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BTN School Days: Indiana Hoosiers

Any talk about Indiana’s 2011-12 athletic year begins and ends with the turnaround of the men’s basketball program. On the heels of a forgettable three-year run that yielded a 28-66 record, the Hoosiers returned to relevancy with a 27-9 season, highlighted by a Sweet 16 berth and upset wins over eventual national champ Kentucky and then-No. 2 Ohio State. The difference between the previous three seasons: Freshman sensation Cody Zeller, the Coaches’ choice for Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an All-Big Ten second-team honoree.

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Retweet this: Top 6/4/12 Tweets

Like many of us, Big Ten products are all over Twitter. They let us into their lives and put their personalities on display in 140 characters or less, and they often delight and enlighten in the process. See some of our favorite Big Ten-centric tweets from Monday in this post.

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Mellencamp's son to walk on to Duke football team

Here’s something you probably didn’t expect to read today: Hud Mellencamp, the son of Bloomington native and rock star John Mellencamp, is going to walk on to the Duke football team, according to Bruce Feldman. Even more surprising, the younger Mellencamp, a former Golden Gloves boxing champ in Indiana, was home schooled and didn’t play high school football. He is expected to play defensive back for the Blue Devils.

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BTN School Days: Illinois Fighting Illini

When it comes to the 2011-12 athletic year for Illinois, many people will remember it for all of the transition. Football coach Ron Zook, men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber and women’s basketball coach Jolette Law all coached their last games and gave way to Tim Beckman, John Groce and Matt Bollant, respectively. But it also was a successful year, one highlighted by the men’s gymnastics team’s 10th NCAA title and first since 1989. The coach of the team, Justin Spring, 29, became the youngest gymanstics coach to win the national crown.

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Kentucky ousts Big Ten champ Purdue, 6-3

No. 14 Purdue baseball got off to a good start with two runs in the first inning Sunday, but another rally by the opposition was the difference in a 6-3 loss to Kentucky that eliminated the Boilers from the NCAA Gary Regional. It was a memorable season for Purdue (45-14), which won the Big Ten title for the first time since 1909, claimed its first Big Ten tourney crown, qualified for the NCAA tourney for the first time since 1987 and hosted an NCAA Regional for the first time en route to setting a program record for wins.

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Mailbag: Are Buckeyes worthy of all the praise?

You have questions, and I have answers. With the calendar turning to June, the focus is on football, as you can see from the questions below. Answering these queries got me thinking: Are Michigan State and Ohio State the best teams in the Big Ten? Find out in this post. Also, have you checked out my 2012 weekly schedule analysis series, which just reached Week 13 yesterday, or my archive of Big Ten rankings?

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