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Big Ten

  • Wildcats’ coach urges ‘no’ on union
    Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald sided with his university against the formation of a players union in his first public comments Saturday, repeating what he already told his team: “I believe it’s in their best interests to vote no.
  • Badgers set the pace in blowout of Bears
    Ben Brust and his Wisconsin teammates got oodles of open shots while they sliced and diced Baylor’s vaunted zone defense. When the Bears had the ball, 7-foot Frank Kaminsky always seemed to be right in their way.
  • Labor board says college athletes can form union
    In a stunning ruling that could revolutionize a college sports industry worth billions of dollars and have dramatic repercussions at schools from coast to coast, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can

IPFW at Valparaiso

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Valparaiso

Records: IPFW 5-4, Valparaiso 5-2

Radio: 1380 AM

IPFW leaders: Frank Gaines (19.3 ppg), Mario Hines (6.6 rpg), Pierre Bland (2.4 apg)

Valparaiso leaders: Ryan Broekhoff (16.0 ppg), Broekhoff (7.1 rpg), Erik Buggs (4.4 apg)

Key matchup: If this turns into a free throw-shooting contest, IPFW could be in trouble. The Mastodons are last in the Summit League with a .624 free throw-shooting percentage (143 of 229). They have attempted more free throws and made more free throws than anyone in the league; it’s just that they’re not making them at a high percentage. In its last two games, IPFW is 16 of 36 from the line. Valpo, on the other hand, is shooting .764 from the stripe (120 of 157).

The skinny: Valpo’s only losses this season have been on the road – at St. Louis its last time out, 62-49, and at Nebraska, 50-48. Coached by Bryce Drew, the Crusaders start five seniors, led by the 6-7 Broekhoff and 6-8 Kevin Van Wijk, who averages 15.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. Of the four wins at home, Valparaiso’s victory margin averages 22 points. IPFW defeated Valpo last season at home, 85-76. Gaines had 24 points in that game, but four players who aren’t with the Mastodons this year – Trey McCorkle, John Peckinpaugh, Jonny Marlin and Jason Smeathers – combined for 46.

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette