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Super-early 2012-13 Big Ten Hoops Predictions

The deadline for college basketball players to decide whether they’re coming back to school or entering the 2012 NBA Draft was Tuesday. Here’s what we know: Meyers Leonard and Jared Sullinger are gone, while Trey Burke, Deshaun Thomas and Christian Watford are back after testing the NBA waters. A lot of things will change before the season tips in November, but BTN.com’s Brent Yarina offers some super-early 2012-13 predictions. See all of them in this post. 2012-13 PROJECTED STANDINGS 1. Indiana – The entire starting 5 is back, plus IU welcomes one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. 2. Michigan

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. Darius Morris — Michigan, 2009-11 College highlights: 2011 All-Big Ten Third Team; set Michigan single-season assist record (235) in 2010-11; recorded third

Hummel wins Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

Purdue All-American forward Robbie Hummel has been selected as the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award winner for men’s basketball. The announcement and trophy presentation were made Friday by Lowe’s, an official corporate sponsor of the NCAA, during the open practice sessions of Final Four Friday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Hummel is Purdue’s first-ever winner of the award, given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. The award is chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I men’s basketball head coaches, national media and fans. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be

Reader Mail: NCAA Tourney, Illini Search & More

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. Got a question? I’m adding a new inbox all the time. You can email me here, come talk to me on Twitter, drop a comment on my BTN Facebook page, or type in a question

Dienhart: Big Ten & Sweet 16 since 1985

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. There’s a chance the Buckeyes (if they beat No. 6 Cincinnati)

Big Ten Geeks: 45.9 Percent

As of this writing, there is a 45.9 percent chance your NCAA Champion will be from the Big Ten. It was a good weekend for the conference, as four teams advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. But before we get to that good stuff, let’s deal with the unpleasantness. Michigan fell to Ohio 65-60 in the first round, in a game that the Bobcats pretty much controlled from end-to-end. There was nothing fancy to Ohio’s attack, they just significantly outshot the Wolverines. OU converted nearly 60 percent of their two-pointers and 40 percent of their threes on the game–with numbers like those,

Kansas rallies late, eliminates Purdue

(AP) Elijah Johnson scored 18 points, including the go-ahead basket in the final minute, and No. 2 seed Kansas rallied to beat Robbie Hummel and No. 10 seed Purdue 63-60 on Sunday night. Thomas Robinson managed 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Jayhawks (29-6), who trailed nearly the entire game. Purdue was clinging to a 60-59 lead and had the ball and under a minute remaining when Lewis Jackson, the shot clock winding down, lost control at the top of the key. Johnson picked it up and went the other way for the go-ahead layup with 23.3 seconds left.

Dienhart: Sunday's NCAA breakdown

Michigan State held off Saint Louis on Sunday to advance to its fourth Sweet 16 in the last five seasons (recap). As usual, Draymond Green had an impressive all-around game (tweets). With the victory, Michigan State joins Indiana, Ohio State and Wisconsin in the Sweet 16. It looked like Purdue may join the group, too, but it fell to Kansas in the final seconds of a game it led throughout Sunday night (recap). Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s analysis from Sunday’s games in this post. Also, don’t forget about the interactive NCAA bracket. No. 1 MICHIGAN STATE 65, No.

BTN's Stats Guru Brings the Numbers

BTN’s stats researcher tweets out great Big Ten stats during the football and basketball seasons via his Twitter account @BTNStatsGuy. If you’re on Twitter, check him out. And if you’re not, you can still see his work on his Twitter page. We’ve selected some of his most recent posts and embedded them below.You can also find some fresh Big Ten stats at BigTen.org. #MichiganState is 16-3 on 1 day of rest in NCAA Tournament since 1998. Only team with better W-L in that span: #Duke (18-3). Min: 10 games. — BTNStatsGuys (@BTNStatsGuys) March 17, 2012 #B1G is 10-3 in Round

High Five: Big Ten teams prep for next round

It was bound to happen. Friday was a day of upsets in the NCAA tournament and the Big Ten did not go unscathed as Michigan fell. But Purdue rose up and won and Michigan State rolled as well leaving five Big Ten teams alive and kicking in the tourney. Read this post for my capsules on Friday’s action plus my take on Northwestern’s NIT loss, too. On now: Ohio State vs. Gonzaga. Later: Wisconsin vs. Vanderbilt, and Indiana vs. VCU. Best place to find a bracket? NCAA.com. Best place for TV coverage of Big Ten teams? “Big Ten Basketball and