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Big Ten releases 2013-14 conference hoops slate

The Big Ten announced its 2013-14 men’s basketball conference schedule Wednesday afternoon, and there will be at least 49 games televised by CBS Sports or an ESPN Network. Remaining network assignments will be announced at a later date. The Big Ten schedule will begin with four games on Tuesday, Dec. 31, including a New Year’s Eve doubleheader on ESPN2 featuring defending Big Ten Tournament Champion Ohio State at Purdue, followed by reigning Big Ten Champion Indiana at Illinois. [ RELATED: View the 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule (PDF) ] The Big Ten season concludes on March 8 and 9, including a

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

Twitter: Former Badger star subject of clever tweet

It was a big day Tuesday for Wisconsin product Devin Harris. The point guard officially rejoined the Dallas Mavericks, agreeing to a three-year, $9 million deal, and consequently was the subject of one of the day’s top sports tweets. You see, the Mavs spent the past few weeks trying to lure Dwight Howard, another free agent with the initials “DH,” to the Metroplex. It didn’t work, of course, as Howard signed with in-state rival Houston. Well, with the signing of this “DH,” Dirk Nowitzki, the face of the Mavs, composed a clever tweet to welcome back the former Badger. We

How many Big Ten stars land on DeCourcy's lists?

Sporting News and BTN correspondent Mike DeCourcy has been busy compiling his top 10 position lists. With all the talent the Big Ten returns in 2013-14, it’s only fitting that the conference boasts its share of representatives. There’s eight players, to be exact, headlined by Michigan’s Mitch McGary, the No. 1 center, and Michigan State’s Gary Harris, the No. 1 shooting guard. POINT GUARD 3. Yogi Ferrell, Indiana “As a freshman, he was mostly expected to defer to all those veterans and only occasionally to upstage them, but he is an elite athlete and capable shooter who could experience a

Badgers hire Chicago Bulls strength coach Helland

Chicago Bulls strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland has been named to the same post for the Wisconsin men’s basketball team, the school announced Friday. [ UWBadgers.com: Helland’s hiring an unbelievable opportunity for coach and team alike ] Helland, who joined the Bulls in 1988 and has served as the head strength coach since 2001, has over two decades of experience as a certified National Strength and Conditioning specialist and level I USA Weightlifting coach. “We are extremely excited that Erik will be working on a day-to-day basis with the Wisconsin basketball program,” head coach Bo Ryan said in a

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

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