Big Ten Tournament Championship Game Is Set


The Big Ten Tournament Championship Trophy


Today was a very telling story as the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament took place at the United Center this afternoon. The top four seeds took center stage, and that is something that doesn’t happen to often in any conference tournament. It was the Big Ten’s best and brightest and neither game disappointed.

First on the schedule was #1 Indiana VS #4 Wisconsin.

Bo Ryan’s defense took the spotlight for the second straight day as they held the Indiana Hoosiers to just 38 percent shooting and forced them to commit 13 turnovers. This was despite a double-double from Hoosiers forward Cody Zeller (13 points, 11 rebounds}, 14 points from forward Christian Watford,  and another stellar performance from guard Victor Oladipo (10 points, 4 steals}.

The Badgers were just too much as forward Ryan Evans, center Jared Berggren, and guards Ben Brust and Sam Dekker all finished in double figures {They combined for 50 of Wisconsin’s 68 points}. The Badgers also shot 51 percent from field goal range, and shot 61 percent from the free throw line. During the final three minutes of the game the Badgers drew plenty of fouls which put them at the free-throw line numerous times to seal the deal.

They also out-rebounded the Hoosiers 35-30 and blocked 10 of their shots. Wisconsin moves on with the 68-56 victory. Here is the box score from this game:

As for game two between #2 Ohio State and #3 Michigan State…..

The Spartans brought out the rarely used green and gold uniforms for today’s game. Perhaps it is a St. Patrick’s Day thing. But the luck of the Irish was not on Michigan State’s side this afternoon. Ohio State unleashed their wild card in Aaron Craft, who scored 20 points, and had 9 assists and 4 steals.

18 of his points were scored in the second half. The Spartans found themselves playing catch up through the second half as they only shot 40 percent from the field, 6-14 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 12 times. Not helping matters was the lack of production from their bench. The Spartan reserves only added six points on their end.

Not to be outdone by Aaron Craft, Buckeyes forward DeShaun Thomas scored 16 on his end to go with 2 assists and 7 rebounds. Michigan State did try to rally late in the contest, but Ohio State hung on for a 61-58 victory. After the game Buckeyes guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. had this to say about Craft’s performance:

“Aaron caught fire early. And the way Aaron feels about Michigan State, I knew he was gonna hit some big shots. Next thing you knew he caught fire and hit some big time shots. He made some big plays, he stepped up and our guys just kept giving him the ball.”

When I asked Thomas about what his team needed to against Wisconsin he said, “We have to push the tempo, not let them hit those wide open three’s and we can’t give them second chance points.”

It seems that Ohio State is more concerned with the Badgers offense instead of their defense. But tomorrow will these Buckeyes will be tested as they play their second consecutive Big Ten Tournament championship game. Wisconsin is ready and they have the talent run up and down the floor with The Ohio State University.

Here is the box score from today’s game:

The 2013 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship will begin at 2:30 tomorrow afternoon from the United Center on Chicago’s West Side. You can follow me on twitter during the game @GabeSalgado82 #Q101Sports


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