The Buckeyes and Wolverines butted heads exactly one year to the day after the Evan Turner dagger in last year’s Big Ten Tournament. Michigan did a great job making a comeback from down 18, falling 68-61 to the #1 seeded Buckeyes. Sullinger recorded another double double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Buford led the Buckeyes with 16 points. With the win, the Buckeyes improved to 7-0 in the Big Ten Semifinals all time, and 31-2 for the season.
Diebler started hot for the Buckeyes, but not in his usual way. Diebler made his mark scoring the first two baskets for the Buckeyes inside the three point arc, including a nice driving layup. Not surprisingly, a lot of that was caused by Michigan playing tight, aggressive defense on Sullinger in the paint.
Early on, Sullinger seemed to rush his shots and not play with his usual calm and collected demeanor. It was clear that Michigan’s defensive concept was to use Morgan to force Sullinger out of his comfort zone. If that didn’t work, they switched to a quick double team when Sullinger got the ball in the low paint. The strategy seemed to frustrate Sullinger early.
Day 2 of the Big Ten Tournament brought a close call for the Bucks, but after pulling out the win over Northwestern, Ohio State now turns its attention to the Wolverines of Michigan. Going into Day 3 of the tournament, Ohio State should be back in rhythm and ready to go. It will be important to get going early against Michigan, who likely solidified their entrance into the NCAA Tournament with their win today over Illinois (while in all probability also ending the Illini’s chances of making the NCAA’s). Good job Michigan! Oh, by the way…
Michigan won’t be as forgiving as Northwestern if Ohio State comes out of the gate with abysmal shooting once again. The truly good news for the Buckeyes from today’s game was that despite their poor shooting from the floor, they were knocking down the free throw’s with consistency. A really good formula for improving their field goal percentage for their game against Michigan would be to get back to the free throw line. By picking up fouls early (particularly by pounding it inside to Sullinger), Ohio State should be in good shape to both get the Wolverine big men in foul trouble and find their shooting touch in the first half. Read More
Welcome to your second edition of the Michigan LiveBlog! This time the Wolverines travel to Columbus to play the Buckeyes. You may recall that the Bucks won a tight game in Crisler Arena 68-64 nearly a month ago. This game looks to be just as tightly contested, as the Wolverines’ young team has begun to really turn on their play the last couple weeks.
Click here for the previous game’s preview.
Click here for this matchup’s preview, courtesy of Jay.
The game starts at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, with the LiveBlog kicking off around 6:30 PM. Hope to see you here!