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Dienhart: Ranking the week's 12 hoops games

So many good games, so little time. That’s the quandary for the second week of conference action, which will go a long way in helping to shape what should be a terrific Big Ten race. There is no shortage of big games, beginning with Minnesota’s trips to Illinois and Indiana. [ RELATED: Big Ten Whiteboard: Gophers return to Assembly Hall(s) ] 1. Minnesota at Indiana, Saturday, Jan. 12. A huge test for the Golden Gophers, who wade into Assembly Hall where they handed Indiana it lone home loss last season. A win here would stamp Minnesota not just as a

Ranking the games: The best of the rest of opening week

The start of conference play began on Monday with two key matchups: Michigan State at Minnesota and Indiana and Iowa. But more interesting games loom this week, including Ohio State at Illinois and Iowa at Michigan. Here’s my ranking of the week’s games. 1. Ohio State at Illinois, Saturday. One team can’t shoot (Ohio State) and the other can—and probably does too much (Illinois). These teams played a classic last year in Champaign, when Brandon Paul drained 43. This will help set the early pecking order in the conference. 2. Iowa at Michigan, Sunday. This deep Hawkeyes team has flashed

Power Rankings: There's a new No. 1 team

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for my latest Big Ten Power Rankings. There’s a new No. 1 team on the list following Indiana’s loss to Butler on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic. How far did the Hoosiers drop as a result of the loss? Find out in this post. [ RELATED: View the latest AP and Coaches Polls ] 1. Michigan, 11-0 – How’s this for a start? The Wolverines have topped Pittsburgh, Kansas State, North Carolina State, Arkansas and West Virginia, teams with a combined 33-14 record (.702), by an average of 10.8 points per game. Last

Zeller, Indiana top Big Ten Power Rankings

A month-plus into the men’s basketball season, it’s time to debut the Big Ten Power Rankings. With six teams landing in the top 19 of the latest major polls, it’s not an easy task to rank the top half of the conference. Indiana and Michigan are the top two teams so far, but what about after that? See my complete rankings in this post. 1. Indiana, 9-0 – The nation’s deepest team is about to welcome highly touted freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin – both opened season on suspension – to a rotation that already goes 10 deep. [RELATED:

Final Player Rankings: Bell, Hill reenter list

It’s time for my final regular season Big Ten Player Rankings. This week, Le’Veon Bell and Jordan Hill reenter the list following jaw-dropping individual performances. See all the latest changes in this post. Remember, this feature ranks the Big Ten’s top six offensive and defensive players. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa. [RELATED: Tom Dienhart’s Power Rankings ] OFFENSE 1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Lost in a season full of eye-popping statistical days, there’s this: Miller’s only thrown six interceptions, including zero in the last three games. Week 13

Final power rankings: Ohio State finishes No. 1

This is the final edition of the 2012 Big Ten power rankings. And it’s pretty clear who the two best teams in the Big Ten are: Ohio State and Nebraska. Alas, they can’t meet in the conference title game, as the Buckeyes are on probation. But Ohio State finished 12-0, including a 63-38 win over the Cornhuskers in Columbus earlier this season. So, the Buckeyes must be best, right? [RELATED: Big Ten Player Rankings] See the final power rankings in the photo gallery below. About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big

Week 13 Player Rankings: Gardner gets in

There’s plenty of movement in my latest Big Ten Player Rankings following an entertaining Week 12. For starters, white-hot Devin Gardner debuts on the list. See all the changes inside. Remember, this feature ranks the Big Ten’s top six offensive and defensive players. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa. [RELATED: Tom Dienhart’s Week 13 Power Rankings ] OFFENSE 1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Not even Miller’s worst performance of the season can knock him from the top perch. Miller struggled against Wisconsin’s underrated defense, to the tune of 145

Week 13 Power Rankings: Ohio State stays on top

Some high drama on Saturday, headed by Ohio State’s 21-14 overtime win at Wisconsin. But no upsets. What’s it all mean? My weekly power rankings didn’t change much as we head toward the last week of the regular-season. But there’s still time for some chaos next Saturday! 1. Ohio State. The beat goes on for the Buckeyes, who moved to 11-0 with a 21-14 overtime win at Wisconsin. And what really was impressive was the fact Ohio State escaped Madison despite not playing well on offense. Last week: 1 Next: Michigan [RELATED: Dienhart: Defense wins this one for Ohio State]

Hardaway Jr. moves into hoops player rankings

It’s early, what with 11 of the Big Ten’s 12 teams only playing one game at the time this post was published. But it’s Monday, the day I release my weekly hoops player rankings. The season’s first installment features one new name from my preseason list. That name is Tim Hardaway Jr., the conference’s Big Ten Player of the Week. See who fills out the entire top 10 in this post. 1. Cody Zeller, Indiana – Check out this season-opening line for the preseason All-America: 8-10, 18 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. The only negative was his

Week 12 Player Rankings: Ball moves on up

It’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings. Montee Ball moved up a couple spots following his incredible effort at Indiana, and there’s a new name making the list on the defensive side. Who is it? Find out in this post. Remember, this feature ranks the Big Ten’s top six offensive and defensive players. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa. [RELATED: Tom Dienhart’s Week 12 Power Rankings ] OFFENSE 1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Fresh off a bye week, the Big Ten’s most dynamic player should enter the home