#1 Indiana versus #4 Wisconsin
The first ten minutes of the first half has been back and forth with neither team wanting to pull ahead. However, back to back three pointers by Indiana’s Watford and Abell helped pushed the Hoosiers to a 5 point at the under 8 media timeout. But the Badgers refused to back down thanks to the efforts of Ryan Evans on the offensive boards and key three point shots by Ben Brust and Mike Bruesewitz that put them ahead 26-22 at the final media timeout of the first half. Wisconsin was able to sustain a late flurry by Indiana to hold a 34-31 lead at halftime. Evans leads all scores at the half with 10 while Indiana’s Watord and Oladipo both have 8.
The first ten minutes of the second half were nothing but a game of runs. Wisconsin opened the half with a 6-0 run to open a nine point. Indiana immediately answered with a 9-0 run of their own. The Badgers’ Evans then took the team on his shoulders leading them on a 10-3 run and a 50-43 lead at the mid-way point of the second half. The Hoosiers tried and tried down the stretch to take the game over but Evans refused to let it happen as his 16 points paved the way to Wisconsin’s 68-56 victory over Indiana.
Tom Crean will now have to “Deal with It” as he awaits his tournament seeding while the Badgers await the winner of the second game between Michigan State and Ohio State. Be sure to check out our live blog during that game and check out our review of the game afterwards!
The Buckeyes entered Bloomington on a bit of a hot streak and proved that it was more than just a fluke, up-ending the #2 Indiana Hoosiers 67-58. The game was an epic battle of two great teams and just goes to prove the quality of this conference in no uncertain terms. As has been typical the last few games, the Bucks were lead by DeShaun Thomas (18) and Aaron Craft (15) in scoring. Indiana was lead by Cody Zeller (17) and Christian Watford (12), with Oladipo surprisingly not breaking double digits.
It was clear in the first half that the Buckeyes came into this one prepared. OSU began attacking outright and seemed to take Indiana by surprise. Most critically, the Bucks managed to stick Oladipo with two fouls fairly early, which helped to minimize the impact of the Hoosier offense. Not surprisingly, Indiana did manage to get things moving and forced the Bucks to make adjustments to maintain their three point lead going into the half.
The intensity did not dial itself down in the second half. Both teams fought hard, trading baskets through the majority of the half, and generally taking it to the opposing defense. Neither team allowed the other to build too much of an advantage, but the Buckeyes clearly carried the momentum advantage in the middle of the half. Leading into the final TV timeout, the Bucks took control with several straight baskets including a huge DeShaun Thomas three pointer. The run did eventually end on a Hulls three pointer, but the damage was mostly done.
There is no question that this team has gelled after the crushing loss to Wisconsin. I hate to give the Badgers credit for anything, but this team has really come together to be a solid all-around basketball team in a tough conference. A big win in Bloomington is a huge step for the NCAA tournament resume, since it gives the team a big away victory late in the season when it matters most. Ultimately, this team is peaking at exactly the right time, and hopefully they can carry the momentum through the Big Ten Tournament and beyond.
The Buckeyes escaped their tough test in Evanston, but now get a much more stiff examination. Ohio State will be in Bloomington tonight to take on the top team in the Big Ten – the Indiana Hoosiers.
Today’s game is scheduled for 9 PM EST on the Big Ten Network. The LiveBlog is scheduled to start 15 minutes before tip.
After a two and a half month hiatus, I triumphantly return to the ranks of the Basketball previewers! Of course, my return is timed to coincide with the toughest game on the schedule this year. Let’s take a look.
|Division:||NCAA Division 1|
|Stadium:||Assembly Hall…no, the other one.|
|Head Coach:||Tom Crean|
Indiana marched into Columbus coming off a tough loss to Illinois and made the Buckeyes pay for it 81-68. The Hoosiers dug a deep hole for the Buckeyes before having to hold on in the last two minutes of the game to keep the Bucks from making good on their comeback attempt. Indiana saw three players break double digits in scoring, and in fact score all but 11 of the team’s scoring, with Cody Zeller’s 24, Victor Oladipo with 25, and Christian Watford picked up 18. The Buckeyes responded with three of their own with DeShaun Thomas (26), Aaron Craft (16), and LaQuinton Ross (11).
The first half was a picture of exciting offense – mostly for Indiana. While Indiana started out of the gate quickly, a 9-0 run allowed the Buckeyes to sneak back into the game. Outside of that excellent run, where solid defense helped keep the Hoosiers from finding easy looks, the Buckeyes looked simply outgunned on both sides of the court. Indiana needed only four players to score, and the Bucks simply couldn’t play enough defense to stop them. Adding to their problems was the foul difficulties that allowed Indiana to get to the line repeatedly over the last 5 minutes. It all added up to an 8 point Hoosier lead going into the half.
The second half was not much of an improvement for the Buckeyes. The Hoosiers came out of the gate and quickly regained their momentum to blitz out to a double digit lead. OSU had very little answer for the surging Hoosiers, finding themselves completely unable to consistently make things happen on offense. To make matters worse, they also couldn’t pick up a string of stops on defense to try to help close the gap. By the eight minute mark, the Hoosiers were in a clock-eating mode, satisfied to cling to their double digit lead.
This is yet another learning-lesson game for the Buckeyes today. They still need to figure out the offense, and they’ve discovered that their defense is not yet up to par against the top competition in the nation. However, the team showed heart at the end in trying to fight back even when the game seemed hopeless. If they could learn to capture that passion more easily earlier in ball-games, they could turn into something special down the stretch this season.
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 revolving door that is known as the Top 25 continued to revolve this week. 4 of the 5 Top 5 teams all loss, including Kansas who has now lost three in a row. In addition to the top 5 teams laying an egg, 14 of the 25 teams lost at least one game this week, with 5 of them not even picking up a single win. All was not bad though in the Top 25 world. There were several great games and several overtime games, including a stunning 5 overtime in the Big East. The Miami Hurricanes continued to come on like gang-busters and very well could be in the Top 5 when all is said is done with the polls this week. This week doesn’t look like it will let us down as there are quite a few Top 25 matchups and tough games against un-ranked opponents. Only time will tell how this week will end up but in the meantime, I am just going to sit back and enjoy one of the most exciting college basketball seasons that I can remember.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review
1. Indiana (20-3, 8-2) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 2/7 @ Illinois, L 72-74
Upcoming: 2/10 @ (10) Ohio State & 2/13 Nebraska & 2/16 Purdue
The Hoosiers were the latest Number One team to fall. A beautifully ran inbounds play by Illinois sunk Indiana. It doesn’t get any easier this week as they travel to Columbus to face the Buckeyes.
2. Florida (19-3, 9-1) Previous Rank: 4
Past Week: 2/5 @ Arkansas, L 69-80 & 2/9 Mississippi State, W 83-58
Upcoming: 2/12 Kentucky & 2/16 @ Auburn
Florida lost its chance to be the top ranked team with a loss to Arkansas earlier this week. A trip to Lexington to face Kentucky could spell out another loss this week. Read More
Ok…..so they weren’t the only ones to lose this week but it’s always fun to say the number one team lost unless it’s the Buckeyes! This past week featured no newcomers to the dance but did feature some games that will surely mix things up in the Top 25 and probably make some room for one or two new teams. Looking ahead to this upcoming week two feature matchups put (9) Kansas traveling to meet our 7th ranked Buckeyes and (10) Illinois visiting (12) Missouri. There are some other interesting games as well so let’s dive in!
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review.
1. Indiana (9-1) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 12/15 Butler, L 86-88 OT
Upcoming: 12/19 Mount Saint Mary’s & 12/21 Florida Atlantic
Indiana brought their home cooking to the road this week but couldn’t overcome Butler as they lost to the Bulldogs in OT! No worries though they face no one that can challenge them this week though.