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Penn State, Wisconsin Kill Basketball In Big Ten Tournament

Mark it down: On March 11th at about 11 p.m., basketball passed away. The cause of death was boredom, or perhaps an overdose of molasses-like pace. In the Big Ten Tournament, Penn State and Wisconsin combined to score 69 points as the Nittany Lions outlasted the Badgers, 36-33. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds.

It wasn't as if neither team could hit shots, though. The brand of basketball, more than the execution, led to the low scores as both teams walked the ball up, took their time and used every second of the shot clock. With two of the slowest teams in the country, by adjusted tempo, this was to be expected, but Penn State and Wisconsin even outdid themselves.

After the jump, a look at the records the two teams set.

  • The 69 combined points was the lowest scoring output in Big Ten Tournament history.
  • It was a 42 possession game, the slowest since 1998. Wisconsin typically averages 58 possessions per game, the slowest in the country. Penn State isn't far behind, averaging 61 possessions. Even as slow as they are, 42 possessions is a new low, and a snail's pace.
  • Now do the math on those possessions. Using a crude way of looking at it (converting time to seconds, divide by two, divide by possessions) , the teams averaged 28.5 seconds per possession. That's just about an entire shot clock every single time down the court.
  • Jimmer Fredette had 33 points at the half. Wisconsin finished with 33 points for the game. Think the Badgers could've using some Jimmer?
  • Each teams scored less than the James Madison baseball team did on opening day (via Vince Ferrara). JMU plated 37 runs in its win over Bucknell.
It was the perfect storm of slow-paced teams trying to grind out a win. If the goal was to make America suffer: Mission accomplished Big Ten. Your brand of basketball is one-of-a-kind -- and not in a good way.

To check-in with Penn State and Wisconsin fans, visit Black Shoe Diaries and Bucky's 5th Quarter.