The Buckeyes overcame a sluggish first half to push past Michigan State and advance to the Big Ten tourney title game for a fifth season in a row and seventh time in eight years. Is there any doubt who is the best program in the Big Ten? Of course not. OSU hit just 34 percent of its shots in the first half but rebounded to knock down 52 percent in the second half. The Buckeyes had just two players in double-figures, but they were biggies. Aaron Craft had a game-high 20 points, while Deshaun Thomas notched 16. The other Buckeyes
If it’s highlights you’re looking for, the Big Ten tourney was the place to be. From Brandon Paul’s buzzer-beater in Thursday’s opening round to Keith Appling’s drive and posterizing dunk on Friday, there was no shortage of highlight-reel plays. Watch some of our favorite Big Ten tourney plays from the first three days in this post. SUNDAY’S FINAL Evan Ravenel finds Deshaun Thomas for reverse layup: Sam Thompson soars for dunk to open title game: SATURDAY’S SEMIFINALS Adreian Payne elevates for putback: Sam Dekker turns Ryan Evans block into transition And-1: Victor Oladipo sets up Cody Zeller And-1 dunk: FRIDAY’S QUARTERFINALS
Aaron Craft came on strong in the second half to finish with 20 points and lead No. 10 Ohio State past No. 8 Michigan State, 61-58 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. Craft keyed a seven-point spurt midway through the second half that stretched the lead to eight at 55-47, and the Buckeyes (25-7) came away with the win after the Spartans (25-8) pulled within one. The victory avenged a loss in last year’s championship game Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post.
Scouting matters. Have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t know your opponent, you’ll get sliced up. So credit Indiana for blowing up Illinois’ offense by stretching its defense well out to the perimeter in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament. There was no space to breathe for Illinois’ shooters, and consequently just 6 of Illinois’ 27 field goal attempts were three-pointers in the first half. Now, it may not seem like a big deal to take the three-pointer away from a team shooting 29 percent on threes in conference play. And because no strategy comes
After a bruising and thrilling two days of basketball, the four top-seeded teams advance to Saturday’s semifinals of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. No. 1 seed Indiana faces No. 4 seed Wisconsin, and No. 2 seed Ohio State faces No. 3 seed Michigan State. On Saturday, BTN airs “The Big Ten Tip-Off Show” at 1 p.m. ET before the first game, then we air “The Big Ten Finale” at 6 p.m. ET. Right now let’s take a look at both Saturday semifinals, which have plenty of intrigue. [MUST-SEE DUNKS: Keith Appling vs. Iowa | Sam Thompson vs. Nebraska | Victor Oladipo vs. Illinois ] No. 1 Indiana vs. No.
The Buckeyes needed a few punches in the nose to wake up. Once aroused, Ohio State took it to Nebraska. The Buckeyes shot a robust 59 percent, showing great marksmanship from beyond the arc in nailing 52 percent (9-of-17). The Huskers looked tentative after a good first 10 minutes, committing 15 turnovers. And Ohio State scored 21 points off of those turnovers to go along with 13 fast break points. Add it all up, and you can see why Ohio State won by 21 points. Read more on this game; [ BOX | AP RECAP | SCORES | ALL PHOTOS | CONNECT | TOURNEY NEWS | B1G DUNKS ] Key moment: Nebraska came out
You didn’t think Sam Thompson would return home to Chicago and not put on a show in the Big Ten tourney at the United Center, did you? That’s just silly. The Ohio State sophomore gave fans what they expected with a quartet of dunks, a soaring alley-oop being the best of all. Thompson got so high on the alley-oop, he almost goal-tended the pass that looked more like a shot. Watch the alley-oop now and find Thompson’s other dunks in this post. [ RELATED: Want to embed BTN.com video? Here’s how! ] It wasn’t all about dunking for Thompson in Friday night’s
DeShaun Thomas and Sam Thompson had 19 points apiece, helping No. 10 Ohio State rout Nebraska 71-50 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Friday night. The Buckeyes turned a close game into a runaway with an impressive 30-5 spree spanning halftime that included a little bit of everything. LaQuinton Ross connected on three consecutive 3-pointers, Aaron Craft made a couple of nifty passes and Thompson had two jams to go along with a 3-pointer. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get video, stats and recaps in this post. [ BOX | AP RECAP | SCORES | ALL PHOTOS | CONNECT | TOURNEY NEWS | B1G DUNKS ] FINAL: After
If Jared Sullinger had his way, he’d be nowhere near the United Center this week. Thing is, the Ohio State product was sent to the Big Ten tourney by the Boston Celtics, his current employer. Sullinger, a first-round pick in last year’s NBA draft, underwent season-ending back surgery last month, and while he’s recovering, the Celtics decided to send him to Chicago to test his basketball IQ, if you will. “I’m out here scouting,” Sullinger said. “That’s not a joke. I got sent here to do some scouting – just to test my knowledge.” Considering his ties to the Big Ten
The tournament opener between Illinois and Minnesota didn’t offer much in the way of aesthetically pleasing play, but a buzzer beater has a way of upping the entertainment value. The Gophers turned it over on a season-worst 35 percent of their possessions, allowing the Illini to stay in the game dispute big Minnesota advantages in every other category. That set the stage for the finish, which included a wild five-shot Illinois possession that ended with a D.J. Richardson three to tie the game. The Gophers then struggled under the pressure, nearly turning it over twice before Austin Hollins stepped on