Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, March 2, 2016

What an amazing season for Indiana, which won its 13th outright Big Ten title. That ties the Hoosiers for most in league history with Ohio State. Making this title even sweeter is the fact that few saw it coming, especially after James Blackmon was lost to a knee injury for the season in December.

Should Tom Crean win Big Ten Coach of the Year? You bet. And Indiana's Yogi Ferrell told as much.


Iowa continues to circle the drain, and it?s hard to watch for a team that was No. 5 in the nation and 10-1 in the Big Ten after a win at Illinois on Feb. 7. That?s four losses in a row and five of six for a team that looked primed to win its first big Ten title since 1978-79. And the season finishes at Michigan this weekend.


Finally, some clarity to Caris LeVert?s injury at Michigan: He is being shut down for the season. Makes sense. It sure didn?t seem like he was going to get better trying to play.

"After some prayer and talking it over with my family, coach (John) Beilein and the medical staff, we all feel it is best for me to concentrate on getting fully healthy," LeVert said in a U-M press release. "There is still some discomfort that does not allow me to help this team the way I want."

Michigan is 20-10 overall and 10-7 in the Big Ten this season, fighting to keep alive its hopes for the NCAA tournament despite not having its best player.


This is pretty cool: a panoramic photo from Mackey Arena last Saturday during the Maryland game. Can you see yourself in the crowd?

An ultra-high resolution 360-degree photo was taken, and the interactive photo – powered by Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas – allows fans to find and tag themselves, share the views with friends, enter to win cool prizes and celebrate the game in incredible detail. The image is billions of pixels in size (yes, that's billion with a "b"). In addition, a stunning panoramic photo was taken by James Blakeway, and prints measuring 13.5 x 40 inches are available for purchase.


How about this? Donald Trump says Urban Meyer has said nice things about him.

"I don't know if he endorses me or not, but he's said awful nice things about me," Trump said to cheers during a rally at Port Columbus International Airport. However, Meyer hasn't made any public statement in support of Trump or any other presidential candidate.


Who is the most hated team in America? A recent Reddit Poll looked at that subject. For what it's worth, that distinction goes to the Buckeyes, who garnered 11.4 percent of the vote nationwide in a 5,000-person college football poll. Michigan and Alabama were tied for second at 9.2 percent.


Old Big 12 foes Nebraska and Kansas have agreed to a home-and-home hoop series beginning in December. That?s nice.

?We are excited to revive a classic Big 12 matchup between Nebraska basketball and Kansas,? said Nebraska coach Tim Miles in a press release. ?I believe this will be a very exciting event for our fans and student-athletes alike. This is something we look forward to as we continue and try and build as strong a schedule as possible to put us in a great position for Big Ten and postseason play.?

Now, can we get a Kansas-Missouri series?


Northwestern is grinding in spring drills. A big area to watch: The offensive line.

No player has solidified a starting position on the interior of the offensive line, but Fitzgerald said Connor Mahoney is the closest to doing so, but mostly because he is only practicing at guard. He said that both Ian Park and Brad North will be practicing at both guard and center.

And who will replace Dan Vitale? Fitz mentioned Garrett Dickerson and was excited about Jayme Taylor's return from injury, but made it clear that neither will be expected to do exactly what Vitale did. "Garrett will play to his strengths," he said. "How we do things will be based on each specific player's skill set."

James Prather is the third superback right now.


Ohio State players performed well in the recent NFL Combine. How well? They posted 12 top drill scores, more than any school. And hey, the 2016 Combine is over. But, that hasn?t stopped from wondering what Penn State players may take part in the 2017 Combine.


A CBS analyst says Michigan State?s Connor Cook will be a first-round pick. So, there you go. And, I agree. This is a QB-starved league. And Cook is pretty good, despite all of this buzz about him not being a captain.

"Cook comes from a pro-style offense and is NFL ready," Pat Kirwan wrote "which is what the Texans need at this point."

Kirwan's mock draft is the first post-NFL combine of many more to come, and the veteran analyst said he took all things into consideration.

"This week's mock draft is a reaction to all the things I learned at the combine," he said. "Medical information and character issues did affect my decisions."


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