2013 Ohio State Basketball
Rivalry comes down to the wire, again.
Big Ten Men’s Basketball has been at the forefront of the NCAA College Basketball season… and rightfully so.
On Tuesday night in Ann Arbor, rivals Michigan and Ohio State met in a matchup of Top 10 teams. This coming just a couple days after the then No. 1 ranked Wolverines were up-ended by the now No. 1 ranked Indiana Hoosiers.
The Wolverines and Buckeyes fueled the buzz over the conference by producing an overtime, instant classic.
With the shot clock turned off, Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft drove past his Michigan counterpart Trey Burke; however, Burke recovered to block Craft's shot from behind near the free throw line. Glenn Robinson III recovered the loose ball and was fouled. Robinson made one of two free throws for Michigan with 7.6 seconds left.
Then, down by two points, Craft rushed the ball into the frontcourt, tried to drive past Burke, but found Tim Hardaway Jr. in his way. There was a lot of contact on the play, but there was no call and the Wolverines came away with the 76-74 victory.
"There was a little bit of contact," said Craft, who fell to the ground. "But they didn't call it, so I guess it wasn't a foul."
Instead, the play resulted in the end of a game that featured five ties, nine lead changes, 21 3-pointers and some clutch defensive play by both teams.
Junior forward, DeShaun Thomas, led Ohio State with 17 points to go along with a team-high four assists while Hardaway Jr. paced Michigan with 23 points, including five consecutive three-points during a stretch in the second half.
In the first half, behind a rowdy home crowd, the Wolverines went on a 12-0. They led 18-8 after Burke scored off a crafty hesitation dribble.
The Buckeyes settled down and eventually took a 29-28 lead when Craft drove in for a layup, and despite the shaky start, Ohio State went into the half leading 31-30.
The Buckeyes led 48-40 after a 3-pointer by Lenzelle Smith Jr., but Hardaway and the Wolverines rallied. Hardaway's fourth 3-pointer of the half put the Wolverines up 55-54.
Ohio State continued to show their poise. Smith's three-point play put the Bucks back ahead, and a 3-pointer by LaQuinton Ross made it 60-55.
Following another 3-pointer by Hardaway, the Buckeyes still led 62-60. The Wolverines eventually stopped the Buckeyes for a couple of possessions, and with Burke's breakaway layup followed by a 3-pointer from Nik Stauskas, Michigan had reclaimed the lead at 65-64.
With tensions mounting, both teams took advantage of fortunate bounces. After Hardaway's dunk attempt was blocked, the Wolverines came up with the loose ball and immediately got it to Burke for a triple that put them up 68-65.
At the other end, Stauskas grabbed a defensive rebound, but his poor pass bounced right to DeShaun Thomas, who caught it in rhythm in front of the Ohio State bench and sank a trey to tie the game.
The game was tied yet again at 72 when Smith hit a shot in the left corner for the Buckeyes the final minute to force overtime.
Overtime was another back-and-forth battle until the final sequence which resulted in Craft’s rejected layup attempt.
At 8-2, the third-ranked Wolverines trail the aforementioned Hoosiers (8-1) by a half-game in the Big Ten standings. Ohio State is now 7-3 in league play. Five conference schools are ranked, which doesn't include Wisconsin, a team also receiving votes.
Ohio State will have to put the loss quickly behind them as they travel to the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon. Michigan looks to hold ground in the conference against the Wisconsin Badgers on the road.
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