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Women's basketball: Can Maryland win a fourth straight Big Ten title?

19 October 2017

What's also true: A 20-game schedule will serve up more money-making opportunities for the Big Ten Network, which will add to its coveted inventory of live sports programming.

The Big Ten women will play 18 games beginning next season.

The Buckeyes return four of their top four scorers from their Big Ten championship-winning team last season. The Big Ten gets a dress rehearsal of sorts with that this season as a handful of Big Ten games will be played in early December. There will also be a regional component to increase the number of times a team will play another in a similar area. This is one of several preseason awards for Bridges, who was named the NBC Sports Preseason Player of the Year and Sports Illustrated lists him as the No. 1 candidate for National Player of the Year.

The Spartans finished tied for sixth in the Big Ten last season and they'll try to take a step forward with freshman forward Sidney Cooks. With this, there is concern from some that a sport already in need of more consistently attractive and compelling non-league games in its first six weeks of the season will find itself overpopulated with top-50 programs scheduling buy games against the bottom half of the sport.

Again, details regarding what regional means was not immediately available but it's a safe bet Michigan and Michigan State fans can expect to see Ohio State more often than Nebraska in the coming years.

Starting next season, Miller's IU teams will play Purdue twice under the new 20-game Big Ten men's basketball regular season format. While playing more than half of your season games against conference opponents isn't entirely ideal, with a 14-team league, the Big Ten had to make a tough decision and they chose to protect their internal rivalries. It was rare that Michigan would get to play home-and-home series with both Michigan State and Ohio State in the same year, even though those are two of the best rivalries in the entire conference.

Women's basketball: Can Maryland win a fourth straight Big Ten title?