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Penn State expected big things out of senior Jermaine Marshall in 2013-14. Not only was the guard scheduled to be the Big Ten’s second-leading returning scorer (15.3), behind only teammate D.J. Newbill, but he would have been a key cog to Penn State’s possibly elite backcourt.
Indiana won the Big Ten championship outright by about half a Newton, as Jordan Morgan’s tip-in attempt was a hair too strong, allowing Indiana to complete a road comeback and dulling the festivities of the rest of the weekend. After a sluggish first half that ended with Michigan leading 33-30 (33 possessions), the two teams combined for 80 points in the second half (32 possessions). However, despite the fact that these two teams played a back-and-forth battle, I think the result raises more concerns about Michigan than Indiana.
Wisconsin picked up an overtime win over Michigan in a contest with plenty of late-game drama. Wisconsin and Michigan both found themselves with plenty of fouls to give at the end of regulation on Saturday, but neither team opted to hack to deprive the opponent of a desperation heave.
On Saturday, Iowa defended its home court with a win over Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes raced out to a 30-10 lead before the Badgers finally got something going on offense, though I think that early start for Wisconsin overshadows what kind of game this really was.
When talking most improved player, the Big Ten boasts plenty of candidates. There are proven guys who have taken their game to another level, such as Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, and there are previously unproven guys who have made the most of extra playing time, such as Ohio State’s Shannon Scott.
Indiana struggled to put away Penn State late in Sunday’s 88-82 decision. The Nittany Lions never gave up – even after star point guard Tim Frazier fouled out – and Jermaine Marshall was a big reason for that. The sophomore was driving and moving around constantly, and in the final minute he slammed home a powerful dunk, cutting the Indiana lead to four points. To make the dunk all the better, Marshall also posterized Indiana’s Matt Roth on the his way up. Watch Marshall’s slam now.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Watch Gus Johnson call Ben Brust’s sixth 3-pointer from Saturday’s win over UNLV now and see the rankings in this post.