The decisions have been made.
The picks are in.
It’s anybody’s NCAA Tournament.
Ohio State has a tough, but winnable draw.
OSU is the No. 6 seed in the South and will play the Dayton Flyers, who many thought would be in the First Four, in Buffalo.
The Flyers made it without having to play in the extra game.
The winner gets a very beatable Syracuse in its own backyard.
The Big Ten got interesting draws. In addition to OSU having to play a hungry Dayton team, Wisconsin could get Oregon, with five scorers, in the third round.
Nebraska gets Baylor in the second round and then Creighton in the third round. Brutal. A CBS guy was already talking about Baylor-Creighton in third round.
Michigan got a No. 2 seed in the Midwest when many had TTUN as a No. 1. The Wolverines get two easy games, Wofford and then the winner of Texas-Arizona State.
Iowa got stuck in a First Four game against Tennessee and will play No. 6 UMass with a win. Most projections had Iowa in cleanly, meaning no First Four.
Michigan State gets a No. 4 seed and plays Delaware in Spokane and then either Cincinnati or Harvard in the third round.
The Midwest is loaded. Louisville, Wichita State, Kentucky, Michigan, Duke. Three of last year’s Final Four Teams. Holy stacked bracket, Batman.
They’ve been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country and have felt the pains of being unranked and unimpressive.
But now the Ohio State Buckeyes have a signature win and some momentum heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan State’s Gary Harris missed a jumper as time expired and OSU came from behind to beat the Spartans 69-67 at Value City Arena on Sunday.
Ohio State said goodbye to seniors Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr., and had a chance to say hello to the No. 4 seed and a much-coveted bye in the upcoming B1g money-maker, uh, tournament, but Wisconsin ruined that idea by choking against Nebraska Sunday night.
So Ohio State gets the No. 5 seed and a matchup against Purdue on Thursday. The winner gets Nebraska, which likely earned an at-large NCAA Tournament bid. That winner gets top-seeded Michigan.
LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points and had five rebounds while Craft had 12 points, 7 assists and became the conference’s all-time steals leader to help OSU overcome a pathetic 19-of-31 effort at the free throw line, which almost cost OSU in the final seconds.
Adreian Payne led all scorers with 23 points while Harris had 12 and Denzel Valentine 11.
The Buckeyes improve to 23-8 and 10-8 in the B1G. MSU, the No. 1 seed in the tourney, is also 22-8 and is 15-4 in the B1G.
It was one of those games where it felt like Sparty should have been blowing away the Buckeyes at times, but could only manage a 7-point lead as the game’s biggest spread.
More than once OSU was down at least five points but didn’t let that deter them from winning on Senior Day.
OSU trailed 38-36 at the half but began the second half with a 6-0 run, which ultimately sparked the Buckeyes to a 44-39 lead with about 17:30 left. Michigan State quickly answered and took a 49-44 lead with 16:56 left on a pair of Harris 3-pointers, a Payne dunk off a Harris assist and a Travis Trice dunk.
That led to an OSU timeout with 15:16 left.
Harris hit a pair of free throws to increase the lead to 51-44 and a cap a 12-0 run.
Craft hit a pair of free throws to end the run and make it 51-46 with about 14 minutes left.
Harris then hit a long catch-and-shoot bucket to increase the lead back to seven with about 13 minutes left.
But OSU wasn’t done despite having no real go-to scorer.
Amir Williams made one of two from the line and a Ross 3-pointer cut it to 53-50 after the under-12 timeout. Trice missed a shot, the Buckeyes rebounded and after a foul at the other end and Shannon Scott hit a pair of free throws to cut it to one.
That caused Coach Tom Izzo to bring his starters back in the game as he was resting Branden Dawson, Valentine and Keith Appling.
It’s a “gray out” for the Buckeyes, as they seek to continue their nation leading streak without two consecutive losses.
Today’s game is scheduled for 1 PM EST on the CBS. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
The Buckeyes take their first trip to Spartyland since William Buford sank that dagger three to lift the Buckeyes last March. MSU has another solid team this year, so let’s take a look.
|School:||Michigan State University|
|Location:||East Lansing, MI|
|Student Population:||47.954 total, 36,675 undergrad|
|School Type:||Public – Land Grant|
|Head Coach:||Tom Izzo|
|Experience:||Forever (18th year, actually)|
One of the most improved, and most impressive teams this season, the Michigan Wolverines arrive in Columbus undefeated. Their 16-0 record includes an impressive win over currently 18th ranked NC State at home. Let’s give them a glance.
|School||University of Michigan|
|Location||Ann Arbor, MI|
|Student Population||42,716 total, 27,407 undergrad|
|School Type||Public – Land Grant|
|Head Coach||John Beilein|
|Experience||6th year at UM|
The Buckeye round-ballers are playing their first official game of the season against the Big East’s Marquette Golden Eagles. The game is being played on the deck of the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina.
Joining us as usual – and special thanks to all of them for making these such a great success – are the other members of the Buckeye Blogger Network. Make sure to stop by their place and say, “hey”: Our Honor Defend, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, Buckeye Empire, Silver Bullet, The Buckeye Blog, Unscripted Ohio, and Fox Sports Ohio.
The Liveblog kicks off at 6:30 PM eastern, thirty minutes before the game tips-off on NBC Sports Network.
There are quite a few things going on simultaneously for Ohio State athletics at the moment, so here is a real quick round up so we can all keep up.
Stay tuned for more in depth coverage of each story, but as you can see, there was a lot of stuff happening in the world of Ohio State athletics this evening.