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In case you have forgotten, Minnesota won the NIT last season in Richard Pitino’s first season in the Twin Cities. The Big Ten has done well in the NIT in recent years. Iowa got to the title game in 2013. Minnesota was in the championship tilt in 2012. Penn State won it all in 2009 and year after Ohio State did so in 2008.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery gave an update on his 14-year-old son, Patrick who had surgery to remove a tumor on his thyroid March 19. Two days later, doctors determined the tumor was malignant. Patrick had a second surgery on April 17. But, all is well now.
Illinois is an intriguing team, returning all of its starters. And the Illini also have added two transfers in Ahmad Starks (Oregon State) and Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall) that John Groce says have made difference. But how will Illinois do without Tracy Abrams, who suffered a knee injury this fall that will force him to miss the season?
This is a big year for Indiana. The Hoosiers need to rebound from a sub-par season that saw them go 17-15 overall and 7-11 in the Big Ten. Back in 2013, IU won the Big Ten and was one of the top teams in the nation. A key to any return to the form expected from IU fans will be the play on the interior.
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Can a player from the Big Ten win the honor for the first time since Ohio State’s Troy Smith in 2006? Find out inside!
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Who wins Week 8 Big Ten games? See our team’s picks and select your winners inside!