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Three #B1G Basketball Storylines

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#WelpMichigan, OSU's Russell, #welpB1G

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

MICHIGAN ISN'T VERY GOOD RIGHT NOW

Just watching the Wolverines, and you see flashes of goodness, flashes of killer three point shooting, flashes of veteran guard leadership...But just like that, the flashes are gone and replaced by inept offensive execution and no inside presence. When, oh when, will the Wolverines ever have great inside presence? We miss you, the tiny sample size that was Mitch McGary's career, we miss you very much. This is a Michigan team that will lose, or win, against any team in the conference on any night. Except Wisconsin. Michigan is going to lose to Wisconsin.

D'ANGELO RUSSELL IS READY

How does it feeeeeeeeeeel Minnesota, tell me right now...to give up 25 bones to the frosh in one half? Did anyone watch this game and think, ohhh man Ray Allen Chris Mullin stuff going on here. Goodness Russell was impressive last night, and then Minnesota started hounding and doubling him, so he maturely passed the ball out of traps and set up his teammates.

POSSIBLY, THIS CONFERENCE IS NO GOOD IN 2015

From the CBS Sports way too early bracketology:

The Big Ten also has seven teams in the bracket, but beyond the Badgers and Maryland, the seeds aren't very good. It has been a rough non-conference season for the league thought to be the best when the season started. There are some real stinker losses up and down the board, the most galling of which was Michigan State's home loss to Texas Southern. The Spartans and Penn State are both in the First Four. Ohio State may be in the top 25 in the polls, but its resume is very thin right now. It has no bad losses, but hasn't won away from home (in only two tries) and Iowa, the best team the Buckeyes played on their home floor, beat them.

Disappointing non-conf returns have caused numerous B1G teams to face uphill battles just to make the NCAA Tourney. We already have tons of bubble teams, like PSU, Michigan, MSU, Indiana, OSU. This is where that "B1G Benefit of the Doubt" advantage this conference usually enjoys gets tossed out the window. It's time for these teams to scrap and pray for a 10+ win conference record, along with a victory over Maryland/Wisconsin/Iowa.

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So that's where we are, mediocrity reigns. Or am I looking at this all wrong, and there is actually just tremendous parity with the supposedly better teams drooping a bit and the others rising?

Either way, it's going to make for fascinating matchups, because basically every team is in play for an NCAA Tourney seed, but these squads could just as well miss the tourney too. Remember that bunny matchup against Penn State that your fanbase wrote off as a "w"? Probably should paint the face and show up in full-throated form.