Ohio State holds up the Big Ten Tournament trophy.
It was a classic defensive battle between two of the Big Ten’s best. It was a low scoring affair but it was still a fun game to watch. The first half was an old-fashioned back and forth battle as both teams traded shots and kept challenging one another. Neither team would be denied as the first half was grind to the finish with Wisconsin taking a 24-23 lead at halftime.
The second half began as more of the same for the most part. There were five ties and six lead changes for the first 14 minutes and 30 seconds. Then with 5:35 remaining, Ohio State took over. DeShaun Thomas, Aaron Craft, and LaQuinton Ross began to drain one shot after another. They took a page out of Wisconsin’s playbook as their defense was the one to step up and lock it down.
They held Wisconsin to just 19 second half points, and just four points in the final seven minutes. They also managed to only allow one Wisconsin player to score in double figures. Badgers guard Traevon Jackson finished the game with 10 points.
Not only did Wisconsin’s defense fail to perform to the level they had been performing since Friday, their offense also fizzled out after scoring a total of 136 points in their first two tournament games. Ohio State takes home the 2013 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship by the final score of 50-43.
Ohio State performing the ceremonial cutting down of the nets after their championship victory. Here is the box score from today’s game:
Ohio State gets the Big Ten’s automatic bid into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, but six other Big Ten teams got at-large bids. Here is the list of Big Ten teams who were selected:
Indiana #1 East Region
Ohio State #2 West Region
Michigan State #3 Midwest Region
Michigan #4 South Region
Wisconsin #5 West Region
Illinois #7 East Region
Minnesota #11 South Region
Minnesota gets in ahead of Iowa despite the fact that they lost their first round game to Illinois. Iowa’s dominating performance over Northwestern, combined with a 21-11 regular season record was not enough to convince the committee to let them in. But I can guarantee that they will be a top five team in the National Invitational Tournament.
I’d thank to thank the Big Ten Conference for their hospitality these last four days.