Big Ten football power rankings: lipstick on a pig edition

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During Big Ten football Saturdays like this, how do you spin what happened? How do you put lipstick on these pigs? And even though Northwestern out-gained an AWFUL Western Michigan team by just 126 yards, they’ve still earned the second slot.

You can argue that a different Big Ten football team deserves to be there. But my argument is pretty solid for NU. Also, Illinois gave up 615 yards and lost “at home,” and yet they move UP not down this week.

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Tom Crean leading Indiana Basketball to the Final Four?

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Is Indiana basketball truly back to it’s former glory?

We’ll find out this weekend. In 2003, Tom Crean led the Marquette Golden Eagles to a somewhat unexpected trip to the Final Four. Ten years later, Crean is looking for a return trip; this time as head coach of the Indiana Basketball.

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Tom Crean apologizes for Michigan postgame comment

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Update: Tom Crean apologized this morning for this incident on the Big Ten teleconference call.

I think Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Crean might have a reputation for being an ornery, self-absorbed sort. And now it’s getting worse. On February 19th, he chewed out the moderator on the Big Ten conference call. On March 7th, he didn’t talk toWalter Football.com A couple years ago, Crean once tweeted a complaint about an early start time when his Hoosiers came to play the Illini.

When IU visited Northwestern, Crean kept the media waiting FOREVER!!!! Which was annoying for us in Chicago but a much bigger problem for the Indianapolis media who traveled to cover the game as the Indianapolis Colts were playing the Saints IN THE SUPER BOWL at the time.

And today, he showed he doesn’t know how to let things go.

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Hoosiers Tom Crean lashes out at Big Ten over weekly awards

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The Indiana Hoosiers Tom Crean proved me wrong today. I didn’t think people actually cared about player of the week awards, mostly because any time I’ve written or posted about them it’s equaled web traffic/social media death. But IU coach Tom Crean sure does. He was quite unhappy about the selection process, and he let the Big Ten office know it during the conference call today.

But before we get to Crean’s inflammatory exchange with Big Ten call moderator and assistant director of communications Dan Mihalik, a little history. The Michigan Wolverines Trey Burke was player of the week, Burke averaged 23.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals in a loss to MSU and a win over Penn State. He shot nearly 60%.

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Indiana Hoosiers get caught playing Butler’s game, fall to in-state foe

The No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers have become known for going on scoring tears — particularly on fast breaks — when they can create even the slightest cushion against opponents.

In-state rival Butler never let Indiana have that chance Saturday.

The Bulldogs (8-2) asserted themselves physically against the Hoosiers (9-1), per the custom of Brad Stevens-coached teams, and knocked off the nation’s top-ranked team 88-86 in an overtime thriller at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as part of the now annual Crossroads Classic.

Butler led by as many as seven before a furious rally by Indiana, fueled by Victor Oladipo’s defense. Freshman guard Yogi Ferrell, who only seconds before had committed a costly turnover, hit a huge 3-pointer before regulation expired to tie the game at 76-76. It was Butler guard Alex Barlow, however, who would have the contest’s final clutch moment, tossing a floater over Indiana’s Jordan Hulls for the game-winner.

The Bulldogs didn’t just step it up late, though. They made sure all game long they’d have this opportunity.

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Indiana Hoosiers Cody Zeller becoming a rock star

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The Indiana Hoosiers Cody Zeller could end up achieving the same trifecta as Anthony Davis at Kentucky did last year. The Wildcats big man from Chicago won a national title, took home the college basketball player of the year award, and became the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Zeller may do the same this year. For those who do some online betting, the Hoosiers are the favorite, topping all the preseason polls. And Zeller looks like #1 material in many NBA mock drafts. This is why Zeller is getting so much pub; gracing the cover of ESPN the magazine for their college basketball season preview. He’s not nicknamed “the big handsome” for nothing.

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Indiana Hoosiers, Cody Zeller lead strong Big Ten basketball outlook

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The Big Ten has been pretty weak in college football this season. That’s obvious. But as down as football might be, Big Ten college basketball is up just as much, perhaps even more. The league has three of the top five in the coaches poll, and five teams in the top 25. The Hoosiers are number one in the poll, with the Buckeyes number four and the Wolverines number five.

Today was the conference’s media day, held right here in Chicago. And here’s who the media picked for to finish at the top of the league, and to make the all-Big Ten team.

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Indiana Hoosiers claim preseason No. 1 in USA Today Coaches Poll

Tom Crean’s restoration project of Indiana University basketball has pretty much come full-circle.

After being crippled by NCAA sanctions stemming from former coach Kelvin Sampson’s violations, struggling through six-, 10- and 12-win seasons his first three  years in Bloomington, and leading a remarkable turnaround in 2012-13 that resulted in a Sweet 16 appearance, Crean has his Hoosiers sitting atop the USA Today Coaches preseason poll, released today.

With key returnees in Player of the Year Candidate Cody Zeller, senior Christian Watford and juniors Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey — plus a loaded freshman class dubbed “The Movement” — Indiana appears poised for a run at a sixth NCAA championship, which is remarkable given all the program has been through in recent years.

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19 College Basketball coaches to follow on Twitter

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In the world of college sports, Twitter is a divisive subject. Many coaches go so far as to ban their players from using the social networking site for fear it will distract players or be used as a vehicle for trash talking.

Then there’s the ambivalent group, the coaches who don’t block players from using Twitter, but will probably go to their graves without ever sending a tweet themselves. But some forward-thinking coaches have embraced Twitter as a way to connect with die-hard fans and give them news and info that can’t be had anywhere else.

These 19 college basketball leaders are the ones who do that the best.

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Cody Zeller and Christian Watford returning to Indiana Hoosiers for 2012-13

Let the preseason No. 1 speculation officially begin for Indiana basketball.

The Hoosiers, widely expected to enter the 2012-13 season at or near the top of the polls, got huge news for their chances on that front as the university’s athletics department announced in a release that forwards Cody Zeller and Christian Watford would return for their sophomore and senior seasons, respectively, rather than declare for the NBA Draft.

Such was expected. I never thought Zeller would leave after one season of college basketball (although he could have been a lottery pick), and I didn’t get a hint of any current interest in Watford as a NBA prospect — his skill set is a bit lacking in areas and he isn’t being listed in any mock draft I see — so it’s not a surprise to see both guys announce their returns. It’s going to be truly fascinating to see this Indiana team next season. It will have the firepower to do great things.

This announcement does create one minor issue for the Hoosiers, though: They are oversigned by one scholarship heading into next season. Coach Tom Crean will have to show one guy the door to make enough room for his key returnees as well as for “The Movement” of 2012 signees.

Follow the jump for the release from Indiana University Athletics.

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Kentucky looks for revenge against Indiana in sweet 16 matchup

One of the greatest moments from this college basketball season was Christian Watford’s game-winning three against Kentucky, a shot that gave the Hoosiers a once-unthinkable victory over the most talented team in the country. The good news is that these two illustrious programs are set to square off again in the Sweet 16.

Thanks to Will Sheehey’s go-ahead baseline jumper with 12.7 seconds remaining in the Hoosiers round-of-32 game against 12th-seeded VCU, Tom Crean’s squad will have a chance to prove that the Dec. 10 victory over the Wildcats in Bloomington was more than a fluke.

Guest post by Chris Johnson from bigtenorbust.com.

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Indiana Hoosiers appear tourney-bound after win against Michigan State

No. 1 Kentucky? Check.

No. 2 Ohio State? Check.

No. 5 Michigan State? Check.

Each of those three teams, while ranked as listed, has fallen at Assembly Hall this season, adding a feat to the already deep lore of Indiana University basketball: the Hoosiers (23-7, 10-7 Big Ten) have knocked off three top-5 teams in the regular season for the first time ever.

Knocking off the Spartans in a 70-55 win Tuesday night adds yet another key victory to IU’s tournament resume — one that probably doesn’t need any more work to ensure the Hoosiers will go dancing for the first time under coach Tom Crean. For Crean, the players and Hoosier Nation, that has to feel good.

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