Ohio State Goes Into NCAA Tournament On A Roll
Ohio State basketball just won a portion of the Big Ten title by beating number 5 Michigan State on the road on a last second shot by senior Will Buford, and is trying to keep it going during the NCAA tournament. This enabled them to share the conference title with the two Michigan teams-the Spartans and the upstart Wolverines.
Buford had 25 points in the game. He had been looking forward to the rematch with Michigan State due to the poor game he played against them in Ohio State’s home loss to the Spartans earlier in the year. In fact, that game ended their 39 game winning streak at home. Therefore, it gave Buford some measure of satisfaction in what has been a slightly disappointing final year for him.
Buford only shot 42.9% overall for the year, and many people started criticizing him when he did not even reach double digits in 3 of their 5 losses in Big 10 play. In fact, his dad actually predicted his struggles before the year started, claiming his son would have his toughest year because he was not going to be the focal point of the offense. However, he said he would get the majority of the blame for the losses since he was the only senior on the team.
That might be true. However, he stepped up to the challenge during the Michigan State game, particularly when the game looked out of reach. The team was down 9 at halftime. Usually that lead would be manageable. However, the team had only scored 29 points in the first 20 minutes, and the 9 point deficit felt a lot larger.
However, Buford came through in the second half. He scored 19 points after the intermission, and basically put the team on his shoulders when Jared Sullinger had to leave the game with 4 fouls and still over eight minutes left. Due to the win, Buford is one of the few players in the team’s history who can say he won 3 consecutive Big 10 championships.
Overall, the Big Ten is one of the top leagues around the nation in 2011-2012. Even though they probably will not get a single number 1 seed, they have a number of teams that will be 4 seeds or lower.