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Stanford downs Minnesota in NIT finals

(AP) Stanford’s young guards Chasson Randle and Aaron Bright each scored 15 points, and the Cardinal routed Minnesota 75-51 to win the NIT title Thursday night. Stanford forced two turnovers to open the second half to take a 10-point lead and stayed up by double figures the rest of the way. The Golden Gophers turned it over 22 times on the night. Rodney scored a team-high 12 points while Austin Hollins and Joe Coleman both added 10. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and get Tom Dienhart’s analysis.

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Dienhart: Illinois hires Ohio's John Groce

What has been anticipated for a few days became reality Thursday as Illinois named Ohio’s John Groce as its men’s basketball coach. Will it be a good hire? A bad hire? Who knows? It’s absurd to draw a conclusion on something like that on the day of an introductory press conference. But a few things are without dispute.

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Football Fix: Talking Michigan Football

As far as debuts go, Brady Hoke’s was a hit at Michigan. Hoke sauntered into Ann Arbor and ripped off a stunning 11-2 mark, finishing second in the Legends Division and capping the remarkable season with a triumph over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. It almost made memories of the mercurial three-season Rich Rodriguez tenure vanish. Almost. Now, the question begs: What will Hoke do for an encore? I talked to three top writers who cover Big Blue to gather their thoughts on Michigan’s to-do list this spring.

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Buford key to Ohio State's Final Four fate

(AP) When it comes to unpredictable, game-changing performers at a Final Four, most of the time the discussion revolves around a precocious freshman. Ohio State fans, however, have grown accustomed to warily keeping an eye on the Buckeyes’ lone senior. Which William Buford will show up?

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Roundtable: Talking Penn State Football

For the first time since 1965, Penn State will have a new coach prowling the sideline. Joe Paterno was forced out amid scandal late in the 2011 season—and subsequently died. In steps Bill O’Brien, a first-time head coach who comes freshly minted from the New England Patriots, where he served as offensive coordinator for arguably the NFL’s top franchise.

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See Wednesday's best B1G spring football links

Big doing today, as the Danny O’Brien sweepstakes have ended with the Maryland quarterback picking Wisconsin. This is two years in a row the Badgers will welcome an ACC QB transfer. Russell Wilson from N.C. State worked out pretty good. If O’Brien is anywhere close to Wilson, 2012 will be a fun year in Madison. Fire up the grill and open the brats! Find more on that and other happenings in this post.

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