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Morning Power Bar: Olympics; Jumpman Invitational; NBA Finals

We look at this week in college basketball.

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This is a weekly column for BTPowerhouse that will cover a variety of Big Ten topics that might not deserve a detailed breakdown, but deserve mention. It will be similar to a news roundup with more thoughts and analysis.

So, let’s jump into our Morning Power Bar.

1. The Big Ten makes the Olympics.

We’re only a few weeks away from the Summer Olympics and the Big Ten got some good news last week as a few of its former players learned they had made the cut. Michigan State’s Draymond Green will be playing with the United States and Michigan’s Franz Wagner made the cut with Germany after scoring 28 points to push the Germans over Brazil to earn a spot in the field. The Americans will be the favorites, but it should be a fun tournament.

2. Ohio State in play for key Alabama transfer.

While most of this year’s offseason roster drama has already shaken out, there are stll a few names out there that could shake up the Big Ten for next season and one of them is Alabama transfer Jaden Shackleford. He was a key contributor for the Crimson Tide en route to the Sweet 16 last season and will have a huge impact next year as well. And here’s where Jon Rothstein says he could be going:

We’ll have to see if the Buckeyes can close the deal, but there’s little debating Shackleford could significantly boost Ohio State’s backcourt. He was one of Alabama’s best players last season and could certainly help replace some of Duane Washington’s lost minutes. We’ll have to wait and see if he ends up heading to Columbus.

3. The Jumpman Invitational announced.

If you missed it, a new non-confernece event was announced this week that should have some major pull in the years ahead. It’s called the Jumpman Invitational and will apparently feature men’s and women’s teams who use Jordan Brand products. The first event will be in 2022 and feature Michigan:

Expect quite a battle in that event. We’ll have to see how it all shakes out.

4. The NBA Finals roll on.

The 2021 NBA Finals began this week with the Phoenix Suns matching up against the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s the first Finals appearances for both teams in decades and a few Big Ten players made the cut. Here are all the players left in the Playoffs to date:

-Milwaukee Bucks

  • N/A

-Phoenix Suns

  • E’Twaun Moore - Purdue
  • Frank Kaminsky - Wisconsin
  • Jalen Smith - Maryland

We’ll have to see how things sort out, but that seems like a pretty good shot for the Big Ten to have someone come home with a ring this year, especially with Phoenix now up 2-0 on Milwaukee after Thursday night’s win.

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