Men's Basketball

Surprise, surprise - the Buckeyes are for real

Last night, Ohio State handled a very good Florida team–a squad that at least one astute observer has picked to win the National Championship–with relative ease. After a slow start, the Buckeyes led by as many as 16 points before finally winning by seven. Thad Matta’s team displayed the same strengths as a season ago–namely a high effective field goal percentage and a low turnover rate–but they also showed a new wrinkle: getting to the foul line. It’s extremely early, but Ohio State now has a free throw rate of 72 FTA per 100 FGA. For some perspective, the Buckeyes only eclipsed that number twice all of last season–and both times were against the hacktastic Hoosiers. Perhaps this increase in trips to the foul line shouldn’t be surprising given the players that are being replaced:

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2011-12 Season Preview: Illinois

We continue to work our way up our projected standings, and today we’ve reached our pick for fifth place: the Illinois Fighting Illini. Bruce Weber’s squad may be the biggest wild card in this season’s Big Ten, as it is supremely talented but woefully inexperienced.  What’s a reasonable range of expectations for a team like this? Let’s find out.

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The Journey: A Rivalry

Blue or green? That is the question for fans in the state of Michigan must ask itself whenever Michigan plays Michigan State. The game featured in this clip in this post came down to the last shot, but more impressive than the game itself was the respect the two star players had for each other after the game. It was yet another great behind the scenes moment caught by our @BTNJourney crew. And have you seen our other clips? They’re all right here. We’ll be adding more in the days and weeks ahead.

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Ohio State Takes down Florida, 81-74

Ohio State's Jared Sullinger

Florida vs Ohio State - Men's Basketball Highlights

(AP) William Buford scored 21 points and No. 3 Ohio State weathered Florida’s fast start to beat the seventh-ranked Gators 81-74 on Tuesday night. Jared Sullinger added 16 points, Deshaun Thomas had 15 and Aaron Craft 13 points and seven assists for the Buckeyes (2-0), who forced 16 turnovers and hit 27 of 34 free throws. Down as much as 16 points, Florida got as close as five with under a minute left before Buford sealed it with two foul shots. Ohio State has won eight of the 12 meetings, but the Gators captured the big one, winning the 2007 national title game. Read the full AP recap and see the box score.

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Coach K Gets Record in Win over Spartans

(AP) Mike Krzyzewski became Division I’s all-time winningest coach when No. 6 Duke beat Michigan State 74-69 on Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic. The Blue Devils (3-0) gave Coach K his 903rd win, breaking the tie with Bob Knight, Krzyzewski’s college coach at Army and his mentor throughout his professional career. Junior guard Andre Dawkins had 26 points for Duke, which took control with a 20-1 run that gave the Blue Devils a 61-41 lead with 9:17 left. Keith Appling led the Spartans with 22 points, while Draymond Green added 10 and eight rebounds. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and the play-by-play, plus check out the Geeks Michigan State Season Preview.

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Early Big Ten Hoops Thoughts

Ohio State's William Buford

Jordan Taylor: One-on-One

Every Big Ten men’s hoops team has played at least one game, and in today’s quick-to-judge world, we thought why not offer some initial thoughts on what we’ve seen through the first week of action. See Brent Yarina’s way-too-early Big Ten impressions in this post.

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