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.
OSU and Wisconsin are meeting up for the rubber match in the B1G Tournament Finals today. The Badgers were the last team to beat Ohio State, so there’s revenge on the line in several ways.
A bit late getting to this today due to “St. Patrick’s Day” festivities (that’s what we’re going with).
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
It’s championship week here at tBBC, and we’ll have all your B1G Tournament coverage coming up until the Buckeyes cut down the nets. So, it only makes sense, then, to have our soundtrack for today be the latest from OSU alum and friend of the site Mekka Don, who’s scored an exclusive deal to provide music for their coverage. From the press release:
The intersection of music and sports is prominently on display during high profile sporting events. Almost every sports arena has a DJ; players submit playlists to be played during warmups; and networks license music to help create excitement for their broadcasting. Mekka Don, an independent hip-hop artist and former NCAA athlete (Ohio State football), has inked a multi-song licensing deal with the Big Ten Network to provide music for the upcoming Big Ten Tournament games and coverage. The Big Ten Tournament begins on March 14th on the Big Ten Network.
And here, in an exclusive for tBBC readers, is the the title track for tournament time:
You can support Mekka Don and download this at his site on iTunes… just in time for March’s Madness.
Welcome Back? Rumors have been swirling all week that former Buckeye Defensive Coordinator Jim Heacock would be returning to the WHAC in a “quality control” capacity; huge tip, it seems, to Nevadabuck from the Scout site for dropping the knowledge first. The position would be similar to what a number of schools (most specifically Alabama) are doing in expanding their staff, and you’ve got to think that it will not only strengthen the Silver Bullets but also maintain the relationships that Heacock had with area high school coaches. In addition, it provides a fallback of sorts should the defensive staff lose a member to another opportunity.
After a closer than comfortable win against Northwestern, Ohio State now travels to the Kohl Center and one of the more hostile environment in the B1G. Ah, good times with Bucky once again.
Today’s game is scheduled for 1 PM EST on the CBS. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
The Buckeyes and Badgers played yet another tough battle on the hardwood tonight that could have gone either way until the Buckeyes finally opened up a lead late in the second half. The Buckeyes were able to withstand a couple Badger attempts at a comeback and eventually clinched the 58-49 victory at home. For the Buckeyes, DeShaun Thomas ended up leading a scorers with 25 and was joined by Aaron Craft as a significant scorer with 13. Wisconsin responded with Traevon Jackson’s 12 and Jared Berggren’s 11 for the game.
As is typical when you play a basketball game with Wisconsin you can safely expect there to be something less than no offense. That was exactly the case in the first half with neither team managing to score more than 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. Wisconsin took advantage of the traditionally poor OSU perimeter defense through the half hitting more three pointers than they hit shots inside the arc. That imbalance of shooting, and the success the Badgers had doing it, put the Buckeyes in a bit of a bind against Wisconsin’s strong defense. The Bucks were lucky to be down only two going into the locker rooms.
It took a while in the second half for the Buckeyes to finally exert control, but some great work on the fast break finally did the job. With the Buckeye defense holding Wisconsin scoreless for seven straight minutes in the middle of the half, the Bucks ran out on a 15-0 run to take an 11 point lead with only six minutes left in the game. A pair of Wisconsin three pointers put an end to the run and brought the game back into the ballpark of a couple possessions. Unfortunately for Wisconsin the Buckeyes were able to readjust, and the shots simply stopped falling for the Badgers allowing the Buckeyes to coast home for the victory.
It’s time for the Buckeyes to make the Badgers Deal With It. Let’s take a closer look.
|School:||University of Wisconsin – Madison|
|Student Population:||42,595 total, 28,897 undergrad|
|Stadium:||Kohl Center (you’re welcome)|
|Head Coach:||William Francis ‘Bo’ Ryan, Jr.|
Thursday’s cup of Mulligatawny, carefully crafted for the best damn fans in the land… since you know how to ask. Fingers crossed for good weather on Saturday!