Big Ten Weekly Five: 09.21.12 EditionPosted by jnowak on September 21st, 2012
- So the Big East is realigning … again. But what does it mean for the Big Ten? Well, for starters, it means Notre Dame won’t be joining the ranks of the Big Ten, since it’s taking its talents to the ACC for basketball season. It also means the conference that has been long regarded as the best hoops league in the land takes yet another hit after the announced departures of Syracuse and Pittsburgh (not to mention the retirement of Jim Calhoun at Connecticut). Sports Illustrated‘s Luke Winn took a look at the conferences around the country before and after these seismic shifts and noted that the Big Ten moved from the No. 4 spot (I find it hard to believe that was ever the case in the first place) up to No. 2 behind the new-look ACC. It looks like the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge will be a better measuring stick now than ever.
- It’s starting to sound like a broken record, but Michigan State’s Mark Hollis is at it again. This time, the forward-thinking athletic director has the Spartans playing another aircraft carrier game (the Germany game against UConn was made official this week)… at Pearl Harbor. He also is pushing for the Spartans to host the First Four round of the NCAA Tournament in nearby Grand Rapids. Hollis has pushed for the Spartans to host NCAA Tournament games at Van Andel Arena before, but this seems more plausible.
- From the facilities to the uniforms, the Minnesota basketball program is undergoing a bit of a makeover this summer. The Gophers will be donning new threads this season, outfitted by Nike, joining Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois and Purdue as other conference teams to sport the Nike Aerographic design uniforms. According to the Big Ten Network, the faint design on the back of the uniform features design features Williams Arena, Minnesota’s block “M” logo and “1851,” the year the university was founded. Speaking of Williams Arena, the home of the Gophers will also have a new overhead scoreboard when the team takes the court this season. The high-def unit — which is 11-feet-seven-inches by 13-feet-eight-inches — was part of an $8 million facilities upgrade around campus.
- Indiana basketball has a rich and proud history that includes plenty of memorable games against teams in and out of the Big Ten. So, Terry Hutchens asks, do the Hoosiers have a natural basketball rival? Would it be in-state foe Purdue? Or conference teams like Illinois or Michigan State? There’s plenty of history between Indiana and Kentucky, especially considering last year’s memorable game at Assembly Hall and the impasse the teams reached when trying to continue their non-conference series. What do you think? Do the Hoosiers have a significant rival on the hardwood?
- We know how hard it can be, as college students, to come up with $186. Between tuition, rent, trying to survive on ramen noodles and occasionally enjoying a beer (or three), there’s not much left in the bank. So that’s why we agree with NBC College Basketball Talk‘s assessment of the Izzone at Michigan State offering students a chance at free student section tickets this season — “Awesome.” Spartan fans had the opportunity to take one half-court shot, and 21 students came away with tickets good for 13 Michigan State home games. Just what we need — another excuse to practice the half-court shot.