The Penn State Nittany Lions come to Columbus tomorrow to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes, and we’ll be here to chat through the action!
The game kicks at 3:30, with the LiveBlog starting around 3.
Of all the teams that finished 9-9 and middle of the road in the Big Ten, the only one that believed they were having a magical season was the Penn State Nittany Lions. That’s no slight on Penn State, quite the opposite in fact, for a team that regularly struggles in basketball. Unfortunately the struggles may continue unabated for some time to come.
At the end of the season, as Lions fans were already reeling about the prospect of losing production from four of their top five scorers to graduation, head coach Ed Dechellis bailed on Penn State to accept the head coaching job at Navy. Thus, not only did the team lose 1652 out of 2144 points scored last season (77.1%), they also lost the coach that made it all possible. To be honest, Dechellis probably saw the writing on the wall this coming season and decided to spare himself the trouble. It’s pretty hard to reload after those kinds of losses.
It’s all up to new head coach Patrick (Pat) Chambers, fresh from his shiny job at Boston University. Chambers coached for two years for the Terriers, netting a 42-28 overall record, and 23-9 record in the America East Conference. In his last year at Boston, the Terriers won their conference tournament and went to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. He will face a much steeper climb in the Big Ten with the Lions, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the task. Read More
Penn State and Ohio State earned the right to play each other for the B1G Tournament Title. The Buckeyes earned their 16th straight win over the Nittany Lions 71-60, a streak stretching back to 2004. OSU got the job done by carrying a late first half surge into a big lead early in the second before coasting it in to the finish. Talor Battle led all scorers with 22 points, while William Buford led the Buckeyes with 16. Sullinger completed his third straight double-double of the tournament with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Nittany Lions came into the game playing tough defense, very similar to the way they did against Wisconsin a couple of days before. The Defensive look gave the Buckeyes fits on the first few possessions, allowing Talor Battle to give the Nits the lead on his first two three pointers. It was apparant that Battle was trying to get his game going before Aaron Craft could enter the game.
The Buckeyes, however, were not going to stay down for long. William Buford and Jon Diebler put in trey’s of their own to keep pace, on top of a Lauderdale driving hookshot to give the Bucks the lead going into the first break. Penn State’s man-to-man defense, despite giving up a few outside looks, still did a fantastic job of limiting OSU’s offense on the interior. The Nits simply did not want to give up easy looks.
And then there were two.
The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions collide in the Championship Game for the B1G Tournament, an exact duplicate of the Women’s Tournament championship game. For those who didn’t pay attention, the Buckeye Women took care of business in an upset of the #2 team in the Big Ten.
As usual, we’ll be joined by our friends at Silver Bullet, Our Honor Defend, Scarlet and Game, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, and Fox Sports Ohio. Stop by and chat with your favorite blogging personality!
After the game, we’ll continue to run the LiveBlog through the NCAA Selection Show, so stick around and talk with us about the ludicrous decisions of the NCAA Selection Committee!
The game starts at 3:30 PM Eastern Time on CBS. LiveBlog kicks off at 3:00 PM.
Update – As corrected in the comments, the games are on CBS.
Yesterday displayed some of the more interesting basketball games of the entire B1G season. If you missed any of the games, like I did, you really missed out.
Northwestern and Ohio State started out the day by playing the only overtime game that would occur. The Buckeyes managed to earn the 67-61 victory on the strength of 12 free throws in the overtime period and only one field goal. Northwestern’s season will likely end in the NIT.
Illinois looked like they were on the right path towards earning themselves an NCAA tournament bid. Then Michigan changed their minds and stole the game away 60-55 after being down 10 late in the second half. The loss will possibly relegate Illinois to the NIT, and likely gives Michigan enough to get into the tournament regardless of today’s result against Ohio State.
Michigan State didn’t waste any time kicking Purdue in the chin for their 20 point beatdown in East Lansing. The Spartans killed the Boilermakers 74-56. The Boilers were only able to close the gap to within 9 in the second half, but simply were not able to outdo the surging Spartans. Trust Izzo’s team to be ready to go in tournament time.
Finally, Penn State held Wisconsin to only 2 points in the entirety of the first 10 minutes of play, and 16 points in the first half. They finally won the game, after scoring only 16 points in the 2nd half themselves, by a score of 36-33. Yes, it was exactly as ugly as it sounds. Talor Battle shot a laughable 3-18 from the field, but he wasn’t the only one. Go look at the stats if you’re curious, but make certain someone’s there to perform mouth-to-mouth when you stop breathing from laughing so hard.
Incidentally, Penn State is in Joe Lunardi’s “Last 4 In”. Their win over Wisconsin was enough to sneak them into the tournament for the first time since 2001. Congrats Penn State! Now go to work again today.
For today’s game, Read More
Yesterday was quite the day in B1G Tournament action! All of the games were well fought battles by all involved, and it was sad to see a few teams’ seasons end.
To quickly recap the action:
Northwestern defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 75-65. It’s probably not enough to finish off Minnesota’s season, as they’ll likely make the NIT, but it was a very disappointing end to an equally disappointing year. Northwestern advanced to play the #1 seed Ohio State Buckeyes.
Michigan State miraculously came back from 7 down against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Spartans escaped with a 66-61 victory that should have been a whole lot closer in the end. Give the Hawkeyes credit for fighting to the bitter end, but it simply wasn’t enough to get the job done. You simply cannot let an Izzo coached team come back on you that way. Michigan State now faces #2 seed Purdue.
Finally, Penn State managed to evade a surging Indiana in a functional home game for the Hoosiers. The Nittany Lions pulled out the win 61-55, holding Indiana at arms length through most of the game. This ends the Hoosier’s season with fewer Big Ten wins than last year with three.
For a look at today’s game, Read More
As the sun came up today, it was the dawn of the first day of “real” conference basketball tournaments! That’s right, folks, it is finally Day 1 of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament!
Each day this week, we will offer a brief rundown of the day’s matchups. It’s just a little something for you to whet your appetite with while you wait for the Buckeyes to take the hardwood.
Make absolutely certain you don’t take any of these predictions to your favorite betting locale. If you do, we’re not responsible for the results – unless you win.
The Big Ten tournament, as a whole has been a particularly unpredictable beast. Teams at the bottom of the seeding, knowing that their fates on in their own hands and their season is coming to a premature end, tend to play beyond themselves. It is not unusual for a team that plays in the first round to make it to the Championship game, though that’s also not particularly common either.
For our rundown of today’s games, Read More