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Big Ten Tournament: Saturday Thoughts

One more Big Ten game remains, my takeaways from semifinal Saturday.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The final is now set, the #4 seed Purdue Boilermakers will meet #2 Michigan State tomorrow at 3pm. The Michigan Wolverines and Maryland Terrapins will now await their fate on Sunday night, Michigan more nervously than the Terps.

1. Melo Trimble is broken.

Melo is going through a heck of a sophomore slump, and today was one of his worse games of the year. He hasn't played well against high-quality competition since late January and finished with the worst offensive rating of anyone on the court in today's second game. This isn't the Melo Trimble we saw last year, and at this point it is clearly a mental issue. Surely if he had a nagging injury Maryland would've said something about it by now.

2. And Maryland might be in trouble if something doesn't change.

An amazing defensive effort brought the Terps back into a game that many people had written them out of, so in the final minute they turned to their star point guard. That's where things went sideways. Down 1 with a chance at the rim, it seemed Melo was more interested in drawing a foul than hitting the shot. Then, the same thing happened on his last second heave. Sure FTs have been very kind to Trimble over the years, but he needs to get back to playing the way he is capable of, or Mark Turgeon needs to turn to another one of the many talented players on his team. If not, it is hard to see them making it past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

3. Tomorrow will let us know just how legit Purdue is.

The Boilermakers have looked impressive in wins over Michigan and Illinois, but Michigan State is one of the elite teams in the country. Purdue was able to knock off MSU at Mackey, can they do it on a neutral court? If so, it'll be their best win of the season, right at the time you want to be peaking as a team.

4. Purdue is a dark horse Final Four pick, the Spartans are an obvious one.

Never bet against Tom Izzo in March. Period.

Oh, and he has a a Wooden Award candidate in Denzel Valentine leading the way. Add in Bryn Forbes, Matt Costello, and an ever-improving Deyonta Davis and you've got quite a dangerous group.

For Purdue, A.J. Hammons leads they way with guard play that has been more consistent in the last few games. They're going to need some favorable match-ups along the way, but they definitely enough impact players inside to challenge anyone.

5. If Michigan makes the NCAAs, they will either upset someone or get blown out.

There really hasn't been an in-between for John Beilein's team. It is incredible that the same team that has wins against teams like Maryland, Purdue, and Indiana can turn around and get dominated. It isn't for lack of effort, or at least it wasn't today. This team is simply confounding.

6. A.J. Hammons is amazing.

That is all.