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The Best of 2012 Big Ten Spring Football

Brandin Hawthorne

Sparty Play - Michigan State Spring Football Game

With 2011 Big Ten Football Championship Game participants Michigan State and Wisconsin wrapping up spring football Saturday, every Big Ten team can turn its attention to the summer. Here at BTN.com, we’re not ready to put spring football behind us just yet. That’s why we compiled this post featuring the best from this year’s spring action. And when talking the best of spring, nothing — at least in our minds — comes close to topping Sparty lining up in the backfield and taking the handoff. Watch the entertaining play now.

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Dienhart: My All-Big Ten Undrafted Team

Northwestern's Dan Persa

Dan Persa Feature

The 2012 NFL Draft came and went this past weekend, with a grand total of 41 Big Ten products being selected during the three-day event. Iowa’s Riley Reiff was the first player off the board, at No. 23, while Illinois, believe it or not, accounted for four of the Big Ten’s first six draft picks. But what about those players who went undrafted? They began signing contracts immediately following the draft. Here’s a complete list of Big Ten free-agent signees. In this post, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart compiles his All-Big Ten Undrafted Team.

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A star on Nebraska's bench: Erstad enjoying new gig

Darin Erstad

Darin Erstad Feature

First-year Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad is as polished and decorated as college coaches come. Let’s list a handful of the accolades: No. 1 pick in the 1995 MLB First-Year Player Draft; 2002 MLB champion; two-time MLB All-Star; three-time Gold Glove winner; .339 lifetime hitter in playoffs. And the list goes on. So, why did Erstad, a two-sport star during his time at Nebraska, decide to start coaching college baseball? “It’s in the blood,” Erstad told BTN.Watch our feature with the former Husker now.

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Sunday's Big Ten Baseball Roundup

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Iowa at Minnesota - Baseball Highlights

After losing the first two games of the weekend series by one run, the Iowa baseball team posted a thrilling 5-4 one-run win in 12 innings over Minnesota Sunday in the Metrodome to avoid the series sweep. Nearly one year to the day (April 30, 2011), Minnesota topped Iowa by the same 5-4 score and in 12 innings. Read full recap at HawkeyeSports.com. Watch our highlights now, plus see our interview with Jack Dahm and get Sunday’s Big Ten baseball roundup in this post.

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All-Access: Whitney Mercilus on NFL draft day

Whitney Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus Feature

Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.

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Did You See This? Big Ten Tonight Intro

Keith Nichol 2

B1G Tonight Michigan State - Wisconsin Intro

If you’re a Michigan State or Wisconsin fan and you didn’t see Saturday night’s “Big Ten Tonight: Spring Football Report,” you missed the show’s dramatic intro. With the Spartans and Badgers wrapping up Big Ten spring action Saturday, BTN producers compiled an impressive montage that spotlighted the teams’ unforgettable 2011 meetings. From the last-second “Rocket” play in East Lansing, Mich., during the regular season to the memorable inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, both games are well represented. See video from Michigan State and Wisconsin’s spring games in this post.

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