This is the Buckeyes’ third Big Ten tourney title in the last four years and fourth in seven years. No Big Ten team has more. Ohio State’s march to this point is impressive when you consider they lost Jared Sullinger and William Buford off of a Final Four team from last season. To win today, it was all about defense. In fact, these are the two best defensive teams in the Big Ten. And it showed. How rough was it? The Buckeyes shot just 38.5 percent.
DeShaun Thomas scored 17 points and No. 10 Ohio State used its stout defense to beat No. 22 Wisconsin 50-43 on Sunday for the Big Ten tournament title. Thomas was 6 for 19 from the field, but made some big free throws down the stretch to lead the Buckeyes to their fifth tournament title in nine appearances. Aaron Craft had nine points and six rebounds, and LaQuinton Ross also delivered a couple of huge plays for Ohio State (26-7).
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The votes are in, and BTN.com fans have picked Sam Thompson’s inbound alley-oop vs. Michigan State as the 2012-13 Dunk of the Year. The bracket opened with one dunk from every Big Ten team, which fans decided via polls, and it was seeded in accordance with the Big Ten tourney. Thompson’s athletic jam topped D.J. Newbill’s drive and flush at Wisconsin in a contested finals matchup.
Indiana and Wisconsin tipped things off on Saturday in a back-and-forth affair that did not go according to script. For one, Indiana was supposed to be the athletic offensive rebounding powerhouse, but it was Wisconsin that was crashing the offensive glass early, collecting 43 percent of its misses in the first half.
And then there were two. No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Wisconsin will meet in the Big Ten tourney title game at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday. The Buckeyes advanced to their fifth consecutive title game by topping No. 3 Michigan State, while the Badgers eliminated No. 1 Indiana.
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.