Ohio State Wins the Big Ten Tournament and Enters the NCAA as a Two Seed
Ohio State had no problem in the 2nd half of the Big Ten Championship game against Minnesota on Sunday after struggling with Michigan and Illinois. Yet the Buckeyes completed the tournament on top securing their second goal of the year which includes winning the Big Ten, wining the Big Ten Tournament, and winning the National Title. They begin work on their final goal this Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
By Steve Patterson
Minnesota and Tubby Smith had a chance to secure a spot in the NCAA by winning the Big Ten title but fell short. Luckily for them the selection committee felt they deserved entrance in the field of 65 and awarded them an 11 seed Sunday night. Illinois, also a Big Ten bubble team, was as fortunate and was left out of the Big Dance.
Minnesota played competitively against Ohio State Sunday remaining within 3 points throughout the first half. But David Lighty caught fire and had a great 2nd half, driving the lane, playing defense and getting rebounds. He finished the game with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Leading OSU was Evan Turner who scored 31 points, had 11 rebounds, and 6 assists. Jon Diebler was also instrumental scoring 19 points. The Buckeyes made the game ugly for Minnesota with a final score of 90-61.
Final Stats for the Game:
Lawrence Westbrook 17 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Devoe Joseph 14 points
Damian Johnson 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Evan Turner 31 points*, 11 rebounds, 6 assists
David Lighty 20 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists
Jon Diebler 19 points
* Championship Game Record
Five Big Ten teams were selected after the tournament completion to enter the NCAA tournament. Minnesota received an at-large 11 seed, Ohio State is a 2 seed, Purdue and Wisconsin are 4 seeds, and Michigan State is a 5 seed. Ohio State will face UC Santa Barbara in the first round on Friday in Milwaukee. The Gauchos have a 20-9 record out of the Big West. They play strong defense and shoot well from behind the arc. If Ohio State can defend the long range shots and rebound most of the misses, they should prevail.
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