Tom Dienhart’s key Michigan player: In a game as one-sided as this, it’s difficult to say any player was “key.” But let’s go with Tim Hardaway, Jr., who led the Wolverines with 13 points. But he was just three-of-10 shooting and 0-of-three from long range in what was a miserable afternoon for Michigan, which still hasn’t been to the Big Ten title game since it won the inaugural event in 1998.
Tom Dienhart’s key Ohio State player: Once again, Jared Sullinger was a man among boys, dominating Michigan on the interior. It was this simple: The Wolverines had no one to matchup with Sullinger, who connected on nine-of-14 shots for 24 points and grabbed six rebounds. Just another day at the office for what looks like an uber-motivated Sullinger.
Tom Dienhart’s key moment: Right out of the gate, Ohio State jetted to a 16-3 lead and never looked back. At one point, the Buckeyes’ lead grew to 28 points late in the second half. The Wolverines were undone by poor shooting, hitting 1-of-13 three-pointers (7.7 percent) and 7-of-25 from the field (28 percent) at halftime. Michigan never came close to crawling out of the hole. Ohio State also had its way on the interior, outscoring the Wolverines, 40-24, in the paint. Michigan had 18 turnovers and shot just 30 percent, as Trey Burke scored just five points on one-of-11 shooting with eight turnovers. Credit Aaron Craft.
What’s next for Michigan? The Wolverines have nothing to be ashamed of in losing to Ohio State. The Wolverines, who still won their first regular-season crown in 26 years, figure to still get a seed in the No. 4 range when the bracket is unveiled on Sunday. The loss ended a four-game winning streak, as Michigan is 8-3 in its last 11 games and reached the tourney semifinals for a second season in a row.
What’s next for Ohio State? The Buckeyes remain on course to win a third Big Ten tourney title in a row, meeting Michigan State on Sunday in the conference championship game. A win over the Spartans could propel Ohio State to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney for a suddenly hot Buckeye squad that has won four in a row and five of six going into Sunday.
FINAL RECAP: Jared Sullinger scored 24 points and grabbed six rebounds to lift No. 7 Ohio State to a 77-55 win over No. 13 Michigan on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in the Big Ten Tourney. Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas both had good games for Ohio State (27-6).
Sullinger made 9-of-13 shots from the floor. Thomas scored 22 points, pulled down six rebounds, and knocked down 10-of-15 shot attempts.A 16-3 run led the Buckeyes to an early 13-point lead. Thomas ended the run with a field goal, which helped the Buckeyes hold a 34-21 advantage at halftime.Ohio State shot 50 percent from the field (31-of-63). The Buckeyes also got a double-digit effort from William Buford, who scored 10.Zack Novak had 10 points, grabbed five rebounds, and shot 4-of-6 from the field for Michigan (24-9) in the loss.
The Wolverines had trouble finding their touch, shooting just 31 percent (17-of-55) from the field. Michigan gave itself second chances during the game, snatching 14 offensive rebounds. The Wolverines also got a double-digit performance from Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 13.Ohio State never trailed in the game. The Buckeyes’ largest lead was 28, which came with 53 seconds remaining.
-Recap by Narrative Science
HALFTIME RECAP: Jared Sullinger scored 16 points for No. 7 Ohio State as the Buckeyes lead No. 13 Michigan 34-21 at the half. The Buckeyes didn’t trail once in the first half and they also led by as many as 16 points. Ohio State was already on top early when it used a 12-0 spurt to widen its advantage to 16-3. The Wolverines’ leading scorer, Trey Burke, has been shut down thus far.
The freshman enters halftime with one point, well below his season average of 15.1. Michigan applied the pressure in the first half, earning second-chance opportunities with six offensive rebounds, to just six for the Buckeyes. The long-distance game has been bottled up for Ohio State, who made 1-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first half, while shooting 58 percent (15-of-26) on two-point shots. The Wolverines’ Stu Douglass had a big first half, with five points and three rebounds.
-Recap by Narrative Science
POSTGAME PRESS CONFERENCE: