Congratulations to the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team on winning the Big Ten tournament today knocking off Wisconsin. Any game against the Badgers is a grind out affair and is rarely exciting, but the game had its moments.
Play of the game: With the score tied at 41 all and about 5:30 left to play, Shannon Scott came up with a steal while diving to the floor. In what seemed like one motion, he got the ball to Aaron Craft who went the length of the floor and finished with a difficult layup at the rim. Ohio State would hold this lead to the end.
Player of the game: LaQuinton Ross. Although his stats may not look that impressive, all 7 of his points came in the second half during a stretch where neither team seemed to be able to hit sand if they fell off a camel. Oh, he also had 4 boards and a steal during that stretch.
It has been a difficult season to be a Buckeye basketball fan. Our record against the RPI top 50 is right around .500 and we lost our only two big non-conference games against Duke and Kansas. We are also 1-1 against all the quality teams in the Big Ten. I am going to throw this date out there: February 17th, 2013. This is the day that the bucks were pummeled by today’s Big Ten Championship opponent the Wisconsin Badgers 71-49. One of two things would generally happen after a game like that. Either a team will sulk, feel sorry for themselves and realize they don’t have what it takes, or get up, dust themselves off and say this will never happen again.
I am proud to say, that since that date, OSU has played their best and most consistent basketball of the season. They have snapped off 7 straight wins against high quality opponents and are playing with the kind of fire needed to win during championship week and the NCAA tournament. So who are the real Ohio State Buckeyes…The team that couldn’t string wins together against quality opponents, or the team we have all seen the last month of the season?
It all comes to a head today at 3:30pm EDT when the Buckeyes look to continue their roll against the very team that lit a fire under them back on February 17th, the Wisconsin Badgers. In my mind this game contains the answer of whether or not the Buckeyes just win 2-3 games in the NCAA tournament this year, or can make another run at the Final Four.
Key to the game:
- Sam Thompson is known for his great defense, athleticism and dunking ability, but do you realize he is shooting 61.9% (13 of 21) from three point range since mid January? If he uses his 3 point shot to setup his drives to the basket and backdoor cuts he can be nearly unstoppable and the key to the Buckeyes winning the Big Ten Tournament Championship