Buckeyes Lose out on Share of Big Ten Title
COLUMBUS, Ohio – First, No. 14 Ohio State won a game. Then, the Buckeyes watched a share of the Big Ten championship slip away.
Hours after Ohio State beat Illinois 68-55 on Sunday behind Deshaun Coleman’s 19 points, the Buckeyes missed out on a piece of the conference title when No. 2 Indiana overcame a four-point deficit in the final minute to eke past No. 7 Michigan 72-71.
The victory gave the Hoosiers their first outright Big Ten crown in two decades. Ohio State (23-7, 13-5) had to be content with a strong stretch run and a close second-place finish. Its string of conference titles ended at three in a row.
“I like where we are now,” Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said after his team’s win. “With everything that’s transpired in college basketball, we won five straight games (to close the regular season). You hope this team finishes in the final poll in the top 10. We’ve done that a lot of times now, which is hard to do in college basketball.”
Beyond that, the Buckeyes will get ready for the conference tournament this week in Chicago where they’ll be the No. 2 seed and play Friday night in the quarterfinals against the winner of seventh-seeded Purdue and 11th-seeded Nebraska.
Point guard Aaron Craft said the Buckeyes took care of their business and were resigned that their fate was in another team’s hands.
“There’s no point worrying about something that we have no control over,” said Craft, who had 14 points and six assists and, as usual, created havoc on defense for the Buckeyes in their win over Illinois. “Obviously, we would love for (a Michigan win) to happen. But if it doesn’t, it’s out of our hands. We did what we needed to do.”
No. 2 Indiana 72
No. 7 Michigan 71
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Cody Zeller made a go-ahead layup with 13 seconds left and altered Trey Burke’s shot at the other end, lifting No. 2 Indiana to a victory against No. 7 Michiga that gave the Hoosiers their first outright Big Ten title in two decades.
The Hoosiers (26-5, 14-4) trailed by five points in the final minute but took advantage when the Wolverines (25-6, 12-6) were unable to seal it at the foul line. Jordan Morgan had a fairly easy tip-in attempt of Burke’s miss that could have won it for Michigan, but the ball rolled off the rim and Indiana grabbed the rebound with 4 seconds left.
A couple of Michigan’s rivals surely wish the Wolverines had won.
Zeller finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Victor Oladipo had 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end.
No. 10 MICHIGAN STATE 71 NORTHWESTERN 61
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Keith Appling scored 16 points and Gary Harris added 12 to lift Michigan State over Northwestern.
The Spartans (24-7, 13-5) were eliminated from Big Ten title contention early in their game when Indiana beat Michigan, and Michigan State struggled to put away the undermanned Wildcats. Northwestern (13-18, 4-14) rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit, tying the game at 51 before the Spartans recovered.
TEMPLE 84, No. 21 VCU 76
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Khalif Wyatt scored 30 points, Jake O’Brien had 19 and Temple beat Virginia Commonwealth after rallying from a 16-point deficit.
The Owls (23-8, 11-5 Atlantic 10) clinched the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament and earned a first-round bye. Temple and VCU will both open play at the Barclays Center on Friday.
The Rams (24-7, 12-4) lost their chance to share the A-10 title with Saint Louis. VCU is the No. 2 seed.
Juvonte Reddic led the Rams with 20 points and Treveon Graham had 17.
No. 22 WISCONSIN 63
PENN STATE 60
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Traevon Jackson made a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer and finished with 15 points as Wisconsin staved off an upset bid by Penn State.
The Badgers (21-10, 12-6 Big Ten) went the length of the court with less than 4 seconds left. Jackson pulled up on the wing and made his 3 over the outstretched arm of Kevin Montminy.
Officials upheld the basket after a replay review, and anxious fans at the Jordan Center let out a collective sigh of disappointment.
D.J. Newbill tied the game for Penn State on a jumper with 5 seconds left. Wisconsin nearly threw the ball away on the ensuing inbounds, but managed to hold on in the scrape on the floor for a tie-up.
Jermaine Marshall had 23 points for Penn State (10-20, 2-16).
Wisconsin stopped a two-game losing streak that dropped the Badgers out of the Big Ten title race.