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Dienhart: A sneak peek at 2014-15 Big Ten hoops

The 2013-14 season was punctuated with UConn’s win over Kentucky in the national championship game Monday night. Deep breath … exhale. That means it’s time to turn the page toward the 2014-15 season. Yes, already. How will the Big Ten look? Not too bad. Take a peek. Illinois 20-15 overall; 7-11 Big Ten Key personnel back: G Tracy Abrams; F/C Nnanna Egwu; G Malcolm Hill; G Kendrick Nunn; G Rayvonte Rice; G Jaylon Tate Key losses: G Joseph Bertrand; F Jon Ekey Key newcomers: F Leron Black; G Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall transfer); F Michael Finke; F Darius Paul (Western Michigan transfer);

LeVert named 2014-15 preseason All-American by ESPN

Now that the 2013-14 college hoops season has come to a close, people are already beginning to take a look at what’s to come in 2014-15. ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Goodman recently released a list of the most likely 2014-15 All-Americans, followed by a ranking of the 15 next-best players. Headlining Goodman’s list is Michigan’s Caris LeVert, who is the lone Big Ten player listed as a first team All-American. [ MORE: 5 Big Ten breakout players for 2014-15 | Early look at 2014-15 hoops polls ] “Nik Stauskas made the huge jump last season, and look for LeVert

Yarina: 5 B1G breakout players for 2014-15

While analysts across the nation are busy compiling their super-early 2014-15 hoops polls, I thought I’d go with a more exact-inexact exercise and share my top five 2014-15 breakout candidates. You know the names from this season, but they’re certain to be even bigger names next season. Derrick Walton Jr., Michigan. Two names for you: Darius Morris and Trey Burke. Those are John Beilein’s previous two point guards, and both made gigantic strides as a sophomore. Walton Jr. isn’t going to win National Player of the Year, as Burke did, but he’s a do-it-all guard who will continue the recent

Gallery: Top Big Ten images of NCAA tourney

The 2013-14 college basketball season is officially in the books after the UConn Huskies were crowned national champions on Monday night. Despite not having a team in the National Championship game, it was a memorable NCAA tournament for the Big Ten. Here is a photo gallery of the top Big Ten images from this year’s NCAA Tournament.

Get an early, early look at 2014-15 hoops polls

It’s crazy-nutty to do 2014-15 college hoops polls the moment the final buzzer sounds on the national title game. But, hey, media outlets do it. And, we post it. So, here you go: polls from Bleacher Report, CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, USA Today and Yahoo! Sports. Know this: There’s lots of love for the Badgers, including a spot atop the Bleacher Report early, early, early poll for Wisconsin. [ MORE: Dienhart: Who will turn pro? | NBA draft analyst on B1G prospects ] Why not? The Badgers lose only one key senior: guard Ben Brust. Otherwise, Wisconsin expects to welcome back the

Merriman: Here's how I rank Big Ten's NCAA wins

There’s a reason they call it March Madness. No matter how hard we try to get it right every year, no matter how many times we pick a winner, change it, and then go back to it again, the NCAA tournament always leaves us with a bevy of unforeseen results. A 7 vs. 8 matchup in the championship game… Who could have possibly guessed that? But that’s what makes this tournament so enjoyable. The 2014 tourney has been a memorable one for the Big Ten. While it will be 14 years now since the conference has produced an NCAA Tournament

Big Ten Geeks: The window is closing

While the NCAA Tournament is without question a national treasure, the madness comes at a cost—sometimes, teams with a combined 18 losses will play for the right to credibly call themselves the best team in the country. For the most part we all play along, accepting that the bounces and breaks that necessarily play a large role in a single-elimination tournament do nothing more than lead us to the correct answer. It’s not random, it’s clutch. Or so we say. If we wanted to reward the “best team”—tournaments be damned—the Big Ten probably would not be in such a national

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Last week, the University of Illinois announced that astronaut Mike Hopkins will deliver the commencement address on May 17. The University of Nebraska Medical Center hosted a team of Russian scientists recently. A professor at Michigan State is nationally known for his potato research. Yesterday, the annual FestiFools parade hit the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich. Find out more about this collection of “magnificent, huge, bizarre and politically incorrect” art on their website.  

Dienhart: My All-Big Ten NCAA tourney team

With Wisconsin’s heartbreaking national semifinal loss to Kentucky late Saturday night, the Big Ten’s 2013-14 hoops season is officially complete. It was a great season, one that saw three Big Ten teams make the Elite Eight. Now, it’s time for my All-Big Ten NCAA tourney team. [ MORE: Video: Wisconsin reacts to Final Four loss ] Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin. Yes, his NCAA tournament began and ended with a whimper, as he scored eight points vs. American in the opener and eight vs. Kentucky in the Final Four. But in between, the 7-0 junior was dominating in scoring 19 vs. Oregon,

Merriman: Top 10 B1G performances in the NCAA Tourney

Wisconsin’s season came to a close after a heartbreaking 74-73 loss to Kentucky in Saturday’s national semifinal matchup. The Badgers were the last team standing from the Big Ten, capping what was a memorable 2013-14 season for the conference. As a whole, Big Ten teams finished the NCAA Tournament with a combined record of 10-6. In those 16 games, there were plenty of standout individual performances. Here is a look at the 10 best individual performances from Big Ten teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament. [ MORE: Dienhart: My all-Big Ten NCAA Tourney team ] 10. Frank Kaminsky vs. Oregon.