No. 3 Maryland (7:30 p.m. ET Friday vs. Southern New Hampshire). All of this week’s games require a subscription to BTN Plus. Beginning Nov. 13, a number of regular season non-conference Big Ten men’s games will also be available via BTN Plus

Six Big Ten men's hoops teams ranked in preseason AP Poll

Six Big Ten men's basketball teams are ranked in the preseason AP Poll, released Monday afternoon. Big Ten preseason favorite Maryland leads the way at No. 3, trailing No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Kentucky.

Jon Crispin: All the good problems in West Lafayette

There are many Division I coaches in the country who have a wish list in regards to personnel and pieces on the floor. While we have seen some schools (Duke and Kentucky, in particular) benefit from having the right players at the right time, I’m sure Coach Cal and Coach K would tell you that the one thing they’d add was experience. Experience, on top of talent, is what allows coaches to relax in tight-game situations and gives them confidence and trust that the group on the floor can get the job done. [ MORE: View Jon Crispin’s preseason Big