I present to you, your Big Ten Tournament Champions.. The Ohio State Buckeyes!
First, I hope that everyone had an enjoyable St. Paddy’s Day. Now, on to the game.
OSU began the game with good ball movement, being more selective and efficient with their shooting than in the previous game against Michigan State. Through the first eight minutes, OSU was up 13-8 lead fueled by 6-10 FGs, still no trey attempts. Much better movement through the paint, not settling for perimeter hoists. At the mid point of the 1st half, OSU led 13-10 then things went not-so-well. The Badgers went on a 14-0 tear, abetted by poor OSU shooting. A Sam Thompson field goal ended a nearly 5 minute drought. Wisconsin’s offensive approach of positioning players on perimeter for penetration, ball swing catch & shoots was seemingly working.
Fortunately the Buckeyes mounted a bit of a late half surge to move deficit from 15-24 to 23-24, keyed by 6 points by DeShaun Thomas via going to basket and hitting jumpers. OSU couldn’t sustain their initial hot hand, cooling off to 37% from the field, dragged down by 0-5 from 3′s. Ugh. Two bright spots were; DeShaun found the range in last few minutes of half and Amir Williams was 3-4 from the foul line. That’s not a typo.
Second half was initially back & forth, forth & back, neither team able to make any sustained runs through the first 9 minutes of play, score tied at 35 apiece. At the under-4 timeout, the Buckeyes pulled to a 45-41 lead, driven by a lot of energy at both end of the floor, particularly at the defensive end. The small, fast lineup seems to have it’s place.
School: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Location: Madison, WI
Student Population: 42,595 total, 28,897 undergrad
School Type: Public
Stadium: Kohl Center (you’re welcome)
Head Coach: William Francis ‘Bo’ Ryan, Jr.
Experience: 12nd year
Iowa used a quick start and some of Sparty’s own medicine to jump out to a 30-20 lead at halftime. The Hawkeye’s quick start opened a double digit lead but Michigan State settled down and was able to get the lead trimmed in the middle of the half. Iowa then used a couple of three points down the stretch to open it back up a bit and take their 10 point lead into the half.
The Hawkeyes have taken a page out of the Spartan’s playbook when it comes to hustle and heart. Every loose ball seems to going to Iowa and as of right now it just looks like they want it more then Michigan State. Iowa is copying their first half performance from last night as they have 8 different players scoring again tonight (none have over 6 points) and Michigan State’s Adrian Payne leads all scorers with 7.
The second half of the game left me speechless. Unfortuntalely, it was for many reasons. Iowa fought extremely hard, out working the Spartans for much of the game. They continued to run a balanced, team offense in which no player had double figures when all was said and done. Michigan State refused to go quietly as Payne (18 points), Harris (13 points), and Appling (13 points) slowly chipped away at the Hawkeye lead and eventually took the lead with about 4 minutes to go. Iowa still didn’t give up as they missed a game tying shot at the end of game, allowing the Spartans to escape with the victory 59-56.
Michigan State will now face Ohio State in the second semi-final game tomorrow. They will tip-off approximately 25 minutes after the Indiana-Wisconsin matchup. Be sure to check back with us tomorrow for complete updates all day long!
#2 OSU versus #10 Nebraska
#4 TTUN versus #5 Wisconsin Read More
School: University of Nebraska – Lincoln
Location: Lincoln, NE
Student Population: 19,345
School Type: Public – Land Grant
Stadium: Bob Devaney Sports Center
Head Coach: Tim Miles
Experience: 1st year at Nebraska
On Sunday the Ohio State women’s basketball team wrapped up the Big Ten season with a win over rival Michigan and now the Buckeyes turn their sights to the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament. After years of taking place in Indianapolis, this year the tournament moves to the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. This is only the second time the tournament has been played outside of Indianapolis, the first ever women’s basketball tournament took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As part of a new deal signed by the Big Ten last year, the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will alternate between Chicago and Indy, the men’s tournament will be played at the United Center when the tournaments are in Chicago.
Personally I am not a fan of this plan as I felt that Indy was the perfect city for the basketball tournaments; the arena was nice and it was in easy walking distance of numerous bars and hotels which kept all the fans of various teams in a small area, improving the atmosphere. The men’s tournament has been in Chicago before and while there is nothing wrong with the United Center, it is far from the main part of the city and there isn’t much around it; this means that fans and teams are more spread out and you don’t get the fun atmosphere that Indy has. Having the women’s tournament in a suburb of Chicago will have many of the same issues as people will have to drive to hotels and most bars and restaurants, spreading out the fans and hurting the atmosphere of the weekend. I will give the event organizers this year some credit as they do seem to be trying to schedule more side events in order to improve the atmosphere, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
One of four days of the tournament are finished. One third of the combatants have been sent home. Now it’s time for the big dogs to get a chance to see the court.
Today’s games mostly went as expected, with Iowa, Indiana, and Purdue staying alive. The lone surprise was Minnesota’s overtime win over tournament dark horse favorite Northwestern. With the Wildcats eliminated early, it’s very likely that their NCAA tournament dreams have died with their Big Ten Tournament run. We’ll have to wait and see before we can be certain, however.
As for tomorrow’s games, there are some intriguing matchups. All four of the games involve teams that played each other only once during the regular season. Even more surprisingly, all of those games were played at the home court of the higher seed in each matchup. That means that each game has a good chance of being much more exciting than the original meetings. This is particularly true for Purdue and Indiana who get to treat there games very nearly like home games.
Just like today, WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell will cover all of the action during the course of the day tomorrow! Make sure you stop by and continue to follow all of the Big Ten Tournament coverage here at the Buckeye Battle Cry!
10:15 PM – Make sure to stop back tomorrow for more live coverage from Indianapolis from WVaBuckeye and Gary Russell! A preview of tomorrow’s games will be up shortly to get you ready for all four excellent matchups.
10:00 PM – Gary Russell here from Indy finishing out today’s action. The second half started off with a flurry but Purdue really flexed its muscles in pulling away and beating Nebraska in the Husker’s first trip to the tourney by a score of 79-61. Today’s action reminded me of what the Big Ten is all about. While Minnesota’s overtime thriller was the best game of the day, the other games still showed us that the Big Ten has tremendous heart, determination, and class. Here’s to a great first day and an awesome second day.
9:00 PM – Gary Russell from Indy and Purdue is leading Nebraska 39-31 at halftime. Upset minded Nebraska kept it close early but they didn’t seem to have an answer for Purdue on the boards. The Boilermakers cashed in on their second chance points going up by 15 at one point. Bo Spencer hits a three and a lay up at the 2:03 mark shrinking the lead to 8. The teams trade baskets to close out the half putting us where we are at halftime.
7:40 PM – Northwestern’s dreams came to an end here in OT. A hot shooting Gopher squad made their free throws and some timely threes to post a 75-68 win. Shurna and Cobb combined for 45 of Northwestern’s points, while Andre Hollins lead Minnesota and all scorers with 25. Minnesota moves on to face TTUN tomorrow in game three of day 2.
Welcome to March.
Are you ready? Ready for tournament time?
The coaches are. Some of the coaches don’t usually care about the Big Ten Tournament – particularly Tom Izzo. The tournament rarely changes anything heading into the NCAA tournament, and the Regular Season Championship is considered more precious. But Tom Izzo seemingly changed his mind this season after being forced to share the regular season title with the Buckeyes and Wolverines,
We’re going to go win our championship back.
He’s ready for March. Are you?
You’d better be. This Big Ten Tournament promises to be one of the best yet. The field is deep with teams that want to win. Consider Northwestern, who has never been to the NCAA’s, and Minnesota, who would like to prove what they can do as a young team missing a key player. How about Purdue, with Robbie Hummel’s last go around. And that’s not even including Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan who would all love to be able to hold the tournament championship over their co-regular season title holders.
Just to name a few.
JoeD, WVaBuckeye, Dave, and I put our heads together and shared some of our thoughts on the Thursday matchups to get you ready for the first day of action.