2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball
Big Ten Basketball Weekly Recap
In the first half, Ohio State looked like a team that wasn't ready to win this game. The Buckeyes faltered badly a week ago against Wisconsin and showed signs of fraying at the edges. However, a huge performance from unlikely backup big man Evan Ravenel (7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists in eight crunch-time minutes down the stretch) gave Ohio State the extra dimension it had been missing. Buford scored 25 to lead Ohio State, while Jared Sullinger chipped in 14 points and 10 boards. Draymond Green scored 19 points for Michigan State, but he hit only 6 of 18 field goals on what was a subpar day for him. Michigan State's lack of offensive balance came back to bit the Spartans, but even Izzo couldn't have imagined how well Ohio State's bench was going to play in this game. The Buckeyes managed to regroup in a big way, transforming their emotional state and giving themselves a fresh injection of confidence before the NCAA Tournament. Michigan State would have preferred to win the Big Ten outright while also getting a No. 1 seed (that's probably unlikely for the Spartans at this point), but it can still go into March Madness knowing how much it needs to improve. Michigan, for its part, should be thrilled to share the Big Ten, an outstanding achievement for coach John Beilein.
Also from the past week, the Northwestern Wildcats, who have never made the NCAA Tournament, stayed in the conversation by beating Iowa on Saturday. The Wildcats could have used a win over Ohio State on Wednesday but lost on a Jared Sullinger bank shot with 3.1 seconds left. They must win one game at the Big Ten Tournament just to stay alive, and they'll probably need two wins to make the field of 68. Illinois is done after losing two more games, and Wisconsin locked up a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament this past week.
Big Ten Conference Tournament Matchups:
Game 1: (9) Illinois vs. (8) Iowa
Game 2: (12) Penn State vs. (5) Indiana
Game 3: (10) Minnesota vs. (7) Northwestern
Game 4: (11) Nebraska vs. (6) Purdue
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. (1) Michigan State
Game 6: Game 2 winner vs. (4) Wisconsin
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. (2) Michigan
Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. (3) Ohio State
Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner
Game 11: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner
By Matt Zemek
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