#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!
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
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|
Heading into the final week of the season we still do not have a clear cut favorite to win the National Championship. That, my friends, is exciting news! This past week continued to be just like the many weeks before. There were more Top 25 losses, more new additions, and more shocking developments. This week’s “biggest loser” award goes to the Michigan Wolverines. Apparently, they thought because Penn State had not won in the Big Ten yet, that this would be a cakewalk! Well, after blowing a huge lead, they left Happy Valley losers and the Nittany Lions celebrated their first conference win. If a season like this has not heightened your love for college basketball, nothing will. Well, enough of me of me celebrating a Michigan loss……..lets’ dive in shall we?
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review:
1. Indiana (25-4, 13-3) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 2/26 @ Minnesota, L 73-77 & 3/2 Iowa, W 73-60
Upcoming: 3/5 (16) Ohio State
Apparently Indiana thought a couple of weeks at Number One were long enough so they decided to lose on the road to Minnesota. This week they will host Ohio State in a late season battle.
2. Gonzaga (29-2, 16-0) Previous Rank: 3
Past Week: 2/28 @ BYU, W 70-65 & 3/2 Portland, W 81-52
Upcoming: Regular Season is complete
As much as I think the voters hate this, I don’t think they have a choice at putting Gonzaga number one after this week’s shenanigans. The Bulldogs finished their regular season with two more wins and will now wait for their conference tournament.
3. Duke (25-4, 12-4) Previous Rank: 6
Past Week: 2/24 Boston College, W 89-68 & 2/28 @ Virginia, L 68-73 & 3/2 (5) Miami (FL),W 79-76
Upcoming: 3/9 Virginia Tech
The Blue Devils most likely lost their shot at the top spot this week by losing to Virginia. A strong win against Miami (FL) helped them rebound though. They host the Hokies in their final regular season game.
4. Michigan (23-5, 10-5) Previous Rank: 7
Past Week: 2/24 Illinois, W 71-58 & 2/27 @ Penn State, L 78-84
Upcoming: 3/3 (9) Michigan State & 3/6 @ Purdue
Someone forgot to tell Michigan that just because you are up by 15+ points the game isn’t over. A huge comeback by Penn State shocked the Wolverines. Michigan is now 3-4 in their last 7 games. They don’t have time to think about that though as Michigan State comes to town.
5. Miami (FL) (23-5, 14-2) Previous Rank: 2
Past Week: 2/27 Virginia Tech, W 76-58 & 3/2 @ (3) Duke, L 76-79
Upcoming: 3/6 Georgia Tech & 3/9 Clemson
After embarrassing Duke in the first game, the Hurricanes fell to them in the rematch. Two home games to close out the regular season before the ACC tournament starts. Read More
The college basketball season is winding down but that doesn’t mean that the excitement is too. More over time games, more losses, and more surprises continue to be story of the season. Duke kept the streak of Top 5 teams losing by dropping their game to Maryland. The Miami Hurricanes continue to turn heads and move up the polls and will most likely do the same this week after beating Florida State. The Big East and Big Ten are proving to be the two best conferences in the nation as they continue to beat up on each other. The week of games are becoming too much for me to wrap up in a paragraph so I will stop rambling so you can see how everyone did last week.
Here’s a look at the Top 25 Week Ahead and Week in Review:
1. Indiana (23-3, 11-2) Previous Rank: 1
Past Week: 2/10 @ (13) Ohio State, W 81-68 & 2/13 Nebraska, W 76-47 & 2/16 Purdue, W 83-55
Upcoming: 2/19 @ (8) Michigan State
So the Hoosiers lose and stayed number one this past week……No love to the Hurricanes. After knocking off Ohio State in Columbus they now travel to East Lansing to face a scorching hot Michigan State team.
2. Duke (22-3, 9-3) Previous Rank: 4
Past Week: 2/10 @ Boston College, W 62-61 & 2/13 North Carolina, W 73-68 & 2/16 @ Maryland, L 81-83
Upcoming: 2/21 @ Virginia Tech
Duke held their own on home court in college basketball’s biggest rivalry after beating North Carolina. They followed it up with a disappointing loss at Maryland. They hope to bounce back when they face Virginia Tech on the road. Read More
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.