All B1G Teams as Simpsons characters: Michigan Wolverines =Mr. Burns

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Today kicks off B1G Media Days and your Michigan Wolverines are now deemed the league favorite. Actually, some sports books have ascribed UM the National Championship favorite. Ok, that’s a bit presumptive! Yes, we know that the media fawns over Jim Harbaugh more than they fawn over any other individual, but I still don’t know how we really got here on that one.

Of course, I also have no idea how a casino magnate with three wives and a disturbing tendency to publicly lust over his own daughter became the Presidential nominee of the political party dominated by the religious right, as 2016 is truly bizarro world.

How did we get here? The last time the Michigan Wolverines were last nationally relevant in 2016 and their most recent title came in 1997.

michigan wolverines basketball

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College Football Award Watch Lists: Just Please Stop Already!

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Yesterday kicked off, as the great Elvis Costello sang, “the other side of summer.” That’s because Tuesday July 5th initiated the evil scourge that is College Football Award Watch List Season. These pointless press releases are sent out as breaking “news.”

Not only does the journalist receive the email blasts from the award and college football organization themselves, every single school sends out their own individual email blast themselves. Now you cannot blame the SIDs for this. It’s not their fault and don’t shoot the messenger.

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Tre Demps Makes Chicago Bulls Summer League Roster

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The Chicago Bulls announced their team which will participate in the 2016 Las Vegas Summer League.  This year’s #1 draft pick, #14 overall, Denzel Valentine out of Michigan State (the last pick in the lottery) headlines the roster, which includes fellow Spartan alumni Raymar Morgan.

Yes, the same Raymar Morgan who is balling with the Spartan Heroes (Michigan State Alumni) in “The Basketball Tournament.”

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Northwestern Football Preseason Prognostications a Mixed Bag

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Big Ten Media Days are now just 27 days away, meaning it’s time to delve into what the preseason publications are saying about Northwestern football. Coming off a very pleasantly surprising 10 win season, with an important core of key players returning, hopes should be high in 2016, right?

Yes, to an extent. This isn’t the summer of 2013 with the “OMG! Northwestern football is GOING TO BE SO AWESOME!!! IT COULD BE THE GREATEST SEASON IN NU HISTORY!!!!! WOWWWW!!!!!!” hype we saw from the Chicago media. However, if Northwestern football doesn’t have a slot in both preseason polls come August, something is wrong.

Time to get serious about the Cats.

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Northwestern Basketball Getting Badly Needed Venue Upgrade

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Northwestern basketball announced today that they’re fixing the biggest problem that they have as a program. NU plays in Welsh-Ryan Arena, a 8,117 capacity facility erected in 1961, but feels like 1861 in certain facets, especially when juxtaposed against the likes of Big Ten’s bigger and better venues.

Two years ago, Northwestern basketball unveiled a new video board, the first ever for W-R, and the only major upgrade the facility has seen since 1983. Now, they’re going all in, with a facelift that will cost $110 million and modernize the facility. This is a huge, HUGE day for NU basketball, as they take a giant step towards becoming a legitimate Big Ten program.

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Northwestern, Illini Basketball United Center Double Header Announced

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Illini basketball have made a response to the dreadful attendance that we saw at last year’s United Center game versus UIC. The contest had an announced attendance of about 5,000 but the actual amount of fans attending was much lower than that. It’s fitting too given the severe decline of the Illini basketball program that has set in under John Groce, and the dismal state of the opposing program- UIC.

This year, Illinois will take on BYU at the House that Michael Built, as part of a double header with their rival Northwestern, who will face Dayton. The date has been set for December 17th.

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Early 2016-17 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings

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Looking at the very early Big Ten basketball power rankings for next year, MSU is the unquestioned. David Kmiecik, via his top 25 for next season, which you can view here, collaborated with Paul M. Banks on this listing. Dave did the entries for the nationally ranked Big Ten basketball teams, and Banks had to do the teams that aren’t as good. (of course! always!)

Enjoy! We also linked the three early season previews that we already did for three Big Ten basketball teams.

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Holy Cross, Bill Carmody Trend Nationally on Twitter

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Where were you the night Holy Cross “broke the internet?” Yes, Holy Cross, led by former Northwestern Coach Bill Carmody, were a top six or seven trending term on Twitter nationally tonight. Indeed March has arrived, and the madness has indeed begun. Sure, it was just a low-scoring play-in game, but when you look at where Holy Cross has come from, to where they are now, it is a Cinderella story.

If there’s one thing America loves this time of year, it’s a good Cinderella story, and Holy Cross has stepped to become the first school to fulfill that role.

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Northwestern Basketball: Early 2016-17 Season Preview

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It’s official, the 2015-16 Northwestern basketball season is now over. Of course, you pretty much knew that once you heard the seniors, Alex Olah and Tre Demps, speak postgame in the Big Ten Tournament. They both gave enough verbal cures that, once you read in between the lines, it became clear this team wasn’t going to accept a CBI or Vegas 16 bid.

Especially so for Demps, who candidly aired all his grievances and discontent in the locker room in Indianapolis.

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NCAA Bound Bill Carmody Left Lasting Influence at Northwestern

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Yesterday, Northwestern was eliminated from the Big Ten Tournament, thus ending any NCAA Tournament hopes that they might have had. Just hours before that result completed their previous coach, Bill Carmody, clinched a tourney berth in his very first season at his new school, Holy Cross.

Obviously, Carmody was on the program’s mind as current coach Chris Collins mentioned him during his postgame press conference.

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Northwestern G Tre Demps Candidly Airs Grievances

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Northwestern lost their opening Big Ten Tournament game 72-70 (OT) to Michigan in extremely controversial and utterly heart-breaking fashion. The loss ends NU’s NCAA Tournament hopes this season and thus continues their historical drought of never having reached the big dance. This loss occurred just hours after the program’s previous coach, Bill Carmody, clinched a tourney berth in his very first season at his new school, Holy Cross.

Factor in a horribly blown call that had an influence on today’s result, and it’s an extremely emotional day for the Northwestern basketball program; especially the seniors.

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Northwestern Basketball: Marginal Progress this Season

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The numbers defining the 2015-16 Northwestern basketball season are an interesting dichotomy. You see 20-11 and you think “good.” Then you see the 8-10 league record, in a tough Big Ten, and your thoughts are “okay, alright, not too bad.” Typical NIT team, that’s cool.

When you take a closer look though, and you see an RPI of 106, a SoS of 132 and just one RPI top 80 win, you think “meh.”

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