The Buckeyes shot lights out throughout the game, hitting 50 percent in the first half en route to building a 43-33 edge at intermission. For the game, Ohio State knocked down 48 percent of its shots. Aaron Craft was all over the court, impacting in a variety of ways. Sound familiar? The junior defensive demon had seven steals and seven assists, while also chipping in four points. And he played his usual suffocating defense, helping force 19 turnovers. A 10-point game at halftime quickly became a glorified scrimmage in the second half, with the Buckeyes notching an eye-popping 52 points after intermission in this lopsided opening NCAA triumph.
It was defense that boosted Illinois to victory on this day. Illinois was especially stingy in the first half, which it allowed only 21 points and closed the final 7:05 of the half on a 13-0 run to take a 37-21 halftime edge. And the Illini showed an ability to withstand adversity in the second half, squandering a 16-point halftime lead and falling behind 44-39 with 9:00 left. But Illinois stayed composed and regained the lead, finishing the game on an 18-5 run.
Sam Thompson had career highs with 20 points and 10 rebounds on Friday night, part of a dominating performance by Ohio State’s front line, and the Buckeyes ran away to a 95-70 victory over Iona in the second round of the West Regional. The second-seeded Buckeyes (27-7) are in prime March form with nine straight wins, including their last five games of the regular season and a run to the Big Ten tournament title.
This game basically was over at tipoff, as Indiana outclassed James Madison—which had to win a play-in game to advance—in every facet of the game. It was a nice tune-up for the Hoosiers, who were just 3-3 in their six games entering the Big Dance after getting bounced by Wisconsin in the semifinals of the Big Ten tourney. Indiana shot very well, hitting 52 percent of its shots and 39 percent from 3-point range. And IU dominated on the glass, 40-29.
Don’t miss the BTN Big 10K event in Chicago on Saturday, July 27, and this year’s race will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Dress up in your favorite school colors and compete for your Big Ten team in the 10K race or 5K run/walk, and there will be a post-race FanFest & Tailgate party, too. Get more details here.
Freshman Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points in the first six minutes as top-seeded Indiana slam dunked its way to an 83-62 win over James Madison in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. Not taking any chances with a No. 16 seed, the Hoosiers (28-6) started fast and built a 33-point lead in the second half over the Dukes (21-15) and opened the tourney with a statement they intend to be around for a while.
Illinois has been doing it the hard way all season. Why change just because it’s the NCAA tournament? After letting a big first-half lead slip away Friday, senior guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson bailed out the Illini with consecutive 3-pointers with 6 minutes to play and No. 7 seed Illinois pulled out a tough 57-49 win over No. 10 Colorado in the second round of East Regional of the NCAA tournament.