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Michigan State Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell (24) celebrates after scoring a touchdown with center Travis Jackson (63) during the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at the Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Game of the Year: Wisconsin vs. Michigan - 2012 Football Championship

It may only be the beginning of July, but Big Ten fans are craving football. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart answers all of your college football questions and others in his regular Big Ten reader mailbags. Wondering about 2012 season predictions? Or players to watch? Use the submission form in this post to pepper our expert with your football questions and comments.

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Illinois G Brandon Paul breaks jaw during open gym

Illinois' Brandon Paul

Most Dominating Performance of the Year: Brandon Paul

It’s been a tough week or so for a couple Illinois standout athletes. Last week, defensive lineman Michael Buchanan broke his jaw in a Champaign altercation, and on Thursday, star guard Brandon Paul suffered the same injury during open gym. Paul, the winner of BTN’s 2012 “Most Dominating Performance,” is coming off a junior season in which he averaged 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

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Craving hoops? Get your fix today on BTN

Michigan State's Draymond Green

Head to Saginaw with Draymond Green

Rejoice, basketball fans. BTN is dedicating Friday’s programming to men’s basketball. Starting at 10 a.m. E.T., we’re re-airing a trio of exciting 2011-12 games, including Indiana’s memorable upset of No. 1 Kentucky, all of which precede a marathon of our award-winning “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2012,” which tips off at 3:30 p.m.

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Suggestion Box: Nominate Your Big Ten Greatest Game

Greatest Games: 1998 Purdue at Wisconsin

I Hit It To Win It: Nick Anderson

“The Big Ten’s Greatest Games” for football and basketball is a popular program for our TV viewers and online readers. Each year we dig through the archives and roll out new episodes featuring games from the past. For example, that classic 1989 Big Ten basketball finish between Illinois and Indiana featured in our ongoing series “I Hit It To Win It” (watch the video in this post).

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BTN School Days: Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue logo

Purdue Baseball - The Dream Team Feature

When a team gives itself the nickname “Dream Team,” it better deliver on the hype. The Purdue baseball team did just that in 2012. The Boilermakers (45-14, 17-7) won their first Big Ten crown since 1909, claimed the their first Big Ten tournament and advanced to their second NCAA tourney, their first as a regional host. That’s a lot of firsts, and it’s the reason the baseball team’s memorable season highlights Purdue’s 2011-12 athletic year. Want more? The program had a record seven players selected in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

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BTN to air NBA Draft Preview Special at 9 p.m. ET Friday

Illinois' Meyers Leonard

Jim Jackson Talks with Meyers Leonard at NBA Draft Combine

CHICAGO – The Big Ten has always been a steady contributor to the NBA, and this year is no different with plenty of Big Ten student-athletes officially entering the NBA Draft. BTN will help tell their stories when it airs a special NBA Draft Preview edition of the Big Ten Basketball Report at 9 p.m. ET Friday. The 30-minute special will include interviews with some of the Big Ten’s top draft entrants and also will give viewers an inside look at the draft process.

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