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.
Watch “The Big Ten Finale” on BTN for full coverage of the entire day. It’s also online live at BTN2Go.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.