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Times, networks set for Big Ten/ACC Challenge

The times and dates have been finalized for the 15th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, which will be played Tuesday Dec. 3 and Wednesday, Dec. 4. See when and on what network your Big Ten team will play in this year’s event inside. [ RELATED: Our guy ranks the 2013 Big Ten/ACC Challenge pairings ] This year’s Challenge includes all 12 Big Ten teams and 12 of the ACC’s 15 schools, including first-year members Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Clemson, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest, the ACC’s three bottom teams from 2012-13, sit out of the event. Last year, the two conferences

Purdue names ex-captain Brantley assistant coach

Matt Painter announced Wednesday the hiring of former Purdue captain Brandon Brantley as an assistant coach. Brantley spent the last two years with Basketball University and as the EG10 AAU Under-16 head coach. Brantley also spent time in the Indianapolis Pro-Am Summer League from 2008 to 2012, where he was the head coach to several NBA and NCAA Division I players in the AAU and summer league circuits. [ PurdueSports.com: Brantley named assistant basketball coach ] “We are excited about Brandon joining our staff,” Painter said in a release. “He has worked very hard to stay in and around the

Big Ten releases 2013-14 basketball single plays

The Big Ten released 2013-14 basketball single plays Tuesday. See who all 12 teams will face only once this winter in this post. Illinois: Michigan, Purdue, at Northwestern, at Minnesota Indiana: Ohio State, Iowa, at Purdue, at Minnesota Iowa: Purdue, Nebraska, at Penn State, at Indiana Michigan: Northwestern, Penn State, at Ohio State, at Illinois Michigan State: Nebraska, Minnesota, at Purdue, at Wisconsin Minnesota: Indiana, Illinois, at Michigan State, at Nebraska Nebraska: Wisconsin, Minnesota, at Iowa, at Michigan State Northwestern: Illinois, Penn State, at Ohio State, at Michigan Ohio State: Michigan, Northwestern, at Wisconsin, at Indiana Penn State: Iowa, Wisconsin, at Michigan,

Dienhart: Just say 'No' to divisions for hoops

At its spring meetings in Chicago, the Big Ten may discuss if it should have divisional play in basketball, as Rutgers and Maryland are set to join the league in 2014 to make the conference a 14-team entity. My advice: The Big Ten should take a lead from the other major conferences—ACC (12 teams), SEC (14), Pac-12 (12), old Big East (15), Atlantic 10 (16)–and not have divisional play. Yes, having divisions would make for some fun races down the stretch, as more teams likely would be jockeying for division championships. But in the SEC’s instance, it had some years

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

Predict it: 2013-14 Big Ten stat leaders

Yesterday, I took a stab at my way-too-early 2013-14 All-Big Ten teams. Today, it’s time to take a way-too-early look at next season’s Big Ten statistical leaders. From scoring to steals, I offer the top candidates for each category and pick my winners. You have a say, as well. Choose your winner for each category in the polls in this post. INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS SCORING Drew Crawford, Northwestern Gary Harris, Michigan State Andre Hollins, Minnesota Devyn Marble, Iowa LaQuinton Ross, Ohio State Dark horse: Terone Johnson, Purdue My winner: Drew Crawford – People are sleeping on Crawford, whether it be

5 things I'm confident about in 2013-14

As we still await Adreian Payne’s NBA draft decision, I thought it would be fun to take another way-too-early look ahead to the 2013-14 season. This time, I’ll do it in prediction form, offering five things I’m confident about in 2013-14. See all five in this post. Have a prediction of your own? Feel free to leave it as a comment. 1. Ronnie Johnson, not Yogi Ferrell, will be best point guard in Indiana – No disrespect to Ferrell, whose role is certain to increase in the wake of Indiana losing Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford and Cody Zeller.

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