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BTN School Days: Michigan State Spartans

For a change, Tom Izzo and Michigan State entered a season unranked and on the outside of many experts’ list of Big Ten title contenders. Izzo worked his magic, per usual, as the Spartans shared the Big Ten crown, won the Big Ten tournament and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney to highlight Michigan State’s 2011-12 athletic year. To make things even better, star forward Draymond Green won Big Ten Player of the Year and earned first-team All-America honors. The Spartans, ultimately, advanced to the Sweet 16, where it lost to Louisville.

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Big Ten Interviews from the NBA Combine

BTN’s Jim Jackson caught up with six Big Ten names working out at the NBA’s pre-draft combine in Chicago. Jackson talked to Jared Sullinger, William Buford, Draymond Green, Jordan Taylor, Meyers Leonard, and Robbie Hummel. If you’re running games down at the gym, that’s a pretty good first six right there.

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Today's Marathon: Watch Big Ten Icons All Day

You may want to call in sick on Friday, or at the very least set your DVR to “record series” as BTN airs a marathon of “Big Ten Icons” shows. Those will also air on BTN2Go, as well, where they are also archived for viewing on demand.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Linebackers

Linebacker play in the Big Ten should be strong this season, led by players like Wisconsin’s Mike Taylor, Penn State’s Gerald Hodges, Illinois’ Jonathan Brown and Michigan’s Kenny Demens, among many others. But which Big Ten schools have the best linebacking corps? Find out in my Big Ten unit rankings in this post. Don’t agree? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Also, don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings.

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BTN School Days: Michigan Wolverines

So much for the Michigan football program’s struggles. After suffering through the worst three-year period in program history (15-22), the Wolverines came out of nowhere to card an 11-2 record, including their first BCS win since 2000, in Year 1 of the Brady Hoke regime. Naysayers will argue the schedule played out perfectly for Michigan in 2011, but 11-2 is 11-2 no matter how you slice it. And the Wolverines did beat ranked foes, drilling Nebraska and nipping Virginia Tech, both of which were ranked No. 17, in addition to finally topping Ohio State.

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Unit Rankings: 2012 Big Ten Defensive Lines

The trenches are where games are won–ask any coach. And the Big Ten, led by a strong crop in the Leaders Division, has some good defensive fronts that will rate among the best in the nation. Where does your Big Ten school’s defensive line rank? Check out my entire list in this post. Don’t agree with my rankings? Leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Also, don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings.

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