What Big Ten divisions might look like

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Like the Pac-10, the Big Ten is weighing several issues by expanding to 12 teams. Yes, a new name is one. More pressing are scheduling and division alignments.

The conference athletic directors meet in about six weeks, which means we could have six weeks of chatter and arguments regarding divisions. And that’s a scary thought.

Or we could settle it right now. How about some Big Ten divisions? This FanHouse story from Bruce Ciskie offers four options, two for East-West divisions and two for North-South.

My favorite is North-South option 2 (sounds like an audible).

North                 South
Iowa                   Illinois
Michigan           Indiana
Michigan St.     Northwestern
Minnesota        Ohio State
Nebraska         Penn State
Wisconsin        Purdue

Perhaps the geography’s a bit off, but I like the balance, both in basketball and football. It pairs Indiana and Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State, and while the North may be a little weaker in basketball for now, once John Beilein has Michigan up to snuff, it’ll even out.

Then again, maybe it’s best to take some advice from The Only Colors, and keep it simple: East-West divisional alignments.

That means Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin in the West; Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue in the East.

This maintains natural rivalries and keeps competitive balance – but sucks for basketball. Nebraska, Northwestern and Iowa in the same conference? Yeesh.

Maybe you just scrap the divisions for hoops.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.