OSU MARCH TO 2011-12 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP

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INDEX OF CONTENTS:
A- Pictures from 1960 and 2011 teams
B- OSU 2011-12 schedule and pre season polls
C- OSU 2011-12 roster and forecast

1- Game by Game write ups of 2011-12 season - 31 games
2-- Big Ten Tournament - 2012
3-  NCAA Tournament 1 2012
4- Team and player stats for each game for 2011-12
5-  2011 Big Ten Tournament
6- 2011 OSU NCAA Tournament games
7-  Final OSU stats for 2010-11 season
8-  Final Game of 2009-2010
9-  2010 Big Ten Tournament
10-  209-2010 Season OSU NCAA Tournament games
11-  1960 NCAA win over California and lots of info about players and season
12-  Jerry Lucas profile
13-  Pictures from 50 year anniversary celebration of 1960 NCAA championship on 1-31-2010
14-  Profiles on some of Lucas 1960 teammates including John Havlicek and Larry Siegfried
15-  Jarad Sullinger & top OSU teammates in last two years
 high school stats
16-  OSU Basketball team and individual records from 1925-2007


A- PICTURES 1960 AND 2010-11
Lucaas           LarryJerryJohn
Jerry Lucas led OSU to 3 straight NCAA Finals           Siegfried, Lucas and Havlicek prior to first game against each other in 1963 in Cincinnati.
in 1960-2 - Big Ten player of year 3 times 1960-2         These three players led OSU to only NCAA title in 1960.

Knight
Bob Knight, sub on 1960 team, speaks at 50th reunion of the 1960 NCAA finals with the
final score in background

    Sully               Craft            Buford          
Jared Sullinger was the best big man in college    Craft was most underrated player on    Buford should lead team in scoring
basketball last year as a freshman and this           last years team as a Freshman.             along with Sullinger.
  Buford's 44.2%

season as a sophomore. Sullinger averaged            Craft's 177 assists and 73 steals            three point shooting % in 2010-11 was
17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds last year.                were the second most by an OSU          2nd best in school history.
                                                                                  freshman.  He was the best guard
       
                                                                                  defender in the Big Ten per Slag's
                                                                                  House of Stats.

   Sully      BufordCraft    Thomas
        Jared Sullinger                              William Buford and Aaron Craft                                        Deshaun Thomas                                    
B- OSU 2011-12 schedule and pre season polls:

Ohio State 2011-12 men's basketball schedule
                                                                                                PRE SEASON RANK
Date       Opponent                   Time             TV                      COACHES POLL
Nov. 6     Walsh                        2 p.m.        BTN.com
Nov. 11    Wright State              9 p.m.        BTN
Nov. 15    Florida                      8 p.m.        ESPN2                           10
Nov. 18    Jackson State            7:30 p.m.    BTN
Nov. 21    North Florida             8:30 p.m.   BTN
Nov. 23    Virginia Military Inst.  7 p.m.        BTN
Nov. 25    Valparaiso                 6:30 p.m.    BTN
Nov. 29    Duke                         9:30 p.m.    ESPN                               6
Dec. 3    Texas-Pan American    noon           BTN
Dec. 10    at Kansas                   3:15 p.m.    ESPN                             13
Dec. 14    S. Carolina-Upstate    7:30 p.m.    BTN
Dec. 17    at South Carolina        noon           ESPN
Dec. 20    Lamar                        8:30 p.m.    BTN
Dec. 22    Miami University        8:30 p.m.    BTN *
Dec. 28    Northwestern             5:30 p.m.    BTN
Dec. 31    at Indiana                   6 p.m.        ESPN2
Jan. 3      Nebraska                    6:30 p.m.    BTN
Jan. 7      at Iowa                        3 p.m.        BTN
Jan. 10    at Illinois                       9 p.m.       ESPN
Jan. 15    Indiana                    1:30/4:30 p.m.  CBS
Jan. 21    at Nebraska                 8 p.m.        BTN
Jan. 25    Penn State                   6:30 p.m.    BTN
Jan. 29    Michigan                      1 p.m.        CBS                                  18
Feb. 4    at Wisconsin                  2 p.m.        ESPN/2                            14  
Feb. 7    Purdue                          9 p.m.        ESPN                                35
Feb. 11    Michigan State            6 p.m.        ESPN                                28
Feb. 14    at Minnesota               9 p.m.        ESPN
Feb. 18    at Michigan                 9 p.m.        ESPN                                18
Feb. 21    Illinois                         7 p.m.        ESPN
Feb. 25/26   Wisconsin              1/4/6 p.m.   TBA                                  14        
Feb. 29    at Northwestern         8:30 p.m.     BTN
March 4    at Michigan State        1/4 p.m.     TBA                                  28
March 8-11 Big Ten tourn.#       TBA            TBA
* - at Nationwide Arena; # - at Indianapolis


The third ranked Ohio States plays three teams in the top 13 in the  pre season poll

in their first 9 games!  In the Big Ten, there are three other teams ranked in the top
28 teams and OSU plays all 3 twice.  The game vs Walsh on November 6th is a practice
game and doesn't count as regular season game
.  OSU first road game is their 9th game
at 13th ranked Kansas!


William Buford  is the lone senior on a team with just one junior, six sophomores, and four freshmen.


  Ohio State sophomore Jared Sullinger was voted pre season player of the year in college basketball by the United States Basketball Writers Association board of directors.
    The 15 person board also voted Ohio State its pre season No. 2 team, behind North Carolina. Kentucky was third.


     PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Defending Big Ten Champion Ohio State has been chosen by a panel of Big Ten media as the conference favorite heading into this season. The voters also picked OSU sophomore Jared Sullinger as the pre season player of the year.
     Wisconsin and Michigan State were predicted to finish second and third, respectively. Joining Sullinger on the Pre season All-Big Ten team are Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe, Purdue’s Robbie Hummel and Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor.


PRE SEASON  AP  POLL
        
October 28, 2011
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' 2011-12 pre season college basketball poll, with first place votes in parentheses, final 2010-11 record, total points based on 25 points for a first place vote through one point for a 25th place vote and last year's final ranking:
                     
 1. North Carolina (62)   29-8  1,620   7
 2. Kentucky              29-9  1,501  11
 3. Ohio St. (1)          34-3  1,482   1
 4. UConn (2)             32-9  1,433   9
 5. Syracuse              27-8  1,338  12
 6. Duke                  32-5  1,301   3
 7. Vanderbilt            23-11 1,120  25
 8. Florida               29-8  1,086  15
 9. Louisville            25-10 1,055  14
10. Pittsburgh            28-6  1,027   4
11. Memphis               25-10   997   _
12. Baylor                18-13   892   _
13. Kansas                35-3    755   2
14. Xavier                24-8    747  20
15. Wisconsin             25-9    720  16
16. Arizona               30-8    616  17
17. UCLA                  23-11   404   _
18. Michigan              21-14   401   _
19. Alabama               25-12   395   _
20. Texas A&M             24-9    357  24
21. Cincinnati            26-9    353   _
22. Marquette             22-15   335   _
23. Gonzaga               25-10   283   _
24. California            18-15   230   _
25. Missouri              23-11   139   _
      
Others receiving votes: Florida St. 131, Michigan St. 128, Temple 69, Washington 44, New Mexico 33, Butler 25, Texas 21, Villanova 14, Creighton 12, Purdue 10, Belmont 8, Drexel 8, UNLV 7, Saint Mary's (Cal) 6, George Mason 5, West Virginia 4, Long Beach St. 3, Miami 3, Harvard 2, Illinois 2, Marshall 1, Minnesota 1, San Diego St. 1.


PRE SEASON ESPN/USA
TODAY COACHES POLL

ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 North Carolina (30) 0-0 774
2 Kentucky (1) 0-0 721
3 Ohio State 0-0 702
4 Connecticut 0-0 655
5 Syracuse 0-0 649
6 Duke 0-0 635
7 Vanderbilt 0-0 567
8 Louisville 0-0 514
9 Memphis 0-0 482
10 Florida 0-0 474
11 Pittsburgh 0-0 471
12 Baylor 0-0 358
13 Kansas 0-0 331
14 Wisconsin 0-0 313
15 Xavier 0-0 277
16 Arizona 0-0 269
17 Alabama 0-0 194
18 Michigan 0-0 187
19 Texas A&M 0-0 161
20 UCLA 0-0 147
21 Marquette 0-0 145
22 Cincinnati 0-0 141
23 Gonzaga 0-0 125
24 California 0-0 111
25 Missouri 0-0 110
  • Others receiving votes: Florida State 108, Texas 107, Michigan State 73, Temple 59, Washington 29, Butler 25, New Mexico 22, Creighton 19, Villanova 18, Purdue 17, UNLV 16, West Virginia 13, George Mason 12, Mississippi State 11, St. John's 11, Saint Mary's 5, Virginia 5, Virginia Commonwealth 4, Drexel 2, Kansas State 2, Long Beach State 2, Notre Dame 1, Brigham Young 1

 

C- OSU 2011-12 roster and forecast:

Ohio State Roster 2011-12

Player                               Year   Pos     Num     Height     Weight        Hometown
Buford, William                   Sr     G         44         6'6"       220 lbs      Toledo, Ohio
Craft, Aaron                        So     G           4          6'2"       190 lbs      Findlay, Ohio

McDonald, Trey                  F       C         55          6'8"       225 lbs      Battle Creek, Michigan 
Ravenel, Evan                     Jr      F         30          6'8"       260 lbs      Tampa, Florida
Rogers, Alex                        F       G        14          6'2"       195 lbs       Cincinnati, Ohio
Scott, Shannon                     F       G          3          6'1"       180 lbs       Alpharetta, Georgia 
Sibert, Jordan                      So     G          2          6'4"       185 lbs       Cincinnati, Ohio
Smith Jr., Lenzelle              So      G        32          6'4"       205 lbs       Zion, Illinois
Sullinger, Jared                   So      F          0          6'9"       260 lbs       Columbus, Ohio
Thomas, Deshaun               So      F           1         6'7"       225 lbs       Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Thompson, Sam                   F        F         12          6'7"       190 lbs       Chicago, Illinois
Weatherspoon, J.D.            So      F         15         6'6"        215 lbs      Columbus, Ohio
Williams, Amir                    F        C         23       6'11"        220 lb       Birmingham, Michigan


Starters for first game of season

13 Players on roster are from 6 different states with six from Ohio
Six players are 6'7" or taller, two are under 6"4"
13 players are 5 Freshman, 6 Sophomores, 1 Junior and 1 Senior


PRE SEASON FORECAST:
OSU  3rd in coaches poll an #1 by Slag House Of Stats

                    PER MARK TITUS, FORMER OSU PLAYER - PREDICTS OSU TO WIN NCAA TOURNAMENT IN 2012
Only now sophomore Jared Sullinger, who is unquestionably the best interior player and arguably the best overall player in America, has a year of experience under his belt, and in the off season shed some of the baby fat that slowed him down at times last year. And senior Will Buford, who was the best all-round offensive player on the team last year but had to frequently defer to Diebler and Lighty, will be a stud when he's given the freedom that he's wanted for so long. Sophomore Aaron Craft, who is essentially a slightly less talented but slightly headier Mike Conley, will thrive in his first season as a full-time starter after using last season to get his feet wet a little bit. And sophomore Deshaun Thomas — who is basically Ohio State's secret weapon and will become the most polarizing OSU basketball player ever among Buckeye fans within the first 10 games of the season because of his refusal to pass (most OSU fans don't exactly like what they've seen from Thomas so far, but he's already my favorite Ohio State player of all time, and I don't say that as hyperbole) — will finally get to prove that he's got the potential to be the best natural scorer Ohio State has seen in a long time.


                                                                           AARON CRAFT      
     Per Sports Illustrated issue dated November 14, 2011:
      The legend of Aaron Craft began long before he became the Big Ten's peskiest presence.  "All the way beak in middle school" says Jared Sullinger: "Everyone would talk about how Aaron raft was the best defender in the state.  "Sullinger played for the Columbus Jaguars AAU squad and considered Craft an enemy after losing multiple times to his All-Ohio Red team.  It is preferable to play with a pest than against him, and so by the time the two players reached high school, they joined forces on All Ohio Red with Craft servings as three start  star role-player while Sulllinger became a McDonald's All-American   Sullinger helped recruit Craft to OSU.  The 6'2" Craft may never have that status but he should already be regarded as a star.


   SPORTS ILLUSTRATED STUDY FOUND AARON CRAFT BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER IN NATION LAST SEASON
     A SPORTS ILLUSTRATED STUDY FOUND AARON CRAFT TO BE THE MOST VALUABLE DEFENDER (86.3 DEFENSIVE RATING) ON THE COUNTRY'S FIFTH BEST DEFENSIVE TEAM LAST SEASON - A STUNNING FEAT FOR A FRESHMAN GUARD, ESPECIALLY SINCE HE WAS PLAYING ALONGSIDE BIG TEN ALL DEFENSIVE TEAM MAINSTAY DAVID LIGHTY (WHOSE 86.6 DEFENSIVE RATING WAS SECOND).  CRAFT'S CONFERENCE LEADING 1.97 STEALS PER GAME BARELY TOLD THE STORY OF HIS ABILITY TO PRODUCE TURNOVERS.  OF THE BUCKEYE'S DEFENSIVE POSSESSIONS IN WHICH HE PARTICIPATED, 32.9 ENDED IN TURNOVERS, THE HIGHEST RATE OF ANY PLAYER INCLUDED IN THE STUDY.  SI'S ANALYSIS REWARDED HIM FOR DRAWING OFFENSIVE FOULS, FOR FORCING OPPONENTS TO THROW AWAY PASSES AND BEST OF ALL, FOR DISRUPTING DRIVES ENOUGH TO ENABLE A TEAMMATE TO GET A STEAL.  (WHEN TOLD OF SI'S METHODS FOR RATING DEFENDERS, CRAFT SAID "FINALLY SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS I LOSE A LOT OF THOSE STEALS, AND I HATE IT).
      Craft's father, John, a youth coach who was fond of a drill called brick lane slides.  Aaron would have to shuffle from block to block for 30 seconds at top speed, arms out, palms down, gripping a brick in each hand.  John recalls first doing the drill in the third grade.  Craft's lateral quickness is greatest asset followed by his strength.
     Matta said Craft  arrived in Columbus last fall in the best physical condition of any Freshman during Matta's coaching career at OSU.     The 195 pound Craft bench pressed 185 pounds 24 times the day he arrived.


     Per Slag:  Craft was a 2010 Ohio First Team All-State in Division III and the 2010 Division III Player of the Year in Ohio, following the same all-state selection in 2009. He led Liberty-Benton High School to a state runner-up finish his freshman season and was named First Team All-Ohio as a junior. 

     Craft led the scoring efforts in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and averaged 26 points, seven assists and eight rebounds as a senior with 70 steals (3.2 per game). Though handling the point guard duties, he scored on 57 percent of his shots from the field (164-288), 43 percent from 3 point range (43-101) and 85 percent from the foul line (120-141).

Craft played for All-Ohio Red along with Sullinger and Weatherspoon.

     Craft played football as well for Liberty-Benton as both a quarterback and free safety. On the gridiron his LBHS was regional champions in 2006 and 2009 and the state runner up in 2009. He was an all-state QB in 2008 and 2009 while earning Ohio Division 5 Offensive Player of the Year honor in 2009.

      Craft was the valedictorian of his senior class, as well as the National Honor Society president in 2009 and Spanish Club member (2007-10).
      Aaron Craft has been a star in my books since he played his first game last season.

     
     
1- GAME BY GAME OHIO STATE
HIGHLIGHTS - 2011-12



NOTE - Following is my recap of each game mostly from a stat standpoint in date order.  Following the regular season games are the Big Ten tournament games and NCAA games followed by pictures and than a large section on Jerry Lucas and the OSU NCAA 1960 championship game.


Exhibition Game:  Nov 6  Walsh at Ohio State  - OHIO STATE 95  WALSH 49

  Sullinger
Sullinger shooting vs Walsh

 WilliamsScott       
 Williams (23) and Scott (3) surround Walsh player.

                                  OSU DEFEATS WALSH IN EXHIBITION GAME 95-49

     Ohio State played a lot of players and scored a lot of points in its men’s basketball season debut today, defeating Walsh 95-49 in Value City Arena in its only exhibition game before the start of the regular season.
      William Buford had 17 points and five assists and Jared Sullinger scored 15 points to lead the Buckeyes, who are ranked No. 3 nationally heading into their opener Friday night at home against Wright State.
     Jordan Sibert and J.D. Weatherspoon added 15 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench as coach Thad Matta played 11 players at least 11 minutes as he continues to try to find how deep of a lineup he can comfortably play this season. Junior transfer Evan Ravenel had a  game highlighted by rebounds off the bench.
      Buford and Sullinger were joined in the starting lineup by Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith Jr. That was the same starting five Matta used in a scrimmage against Ohio University a week earlier.
     Walsh, which is transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Division II, was led by Brad DuPont and Rian Burrell with 13 points apiece.
     
Ohio State limited Walsh to 35.1 percent shooting, out rebounded the Cavaliers 46-22 and had 11 steals and seven blocked shots. 
     “He told us he wants to go deep and keep us all active so we’re able to press up (on defense) and have fresh guys coming off the bench,” freshman Shannon Scott said. “We know every day at practice we’ve got to improve so we can be able to get in the rotation with everybody else.”
     Buford and Sullinger were joined in the starting lineup by Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith Jr. That was the same starting five Matta used in the scrimmage.
     The first four were good bets to open for the Buckeyes yesterday. The identity of the fifth starter has been the subject of conjecture since practice started three weeks ago.
     “Lenzelle has had a great camp to this point in terms of his energy, his defensive prowess. He’s done a very, very good job of rebounding the basketball. I thought he was very, very effective today,” Matta said of the guard, who had six points, eight rebounds and three assists.
     Scott, the first sub off the bench, had a shaky debut, missing four of five shots and committing five turnovers.
     The game was streamed on BTN.com but will be replayed on Big Ten Network at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Per Fan:
     I was at the game and this is what I saw: #12 Thompson is a flat out player. Smart, instinctive, and under control. Lenzelle Smith Jr. is a liability on offense but plays decent defense and rebounds well for a guard. Craft, Buford, and Sullinger are amazing together. They didn't miss a beat. Craft's defense was very good all night. Ravenel was a little bit of a surprise. He worked hard out there on defense though he is a little slow of foot. He's a solid rebounder. Amir Williams was the biggest disappointment of the night. Lazy on defense and lazy crashing the boards. He has a long way to go. Scott was out of control. He looked nervous, but you can see the skill. Once he settles down and accepts his role, he'll be pretty good. Weatherspoon is a physical freak but he needs to learn when not to shoot. He took a couple of bad shots that were lucky to go in. Siebert looked great on both ends of the court. His 3's had nice touch on them and he looked good on D. The bigs did a nice job of getting Craft the ball quickly so that he could run with it. There is no player in college basketball more dangerous than Aaron Craft in the open floor. He's a true point guard with excellent decision making skills. Several times Craft was on the floor fighting for loose balls and doing the dirty work. Sullinger showed some nice outside touch, even from 3 point range, though he is much more effective inside 18 feet. McDonald got some minutes but looked lost.


STATS:
Sullinger was 7 of 9 from the field with 6 bounds and 2 blocked shots in 23 minutes.  Buford was 5 for 11 from the field, 4-4 from foul line and  5 assists in 21 minutes.  Craft was 2 for 4 with 3 assists, 4 steals and 1 turnover in 22 minutes.  Smith was 3 for 5 with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 turnovers in 23 minutes.  Thomas was 3 for 7 with 3 rebounds in 17 minutes.  Sibert was 5 for 6 from the field for 15 points in 16 minutes.

Percentages: FG .607, FT .500. 3 point goals: 9-19, .474 (Sibert 4-5, Buford 3-6, Weatherspoon 1-1, Sullinger 1-3, Thomas 0-1, Craft 0-1, Smith Jr. 0-1, Scott 0-1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 7 (Sullinger 2, Thompson 2, Williams 2, McDonald). Turnovers: 13 (Scott 5, Smith Jr. 2, Sullinger, Craft, Thompson, Weatherspoon, Ravenel, McDonald). Steals: 11 (Craft 4, Thompson 4, Buford 2, Scott

GAME 1 /NOV 11 - Wright State at #3 Ohio State

SullingerAndMatta
Jared Sullinger led the Buckeyes with 19 points and Coach Thad Matta


Smith

Lenzell Smith makes his first start for OSU
Wright State             25       17       42
Ohio State                39       34       73
   

                                     OHIO STATE OPENS SEASON WITH 73-42 WIN OVER WRIGHT STATE        
           Ohio State opened the season with a 73-42 win over Wright State.  The Buckeyes started four sophomores and a senior.  The first 5 off the bench are a a junior, a sophomore and 3 freshman.  Guess you can say they are very young and they played like that in their seasons opener.  Unfortunately the next game is Tuesday vs Florida who is ranked 9th in the nation.
     OSU ended the first half on a 10-3 run and started the 2nd half on a 10-0 run to up lead to 24.  Wright State never got closer than 20 the remainder of the game.
      I think OSU will be playing the big three (Sullinger, Buford and Craft) 35 minutes a game.  Nobody stood out in this game other than the big three although the 4th and 5th starters (Smith & Thomas) played OK.  Sullinger only got 7 shots making 4 but looked great making 10 of 12 foul shots and he collected 9 bounds and made one of two three pointers.  Buford was 5 of ten from the field and 2 of 2 from the foul line with a team leading 4 assists.  Craft made the first shot of the game, a three pointer but only took 2 more shots which he missed.  But he had 3 steals 3 bounds and 3 assists and made 7 of 8 free throws for 10 points.  Thomas added 9 points on 3 of 7 and had 5 bounds, but was charged with 4 turnovers.  Smith had 5 points on 2 of  3 with 5 bounds.  Five of the 7 reserves made one bucket and scored either 2 or 3 points.
      OSU won all of the stat battles except 3 point shooting.  Won field goal shooting 48 to 34%, won foul shooting 74 to 71%, rebounds 29-19, assists 13 to 6, steals 10-2, blocks 3-0, turnovers 14 to 24 and fouls 17 to 25.  Wright State made 5 of 14 three pointers while the Bucks only made 4 of 13.     The Big 3 shot 50% from the field, remaining players 10 of  24; 3 of 6 three points vs others 1- of 7 for reserves, Big 3 made 19 of 22 foul shots vs 6 of 12 for others, 15 to 14 in rebounds; 8 vs 5 in assists; 7 vs 3 in steals;  3-0 in blocks and 6 vs 18 in turnovers.
      Aaron Craft started the season with 3 steals after stealing 23 balls in last 6 regular season games last season for a 3.82 steals a game.  The leader in steals last season averaged 3.38 per game.
       The Buckeyes started the season ranked #3, the highest pre season ranking since 1961.
       
GAME 2 /NOV 15 - #8 Florida at #3 Ohio State

Craft   Buford
Craft was difference in game per         Buford led the scoring with 21 points 
Coach Donavan of Florida


Matta    Craft
Coach Matta                                          Craft holds Walker (11) to 1 of 6 shooting
                                                                in 25 minutes. 


Florida                      32       42       74
Ohio State                 35       46       81

             OHIO STATE DEFEATS FLORIDA 81-74 WITH GOOD FOUL SHOOTING
   
Ohio State overcame a sluggish start and 11 three pointers by the 8th ranked Gators to win 81-74.  Florida came out firing 3's and making most of them to take a 14-6 lead.  But an OSU end of the half 13-5 runs gave the Buckeyes a 35-32 lead before pushing the lead to 16 points in the 2nd half.  The game wasn't in doubt in the 2nd half, but Florida rained several more 3's in the last five minutes to close the margin.  The Buckeyes kept getting fouled and kept making their free throws going 27 of 34 (79%) for the game.  The other key stat was OSU winning the turnover battle 7 to 16.
     From 1:06 remaining in the game until 19 seconds left, Florida made 3 of 4 three pointers and 2 of 3 foul shots to reduce an 11 point lead to 7.  OSU made 7 of 8 foul shots during that span to keep Florida at bay.
     OSU outshot Florida 47 to 46% and 79 to 62%  from the foul line, won assists 16 to 11, steals 8 to 3, and committed 4 fewer turnovers.  Florida shot 52% on 3's to the Bucks 27% and out rebounded OSU 34-25.  Despite committing 9 more turnover than OSU, the Gators still took two more shots due to the rebounding advantage and committing more fouls.
     Buford led the Bucks with 21 points on 7 of 15 from the field, 5 of 6 from the line, 6 bounds and 3 assists.  Sullinger was held to 16 points on 4 of 8 from the field, 8 of 8 from the line with 6 boards and 3 assists.  Thomas chipped in with 16 points on 4 of 10 field goals, 6 of 6 from the line and 6 rebounds.  Craft was the star of the game for OSU despite his poor shooting.  He made only 4 of 11 from the field 5 of 8 foul shots, but had 3 bounds, 7 assists and 3 steals plus his normal disruptive defense.  He guarded Walker who was 1 of 6 from the floor. Florida's 4 guards had 13 turnovers.     Lenzelle Smith started and played great defense, scored 6 points on 2 of 4 from both the field and the line with 3 boards and 2 assists.
     Both Thomas and Smith seemed to cement their positions as starters.  But Ravenel came off the bench to make all of his 3 field goal attempts and finished with 7 points.  The big 3 probably would have played almost 40 minutes except for foul trouble.  Buford played 40, Craft 37 and Sullinger 34 minutes.
 
      Florida coach Billy Donavan said the difference in the game was the pesty Craft.  "Clearly he dominated the game from start to finish," he said. "He was the whole key. He physically manhandled our guys -- steals, strips, loose balls and drives."
      The victory was the 24th straight home victory.  Bucks are 62-2 vs non conference teams at home in the Matta era.
      Four easy home games than OSU entertains Duke on November 29.  Next action is Jackson State Nov 18.
      The Bucks are third in the AP poll after the first week of the season.  Two other teams from Ohio are in the top 25.  Xavier is rated 13th and Cincinnati  20th.   Wisconsin at (14) and Michigan (17) are the other Big Ten teams in the top 25.  California is only PAC 12 team in top 25 and they are 22nd.

        Jesse Kramer a correspondent for Bleacher Report predicted the top 100 players.  North Carolina and Kentucky both had 4 players in the top 50 players in the country, OSU had 3 and there were 4 other Big Ten players in the top 50.  North Carolina's 4 players are all ranked in the top 15!! They are Barnes 2, Henson 11, Marshall 13 and Zeller 15.  Kentucky's four are Davis 6, Jones 7, Gilchrist 18 and Teague 45.  Sullinger 1, Craft 22 and Buford 25 were the Buckeyes in top 50.  Other Big Ten players were Taylor of Wisconsin 3, Mbakwe of Minnesota 20, Hummel of Purdue 26 and Green of Michigan State 31.  Florida had two players in top 50, Young was 40th and Beal 27th.  
       


GAME 3 /NOV 18 - Jackson State (0-3) at # 3 Ohio State (2-0)

Ravenol   Scott
 Ravenel dunking for 2 of his 6 points              Scott (3) leading fast break with Williams 23

Craft

Craft drives to the basket
Jackson State            17       24       41
Ohio State                 46       39       85

                               SULLINGER LEADS OSU TO 85-41 ROMP OVER JACKSON STATE            
      OSU was sluggish at the beginning of the game and Jackson State led 11-10. The Buckeyes scored the next 18 points (9 by Sullinger and 5 by Sibert) and finished the first half on a 36-6 run.  Craft initiated the 18-0 run with a steal and taking a charge.  Sullinger scored 16 points in about 15 minutes making 7 of 9 field goals and grabbing 10 bounds.  He had season highs in points and rebounds in the first 21 minutes of the game.  Craft only scored 2 points but had 4 assists and 5 steals in about 12 minutes of play.  All 11 players that played in the first half scored at least 2 points.
       The starters played the first 8 minutes of the 2nd half and then took a seat for the remainder of the game with the score 66-26.
      The OSU starters only played 14-23 minutes.  Sullinger finished with 20 points on 7 of 9 from the field, 4 of 5 foul shots and 11 bounds in 21 minutes.  Buford scored 10 points on 4 of 10 from the field, 3 bounds and 3 turnovers in 23 minutes.  Craft scored 2 points and added 4 assists and 6 steals while only turning the ball over once in only 17 minutes of action.  Thomas had a poor first half but a good 2nd half and scored 11 points on 5 of 10 shooting with 3 bounds and no turnovers in 17 minutes.  Sibert came off the bench to hit 3 of 7 three points shots and two of the misses were in and out.  Sibert scored 11 points in 17 minutes.  Evan Ravenel scored 6 points on 3 of 5 from the field and passed for 3 assists.  Eleven players scored and 8 scored at least 5 points and all 12 players that played grabbed at least one rebound
.
      OSU out shot Jackson State 48 to 35%, outbounded them 41-25, won assists 22-6, steals 15-9, turnovers 12-24 and personal fouls 8-25.  Jackson State outshot OSU 22 to 20% from the 3 point line and foul shots 100% (5 of 5) to 64% (14 of 22).
   OSU's 15 steals were the most they had in a game since 2006.
      Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson (voted OSU #1 in coaches poll)  said the Buckeyes had no weaknesses and were every bit as good as the University of North Carolina, who is ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation.   "They can turn you over. They're very athletic. They got practically every loose ball," Anderson said. "We'd go up to the basket sometimes for a lay-up and they'd just take it away from us."   
     
Jackson State coach Tevester Anderson compared Jared Sullinger to Charles Barkley, whom Anderson said he recruited to and coached at Auburn.  "He's strong and he jumps so quick," Anderson said.  "He jumps king of

like Charles. He has that big, strong body, but he gets up so quick. He's a quick leaper. And he has great hands. He's going to be a great pro one day.
      Jackson State has been blown out in all 4 games this season but their 44 point defeat at the hands of Ohio State was the worst of the season.   Wright State and Florida have each played 3 games, winning the two they didn't play OSU.


     The victory was Ohio State’s 25th in a row at home, the fourth longest run in school history. The longest streak was 50 in a row (1959-64 during the Jerry Lucas-Gary Bradds era), followed by 30 in a row (1990-92 with Jimmy Jackson) and 28 (2006-07 behind Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr.).
      Ohio State has won 98 of its last 99 games against unranked teams in Columbus.

      A few stats stand out after 3 games as follows:
1- Sullinger has made 24 of 27 foul shots or 89%.
2- Buford is 3 of 10 from long distance and has a team leading 6 turnovers
3- Craft has only made 6 of 17 shots, but leads team with 14 assists and 11 steals in only 82 minutes (2 full games).  His average of 3.67 steals a game, more than the 3.38 steals a game that led the nation last year despite only playing 2/3 rd of the time.
4- Ravenel has come off the bench playing 27 minutes and has made 7 of 9 shots.
5- Sibert has played 45 minutes hitting 4 of 11 three pointers with 3 assists and only one turnover.
6- Scott has played 43 minutes and hit only 2 of 9 shots with 8 assists and 6 turnovers.

      Next game is Monday vs North Florida who Florida beat this week 91-55.

      In the game vs Florida, Craft held Irving Walker to 4 points on 1 of 6 from the field and 3 turnovers.  In Florida' opener, Walker scored 10 points on 4 of 6 from the field and 0 turnovers.  After Florida played OSU they beat North Florida 91-55 with Walker scoring 17 points on 5 of 12 from the field with 3 turnovers.  
GAME 4 /NOV 21 - North Florida (1-3) at #3 Ohio State (3-0)

Matta
Matta shouting instruction to team

Sullinger
Sullinger had season highs with 27 points and 13 bounds
North Florida            26      24      50
Ohio State                 45      40      85
    

                                  SULLINGER LEAD'S OSU OVER NORTH FLORIDA 85-50
     The 3rd ranked Buckeyes coasted by North Florida 85-50 for their third 30+ point win in four games.  Following is the game in 5 minute increments:

      The Buckeyes led 11-6 after five minutes and North Florida had six shots  and six turnovers.  Craft had 2 steals.  Buford had 6 points and Thomas and Smith had the other 5.  Both Smith and Craft were 0-2 from the line.  The starters can't be missing free throws.
      The Buckeyes only led North Florida 17-14 at the 10 minute mark.  Sullinger and Craft were still scoreless.
      The Buckeyes led North Florida 32-21 at the 15 minute mark With Buford scoring 10, Thomas 9 and Sullinger 7.  Turnovers were 9-5 in favor of OSU.  Two North Florida players had 3 fouls as North Florida has committed 9 fouls to 3 for OSU.
      Sullinger scored 16 points in the last 10 minutes as OSU increased lead to 45-26 at half time.  Thomas scored 13 and Buford 10.  Both Sullinger and Thomas made 5 of 8 shots and had 5 bounds.  Buford was 3 for 8 and Smith was 2 of 3 for four points.  Craft was scoreless and only had 2 assist and 2 steals.   The bench only had 2 points in about 12 minutes of action.  OSU won turnover battle 4 to 13 and outshot North Florida 51% to 42% after hitting less than 40% for the first 13-14 minutes.  The defense was great most of the time, but they gave up way to many easy baskets.  
      After 5 minutes of the 2nd half OSU led 56-29.  Sullinger leads team with 19 points and 8 rebounds.    OSU leads in TO 4-17 but only leads rebounds 24-22.   One impressive trait about the Buckeyes in this game is very unselfish passing.  
      At the 10:30 mark of the 2nd half, after the reserves played the last 5 minutes and committed 4 turnovers and didn't play well. The reserves were replaced by the starters with the score 60-40.  The reserves were outscored 11-4 in the last 5 minutes.
     After 15.5 minutes in the second half, the Bucks were ahead 73-47 and the starters were replaced by the reserves.  Sullinger finished with 27 points and 13 bounds making 9 of 16 shots and 9 of 10 foul shots.  Sully is now 35 for 39 from the line this season and if he makes the next attempt he will be shooting 90% from the line!  The rest of the team made 16 of 30 for (53%).   All starters had at least 5 bounds!  Sully, Craft and Smith each had 3 assists. Sully, Smith and Weatherspoon were the only players to have good games.  Smith looked great making 3 of 4 shots, and accumulating 5 bounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.  But he was only 1 of 6 from the foul line. Thomas finished with 16 points on 5 of 11 and 5 of 6 from the line with 6 bounds, but a team high 3 turnovers. Buford scored 13 but was only 4 of 13 from the floor with 5 bounds and 4 assists.  Ten Buckeyes scored and 11 players got at least one rebound.
      OSU outshot North Florida 47 to 39%, won 3 point % 23.5 to 20%, foul shots 63 to 50% bounds 43-31, assists 17-6, steals 10-3, turnovers 11 to 24 and fouls 19 to 28.  
     North Florida had 9 players score and 10 players grab a bound but only two with as many as 5 while all OSU starters grabbed at least 5 bounds.  
     Ohio State has won 99 of its last 100 games against unranked teams in Columbus.
     The Big Ten is now 43-5 in non conference games including the Michigan 73-61 victory over 8th ranked Memphis tonight.  Michigan State is the only two loss team thus far and they lost to North Carolina and Duke.
      The Bleacher Report had one of their writers pick the predicted 1st and 2nd place All Big Ten teams.  They had Sullinger and Buford on the first team  with Craft and Hummel on the 2nd team.  They are probably correct but I would exchange Craft and Buford and probably pick Hummel over Buford.  Hummel has been injury prone thus he could get injured again.  Purdue is 3-0 thus far and Hummel is averaging 21 points a game.
       The only Freshman in the top 20 Freshman in the Big Ten is Zeller of Indiana who was ranked 14th in his class.  A writer on Bleacher Report not only picked him as Freshman of the year but only predicted he would be defensive player of the year in the Big Ten.  I have never seen Zeller play but I am having a hard time imagining Zeller being a better defensive player than Craft.  

GAME 5 /NOV 23 - Virginia Military Institute (VMI) (3-1)d at Ohio State

Buford  Craft
Buford hook is good - scored 23 points    Craft getting one of his 3 steals.  Also had 8 assists and 13 points
Dunk
Sullinger scores 17, grabs 12 bounds
for his 3rd straight double-double

VMI                        44     30        74
Ohio State               57     50      107
     

                                                       OSU 34-7 START TO 2ND HALF ROUTS VMI 107-74
      OSU started the 2nd half with a 34-7 streak to lead by 38 points and eventually win 107-74 before 13,660 fans in Columbus, Ohio.  In the first 10 minutes at each half OSU outscored VMI 68-24!  IN the last 10 minutes of each half VMI outscored OSU 50 to 39!! 
 The offense was very impressive with crisp unselfish passing but they allowed to many open 3 points and VMI sunk 9 of them.  Following is stats during the game.
      Virginia Military Institute came into the game with a 3-1 record and outscoring their opponents  88-82, thus a high scoring game is expected.  With 13:35 remaining in the first half OSU led 28-13, led by Buford with 12 on 5 of 6 from the field and Sullinger with 7 on 3 of 3 shots.  Every starter had scored and they made 12 of 14 shots. Craft had 4 assists and a steal.
       With 8 minutes left in the first half OSU led VMI 38-22.  The reserves played the last 5 minutes and played there best stretch of the season.  OSU made 16 of their first 19 shots with the reserves making 4 of 5.  Not the usual Buckeye game thus far as VMI leads OSU in turnovers 3-4,  personal fouls 5-7 and 3-1 in steals, 3 categories that OSU has won every game this season.  Craft has 6 assists in about 8 minutes of action.  Nine Buckeyes have scored in the first 14 minutes of the game.
     OSU led 57-44 at half time as VMI rained in several 3 pointers late in the half to cut a 20 point lead down to 13.  The Bucks played great offense in the first half but poor defense.  Buford scored  16 on 7 of 10 from the field and also had 4 assists.  Thomas scored 11 on 4 of 5 from the field and 3 of 4 from the 3 point line.  Sullinger had 9 points on 4 of 4 from the field and 5 bounds.  Craft had 7 making 5 of 6 foul shots, 7 assists and 2 steals in 15 minutes.  Ravenel came off the bench to score 6 on 3 of 4 from the field.  The Bucks outshot VMI 70 to 44%, 57 to 38 % on 3 pointers and 78 to 73% from the foul line and won boards 18-12.    VMI  won steals 4-3, turnovers 5-7 and both teams committed 9 fouls. VMI has more first half points than 3 of 4 Buckeye opponents have scored in the entire game.
      The Buckeyes started the 2nd half like the first half, great offense and passing to increase their lead to 70-48 at the 15:39 mark of the 2nd half..  Sullinger scored 8 of the 13 points and Craft ran his assist total to 8 and steals to 3.
    The starters went out at the 12:30 mark with a 78-48 lead.  OSU outscored VMI by 17 points in the first 7:30 of the 2nd half.   Buford had 20, Sullinger 17 and Craft 13.  Sullinger made 8 of 10 from the field and grabbed 12 rebounds.  The great 7 minute stretch allowed the Bucks to take a lead in steals, and turnovers and a 31-16 bound advantage and 24-7 advantage in assists.  The reserves again looked great and led 89-51 at the 10 minute mark.  In the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half, OSU outscored VMI 32-7!!  OSU reached the 100 mark at the 5:25 mark.  Reserves didn't play well the last 5 minutes of the game.
       The Buckeyes played 12 players at least 8 minutes and 10 at least 14 minutes for the game.  Ten players scored at least 4 minutes and the other two  players combined for 5 rebounds and 4 blocks.  Eight players scored at least 8 points, 11 players had a rebound with 10 having at least 2 bounds. Amazingly 9 players made at least 62% of their shots and 8 at least 67%.  The starters made 28 of  39 shots (76%) and the reserves made 18 of 29 for 62%.   At least 10 players had an assist.  And the starters were 8 of 10 from the foul line for 80% and 5 of 7 from 3 point range (71%).  Five players had season high in points.
     For the game OSU outshot VMI  68% to 39%, from 3 point range 50 to 30%, won bounds 44-23,  and assists 30-11.  VMI outshot OSU from foul line 63 to 59%, won turnovers 16 to 19 and fouls 18 to 19.  Both teams had 9 steals.
      Buford led the Bucks with 23 points on 10 of 16 from the field including both 3 pointers and had 6 assists and 3 turnovers in 23 minutes. Sullinger scored 17 points on 8 of 10 from the field and 12 boards in 19 minutes.  Craft played 22 minutes scoring 13 points on 4 of 6 from the field and 5 of 6 from the line with 8 assists and 3  steals and only 2 turnovers. Thomas scored 11, all in the first half, while hitting 4 of 5 from the field and 3 of 4 from long range in 16 minutes.  Smith made both of his shots and grabbed  7 bounds in 18 minutes.  Ravenel continues to impress scoring 8 points on 4 of 5 shots in 14 minutes and is now 12 of 15 from the field for the season.  Weatherspoon made all 5 lay-ups on some athletic moves and scored 10 points and grabbed 5 bounds in 14 minutes.  Scott had his best game with 8 points on 4 of 6 from the field with 4 assists vs 1 turnover in 18 minutes.  Thompson, another athletic player, scored 8 points on 3 of 4 from the field with 3 assists in 17 minutes.  Only Sibert couldn't find the range going 2 for 7 from the field including  0-3 from downtown for 4 points, but finished with 5 bounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in 22 minutes.
     
OSU scored 68 points in the paint last night.  The Buckeyes’ 30 assists were one off the school record set in a 1975 game at Michigan State.

     VMI has led division 1 in scoring each of the last five years.  The were averaging 88 points, 77 shot attempts and 11 turnovers a game.   Tonight VMI scored 74 points, took 65 shots and committed 18 turnovers.
     Excluding the games played against OSU, the OSU opponents are 11-8.  OSU administered the worst loss on all five opponents by at least 12 points with one exception.  OSU beat Wright State by 35 and Florida defeated them by 36.  
      Interesting stats through 5 games:
1- Ravenel is 12 for 15 (80%) from the floor this season.
2- Sullinger has made 34 of 38 foul shots (89%).
3- Sullinger has made 32 of 50 field goal attempts (64%).
4- Craft has 25 assists and 9 turnovers, an excellent  2.8 assists per turnover
5- Smith has 19 assists and 4 turnover, for an amazing 4.75 assists to 1 turnover.
6- Sullinger has 6 assists and 9 turnovers, Buford has 16 assists and 10 turnovers. Thomas 3 assists and 8
     turnovers, Scott has 14 assists and 9 turnovers. and Ravenel has 4 assists and 0 turnovers.
7- Craft has 5 steals in one game and 3 in the other 4.
8- OSU has 13 blocks and Williams has 6 of those in 41 minutes.   The remaining 11 players have 7 blocks in
     959 minutes!!
9- Bucks have made 20 three pointers.  Buford has made 6, Thomas 5 and Siebert 5.    

     The Buckeyes ran their home winning streak to 27 in a row, and can tie the third longest streak in school history when they host Valparaiso on Friday night. They play their first eight games at home before visiting No. 14 Kansas on Dec. 10.
    Next is Valparaiso on Friday on BTN followed by Duke on ESPN at 6:30 PST on Tuesday, Nov 29.

     Individual stats:  Going into this game Craft was tied for 10th in the nation averaging 35 steals a game.  Sullinger was 4th in the nation in attempted free throws with 33.  Sullinger is 43rd in the nation averaging 20.2 points per game.   For players attempting at least 10 foul shots this season, Sullinger's 89.2% average doesn't hit the top 100 players.  Sullinger is 56th with 9.8 rebounds a game.
     Team Offense:  OSU averages 81 points a game, good for 46th.   OSU is 87th out of 345 teams shooting 46.8% from the field.      Ohio State is tied for 21st in the nation with 10.75 steals a game prior to this VMI game.  OSU is tied for 18th for fewest turnover per game at 11.  Three Big Ten teams in top 10 led by Wisconsin at #1 with 7.67 turnovers a game.  OSU is 4th in nation with .98 steals for every turnover committed.  OSU is 5th in nation with .68 steals per personal foul attempted.   OSU is 312th  out of 345 teams hitting 26.2% of their 3 pointers.  OSU is tied for 148th hitting 68.2% of their free throws.  OSU is 7th in nation attempting 33.5 foul shots per game  OSU is 11th best in assist per turnovers at 1.568 a game and 4th in that statistic for the last 3 games played at 1.833 a game. 
      Team Defense:  OSU is 9th in scoring defense allowing 51.8 points per game. OSU is drawing 24.5 fouls a game good for 15th in nation.   OSU is 4th in nation with a defensive .333 assist per turnover ratio.   OSU is 4th in nation causing 22.5 turnovers a game.  OSU is 3rd in the nation causing a turnover in 31.2% of the opponents possessions.  OSU causes turnovers 28.5% of an opponents offensive plays good for 2nd in nation.

2 of   OSU .333  GAME 6 /NOV 25 - Valparaiso (5-1) at #3 Ohio State (5-0)

Buford
Buford scores 25 including 4 for 4 three pointers
Craft
Craft scores 15 with 8 assists and 4 steals

Sibert

Sibert plays tough defense

Valparaiso               29      18     47
Ohio State               33      47     80


                        BUFORD 4-4 FROM 3 POINT LINE TO LEAD OSU OVER VALPARAISO 80-47
        Buford started the game 0-5 then made 9 of 11 including 4 of 4 from long distance and 5 boards as OSU outscored Valparaiso 47-18 in the 2nd half to win 80-47.  Craft scored 15 on 5 of 10 from the field but only 1 of 4 from long range, 4 of 6 from the foul line,  8 assists and 4 steals.  Sullinger scored 14 points on 6 of 10 from the field, 13 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals.  Thomas added 12 points on 5 of 12 from the field and Smith added 6 on 3 of 6 from the field, 5 assists and 5 rebounds with 0 turnovers.  Ravenel came off the bench to score 5 points on 2 of 3 goals and 5 bounds.  Sullinger, Craft and Buford all played the first 37 minutes.  Ravenel and Sibert were the only subs that played the first 37 minutes.
      Valparaiso came into Columbus with a 5 game winning streak, losing only to Arizona who was ranked 16th at the time.  Valparaiso played OSU tough in the first half as OSU led 21-17 at the 8:42 mark.  Craft scored 9 points on 3 of 6 from the floor and Sullinger had 7 points on 3 of 5 and 4 boards.  Buford was 0-5 with 1 point.
      The Buckeyes then scored 9 straight with 7 points by Buford for a 30-19 lead, but Valparaiso clawed back and only trailed OSU 33-29 at the half.   Craft had 10 points on 3 of 6 from the floor and 4 of 6 from the foul line and 3 steals.  Buford scored 8 points on 3 of 9, Sullinger had 7 on 3 of 5 and Thomas had 6 on 2 of 8.  Sullinger had 5 boards while Buford and Smith had 3 each.   The key was turnovers as Valparaiso had 11 turnovers and OSU only 1. OSU was out shot from the field  48 to 37% and had one 3 point goal while Valparaiso had 5 from downtown.
      Ohio State opened the 2nd half with a 19-2 streak, punctuated by 3's  from Sullinger and Craft.  The Big 3 scored 16 of the 19 points for  OSU
      For the game OSU beat Valparaiso 52 to 34% from the field, 38 to 35% from long distance 57 to 50 % from the foul line, 35-29 on the boards, 23-11 on assists, 12-1 on steals, 6-18 on turnovers and 11 to 17 on personal fouls.  The only stat lost by OSU was blocked shots by a 3-1 count.  Valparaiso only shot 2 foul shots, none for the first 34 minutes of the game.
     
“Craft sets a tone for them defensively,” Valparaiso coach Bryce Drew said. “Not only does he guard his man well, but he guards usually the next guy over pretty well, too.  “By him getting his hand in a lot of stuff, they can transition down and get baskets, and obviously that makes everybody else play harder. You can’t really  (minimize the impact of) his energy plays that help ignite the whole team to start playing harder on defense.”


       One of the assistants for Valparaiso was Jake Diebler, the older brother Jon Diebler played with as a sophomore when they won the state crown.
      OSU won their 28th straight game at home and will entertain 6th ranked Duke (ESPN at 6:30 PST) next Tuesday.

GAME 7 /NOV 29 - #3 Duke at #2 Ohio State

Craft
Craft scored 17 points and picked up 5 boards and 8 assists.  Austin Rivers (#30), Doc Rivers
son, led Duke with 22 points.

BufordCraftThomas   SmithFalls
Craft #4 congratulated by Buford #44 and Thomas #1    Smith takes hard fall after being fouled as Buford
                                                                                             
and Craft look on.
CoachK   James
Coach Mike Krzyzewski winces as Bucks score again.   LeBron James and Dwayne Wade attend the game.
 Duke                      28       35     63
Ohio State               49      36     85


                            FOUR BUCKEYES SCORE 17+ AS OSU RIPS DUKE 85-63
      The Buckeyes pushed their record to 7-0 with a convincing 85-63 win over undefeated and 3rd ranked Duke.  Four Buckeye starters scored 17 or more points and all shot over 52% from the field and were 7 of 12 from downtown.  Sullinger had 8 bounds and the other starters all had 5 rebounds.

     Ohio State sprinted out of the gate to an 11-0 lead, 9 points in 69 seconds at one point.  Craft started the scoring with a 3 and scored 5 of the 11 points.  Duke responded with a 12-2 run.  OSU played well and played great defense in taking a 43-26 lead.  OSU led at the half 48-29.  The big 4 scorers for the Bucks scored 47 of 49 points in the first half.  In the first half Sullinger scored 12 on 5 of 7 from the field with 5 boards.  Buford scored 13 on 5 of 9, Thomas scored 13 on 6 of 8 and Craft scored 7 on 3 of 6 from the field and 5 assists with no steals!   But the Bucks played tenacious defense.  Doc Rivers son, Austin led Duke with 13 points on 5 of 9 from the field.  I thought a Buckeye weakness could be rebounds.  However, in the first half OSU won boards 18-10, assists 10-3, turnovers 4-9, fouls 4-6, outshot Duke 61 to 44% and shot 33% while Duke was 1-7 from downtown.
      Sullinger led the scoring for the Bucks with 21 points on 8 of 14 from the field and 8 boards.  Buford scored 20 on 8 of 15 from the floor including 2 of 3 from downtown and had 4 assists.  Buford has made 8 of his last 9 3 point shots.  Thomas scored 18 points on 8 of 12 from the field.  Craft scored 17 points on 7 of 11 including 3 of 4 from downtown and 8 assists.  He was held to 1 steal and also had 4 turnovers.       
        OSU played great defense led by Thomas who held Kelly scoreless after he averaged 17 in the recent 3 game Maui tournament.  Craft held Curry to 7 points on 3 of 7 from the floor - he averages 15 a game this year.   Announcer Dick Vitale said Craft was the player of the game - seems like we hear that from the opposing coaches every game!
       Thomas scored 12 straight OSU points overlapping halftime in a 15-2 run.  The Bucks led 55-32 with 16 minutes left and Thomas has 18 points on 8 of 10 from the field.  Duke never got closer than 17 points to OSU in the 2nd half .
     
The Bucks let only one Blue Devil (Mason Plumlee) get more than four rebounds while all 5 starters for OSU had 5+ bounds.    Ohio State dominated Duke in every facet with former Buckeyes (Michael Redd, Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Evan Turner, etc.), an NBA coach (Doc Rivers) and two NBA All-Stars (LeBron James and Dwayne Wade) all sitting court side. 
       Duke had won 35 straight games in November.  The Bucks won their 29th straight home game, their 3rd longest ever streak.   Dukes worst loss to a Big Ten team was by 25 points in the 1958 to MIchigan State.   Tonight's game was their 2nd worst Big Ten loss.  The game was Duke's worst non conference game loss since 1995..
      The Big Ten beat the ACC in their 12 games by an 8-4 margin to give them the ACC - Big Ten challenge for the 3rd straight year after losing the first ten years.   North Carolina beat Wisconsin at home by 3 points in the other highlighted match up.  
     
 
             
     


















GAME 8 /DEC 3 - Texas-Pan American at #2 Ohio State (7-0)










Texas-Pan American                      14        21    35
Ohio State                                      31       33     64


                            OHIO STATE DEFENSE STIFLES TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN 64-35
      Jarad Sullinger sat out the game due to back spasms suffered in the Duke game.   OSU held Texas-Pan American (TPA) to 2 foul shots until they made a 3 with 10:50 left in the first half of the game and led 11-5.  TPA's next basket was at 7:50 to make it 15-8 OSU.  It was 31-14 at the half.  OSU was never challenged in the 2nd half and their biggest lead was 64-32.  TPA made a late 3 to make the final score 64-35.
      OSU previous fewest points allowed in a game this season was 41.   The fewest points allowed last season was 40 vs Tennessee-Martin.   It was the fewest points allowed since OSU beat Samford 59-22 three years ago.
      OSU outshot TPA 40 to 33% won bounds 41-21, assists 14-10 steals 4-2, turnovers 8-18 and personal fouls 9-12.  TPA outshot OSU from long distance 33 to 23% and from the foul line 75 to 73%.   The Leading rebounders for TPA had 5 and 4 boards.  OSU had six players with at least 4 boards.
       Ravenel started in place of the injured Sullinger and scored 11 points on 3 of 5 from the field and 5 of 6 from the foul line and grabbed 7 bounds in 20 minutes.  Thomas also scored 11 on 5 of 13 from the field and grabbed 5 boards in 26 minutes.  Craft scored 6 on 3 of 7 from the field with 3 assists and 1 steal in 24 minutes.  Buford was held to 2 points on 1 of 7 from the field, but had 5 bounds and 4 assists in 26 minutes.  Scott added 7 on 3 of 5, but also had 3 turnovers.  Sibert also had 7 points but made 2 of 8 shots including 2 of 4 from the 3 point line in 4 minutes.  Weatherspoon scored 6 points and corralled 6 bound in 14 minutes.  Thompson also scored 6 points on 2 of 5 from the floor and 2 of 2 from the line and had 3 bounds and 3 assists in just 14 minutes.  Williams scored 5 points on 2 of 2 from the field and grabbed 3 bounds and had a block in 15 minutes.
      The win was the 300th for Thad Matta in his career.  His career record is 300-88 over 12 seasons.  For 8 seasons at OSU Matta 198-57.  He is the 10th fastest coach in Division 1 football to reach 300 wins.
       
Ohio State has a two game lead over the next best team based on combined records for last season and this season thus far.  The Big Ten easily has the best non conference record as of 12-1-11.  Click on link to see details.            The Buckeyes played the last of their first eight games at home, the longest streak of home games to start a season since the 1909-10 team began the campaign with 10 consecutive games in Columbus, vs. UTPA Dec. 3.
     


GAME 9 /DEC 10 - #2 Ohio State at #13 Kansas

Buford driving      SullyBench
Buford leads Bucks with 21 points                         Sullinger in street clothes                              

Thomas
cores 19 on 7 of 14 from the field





Ohio State                      29       38        67
Kansas                            35       43       78


                            NO SULLINGER - KANSAS WINS 78-67
      Jarad Sullinger didn't suit up due to back spasms giving the Bucks only a slim chance to win.  The offense looked lost in the first half as the made 8 of 24 shots.  The defense allowed to many open shots but forced 12 turnovers to kept the Bucks in the game despite Kansas making 15 of 23 shots in the first half.  Thomas was a one man offense scoring 15 points on 5 of 8 field goals.  But Buford was 1 of 7 and Craft one of 4.  Craft led team with 3 bounds and 3 assists.  
       The second half was played with Kansas ahead from 3 to 12 points.  OSU pulled within 4 points with 5:39 minutes left and within 6 points with 3 minutes left, but could not get any closer.  The big stat difference was the 3 pointer as Kansas made 9 of 17 to 5 of 17 for OSU.     Kansas shot 28 of 48 from the floor (58%) to 24 of 62 (39%) for the Bucks, Kansas won rebounds  30-27, assists 18-12, and personal fouls 16 to 22.  OSU won foul shooting 78 to 65%, steals 8-6 and turnovers 15-18.
      Buford came alive in the 2nd half to lead the Bucks with 21 points but only made 8 of 23 shots including 1 of 6 from downtown.  For the second game in a row all Buckeye starters had 4 or 5 bounds.  Thomas scored 19 on 7 of 14 from the field.  Craft scored 11 on 4 of 11 with 6 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers.   Ravenel scored 9 on 2 of 7 shooting.
      Craft primarily guarded Tyshawn Taylor who scored 9 points on 3 of 9 from the field, but had 13 assists and 7 turnovers.  
       This was OSU's first road game of the season and their first loss.  Kansas won their 47th straight non conference game at home.                                                                                                                                                                               
     This season Thomas has scored in double figures in eight of nine games, and in the Buckeyes' three biggest games, against Florida, Duke and Kansas, he's averaging 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and shooting 53 percent from the field and 40 percent on 3 pointers.

      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

GAME 10 - DEC 14  S. Carolina-Upstate (6-5) at #2 Ohio State (8-1)

Thomas
Thomas nails 10 of 15 shots and scores 23 points and dished 3 assists
Craft
Craft contributes 4 assists and 5 steals




   State trailed 21-17 after the first 12 minutes, but than turned it on winning the rest of the game 65-37.  Sullinger didn't start but came in with 15 minutes remaining in the first half and played most of the game.  His back didn't appear to bother him and he managed another double double.
      Ohio State outshot University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) 57 to 46%, foul shots 83 to 69%, assists 19-7, steals 13-4, turnovers 13 to 25, and personal fouls 17 to 23.  USCU won 3 point % 39 to 33% and rebounds 27-19
       Thomas led the Bucks with 23 points on 10 of 15 from the floor and 3 assists.  Buford scored 14 on 4 of 9 from the field including 2 of 4 from downtown, 4 of 4 from the line, 3 assists and 4 turnovers.  Sullinger tallied 12 points on 3 of 8 from the field and 6 of 7 fromthe line and 10 boards.  Ravenel scored 8 on 4 of 5 from the floor  Thompson came off the bench and scored 8 pints on 4 of 4 from the field including a spectacular dunk.  Craft scored 6 on 1 of 3 from the field and 4 of 5 from the line with 4 assists and 5 steals.  
        Without Sullinger the last two games every starter had 4 of 5 bounds each game.  Tonight the five starters totaled 4 bounds!
        OSU won their 31st straight home game, the third longest streak in basketball next to Kentucky and Duke.  The win was the second longest streak ever at the school behind only the 50 in a row from 1959-64 while Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek and Gary Bradds were the stars.
        Craft is now averaging 3.0 steals per game, good for 4th in the nation.
         OSU is 9th in the nation coming into the game averaging 18.4 assists a game.  OSU is 15th in fewest turnovers a game at 11.3.  Wisconsin is #1 at 8.4, Northwestern is 2nd at 9.3 and Purdue is 3rd at 9.5 turnover a game.  OSU is 4th in nation with 1.63 assist to turnover.  Northwestern is #1 at 1.77.
          OSU is 15th in defensive scoring at 55 points a game.  Wisconsin leads holding opponents to 44.9 per game.
             Ohio State rates among the Top 10 in several NCAA statistical categories after nine games. The Buckeyes are No. 2 in scoring margin (+23.2 ppg.), No. 2 in turnover margin (+8.0), No. 5 in assist/turnover ratio (+1.58), No. 7 in assists per game (18.6) and No. 10 in field goal percentage (.503).
           
        Quinton Ross, the best player in this year's freshman class, has been ineligible but made up some classes and retook the SAT and passed admission standards to become eligible to play for OSU.  Ross, a 6'8" shooting guard practiced yesterday but didn't see any action tonight.  He has to catch up with the other players in understanding the offense and also getting in game shape.  He is a great shooter so hopefully he can get some playing action before the Big Ten season starts on December 28th.
         Next game is Saturday at noon PST at South Carolina on ESPN.


GAME 11 - DEC 17  #2 Ohio State (9-1) at South Carolina (4-5)

Buford
Buford leads fast break.  Scores 17 points.
Smith
Lenzelle Smith grabs one of his game leading 9 boards

Ohio State                           29        45          74
South Carolina                    33        33          66

                                SULLINGER HURT AGAIN, THOMAS CARRIES OSU ON ROAD 74-66

Sullinger played 6 minutes before getting his foot kicked.  X-rays were negative but he returned to the bench on crutches.  Not sure how long he will be out.  
      The Bucks were down by 4 at half time and by 6 early in the 2nd half.  But Thomas put the Bucks on his back, scoring 20 points in the 2nd half on his way to a career high 30 points to carry the Bucks to their first road victory over 4-5 South Carolina 74-66.
      South Carolina lost their leading scorer Malik Cooke twice to have an eyelid stitched.  But he still scored 21 points on 6 of 10 from the field and 9 of 10 from the line. Their best player, Bruce Ellington, is getting acclimated after paying football and came off the bench.  He played 22 minutes and scored 8 points but had trouble with Craft's defense.
     It wasn't the typical OSU win as they committed 12 turnovers to 15 vs South Carolina (SC) and committed 19 personal fouls to 18 for SC.  However they out rebounded SC 34-19 and won the assists battle 16-9, outshot SC 50 to 48%.  SC outshot OSU from downtown 40-31% and from the foul line 78 to 75%.  
     Thomas 30 points was on 2-5 from downtown, but 11-11 inside the 3 point line!!  He also had 6 bounds,  3 assists, but 5 turnovers.  In the four big games thus far (Florida, Duke, Kansas and South Carolina) Thomas is 32 for 52 (62% from the filed, 22 bounds and 83 points (21 a game).  Thomas is also 30 of 45 in last 3 games (67%) while averaging 24 points a game.  He has made the last 17 two point shots.
      Buford added 17 points on 5 of 14 from the field and 5 of 5 from the line with 5 bounds and 5 assists.  Smith had 9 points making 4 of 4 from the line with 9 boards and 3 assists.  Craft scored 4 points with 3 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals, but was only 2-5 from the foul line including two front ends of 1 and 1.  He has to improve his foul shooting.  He shot  85 % in high school but about 73 % in college.  Williams continues to improve coming off the bench scoring 6 points on 3 of 6 with 4 boards and 2 blocks in 15 minutes of action.
     The win  in was Matta's 200th victory in 9 seasons as OSU coach
just the third coach in school history to reach 200 wins, joining Fred Taylor (279 wins 1959-76) and Harold G. Olsen (254 from 1923-46).
.  
     Next game is 5:30 PST Tuesday vs Lamar.  OSU plays Miami of Ohio on Thursday before opening the Big Ten season vs Northwestern on Wednesday, December 28th.  The Big Ten has 6 teams in the top 21 in the nation in the last AP poll.
  
     
           

GAME 12 - DEC 20   Lamar (8-3) at #2 Ohio State (10-1)

Sully    Sullinger
Sullinger starts first game since November 29th and scores 18 point and collect 11 bounds
Buford   KNight
Buford held to 7 points           Archie Griffith and Bobby Knight who was
                                                     honored at halftime


Lamar                          21       29         50
Ohio State                    34       36         70

                    SULLINGER GRABS 11 REBOUNDS, SCORES 18 POINTS IN 70-50 WIN OVER LAMAR

       Sullinger started his first game since November 29, 2011 after suffering back spasms then a foot injury and responded with 18 points on 8 of 11 from the field and a game leading 11 rebounds as OSU defeated Lamar 70-50.  However, Sully was only 2 of 5 from the foul line.   The Buckeyes didn't get much offense from anyone else but played good defense winning turnovers 9 to 13 and personal fouls 12 to 14.
      Lamar was averaging 74 points a game in winning 8 of 11 and were 3rd in the nation out of about 240 teams in rebounding coming into the game.   The Buckeyes were 9th in the nation in assists per game at 18 vs 16 in today's game.  
      OSU won shooting 42 to 35%, 3 pointers 33% to 0 for 9 for Lamar, boards 35-31, assists 16-5 and steals 5-3.  Lamar shot fouls better, 70 to 40%.
      Thomas and Sullinger were the only Buckeyes to shoot 50 % from the field.  Thomas scored 16 points on 5 of  10 from the floor including 3 of 4 from downtown, 5 boards and 3 turnovers.  Thomas was the first Buckeye to be Big Ten player of the year coming into the game making 17 straight two point shots.  Buford scored 7 points on 3 of 11 from the field with 4 assists.  Craft scored 4 on 2 of 4 from the field with 6 assists, 3 boars, 3 steals and 2 turnovers.  Smith scored 5 point and grabbed 7 boards.  Williams played 8 minutes making both shots with 2 bounds and 2 blocks.
       Coach Bobby Knight was honored at half time.   His son Pat, is head coach of Lamar.  Bobby Knight was a sub on the 1960-2 teams that appeared in the NCAA finals three straight years.  He went on to win 902 games coaching at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech.
      The win was OSU's 32nd straight home win, third longest streak to 41 for Duke and Kentucky.

       Next game is vs Miami of Ohio on Thursday at 5:30 PST on Big Ten network.  
      The OSU basketball team was supposed to be a mid Big Ten team this season after graduating their All American and 3 time Big Ten MVP.  But Coach Foster has installed a wide open attack featuring his three guards and the Bucks are 12-0  and # 11 in the country.
•    This is the 272nd-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3 point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
•    The starting lineup of Buford, Craft, Smith, Jr., Sullinger and Thomas is 9-0 this season.
•    Ohio State has had a player record a double-double in 830 games. The Buckeyes are 571-259 in those contests.
•    Lamar shot 0-12 from 3 point range, ending a 620 game streak where an Ohio State opponent has hit at least one 3 pointer. The last time an opponent made zero 3 point field goals was 3/21/92 vs. Connecticut (0-10).
•    The Buckeyes are No. 2 in average turnover margin in the country with +8.0 per game. Ohio State was +7.0 vs. Lamar.
•    Ohio State is No. 2 in the country in average scoring margin of victory (+23.0 ppg).
•    With 19 team assists, Ohio State is averaging 18.6 apg, which places them No. 7 in the country.
•    Entering the game, Lamar had four players averaging double figures. The Buckeyes only allowed two players to score 10 points.
•    Ohio State handed Lamar its first loss since Nov. 30, a 77-72 loss at TCU.
•    The win vs. Lamar was Coach Thad Matta's 201st win at Ohio State

GAME 13 - DEC 22 - Miami University (3-6) at #2 Ohio State (10-1)

Craft    
Craft makes layup and draws foul.  Craft had 8 steals

               OHIO STATE WOMEN DEFEAT WASHINGTON STATE 79-57 TO MOVE TO 13-0
    Ohio State improved to 13-0 with a 79-57 win over Washington State at home.  Earlier this week OSU beat California, another PAC 12 teams on the road.
     Ohio State's combined men's and women's record are 25-1, second in the nation to Baylor's 22-0.  OSU is ranked 11 and 2 in the women and men's AP polls.  Baylor is ranked 1 and 6th, Connecticut is 8 and 2nd and Kentucky is 3 and 8th.  Eight teams are in the top 25 in both men an women's polls.  



Miami of Ohio              17           23            40
Ohio State                    26            43            69

             OHIO STATE USES DEFENSE TO BURY MIAMI OF OHIO 69-40
       Ohio State made 5 of their first 6 shots and led Miami of Ohio 11-0 after four minutes.  Miami never got closer than 7 points after that but outscored OSU 17-15 the last 16 minutes of the first half.    The Bucks rolled in the second half outscoring Miami 43-23 to win by 29.   Miami of Ohio was a 27 point underdog.
        In the first half, the four guards playing for OSU were scoreless but they only shot twice.
        OSU won the game largely on turnover as they only committed 5 turnovers while Miami of Ohio had 18.  OSU also won assists 18-5, steals 9-1 and personal fouls 12-20, outshot Miami 45 to 33%, shot 27% to 14% for Miami on 3 pointer.  Miami outshot OSU from the foul line 89 to 77% and outbounded the Bucks 32-30.  The last two OSU opponent have made 2 of 26 shots from downtown!
        Buford led the Bucks with 18 points on 8 of 16 from the floor, 4 assists and 3 rebounds.  Thomas scored 15 on 7 of 14 with 3 boards.  Sullinger had 11 points on 3 of 9 from the field, 5 of 6 from the line and 6 rebounds.  Craft scored 4 points on 2 of 4 from the field, 8 assists, 3 bounds and 2 steals.  Quinton Ross scored 5 points in his first action in 4 minutes, Ravenel added 4 in 14 minutes and Weatherspoon added 4 in 5 minutes.  
       Freshman, Quinton Ross who became eligible a week ago came into the game with a little less that 4 minutes remaining and 5 seconds later sunk a 3 pointer hitting nothing but net.  The entire OSU bench was up whooping it up - it was awesome.  Ross had two more attempts from downtown that didn't go in but made both foul shots.  The 6'8 shooting guard looks like a great shooter.    The bench was up again a bit later when Scott threw an alley oop pass from mid court that Weatherspoon slammed home.  Weatherspoon has now made 18 of 26 shots for the season with probably half his makes being dunks in 73 minutes!!
      He's unbelievable!" Miami coach Charlie Coles said three times, referring to Craft. "He looks so innocent out there. He's so good you just sit back and watch. If I can't have him, I'm going to enjoy watching him play for somebody else."    “I've had some very good players. But I've never had one of THOSE guys,” Miami coach Charlie Coles, 69, said of Craft. “I   have much longer coaching and I just feel cheated. I feel so cheated.”
 

       Ohio State coach Thad Matta, an assistant to Coles in 1995 and 1997, is perfectly aware of what his point guard means to his team.. "He's kind of everywhere," Matta said. "You see the other four guys watching him hawk the ball and he's just kind of all over the other team. I singled him out during film in a positive way: If you were all like this, they'd never score on you."'

      William Buford led Ohio State (12-1) with 18 points and added four assists to join Jim Jackson, Evan Turner and David Lighty as the only players in program history to have at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists in their careers.
      Julian Mavunga, the leading scorer and rebounder in the Mid-American Conference and one of just three players in the nation averaging more than 20 points and 10 rebounds a game, had eight of Miami's 15 field goals.  He was 8 of 14 from the field with 20 points and 10 rebounds, both game leading stats, but he played 40 minutes while the Buckeye's Big 4 played from 24 to 31 minutes.
       Ohio State if off until December 28th when they open the Big Ten season at home vs Northwestern.  at 2:30 PM PST on Big Ten Network.

     
POSTGAME NOTES
No. 2 Ohio State 69 (12-1), Miami 40 (3-7)
Dec. 22, 2011
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 17,463

Team

The win vs. Miami was the 33rd-consecutive victory at home for Ohio State dating back to the game vs. Michigan Feb. 27, 2010. The streak is the third-longest in the country behind Duke and Kentucky.
The 33 consecutive home game win streak is the second longest in Ohio State history (Ohio State won 50 in a row from 12/1/59 – 12/11/64).
The game was played at Nationwide Arena to satisfy an NCAA requirement. It is the third time Ohio State has played a game at the arena (12/6/03 and 11/24/06).
Ohio State moves to 5-2 all-time vs. the RedHawks (the Buckeyes defeated Miami 66-45 in their last meeting, 11/26/10 in Columbus) and 51-14 vs. members of the MAC (Mid-American Conference).
The Buckeyes have now won by double figures in 10 of their 12 victories this year. Nine of their wins have now been by 22 or more points.
As a ranked team, Ohio State is 407-109 overall and when ranked in the AP Top 10, the Buckeyes are 286-60.
When ranked in the Top 3 of the Associated Press, Ohio State is 143-21.
As the AP No. 2 ranked team in the nation, Ohio State improves to 40-9 overall.
In their last 66 games, the Scarlet and Gray are 60-6.
Against non-conference opponents, Ohio State is 153-24 overall.
Ohio State has won 105 of its last 106 games against unranked opponents in Columbus, including 54 in a row - the longest active streak in the nation.
The Buckeyes own a 114-2 record vs. unranked opponents at home since the 2004-05 season.
This is the 273rd-consecutive game Ohio State has made at least one 3-point field goal (1/10/04 vs. Penn State was the last game with zero made).
The starting lineup of Buford, Craft, Smith, Jr., Sullinger and Thomas is 10-0 this season.
Ohio State began the game on an 11-0 run over the first 4:14.
The Buckeyes are No. 2 in average turnover margin in the country with +8.0 per game. Ohio State was +13.0 vs. Miami.
The Buckeyes had 18 team assists vs. Miami. They are averaging 18.6 apg, which places them No. 7 in the country.
Ohio State scored 25 points off 18 Miami turnovers. Miami scored zero off just five Ohio State turnovers.
Miami's Julian Mavunga scored half of the RedHawks 40 total points, while finishing with a double-double.
Thad Matta

The win vs. Miami was Coach Matta’s 202nd win at Ohio State.
Matta’s career record moves to 304-89 overall and 202-58 at Ohio State.
With the win, Matta moves to 5-0 vs. Miami and 11-1 against members of the MAC.
Matta’s .776 winning percentage is the best among Big Ten coaches since Matta became the Buckeyes’ head coach in 2004.
Ohio State is 48-7 in December under Coach Matta.
Matta is now 169-20 overall vs. unranked teams and 114-2 in Columbus.
Matta is 104-19 vs. non-conference competition at Ohio State.
The Buckeyes are 169-20 overall and 11-0 this season when leading at the half.
Ohio State is 187-5 under Matta when leading with five minutes to play.
The Scarlet and Gray are 121-17 when grabbing more rebounds than the opponent, including 9-0 this season (OSU outrebounded Miami 34-33).
When shooting a better percentage than the opponent, Ohio State improves to 179-18 under Matta, including 12-0 this season.
The Buckeyes improve to 171-45 when limiting themselves to under 15 total turnovers (Ohio State had five turnovers vs. Miami).
The last time Ohio State had five or fewer turnovers in a game was on 2/22/11 vs. Illinois when they had three turnovers.
 William Buford

The start was Buford’s 111th donning the Scarlet and Gray, tying Kelvin Ransey for ninth place in career games started at Ohio State.
With four assists, Buford became just the fourth Buckeye in recorded history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Buford’s current totals are 1,629/523/303.
Buford scored a game- high 18 points for the Buckeyes, improving his career total to 1,629, passing Perry Carter (1,613) and Dave Sorensen (1,622) for eighth all-time in Ohio State career scoring. He is 127 points behind Jay Burson (1,756) for seventh place.
Buford had three rebounds to push his career total to 523. He is one of 17 former Buckeyes in the prestigious 1,500 point and 500 rebound club.
Buford had four assists. He now has 303 for his career.
 Deshaun Thomas

Big Ten Player of the Week Deshaun Thomas finished with 14 points. It is the 23rd time in his career he has scored in double figures.
It is also the 12th-consecutive game Thomas has scored in double figures.
Besides the season opener, Thomas has scored double figures in every game this season.
 
Jared Sullinger
Sullinger had 11 points for the Buckeyes. It is the 10th time this season he has scored in double figures.
Sullinger had six rebounds to push his career rebound total to 478.
 Aaron Craft

With four points, Craft now has 363 for his career.
Craft had two steals. He has 109 for his career. He has had at least one steal in all 12 games this season.
Craft tied a season high with eight assists to push his career total to 250. He has had at least three in every game this season and seven games with five or more. He has 28 in his last five games.
LaQuinton Ross

Ross appeared in his first game as a Buckeye after becoming eligible Dec. 9.
Ross scored his first career field goal with a made 3-point basket in the second half.
Ross also connected on his first career free throws, going 2-2 from the line.

Indeed, the Big Ten is the best conference in the country, according to the Rating Percentage Index, as it prepares to open another season tonight. And it’s not even close.

The Big Ten’s lead in the index over the second-place Atlantic Coast Conference is greater than the gap separating the next five conferences combined


GAME 14 - DEC 28 - Northwestern (9-3)  at #2 Ohio State (12-1)

Buford
Buford scores career high 28 points
Sullly
Sullinger scores 17 points and
grabs 14 rebounds

Northwestern             26             28          54
Ohio State                                                87

                                            OHIO STATE BURIES NORTHWESTERN 87-54 IN BIG TEN OPENER
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was in mid-thought when he suddenly said of Ohio State's William Buford, "I don't know if you'd call it his team but ... he's a senior, right?"Told that Buford was, indeed, the second-ranked Buckeyes' only senior, Carmody muttered, "Thank God."Buford had career-highs of 28 points and five 3-pointers as Ohio State showed off its perimeter shooting in an 87-54 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. "I was just shooting the ball," said Buford, who was 9 of 14 from the field including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. "I was fortunate to knock them down because my teammates were setting great screens for me. They kept telling me to shoot.  "Next-to-last in the conference in 3-pointers at 4.8 per game, the Buckeyes hit seven in the first half to build a big lead and finished 10 for 20 from long range ."We were saving it," Ohio State coach Thad Matta cracked. It wasn't just a bunch of guys firing up shots from a distance, either. Jared Sullinger added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Buckeyes (13-1, 1-0), who dominated the boards  49-30.  Deshaun Thomas had 16 points for Ohio State, which broke the game open with a 13-0 first half run fueled by 3-pointers. Jordan Sibert added 12 points, all on 3s."Thad said at the end when we shook hands, 'This was about as good as we can play,'" Carmody said, adding "And we had a lot to do with .that "The conference's top two scorers, John Shurna and Drew Crawford, had miserable games. They were held to 11 and 13 points, respectively, on a combined 9-for-30 shooting.  The loss was the 31st straight for the Wildcats (10-3) in Columbus, dating to 1977.  Even when Northwestern pared what was a 19-point lead down to 12 in the second half, the Buckeyes pulled away again and Buford led the way.  He hit four free throws in a 10-3 run - all the points coming at the line - to push the lead to 59-39 with 11:55 left. By then, a refreshed Sullinger and point guard Aaron Craft, who sat out for several minutes due to foul trouble, were back on the court and the game was well in hand for Ohio .State  With Surna and Crawford struggling - shadowed wherever they went, taking bad shots when they did get a chance - the Buckeyes took a 41-26 halftime lead.  The pace favored the Wildcats in the early going. They pulled to a tie at 13 on David Curletti's 3 at the 12:16 mark.  But the Buckeyes suddenly found the range behind the arc and the game teetered in their favor.  Sibert just 8 for 31 on 3-pointers coming in, hit 3 of 4, as did Buford. Sibert's 3 ignited a 13-0 rally as the Buckeyes held the Wildcats scoreless for 4:36.  Craft had smacked Sibert's shooting hand in practice recently. Sibert said he had torn ligaments in it, but Sullinger joked that it was just "a little bruise."  The injury certainly didn't seem to bother him.  His four 3s and 12 points were career-highs.  "I had kind of gotten complacent in the spring and summer shooting and I didn't work as hard as I felt I needed to," he said. So he shot 400 or 500 extra shots per night with managers chasing down rebounds.  Matta joked that Sibert's shooting is so much better with the injured hand that even if it required surgery, Sibert would have to play through the  pain.  "We're not going to fix it," Matta said, laughing. "We're going to leave it be.   "Thomas continued the spurt by hitting a short jumper before Buford nailed a 3 and then made the play of the game. Shurna muscled past the smaller Craft and broke free for a short jumper but Buford went high to block it.  That seemed to set the tone for the rest of the surge. Sibert hit another 3 and Buford followed with a perimeter jumper that was first signaled a 3 but then discounted to a two-point basket after a video  review.  The lead never dropped below 11 points again as Ohio State won its 34th straight home game and stayed perfect at home against Northwestern since 11977  .Buford who came in averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds in five previous games against Northwestern, had 13 points and 7 rebounds at hhalftime.  Sullinger said Buford has grown into being a leader after remaining quiet for much of his first couple of years on  campus "WWill'sddoinggreat job," he said. "He's more vocal. He's taking on a lot more of the leadership on himself this yyear"SSibertsaid that with an Ohio State team that only has one senior and one junior (backup post Evan Ravenel), Buford has had a profound effect on the younger pplayers "We look to Will," he said. "He finds a way to make sure our team stays in rhythm." Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/28/2564811/no-2-ohio-state-beats-northwestern.html#storylink=cpy
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was in mid-thought when he suddenly said of Ohio State's William Buford, "I don't know if you'd call it his team but ... he's a senior, right?"Told that Buford was, indeed, the second-ranked Buckeyes' only senior, Carmody muttered, "Thank God."Buford had career-highs of 28 points and five 3-pointers as Ohio State showed off its perimeter shooting in an 87-54 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. "I was just shooting the ball," said Buford, who was 9 of 14 from the field including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. "I was fortunate to knock them down because my teammates were setting great screens for me. They kept telling me to shoot.  "Next-to-last in the conference in 3-pointers at 4.8 per game, the Buckeyes hit seven in the first half to build a big lead and finished 10 for 20 from long  range.  "We were saving it," Ohio State coach Thad Matta cracked.  It wasn't just a bunch of guys firing up shots from a distance, either. Jared Sullinger added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Buckeyes (13-1, 1-0), who dominated the boards 4949-30.  Deshaun Thomas had 16 points for Ohio State, which broke the game open with a 13-0 first half run fueled by 3-pointers. Jordan Sibert added 12 points, all on 3s."Thad said at the end when we shook hands, 'This was about as good as we can play,'" Carmody said, adding "And we had a lot to do with that.  "The conference's top two scorers, John Shurna and Drew Crawford, had miserable games. They were held to 11 and 13 points, respectively, on a combined 9-for-30 shooting.  The loss was the 31st straight for the Wildcats (10-3) in Columbus, dating to 191977.  Evenhen Northwestern pared what was a 19-point lead down to 12 in the second half, the Buckeyes pulled away again and Buford led the waWay.  He hit four free throws in a 10-3 run - all the points coming at the line - to push the lead to 59-39 with 11:55 left. By then, a refreshed Sullinger and point guard Aaron Craft, who sat out for several minutes due to foul trouble, were back on the court and the game was well in hand for Ohio StState  .Withhurna and Crawford struggling - shadowed wherever they went, taking bad shots when they did get a chance - the Buckeyes took a 41-26 halftime lelead.  Theace favored the Wildcats in the early going. They pulled to a tie at 13 on DaDavidurletti's 3 at the 12:16 mamark.  Buthe Buckeyes suddenly found the range behind the arc and the game teetered in their fafavor.  Sibertjust 8 for 31 on 3-pointers coming in, hit 3 of 4, as did Buford. Sibert's 3 ignited a 13-0 rally as the Buckeyes held the Wildcats scoreless for 4:4:36.  Crafthad smacked Sibert's shooting hand in practice recently. Sibert said he had torn ligaments in it, but Sullinger joked that it was just "a little brbruise.  "Thenjury certainly didn't seem to bother hihim.  Hisour 3s and 12 points were cacareer highs had kind of gotten complacent in the spring and summer shooting and I didn't work as hard as I felt I needed to," he said. So he shot 400 or 500 extra shots per night with managers chasing down rerebounds.  Mattajoked that Sibert's shooting is so much better with the injured hand that even if it required surgery, Sibert would have to play through the papain.  "We'reot going to fix it," Matta said, laughing. "We're going to leave it bebe.  "Thomasontinued the spurt by hitting a short jumper before Buford nailed a 3 and then made the play of the game. Shurna muscled past the smaller Craft and broke free for a short jumper but Buford went high to block itit.  Thateemed to set the tone for the rest of the surge. Sibert hit another 3 and Buford followed with a perimeter jumper that was first signaled a 3 but then discounted to a two-point basket after a video rereview  .Theead never dropped below 11 points again as Ohio State won its 34th straight home game and stayed perfect at home against Northwestern since 191977.  Bufordwho came in averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds in five previous games against Northwestern, had 13 points and 7 rebounds at hahalftime.  Sullingeraid Buford has grown into being a leader after remaining quiet for much of his first couple of years on cacampus.  "Will'soing a great job," he said. "He's more vocal. He's taking on a lot more of the leadership on himself this yeyear.  "Sibertaid that with an Ohio State team that only has one senior and one junior (backup post Evan Ravenel), Buford has had a profound effect on the younger plplayers.  "We look to Will," he said. "He finds a way to make sure our team stays in rhythm." Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/28/2564811/no-2-ohio-state-beats-northwestern.html#storylink=cpy

        COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was in mid-thought when he suddenly said of Ohio State's William Buford, "I don't know if you'd call it his team but ... he's a senior, right?"

       Told that Buford was, indeed, the second-ranked Buckeyes' only senior, Carmody muttered, "Thank God."Buford had career-highs of 28 points and five 3-pointers as Ohio State showed off its perimeter shooting in an 87-54 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.  "I was just shooting the ball," said Buford, who was 9 of 14 from the field including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. "I was fortunate to knock them down because my teammates were setting great screens for me. They kept telling me to  shoot.  "Next-to-last in the conference in 3-pointers at 4.8 per game, the Buckeyes hit seven in the first half to build a big lead and finished 10 for 20 from long rrange.  "We were saving it," Ohio State coach Thad Matta ccracked.  Itwasn't just a bunch of guys firing up shots from a distance, either.
      Jared Sullinger added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Buckeyes (13-1, 1-0), who dominated the boards 49-30.  Deshaun Thomas had 16 points for Ohio State, which broke the game open with a 13-0 first half run fueled by 3-pointers. Jordan Sibert added 12 points, all on 3s."Thad said at the end when we shook hands, 'This was about as good as we can play,' " Carmody said, adding "And we had a lot to do with that.  "The conference's top two scorers, John Shurna and Drew Crawford, had miserable games. They were held to 11 and 13 points, respectively, on a combined 9-for-30 shooting.
      The loss was the 31st straight for the Wildcats (10-3) in Columbus, dating to 1977.   Even when Northwestern pared what was a 19-point lead down to 12 in the second half, the Buckeyes pulled away again and Buford led the Way.  He hit four free throws in a 10-3 run -- all the points coming at the line -- to push the lead to 59-39 with 11:55 left. By then, a refreshed Sullinger and point guard Aaron Craft, who sat out for several minutes due to foul trouble, were back on the court and the game was well in hand for Ohio  State.  With Shurna and Crawford struggling -- shadowed wherever they went, taking bad shots when they did get a chance -- the Buckeyes took a 41-26 halftime llead.  The pace favored the Wildcats in the early going. They pulled to a tie at 13 on Davide Curletti's 3 at the 12:16 mark.  But the Buckeyes suddenly found the range behind the arc and the game teetered in their favor.  Sibert, just 8 for 31 on 3-pointers coming in, hit 3 of 4, as did Buford. Sibert's 3 ignited a 13-0 rally as the Buckeyes held the Wildcats scoreless for  4:36.  Crafthad smacked Sibert's shooting hand in practice recently. Sibert said he had torn ligaments in it, but Sullinger joked that it was just "a little brubruise.  "Thenjury certainly didn't seem to bother himhim.  Hisur 3s and 12 points were carcareer highsad kind of gotten complacent in the spring and summer shooting and I didn't work as hard as I felt I needed to," he said. So he shot 400 or 500 extra shots per night with managers chasing down rebrebounds.  Mattaoked that Sibert's shooting is so much better with the injured hand that even if it required surgery, Sibert would have to play through the paipain.  "We'renot going to fix it," Matta said, laughing. "We're going to leave it be.be.  "Thomascontinued the spurt by hitting a short jumper before Buford nailed a 3 and then made the play of the game. Shurna muscled past the smaller Craft and broke free for a short jumper but Buford went high to block it.it.  Thatemed to set the tone for the rest of the surge. Sibert hit another 3 and Buford followed with a perimeter jumper that was first signaled a 3 but then discounted to a two-point basket after a video revreview.  Thead never dropped below 11 points again as Ohio State won its 34th straight home game and stayed perfect at home against Northwestern since 1977.
     Buford, who came in averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds in five previous games against Northwestern, had 13 points and 7 rebounds at halftime.  Sullinger said Buford has grown into being a leader after remaining quiet for much of his first couple of years on campus.  "Will's doing a great job," he said. "He's more vocal. He's taking on a lot more of the leadership on himself this  year.  "Sibert said that with an Ohio State team that only has one senior and one junior (backup post Evan Ravenel), Buford has had a profound effect on the younger players.  "We look to Will," he said. "He finds a way to make sure our team stays in rhythm."
      The 87 points scored by OSU was their 2nd highest total of the season.  Sullinger had a season high 14 rebounds.
       OSU out shot Northwestern 4a8 to 32% and won 3 pointers 50 to 35%, rebounds 48-28, assists 5-10, turnovers 9-11 and personal fouls 17-22.  Northwestern made 68% of their fouls shots compared to 63% for OSU.
       This was the 12 time in 13 games that OSU had fewer turnovers than their opponent and had more assists and had a better field goal %.     It was the 10th time in 13 games that OSU committed fewer fouls than their opponent and won the rebound battle.  
 
     
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Northwestern coach Bill Carmody was in mid-thought when he suddenly said of Ohio State's William Buford, "I don't know if you'd call it his team but ... he's a senior, right?"Told that Buford was, indeed, the second-ranked Buckeyes' only senior, Carmody muttered, "Thank God."Buford had career-highs of 28 points and five 3-pointers as Ohio State showed off its perimeter shooting in an 87-54 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. "I was just shooting the ball," said Buford, who was 9 of 14 from the field including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. "I was fortunate to knock them down because my teammates were setting great screens for me. They kept telling me to shoot.  "Next-to-last in the conference in 3-pointers at 4.8 per game, the Buckeyes hit seven in the first half to build a big lead and finished 10 for 20 from long  range.  "We were saving it," Ohio State coach Thad Matta crcracked.  Itwasn't just a bunch of guys firing up shots from a distance, either. Jared Sullinger added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Buckeyes (13-1, 1-0), who dominated the boards 4949-30.  Deshaun Thomas had 16 points for Ohio State, which broke the game open with a 13-0 fifirst halfrun fueled by 3-pointers. Jordan Sibert added 12 points, all on 3s."Thad said at the end when we shook hands, 'This was about as good as we can play,'" Carmody said, adding "And we had a lot to do with ththat.  "Theonference's top two scorers, John Shurna and Drew Crawford, had miserable games. They were held to 11 and 13 points, respectively, on a combined 9-for-30 shshooting.  The loss was the 31st straight for the Wildcats (10-3) in Columbus, dating to 191977.  Evenhen Northwestern pared what was a 19-point lead down to 12 in the second half, the Buckeyes pulled away again and Buford led the waWay.  He hit four free throws in a 10-3 run - all the points coming at the line - to push the lead to 59-39 with 11:55 left. By then, a refreshed Sullinger and point guard Aaron Craft, who sat out for several minutes due to foul trouble, were back on the court and the game was well in hand for Ohio StState.  Withhurna and Crawford struggling - shadowed wherever they went, taking bad shots when they did get a chance - the Buckeyes took a 41-26 halftime lelead.  Theace favored the Wildcats in the early going. They pulled to a tie at 13 on DaDavidurletti's 3 at the 12:16 mamark.  Buthe Buckeyes suddenly found the range behind the arc and the game teetered in their fafavor.  Sibertjust 8 for 31 on 3-pointers coming in, hit 3 of 4, as did Buford. Sibert's 3 ignited a 13-0 rally as the Buckeyes held the Wildcats scoreless for 4:4:36.  Crafthad smacked Sibert's shooting hand in practice recently. Sibert said he had torn ligaments in it, but Sullinger joked that it was just "a little brbruise.  "Thenjury certainly didn't seem to bother hihim.  Hisour 3s and 12 points were cacareer highs had kind of gotten complacent in the spring and summer shooting and I didn't work as hard as I felt I needed to," he said. So he shot 400 or 500 extra shots per night with managers chasing down rerebounds.  Mattajoked that Sibert's shooting is so much better with the injured hand that even if it required surgery, Sibert would have to play through the papain.  "We'reot going to fix it," Matta said, laughing. "We're going to leave it bebe.  "Thomasontinued the spurt by hitting a short jumper before Buford nailed a 3 and then made the play of the game. Shurna muscled past the smaller Craft and broke free for a short jumper but Buford went high to block itit.  Thateemed to set the tone for the rest of the surge. Sibert hit another 3 and Buford followed with a perimeter jumper that was first signaled a 3 but then discounted to a two-point basket after a video rereview.  Theead never dropped below 11 points again as Ohio State won its 34th straight home game and stayed perfect at home against Northwestern since 191977.  Bufordwho came in averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds in five previous games against Northwestern, had 13 points and 7 rebounds at hahalftime.  Sullingeraid Buford has grown into being a leader after remaining quiet for much of his first couple of years on cacampus.  "Will'soing a great job," he said. "He's more vocal. He's taking on a lot more of the leadership on himself this yeyear.  "Sibertaid that with an Ohio State team that only has one senior and one junior (backup post Evan Ravenel), Buford has had a profound effect on the younger plplayers  ."We look to Will," he said. "He finds a way to make sure our team stays in rhythm." Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/12/28/2564811/no-2-ohio-state-beats-northwestern.html#storylink=cpy

GAME 15 - DEC 31 - #2 Ohio State at #13 Indiana

Craft
Craft led Bucks with 16 points

 Ohio State       32            38          70
 indiana              33            41           74

                                            OHIO STATE FOULS WAY TO DEFEAT BY INDIANA 74-70
       The Buckeyes came storming out of the gate which is usually the norm for the Buckeyes.   But the entire game changed on one call, a charging foul on Sullinger that the announcers said 'that wasn't a bad call, that was a horrible call'.   It was Sullinger's 2nd foul and he went to the bench with the Bucks ahead 19-9.  The Buckeye well oiled machine never surfaced again as Sullinger set out the last 11 minutes of the half, Thomas sat out about 12 minutes of the half and Buford about 4 minutes of the half as each had 2 fouls.  The three combined to play 29 minutes in the first half.  The remaining players couldn't play with Indiana.  But Indiana was only ahead by one at the half and the entire 2nd half was played with neither team ahead by more than 5 points.  The Bucks foul troubles continued but the starters played most of the 2nd half but Sully, Buford, Thomas and Ravenel all finished with 4 fouls and played tentative defense giving Indiana one lay up after another.  OSU was only able to get the ball to Sullinger enough to take 5 shots although he had 13 foul shots as he was fouled on most attempts.  

     The Bucks had a shot of winning but with Indiana up 2, Buford missed a long 3 pointer with 5 seconds remaining.   It was an exciting last 5+ minutes as there were 10 lead changes or ties!
      The Bucks outshot Indiana 59 to to 46%, shot 73% on foul shots to Indiana's 68%, won bounds 34-26 and assists 11-6.  But the two key stats that the Bucks almost always win are turnovers which Indiana won 11 to 17 and fouls which Indiana won 20-22.  Indiana shot 39% from downtown to 27% for OSU.
       Craft lead OSU scoring with 16 points on 6 of 10 from the field with 5 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals but 6 huge turnovers in 38 minutes.   Sullinger added 15 on 3 of 5 from the field and 9 of 13 from the line and 9 boards with 3 turnovers in 29 minutes.  Smith played the best of any starter with 12 points on 4 of 8 from the field, 6 boards and 3 assists in 30 minutes.  Buford never got untracked scoring 8 points on 3 of 7 with 4 bounds and 3 assists in 26 minutes.          Thomas scored 5 points on 2 of 6 with 3 boards in 21 minutes.  Ravenel scored 4 with 3 boards and 3 blocks in 19 minutes.  Sam Thompson was the most effective reserve making 3 of 6 shots including two alley oop slams and scored 6 points.  
 
      Indiana becomes the ninth team since 1996-97 to beat both a No. 1 and a No. 2 in one season, and it joins Kansas in 2007-08 and Louisville in 2003-04 as the only teams over that span to achieve the feat in the same month. Only Louisville did it during the regular season.

GAME 16 - JAN 3 - Nebraska (8-5) at #6 Ohio State (13-2)

Craft
Craft tallied 4 points, 4 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals
Nebraska          20           20             40
Ohio State           44          27              71

                                            OHIO STATE REBOUNDS BY NEBRASKA 71-40
       The twenty-three point favorite Buckeyes took out their loss to Indiana on Nebraska in the first half.  With Sullinger sinking a three pointer just before the buzzer, the Bucks led 44-20 at the half.  The Bucks made 17 of 21 two point shots and all 4 foul shots. Nine players shot for the Buckeyes and 7 made at least 2/3rds of their shots.  Smith was 1 of 2, both 3 pointers and Sibert was 0-1.  The 3 scorers all shot 6 times with Sullinger making 5 and Buford and Thomas 4 each.  Craft was 2 for 3 with 4 bounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
        The Bucks coasted in the 2nd half and won 71-40 led by Sullinger 19 points and 13 bounds.   OSU outshot Nebraska 54 to 31%, won  3 point shots 12% (2 of 17) to 11% (2 of 18), won boards 41-19, assists 11-7 and personal fouls 13 to 15.   Nebraska won foul shooting 100% (6 for 6) to 69%, steals 13-9 and turnovers 17 to 19.
      Sullinger led the Bucks with 19 points on 8 of 13 and 13 boards.  Thomas scored 15 on 7 of 9 and 4 boards.  Buford picked up 13 points on 6 of 11, 6 boards, 4 assists and 6 turnover.  Buford made all 6 two point shots and missed all 5 three point shots.  Craft has 4 points 5 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals and 1 turnover.  Weatherspoon made all 3 shots off the bench for 6 points.
     McCray (13), Richardson (11) and Spencer (10) scored 35 of the 41 tallied by Nebraska.  
     
Doc Sadler, Nebraska head coach
On the game tonight
“We knew we were coming here to play a good basketball team and that wasn’t a surprise. Defensively, they [Ohio State] are so long and physical. I don’t know if it was just us, but I think that is the best defensive game they have played. They had intensity and they sustained it. The hard thing to do, when you get up on a team, like they did, is to not let up. I don’t think they did. That is a credit to their players and coaching staff.”



        
   

GAME 17 - JAN 7 - #6 Ohio State (14-2, 2-1) at Iowa (10-6, 2-1)

Sully    Weatherspoon
Sullinger scores 2 of season high 28 points      Weatherspoon dunking for 2 of 8 points

Carver

Game action at Carver-Hawkeye arena
Ohio State            28           48             76
Iowa                       19           28             47

                    OHIO STATE CRUSHES IOWA ON ROAD 78-49 BEHIND SULLINGER'S 28 POINTS
       The Buckeyes got in foul trouble in the first half on the road against Iowa much like Indiana.  Craft, Thomas and Smith all had 2 fouls in the first 9 minutes and sat the rest of the half.  Meanwhile Buford was going 0 for 10!  Fortunately Sullinger made 7 of 9 including a 3 pointer, and in the last 11 minutes of the half OSU out scored a cold shooting Iowa (5 for 23) 19-9 with 3 starters on the bench.  The key player may have been Scott who replaced Craft and had 5 assists, 5 rebounds and no turnovers.  Craft had 3 turnovers in the first 4 minutes of the game.
       Ohio State stayed out of foul trouble in the 2nd half and buried Iowa, leading by as much as 33 points and winning 78-49.  Iowa had no answer for Sullinger who scored 28 points on 13 of 18 from the field.  Sully also gabbed 8 bounds and had 4 steals.  Thomas contributed 8 on 4 of 6 from the field with 4 boards and 3 assists.  Buford finished with 8 points on 3 of 14 from the field but grabbed 11 bounds, dished out 5 assists and had 3 steals.  Weatherspoon came off the bench to score 8 points on 4 of 6 from the field in 16 minutes.  Scott scored 5 points, grabbed 5 bounds and handed out 6 assists with 2 steals and only 1 turnover in 18 minutes.  Craft scored 4 on 2 of 4, with 3 bounds, 3 assists, a steal and 3 turnovers.  Smith scored 6 on 2 of 3 from downtown.
      OSU out shot Iowa 52 to 32%, won 3 point battle 50 to 25%, won rebound 39-29, won assists 21-7, steals 12-10, and turnovers 15 to 20.  Iowa made 77% of their foul shots to 43% for the Bucks and committed 10 fouls to 18 for OSU.
      Sullinger is averaging 16.4 points a game and shooting 61% from the floor, Thomas is scoring 14.9 points a game and shooting 55%.  Buford is averaging 15.4 points a game and shooting 43% from the field.  
      Iowa's 47 points were 8 lower than prior low of the season vs Clemson.  The 29 point loss was the largest of the season beating the 23 point loss to Creighton.
      Michigan State is 3-0 in Big Ten play followed by OSU and Illinois at 3-1.  Purdue, Michigan and  Indiana are 2-1.  OSU next game is at Illinois on January 10th.  
 
      One more point at Iowa would have given Ohio State three  3-pointmargins of victory among its first four in Big Ten play; it beat Northwestern 87-54 on Dec. 28. The last OSU team with at least two 33-pointconference wins in a season? The 1961 team had four.
     The Buckeyes outscored Nebraska and Iowa by a combined 60 points by making more than half their shots from the field and continuing to defend better than any other team in NCAA Division I, according to efficiency ratings. One of their past six opponents (Indiana) has shot better than 35 percent, and none has had many second-chance scores because of the Buckeyes’ dominance of the defensive boards.
    
28 points were a season high. His 13 field goals tied a career high, and for added measure he tacked on four steals, also tying his career high.
      “Sometimes you try to simulate it (in practice),” McCaffery said, “but he’s a hard guy to simulate because he’s just so quick, he’s so elusive for a guy with that size.   “He’s got the best pair of hands I’ve ever seen. He catches everything. He finishes everything. And he’s amazingly quick, whether it’s a spin or an up-and-under, whatever he’s doing.”
                          Sullinger is Big Ten player of the week
       Ohio State sophomore Jared Sullinger was named the Big Ten's player of the week in men's basketball, the first time this season he's won the award. He earned the honor four times last season.
       Sullinger averaged a double-double (23.5 points, 10 rebounds) in Ohio State's wins over Nebraska and Iowa. After scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against the Cornhuskers, he had a season high 28 points against the Hawkeyes.



GAME 18 - JAN 10 - #5 Ohio State (15-2, 3-1) at Illinois (14-3, 3-1)
 
Paul      Buford
Paul toasts Craft and others for 43 points                                Buford had another sub par game making 7 of 18 shots.
Paul
Brandon Paul sinks on of his eight 3-pointers on way to 43 points as Smith
(32) and Sullinger (0) defend





 

 




Ohio State            39           35             74
Iowa                       34           45             79

     
   BRANDON PAUL 43 LEADS ILLINOIS OVER BUCKS 79-74
     Brandon Paul poured in 43 points including 8 of 10 three pointers and 13 of 15 foul shots to lead Illinois to a comeback 79-74 victory over Ohio State.  Paul scored 28 of Illinois' 45 points in the second half.   Paul outscored OSU 15-8 in the last 2:43 of the game on two from downtown and 9 foul shots.   The killer was a three pointer with 43 seconds left when the Illini had the ball out of bounds with 4 seconds left on the clock.  Paul received the pass just inside the the out of bounds line with Craft practically in his jersey and went up and sunk the 3 pointer to give the Illini a 4 point lead.
     The Bucks led 48-39 with 16:44 remaining and seemed to have the game in hand.   But Paul's 12th and 13th point of the have gave Illinois a 58-55 lead with 10 minutes remaining.  The Buckeyes held Paul scoreless for the next 7 minutes of the game and took a two point lead before Paul went wild in the last 2:43.
      The Illini dominated the stats especially shooting stats.  The Illini outshot OSU 60 to 47%, 61 to 33% from downtown and 82 to 78% from the charity line.  Illinois also won assists 12-10, steals 9-6, and fouls 10 to 15.  The Bucks won bounds 26-25 and turnovers 11-17.  
      Thomas led the Bucks with 23 points on 8 of 12 and 6 of 7 foul shots and 6 bounds.  Sullinger scored 21 points on 9 of 16 with 5 boards and 3 steals.  Buford added 15 on 7 of 18 with 3 boards, 2 steals and 4 turnovers.  Craft added 12 on 6 of 11 with 4 boards, 7 assists and a steal.  Thompson got 18 of the 26 bench minutes but the bench was scoreless on 0 for 5 from the floor with 4 boards and 1 assists.  The Illini bench was scoreless in 19 minutes.
       It was a great victory for the 8.5 point underdog Illini as their point guard was out with an injury.
       Paul's 43 points was the 3rd most ever for Illinois and the most OSU has given up since Scott  Skiles scored 43 for Michigan State in 1986.  Paul was only the 3rd player ever to score 40+ points with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks in a single game.  He also had 7 turnovers.  There were only 4 blocked shots in the game and 6'4" Brandon Paul had all 4!   Paul, a Junior, came into the game averaging 12 points a game.  
       Illinois has won 14 straight games at home.  Looks like a wide open race as it is difficult to win on the road, especially at Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State and Michigan.  I thought originally that OSU would go 16-2 in the Big Ten.  Now I believe 14-4 may be good enough to win the Big Ten.  OSU plays Michigan State twice including the last game of the Big Ten season at Michigan State.  OSU, Michigan St and Indiana are all ranked in the top 10 teams.

       Brandon Paul Line:
                                FGM  FGA  FG%  3PM  3PA  3P % FTM   FTA   REB   BLK   PTS
Brandon Paul               11    15     73.3      8       10    80     13        15       8        4        43

      The Buckeyes rank No. 2 in both scoring offense (77.8 ppg.) and scoring defense (56.2 ppg.) after a 15-3 overall start. Ohio State’s scoring margin of 21.6 ppg. leads the league while the .494 field goal shooting percentage rates in the No. 2 spot. Led by Jared Sullinger, Ohio State is among the Top 2 teams in rebounding offense (37.3 rpg., No. 2) and rebounding defense (28.9 rpg., No. 1). Overall, the Buckeyes are No. 2 in rebound margin (+8.4 rpg.). Behind Aaron Craft, Ohio State is the leader in assists (17.0 apg.) and turnover margin (+6.4) on the year among Big Ten teams. The Buckeyes also have the highest attendance in the league with 15,586 attending on average this season.


       
GAME 19 - JAN 15 - #8 Indiana (15-2, 3-2) at #5 Ohio State (15-3, 3-2)

Smith
Smith
 explodes for 28 on 10 of 12 from the field with 7 boards
Sully
Sullinger scores 16, grabs 9 boards
Indiana           14           49           63
Ohio State         35           45           80

     
   SMITH LEADS BUCKEYES OVER HOOSIERS 80-63
      As expected in this corner the Bucks came out for blood in the first half and buried Indiana 31-14 at the break.  Ohio State lost at Indiana earlier largely due to calling ticky tac fouls. At the half Sullinger was only 1-6 from the field. Lenzelle Smith picked up the slack hitting 4 of 5 from down down on his way to a career high 18 at the half.  He was 7 of 9 from the field while the remaining Buckeyes were 7 for 20.   OSU won turnovers 6-11 and rebounds 17-13 and outshot Indiana 48 to 27%.  OSU outshot the leading 3 point team in the nation 50 to 14%.  OSU defense was so stifling that Indiana went 9 minutes in one stretch without scoring a single point.
       OSU used a big first half to defeat Indiana 80-63.  OSU won most of the stats out shooting Indiana 54 to 43%, 40 to 33% from downtown, won bounds 30-26, assists 16-12, steals 10-4, turnovers 12 to 16 and fouls 15 to 19.  Indiana outshot OSU from the foul line 73 to 63%.
       Lenzelle Smith scored a career high 28 (previous high 12) points on 10 of 12 shots including 4 of 5 from downtown and 4 of 6 foul shots along with 7 boards and 0 turnovers.  Sullinger scored 14 of his 16 points in the 2nd half on 7 of 14 with 9 boards and 2 steals.  Buford scored 12 points on 5 of 12 and had a trifecta 4 with boards, assists and turnovers.  Thomas added 11 on 5 of 9 with 3 boards and 3 assists.  Craft chipped in with 8 points on 3 of 6 and only 2 of 4 from the line with 7 assists, 3 boards and 3 steals with no turnovers in 33 minutes.  The  benchwas 1 of 4 for 5 points in 32 minutes of action.  
        Despite 49 points in the 2nd half by Indiana their 63 points for the game was a season low by 2 points
       After 19 games OSU shooting % are Sullinger 60%, Thomas 55%, Smith 53%, Craft 47% and Buford 42%.  On 3 point attempts Smith shoots 55%, Sullinger 44%, Thomas 36%, Buford 36% and Craft 28%.  Rebounds per game are Sullinger 9.4, Smith 4.7, Buford 4.6, Thomas 4.1 and Craft 2.8.  Assists:  Craft 5.1 per game, Buford 3.5, Smith 2.1, Thomas 1 and Sullinger .9.  Turnover:  
Smith 1.1, Thomas 1.3, Sullinger 1.5, Craft 2.1,  Buford 2.2.  Buford's stats are pretty bad.
      OSU has now won 36 straight at home including 4 over top ten teams by an average of 18 points!
      Illinois and Michigan State now lead the Big Ten at 4-1 followed by OSU and Michigan at 4-2.  



     .
     
GAME 20 - JAN 21 - #6 Ohio State (16-3, 4-2) at Nebraska (10-8, 2-5)

Thompson
Thompson causing one of 28 turnovers for Nebraska.
Ohio State         36           43           79
Nebraska             20           25           45

     
   DEFENSE ENABLES OSU TO BURY NEBRASKA 79-45
   
OSU started slowly as Nebraska led 8-5 after 4+ minutes.  The Buckeye defense turned it up another notch and outscored the Cornhuskers 13-0 over the next 6 minutes.  After Nebraska closed within 24-18 Ohio State went on a 12-2  run to end the half.  OSU out scored 11 point underdog Nebraska in the last 15:44 of the half 31-12.  The key for the half was defense that enabled OSU to win the turnover battle 10-3 and out shoot Nebraska 44 to 25% and 36 to 11% from downtown.  Nebraska won the board battle 21-13.   Sullinger sat out about 6 minutes and only scored 2 points and had 1 board.   Thomas with 10, Buford 8 and Ravenel 7 led the offense.  Spencer and Ubel each scored 6 points, but McCray was 0-8 with 4 turnovers.
     OSU continued their defense in the 2nd half and extended the 31-12 for the last 16 minutes to 44-17 and eventually won 79-45.  OSU outshot Nebraska 43 to 30%, three pointers 38 to 18%, won assists 13-8, steals 13-4, turnovers 11 to 28 and fouls 21 to 24.  Nebraska outshot OSU from foul line 70 to 66% and won boards 37 to 31.  Nebraska 28 turnovers was highest of season by at least 7.   Their 29.5% shooting was also a season low.
     Buford led OSU with 15 on 6 of 13 including 3 of 5 from downtown and 0 turnovers.  Thomas scored 14 on 5 of 9 and 6 boards.  Sullinger scored 14 on 4 of 9 from the field with 5 boards and 3 steals.  Craft scored 7 points on 1 of 4 and 4 of 4 from the foul line with 3 boards, 3 turnovers and 2 steals.  Ravenel added 7 off the bench on 3 of 5 and 5 bounds.  The Bucks had 12 players score 2 or more points and 11 players grabbed a bound.  Thompson had 3 blocks and Scott had 3 assists.
     OSU's two leading three point shooters are Smith 50% (16 for 32) and Sullinger 47% (8 of 17).
      OSU leads the nation in victory margin beating opponents by an average of 21.95 points a game.
     Nebraska's worst two losses other than OSU was 24 to Wisconsin and 13 to Michigan State.  OSU beat Nebraska by 31 in Columbus and 34 today in Lincoln.
      Every Big Ten team has won and lost at least two games.  Michigan State, Michigan and OSU are first at 5-2 and Illinois is 4-2.
       
It was possibly the worst home loss in Huskers history. The school media guide does not indicate whether a 37 point loss to Chicago Central in 1905 was at home or away.

      Next opponent is Penn State at home on January 25
     Three of top 5 teams lost today, two at home.  OSU will likely move up a spot or two from their current 6th place in the AP poll. 
 
GAME 21 - JAN 25 - Penn State (10-11, 2-6) at #4 Ohio State (17-3, 5-2)


Craft

Sullinger (0) feeds Craft for first 2 points of game.

Thomas
Thomas posts up defender
Penn State            18           36         54 
 Ohio State         38           40         78
 

     
   DEFENSE ENABLES OSU TO BURY PENN STATE 78-54
   
OSU's defense was tough again.  The Buckeyes led 19-4 with 10:10 left in the first half and OSU increased the lead to 38-18 at the half.  OSU held Penn State to 22% shooting while OSU shot 50%.  Craft made all four shots and led the Bucks with 11 points while holding Penn States ace, Tim Frazier to four points on 2 of 9 shooting.  Penn State was playing in Columbus as earlier in the day Joe Paterno, football coach for 46 years at Penn State,  was being buried in Pennsylvania.
       The Bucks coasted in the 2nd half and beat 23 point underdog Penn State 78-54.  OSU outshot Penn State 50 to 31%, 35 to 31% from downtown 70-56% from the foul line, won bounds 41-31, assists 16-8, and fouls 17 to 26.  Penn State had only 11 turnovers to 13 for OSU to win the one category OSU normally wins.
        Sullinger led the Bucks with 20 points and 13 boards on 7 of 11 from the floor and 6 of 7 from the line.  Buford tallied 15 on 3 of 7 from the floor and 6 of 6 from the line and 9 bounds.  Craft added 11 on 4 of 4 from the field, but only 2 of 5 from the line with 3 assists in 22 minutes of action.  Thomas added 9 on 4 of 11 plus 7 boards. Weatherspoon added 8 on 2 of 2 and 4 of 5 free throws in 10 minutes of action.  Thompson added 6 on 2 of 3, along with 3 assists and two blocks.  Williams added 2 with 4 boards and 3 blocks in 8 minutes of action.
       Four of the 5 leading shot blockers for OSU come off the bench.   Williams leads with 17 in 151 minutes, Sullinger has 16 blocks in 528 minutes, Thompson 9 in 232 minutes, Ravenel 7 in 252 minutes and Weatherspoon 4 in 137 minutes
.

        Tim Frazier led the Nittany Lions (10-12, 2-7) with 16 points, but he had only six when Craft left the game with 131/2 minutes remaining. Frazier also had four assists and no steals. He entered the game leading the Big Ten in all three categories in conference games.

       “I thought Craft did a great job on him,” Chambers (Penn State Coach) said. “Yesterday, I had a couple of our second-team guys just really get after Tim and really play physical and really play tough because that’s how Craft plays. I think he got into Tim a little bit mentally and physically.”

        OSU has won 15 straight at home where they look unbeatable.  Their two closest games were a 7 point win over Florida and 17 points over Indiana!  In ten of the 15 home games OSU adminstered the opponets worst defeat of the season and four others the 2nd worst defeat!  It was OSU's 37th straight home victory, 2nd longest streak to Kentucky's 47.    Fiftieth of the 18 Buck victories have been by at least 20 points.  
         Going into this game OSU caused 18.6 turnovers a game, 2nd in the nation.  OSU holds opponent to 8.9 assists a game, 9th in the nation.  OSU holds opponents to 56 points a game , 9th in the nation.  OSU is 8th in the nation with 1.42 assists per turnover.  OSU leads the nation outscoring opposition by 22 points a game.  Kentucky and Missouri are next at 19.8 points a game.  OSU is 13th in rebound margin at 7.5 per game.
        Craft is 11th in nation at 2.5 steals a game.   OSU, Kentucky and Missouri had the top 10 players in plus points while playing.  Sullinger is first as OSU wins by 19.4 points when he is playing, Buford 6th at 16.8, Craft 7th at 16.5 and Thomas 8th at 16.2 points.
     OSU next game is vs Michigan, one of three teams with 6-2 conference records along with OSU and Michigan St.
       

GAME 22 - JAN 29 - #20 Michigan (16-5, 6-2) at # 4 Ohio State (18-3, 6-2)

Craft
Bruce attempts to drive by Craft
Matta
Matta directs traffic
Michigan             21           28         49
 Ohio State        24           40         64
 

     
           OSU BEATS MICHIGAN 64-49 TO MOVE INTO FIRST
       Michigan a 14 point underdog played the Buckeyes tough for 35 minutes but OSU pulled away at the end to win 64-49.  OSU outshot Michigan 43 o 36%, hit 83 to 75% for Michigan on free throws and won boards 37-22, steals 6 to 5, turnovers 10 to 13 and personal fouls 13 to 16.  Michigan hit 32% from downtown to 20% for OSU.  Both teams had 10 assists.
        OSU was led by Lenzell Smith who scored 17 points on 6 of 12 from the field and 5 of 5 from the charity stripe.  He also had a game high 12 boards.  Sulllinger scored 13 points on 5 of 11 and 5 boards in 28 minutes.  Thomas scored 12 points on 4 of 9 with 5 boards.  Buford scored 12 of 5 of 13 with 5 boards, 2 assists and 6 turnovers.  Craft chipped in with 7 on 3 of 4 from the field with 4 assists and 2 steals.  The reservers were 0 for 5 in 29 minutes.  Scott had 2 boards and 2 steals in 4 minutes of action.
        Trey Burke, Michigan's very good freshman point guard played Craft to a draw while scoring 13 points on 5 of 11 from the field, 5 assists, 2 steals and 5 turnovers in 39 minutes.  Burke played high school basketball with Sullinger and Weatherspoon at Northland but was a year behind them.  Tim Hardaway led Michigan with 15 points on 5 of 12 shooting with 5 boards.
         
Ohio State covered the odds for the 8th straight win.  Michigan's 15 points loss was 2nd worse of the year to a 16 point loss to Iowa.  In 16 home wins, OSU has now adminstered their opponents worst loss in 13 games and 2nd worst in 2 games!!  Eighteen of the Bucks 19 wins have been by at least 15 points.
          OSU adminstered Michigan 2nd worst loss of the season and held them to a season low in points.  In 16 home games, OSU has administered their opponents worst loss 11 times and 2nd worse 4 times and 3rd worse once.  They are winning by an NCAA leading 22 points a game.  
         Big Ten standings are now:  Ohio State 7-2, Michigan State 6-2, Michigan 6-3, Wisconsin 6-3, Purdue 5-4, Illinois 4-4 and Indiana and Minnesota at 4-5. 


GAME 23 - FEB 4 -   #3 Ohio State (19-3, 7-2) at #20 Wisconsin  (18-5, 7-3)

Sully
Sullinger fouled on way to 24 points and 10 rebounds.
Smith
Lenzell Smith fouled by Jordan Taylor who saw his streak of
159 minutes without a turnover end.

Ohio State             28           30        58
Wisconsin              24           28        52
 

     
                                 SULLINGER POWERS OSU OVER WISCONSIN 58-52
       OSU went to Sullinger early as Wisconsin tried to guard him with one man, their 7 footer Jared Berggran.  Sullinger hit his first 3 shots and added a free throw in the first 2:39 of the game, but OSU only led 7-6.  Sully added two buckets in the next 6 minutes and OSU led 15-10.  Wisconsin went on a 9-1 streak to take their last lead of the game at 18-15.  OSU closed out the half on a 13-6 run to lead 28-24.  Almost the entire 2nd half had OSU ahead from 3 to 7 points.  Wisconsin closed within 1, but Buford responded with a huge 3 with 2:28 left in the game.  Craft and Buford each sunk 2 foul shots in the last minute and OSU defeated one point  underdog Wisconsin 58-52.  It was Matta's first win in Wisconsin in ten tries!

      Both teams played great defense most of the game.  Wisconsin leads the nation with only 9 turnovers a game and both teams had exactly 9 turnovers today.  OSU outshot Wisconsin 43 to 40% from he floor and made 1 of 7 three pointers compared with 5 of 27 for Wisconsin.  OSU made 13 of 16 free throws while Wisconsin was 3 for 3.  Wisconsin was outrebounded by OSU 30-25 and OSU won fouls 12 to 15.  The Badgers won assists 10-8 and steals 7-5.
       In the two key individual matches, Sullinger got the best of Berggren by scoring 24 on 8 of 16 from the floor and 8 of 10 from the foul line with 10 boards and 3 steals.  Berggren scored 10 on 4 of 8 from the field with 3 bounds and 2 blocks.  In the battle between the two best point guards in the conference, Taylor had a slight edge in stats scoring 10 points on 4 of 10 from the field and 3 of 3 from the line with 6 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers, all in the 2nd half.  Taylor had a streak of 159 consecutive minutes without a turnover
broken by the three 2nd half turnovers.  Craft scored 4 points on 1 of 3 from the field and 2 of 3 from the foul line with 1 bound, 3 assists, 1 steal and 3 turnovers.  His foul shot miss was huge as OSU led by 1 with less then 3 minutes remaining when Craft missed the first of a 1 and 1.     
      Thomas was huge for the Buckeyes adding 16 points on 8 of 15 from the field with 4 bounds.  Buford was only 4 of 15 from the field with 6 boards and 3 turnovers.    Smith added 3 as he made 1 of 2 shots and grabbed 4 bounds.  Scott played 8 excellent minutes getting 2 steals and 2 assists, but the bench was scoreless and didn't take a shot in 21 minutes. Wisconsin's bench scored 3 points on 1 of 8 from the field in 32 minutes.
        This was the 9th straight win that OSU has beat the betting spread.
         
The Badgers were forced to take nearly half of them from outside the three-point arc and made 5 of 27, and the nation’s most efficient defense strengthened its hold on No. 1. Ohio State is allowing 77.6 points per 100 possessions; the next best, Wisconsin, is allowing 82. Since allowing a season-high 79 points in a loss at Illinois, the Buckeyes have held five opponents to an average of 52.6. Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas dominated Wisconsin inside, combining for 40 points and 16 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end
         For each of the last 12 seasons, all as a head coach, Thad  guided teams to at least 20 victories. Only Mark Few, among active coaches, has more consecutive 20 win seasons to start a career (12 not counting 2011-12). Matta set the Ohio State record for consecutive  20 wincampaigns in 2008-09 with a 22-11 record and extended it this year (20-3), the eighth-consecutive Ohio State season with 20+ victories. The previous record was four held by the 1960-63 teams under legendary head coach Fred Taylor. The Buckeyes also own the second-longest streak of 20-win seasons (8) in Big Ten history. Illinois owns the record with nine from (1983-1991). Matta also has won at least 10 Big Ten regular-season games in each of the last six seasons. That effort eclipsed Taylor's mark of 10+ league wins in each of the seasons from 1960-64. Those were during 14-game regular-season slates. The Big Ten played a 16-game schedule in Matta's first three seasons (8, 12, 15 league wins) and an 18-game schedule the last five (10, 10, 14, 16, 7). Ohio State  is the two-time defending Big Ten regular-season champion. The last time the Buckeyes won three or more consecutive titles was from 1960-64, a string of five-consecutive conference crowns.
       Sullinger earned co-Big Ten player of the week for the 2nd time this season.
 Craft grade point average is 3.89.
       The win leaves Ohio State with an 8-2 record in the Big Ten while Michigan and Michigan State are 7-3 and 6-3 and play each other tomorrow.  OSU hosts Purdue on Tuesday, Feb 7th at 6PM PST on ESPN.  
                                                              Jeff Sagarin NCAA basketball ratings as of 2-5-2012
                             RATING    W   L  SCHEDL(RANK) VS top 25 | VS top 50 | ELO_CHESS    | PREDICTOR  
HOME ADVANTAGE=[ 3.42] [ 3.52] [ 3.35]
1 Ohio State = 94.35 20 3 76.47( 46) 4 2 | 5 3 | 90.69 6 | 96.25 1
2 Kentucky = 93.69 23 1 74.95( 88) 4 1 | 4 1 | 92.86 2 | 93.76 2
3 Syracuse = 92.09 23 1 76.37( 50) 2 0 | 3 0 | 91.97 5 | 91.95 4
4 Kansas = 91.64 18 5 79.55( 2) 4 3 | 7 4 | 89.14 8 | 92.43 3
5 Missouri = 90.75 21 2 75.72( 72) 2 1 | 7 1 | 92.15 4 | 90.30 8
6 Michigan State = 90.70 18 5 78.02( 9) 3 2 | 7 4 | 88.31 13 | 91.40 6
7 North Carolina = 90.59 20 3 75.67( 74) 2 3 | 4 3 | 89.52 7 | 90.74 7
8 Wisconsin = 90.23 18 6 77.41( 16) 2 4 | 5 5 | 86.57 20 | 91.76 5
9 Baylor = 89.25 20 2 77.69( 13) 2 2 | 7 2 | 93.66 1 | 88.46 12
10 Indiana = 89.08 18 6 77.83( 11) 2 3 | 4 5 | 87.35 16 | 89.46 9
Four of top 10 teams in Sagarin's rankings are from the Big Ten!
GAME 24 - FEB 7 -   Purdue (15-9, 5-5) at #3 Ohio State (20-3, 8-2)

Smith  Sully
Smith defending Hummel                                              Sullinger going up for a shot
Buford
Buford defending

Ohio State             40           47        87
Wisconsin              40           44        84
 
                            BUFORD KEY TO BUCKEYE DEFENSELESS 87-84 WIN OVER PURDUE
     The best defensive team in the nation (OSU) according to many experts was anything but in an 87-84 win over Purdue at home.  Purdue shot over 60% for most of the game before missing 11 of 12 shots from the 6 minute mark until 17 seconds remaining in the game.  In the first 34 minutes Purdue made 23 of 36 shots (61%).  OSU gave up way to many uncontested 3's then Purdue repeatedly drove to the bucket for easy baskets.  Fortunately, OSU shot 52% from the field and 56% from the 3 point line, their 2nd best of the season.  And the starters made 25 of 30 foul shots and still they had their closest win of the year.  Two prior closest wins at home were 7 vs Florida and 15 vs Michigan.
      For the game OSU outshot Purdue 52.0 to 51.9%, 57.9% to 56.3% from downtown, 77 to 68% from the foul line, 31-21 in boards, 11-10 in assists and 16 to 25 in personal fouls.   Purdue won steals 5-0 and turnovers 3 to 7.   The previous low by an opponent in turnovers was 9 vs Wisconsin.  And the previous worst in losing total steals was 6-9 vs Illinois.
       Buford paced the Buckeyes with 29 points including 21 second half points in 40 minutes on 10 of 17 from the floor, 3 of 6 from downtown, 6 of 6 from the charity line, 7 boards and 0 turnovers, easily his best game of his career.  Sullinger added 16 on 4 of 9 from the field, 9 of 12 from the foul line and 6 bounds. Thomas had 13 on 4 of 8 from the field 2 of 4 from downtown and 3 of 3 from the line and 5 boards.  Craft also scored 13 on 3 of 3 from the field, 6 of 7 from the line, 3 bounds and 2 assists.  Each of the starters made at least 50% of their 3 point shots including Craft and Sullinger who made their only 3 point shot.  Scott added 3 assists in 10 minutes while the rest of the team had 8 assists in 190 minutes.
      Robbie Hummel scored to leave the score 73-72 OSU with 6 minutes remaining.   Buford scored 7 of the next 8 points of the game in the next 3 minutes to stake the Buckeyes to a 7 point lead.   Prior to Buford's streak, neither team led by more than 3 points in the second half.
       
- Ohio State was not credited with a steal in the game. That had not happened since the 2004-05 season, when the Buckeyes did not have a steal in an 84-65 loss at No. 1 Illinois in the first Big Ten game Matta coached.
           Barlow's three-point play to open the second half put Ohio State behind in the the second half for the first time in 21 home games. The Buckeyes have trailed only three times in the second half during their 39-game home win streak.
           NCAA Stats Update (as of 2/6/12)
Ohio State rates among the Top 10 in several NCAA statistical categories after 24 games. The Buckeyes are No. 1 in scoring margin (+20.3 ppg.), No. 2 in turnover margin (+5.6), No. 7 in scoring defense (56.6 ppg) and No. 10 in assist/turnover ratio (+1.4). The Buckeyes have the second longest home win streak in the country at 39. Kentucky (49) leads the nation.


       OSU is 9-2, Michigan State is 7-3 and Michigan and Wisconsin are 7-4.  OSU's next game is Saturday at home vs Michigan State.  Sullinger was shaken up in the last minute and his status is unknown.  He missed games earlier in the season with a bad back and bad ankle.    
       

   
   
GAME 25- FEB 11   #11 Michigan State (19-5, 8-3) at #3 Ohio State (21-3, 9-2)

Payne
Payne (#5) dunks over Sullinger while hitting all 6 shots

Craft
Craft causing havoc
Michigan State       35           23        58
Ohio State              25           23        48
 
                            MICHIGAN STATE ENDS OSU 39 GAME HOME STREAK 58-48
     Michigan State controlled the game from early in the first half and Michigan State led from 4 to 12 points the last 35 minutes of the game and ended OSU's 39 game home winning streak.  The streak was 2nd longest in the nation next to 49 in Kentucky and also their 2nd longest OSU home winning streak to 50 by the Lucas era Buckeyes.
     Defense was the key to the game as Michigan state completely shut down the OSU big 3.  Sullinger, Thomas and Buford made 9 shots in 39 tosses or 23%.  In the last game vs Purdue all five starters shot at least 50% from downtown.  Tonight all 5 starters shot under 45% from the field and only Craft was above 33%!!   The 48 points was the fewest points of the year by 10 points.  And their 26.4% field goal % was 13% worst than their prior worst vs Kansas.
       Michigan State outshot OSU from the field 40 to 26%, 25 to 13% from downtown and won bounds 35-32, and assists 8-6.  OSU bested Michigan State from the foul line 82 to 75%, steals 7-5, turnovers 15-16 and personal fouls 13 to 17.
        Sullinger led the Buckeyes with 17 points but had a rare triple double with 16 boards and 10 turnovers!  He shot 5 of 15 from the field and 6 of 8 from the line, playing all 40 minutes.   Craft added 15 on 3 of 7 from the floor and 8 of 8 from the line with 3 bounds, 2 assists and one steal but he was the main cause on half of Michigan State's turnovers while playing all 40 minutes.   Thomas added 8 points on 2 for 12 from the field and 4 for 6 from the line with 2 bounds and 0 turnovers in 32 minutes.
Both of Thomas field goals were scored in the first few seconds of each half.  Buford was held to 4 points on 2 of 12 from the field with 3 steals and 3 turnovers.  
        Draymond Green along with Sullinger are favorites to win Big Ten player of the year.  Green was held to 12 points on 5 of 16 from the field with 9 boards and 3 turnovers.  Trey Burke, former AAU teammate and childhood friend of Sullinger had similar stats to stats to Sully.  The point guard scored 17 points on 6 of 14 from the field and 5 of 8 from the line with 5 assists and three turnovers.
         I thought OSU should have just had Craft keep driving to the Bucket the last 8-10 minutes of the 2nd half when OSU was in the bonus.  He would have a few turnovers but he certainly could make 30% of his shots and paraded to the foul line.  No one else was hitting so nothing to lose.  With 3 or 4 minutes remaining, when they needed points I would have brought in Ross.  A couple of makes by Ross and the Value Center Arena would have been in a frenzy.  Again, nothing to lose and I suspect Ross is their best 3 point shooter.          
       
Izzo praised the Buckeyes, despite their worst game of the season.  "I don't feel any different than I felt a month ago, or six months ago: Ohio State's the best team in the league," he said. "But on this given day we were able to get them."
          Buford has made 40 of his last 41 free throws over the last 19 games!!  Craft has made 14 of last 15 foul shots in last two games.  In 11 Big Ten games Sullinger is 8 of 13 on 3 pointers.  Craft is 6 of 14 from downtown in 11 Big Ten games.  Craft has 41 assists and 23 turnovers in 11 Big Ten Games.  Buford has 30 assists and 33 turnovers in 11 Big Ten games .
         T
he Buckeyes shot 52 percent from the field and made nine three-pointers, one off their season high, against Purdue. They came back from that to shoot 26.4 percent against Michigan State, their worst in a game in four years and their worst at home in at least 15. Their 48 points were their fewest at home in four years.

        Michigan State and OSU are tied for the Big Ten lead at 9-3.   Wisconsin and Michigan are 8-4.  All other 8 teams have at least 6 losses.  I look for OSU to win the rematch at Michigan State in the last game of the regular season.
           




GAME 26 - FEB 14 -  #6 Ohio State (21-4, 9-3 at Minnesota (17-8, 5-7)


Ohio State             40           38         78
Minnesota             28           40         68
 
                            BUCKEYES HANG ON TO BEAT MINNESOTA 78-68
        Both teams were hot early making 5 of 6 shouts and the score was tied 12-12, but then OSU scored the next 20 points to obtain what turned out to be an insurmountable lead.  Minnesota got as close as 8 points several times late in the game.  Smith, Craft and Sullinger made 5 of 6 foul shots in the last minute to keep Minnesota at bay.
         OSU out shot 8.5 point underdog Minnesota from downtown 32 to 25%, 79 to 65% from the foul line, won rebounds 31-8, steals 10-4, turnovers 9-14 and tied in fouls with 21.  Minnesota outshot OSU from the field 46 to 45% and won assists 16-15.
         Buford led the Buckeyes with 24 points on 10 of 17 from the field including 4 of 10 from downtown, 8 boards, and 5 assists.  Sullinger added 23 points on 6 of 11 from the field and 10 of 12 from the line with 8 boards and 2 assists. Thomas was held to 12 points on 5 of 13 with 4 bounds.  Smith added 7 on 1 of 7 from the field and 5 of 8 from the line.  Craft finished with 6 on 1 of 3 field goals and 4 of 5 from the line with 5 assists and 6 steals.  He had about 3 steals and 5 assists in the first 12 minutes of the game.  Thompson added 2 dunks in 10 minutes.  The other reserves combined for 2 points in 17 minutes.
      Aaron Craft led the Big Ten in steals going into the game and added 6 more tonight in only 27 minutes of action.
 The Michigan State loss was Craft's first home loss since middle school!!
       Next game is at Michigan 6 PM PST on Saturday on ESPN.  Michigan is only one game behind OSU
.

GAME 27 - FEB 18 - #6 Ohio State (22-4, 10-3 ) at #17 Michigan (19-7, 9--4)
Thomas
Thomas was one man team with 25 of 51 OSU points

SullingerNovak
Sullinger shoots over Novak
Ohio State             20           31            51
Michigan               25           31            56
 
                            BUCKEYES STUNNED BY SCHOOL UP NORTH 56-51
        Michigan outplayed the 5 point favorite Buckeyes and extended their home winning streak to 15 games while winning 56-51.
It was another Big Ten defensive battle where usually only hard fouls were called.  OSU was held to their lowest first half total of 20 points but found themselves only 5 points down.  Michigan controlled the 2nd half, but OSU closed to within 4 points several times, once with Buford on the line but he missed both shots and the closest the Buckeye came to Michigan was 3 points.  Michigan  made 3 clutch field goals down the stretch to prevent OSU from getting any closer than 3 points.  
        Michigan outshot OSU 47 to 39% from the field, 23 to 19% from downtown, and won turnovers 8 to 12.  OSU shot 67% to Michigan's 64% from the line, won boards 34 to 24,  assists 9-8, steals 7 to 2 and personal fouls 13 to 15.  
         Thomas scored half of the Buckeye total with 25 points on 8 of 13 from the field, 3 of 6 from downtown, 6 of 7 from the line and a game leading 13 boards.  The other Buckeyes were 0 for 10 from downtown, 11 for 36 (31%) and 4 for 8 from the line. Sullinger scored 14 points on 6 of 14 with 8 boards and 3 turnovers in 35 minutes.  Buford scored 6 points in 40 minutes on 3 of 12, 0 for 3 on 3-pointers, 0-2 from the foul line (after making 41 of his previous 42) and 6 boards.  Craft scored 4 but was only 1 of 6
from the field, 2 for 2 from the line (now made 20 of last 22), 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 turnovers in 36 minutes.  The bench played only 21 minutes taking one shot and two free throws with no makes.  This is the 2nd time the bench has been scoreless in the last 5 games, both in 21 minutes.
          With 4 games remaining for the Bucks the Big Ten standings are:  Michigan State 10-3, OSU 10-4, Michigan 10-4 and Wisconsin 8-5.
           The big upset of  the day was St Johns defeating Connecticut at home in lady basketball.  It ended Connecticut's 99 home game winning streak, the 2nd longest winning streak in the history of men and women's basketball.  It was also Connecticut's first loss to an unranked team in 19 years!  St John's hit a 3 pointer with 8 seconds remaining to win 57-56.  The Kentucky men have the longest home winning streak in the history of college basketball once winning 129 home games in a row.
          Next game is vs Illinois at home on Tuesday.
           LADIES 1/2 GAME OUT OF FIRST.

          First place in the conference is on the line in the game at Penn State. The Lions (21-5, 11-3) currently have a half game lead over the Buckeyes (23-3, 10-3). Ohio State has three games left in the regular season. Two are on the road. Penn State has two games remaining, both at home. 

          Prahalis missed her fourth game in four seasons on Thursday. The 9th-ranked Buckeyes didn't need her to put away the Hoosiers 76-54. They will against the No. 12 Lions, who can clinch a tie for their first conference title since 2004 with a win.

Tayler Hill leads the Big Ten in scoring at 21.3 points per game. Prahalis is a close second at 19.8. She leads the conference in assists with 167. She is 18 away from tying Northwestern's Nancy Kennelly for the Big Ten career assist mark of 892. She also is nine points from 1,900 for her career.

           Hill and Prahalis have accounted for 52.2 percent of Ohio State's 2.002 points this season.

       
       

GAME 28 - FEB 21 -  Illinois  (16-11, 5-9)   at #8 Ohio State (22-5, 10-4)
Buford
Buford driving.  Scored 17 on 6 of 8 from the field.
Craft
Craft made 4 of 5 shots and added 5 boards, 5 assists and 3 steals
Illinois             26           41            67
Ohio State       42           41            83
 
                            BUCKEYES BURY ILLINOIS EARLY ON WAY TO 83-67 WIN
           The Buckeyes were in peak form early as they made 10 of first 11 shots to take a 28-8 lead after 9:27 of the first half.  The teams traded baskets afterwards with the lead vacillating between 14 and 24 points.   The Buckeyes had Craft guard Paul  and he was 2 of 9 from the field with 3 boards, 3 assists, two turnovers and 4 fouls after burying Ohio State with 43 points in their prior match up.  But the 7' Meyers Leonard burned Sullinger and others for 21 points and 5 boards on 7 of 12 from he field and 7 of 9 from the line in 36 minutes.
       OSU out shot Illinois 65 (2nd highest of year) to 40% from the field,  54 to 17% from downtown, won boards 32-23, assists 16-11, and fouls 17-19.  The Illini shot 82% to OSU 67% from the line, won steals 7-6 and won turnovers 8 to 17.
        Thomas again led the Buckeyes with 19 points on 6 of 8 from the field, 2 of 2 from 3-point land, 5 of 6 foul shots 5 boards and 0 turnovers in 32 minutes.  Buford continued alternating good and bad shooting performances by scoring 17 points on 7 of 9 from the field, 2 of 3 from downtown, 2 boards and 3 turnovers in 26 minutes.  Craft added 11 points on 4 of 5 from the field, 2 of 3 from downtown, 5 boards, 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 turnovers in 31 minutes.  Sullinger scored 9 on 4 of 7, only 1 of 4 from the line with 6 boards and 3 turnovers in 27 minutes.  Ross played 5 minutes and had two beautiful drives to the bucket and finished with 5 points.  Ravenel was 2 of 2 from the field and the line for 6 points.  Williams was 1 of 2 from the field and line with 3 boards.
       Number 3 Missouri lost at home tonight vs unranked Kansas State, #8 Georgetown was blown out by 18 by unranked Seton Hall playing at home and #1 Kentucky is losing 46-33 on the road vs unranked Mississippi State.  Number 13 Michigan went into overtime at Northwestern but pulled out the win.
       With 3 games remaining Michigan State is 11-3 and Ohio State and Michigan are 11-4 and Wisconsin 9-5.  
       Next game is Saturday at 1 PM PST at home vs Wisconsin.

Step back, and you see an OSU team ranked No. 2 nationally in scoring margin (plus 17.9), No. 4 in turnover margin (plus 4.9), No. 8 in scoring defense (57.1 points per game) and No. 14 in rebound margin (plus 7.0).

        In her home finale, Prahalis sets school scoring record for women

     On senior night, Prahalis set an OSU record by scoring 42 points to lead the No. 8-ranked Buckeyes to an 81-56 Big Ten victory over Minnesota in front of 5,344 appreciative fans.

     Prahalis notched 22 points in the first half and 20 more in the second to break the record set by Katie Smith against Idaho State on Dec. 11, 1994. Prahalis also had six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

     With the win, the Buckeyes (24-4, 11-4) can finish no lower than second place in the conference regular-season standings.

     Prahalis dropped in two free throws with 2:27 to play to set the program and arena record and left to a standing ovation. She was 15 for 27 from the field, 7 of 12 from three-point distance and 5 of 5 from the free-throw line.

“I don’t know who wrote the script,” OSU coach Jim Foster said. “But somebody did. And, you haven’t even talked about zero turnovers. Think about it. She was all over the place.”



         
           
GAME 29 - FEB 25 /26 - #9 Ohio State (23-5, 11-4) at #15 Wisconsin (20-8,  9-6)

Sully
Sullinger defended by Berggman who scored last 5 points for Badgers
TaylorCraft
Taylor passing around Craft - both had great games
Wisconsin        29           34            63
Ohio State       29           31            60
 
                            BADGERS DEFEAT OSU DOWN STRETCH 63-60
           The Badgers made several clutch shots down the stretch while OSU missed foul shots allowing Wisconsin to hand OSU another home defeat 63-60.  Craft made a jumper with 8:17 left to give Bucks a 50-42 lead.  The Badgers outscored OSU 21-10 down the stretch.  In last 3 minutes Wisconsin made their last 3 field goals including a 3 pointer by Jared Breggren to give Wisconsin a 61-59 lead with 31 seconds left.  Jordan Taylor also made 4 of 4 foul shots.  Meanwhile OSU missed 3 free throws (2 by Craft) and their last 3 field goal attempts.
        Wisconsin out shot OSU from 3 point distance 38 to 36% and foul shots 82 to 53%, won assists 13-10 and turnovers 7-12.
OSU out shot Wisconsin from the field 47 to 42%, won boards 34-30, steals 2-1 and fouls 17-18.  
         Thomas led the Bucks with 23 points on 9 of 15, 7 bounded, and 2 assists in 35 minutes.  Buford scored 15 on 4 of 11 and 5 of 5 from the line, 9 boards and 3 turnovers.  Craft added 13 on 6 of 10 from the field but only 1 of 4 from the line, with 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 turnovers in 35 minutes.  Sullinger was held to 8 points on 4 of 10 from the field, 0 of 3 from the line, 6 bounds, 3 assists and 0 turnovers in 33 minutes.  The bench scored 1 point in 32 minutes going 0-2 from the field with 4 turnovers although Ravenel collected 5 boards.  In the last 8 games Shannon Scott is 0-9 from the field!  Why not use Ross?
          Great battle between Craft and Taylor.  Taylor finished with 19 points on 6 of 8 shots and 6 of 7 foul shots, 5 bounds, 4 assists, 0 steals and 3 turnovers in 38 minutes.   He took over the game the last 8 minutes despite Craft being inside his jersey scoring 10 points and added an assist on the winning 3 pointer with 31 seconds remaining.   Craft added 3 field goals in the last 8:17 but missed the two huge free tosses with a one point lead and 1:19 left in the game.
       
  Wisconsin scored on nine of its last 11 possessions, totaling 21 points. Ohio State scored on six of its last 12 and totaled 10 points. The Buckeyes missed five of their last seven free throws and nine of 19 in the game.
           Wisconsin had lost 40 straight games on the road vs top 10 opponents last beating a top 10 team on the road in 1980.

          With the loss, Michigan State has clinched a tie for the Big Ten title.  Net game is at Northwestern at 5:30 PST on Wednesday, Feb 29th.
          The OSU men are 23-5 and 11-4 in conference.  The OSU ladies are 24-4 and 11-4 in conference.  

                                              CRAFT ACADEMIC ALL AMERICAN

      Point guard Aaron Craft became the first Ohio State men’s basketball player in 44 years to be named an Academic All-American, and one of five players to be named to the first team, by the College Sports Information Directors of America yesterday.

      Craft, from Findlay, Ohio, is an exercise science (pre-med) major with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.89. He is the first Ohio State men’s player to be so honored since Bill Hosket was named to the first team in 1968.

      Craft also was the only sophomore named to the first, second or third teams. The last sophomore to make the first team was D.J. Augustin of Texas in 2008.


GAME 30 - FEB 29 -   #11 Ohio State (23-6, 11-5) at Northwestern (17-11, 7-9)




Ohio State           39           34            75
Northwestern       29           31            73
 
                            CRAFT TO SULLINGER FOR 75-73 WIN OVER NORTHWESTERN
           Sullinger was back on his game and OSU led all game but stumbled down the stretch and Northwestern nailed a 27 foot 3 pointer with 7.7 seconds remaining to gain their first tie since 0-0.  After a time out Craft hit Sullinger on a perfect 40 foot pass (Hope  WOW M was watching his future QB if Miller doesn't cut it) and Sullinger banked in the shot with 3 seconds remaining for a 75-73 win.  Sully dominated with 22 points and 18 boards.  OSU led 73-65 with 3 minutes left after earlier leading by 13 points.
      Northwestern won most of the stat battles but couldn't overcome the 42-18 pasting on the boards.  Both teams shot 50 % from the field but the wildcats outshot OSU from downtown making 48 to 32% for OSU.  Northwestern made 13 three pointers, two more than anyone else had made vs the Buckeyes all season.  Northwestern won assists 21-20, turnovers 7 to 16 and personal fouls 15 to 17.  OSU shot 69% from the line to 62% for Northwestern.
       Sullinger led the Buckeyes with 22 points on 8 of 15 from the field and 6 of 8 from the line with 18 boards, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 4 turnovers in 37 minutes.  Thomas tallied 19 on 8 of 15 from the floor with 10 rebounds with only 1 turnover in 40 minutes.  Craft added 14 on 5 of 7 from the field including 4 of 5 from downtown with 2 bounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks and 4 turnovers in 40 minutes.  Smith scored 12 points on 4 of 8 from the field, 4 of 6 from the line with 3 bounds and a game high 7 assists.  Buford was held to 6 points on 3 of 10 from the field, but added 6 bounds and 4 assists while commiting only one turnover.   The bench doubled last games output with 2 points and 4 turnovers in 23 minutes.  
        In the two prior games Sullinger was held to single digit points in back to back games for the first time in his career.  Tonight his 18 bounds were 2 more than the previous high against Michigan State and he had an amazing 11 offensive boards.  The Bucks missed 29 shots.  Sullinger bounded 11 of the missed shots, NW bounded 12 and other Bucks grabbed the other 6!
         Craft improved his shooting for the year to 51% from the field and 40% from downtown.
          Ace, John Shurna scored 22 points for the Wildcats but sunk only 7 of 19 shots.  Drew Crawford almost slayed the giant with 23 points on 9 of 11 from the field, 4 of 6 from downtown, but only 1 of 5 from the line.  Even more impressive the two scorers had 0 turnovers.
            If OSU can defeat Michigan State on the road (no problem!), they will tie for the conference championship.  Michgain will join them if they win their two remaining games.  
   
  
       
GAME 31 - MAR 4 -   #10 Ohio State (24-7. 12-5) at #6 Michigan State (24-6, 13-4)

Thomas
Thomas battles for rebound
Smith
Smith drives to bucket as Buford (44) watches
Ohio State           29           43            72
Michigan State    38           32            70
 
                            RAVENEL AND BUFORD RALLY OSU OVER MICHIGAN STATE 72-70
           Ohio State rallied from a 15 point first half deficit and won on Buford's 20 foot contested jumper with a second left.  The Buckeyes railled from nine points down when Ravenel entered for foul plaqued Sullinger.  With 7 points, 2 assists, 2 bounds and solid defense on Green (Big Ten MVP) Ravenel allowed the Bucks to catch the Spartans.  The game went back and forth the last 9 minutes as the teams exchanged field goals leaving the Bucks with the ball and 20 seconds remaining.  That sequence ended with Buford making the most important shot of the year, to gain OSU a 3 way tie for the Big Ten championship.  Michigan State, OSU and Michigan all finished with 13-5 records.  OSU won the conference by 2 games last year and were also in a 3 way tie two years ago.  Michigan State is seeded 1, Michigan is seeded 2 and OSU 3 in the Big Ten Tournament that will be played on Thursday through Sunday in Indianapolis.
     The Spartans out shot OSU from the field 45 to 42%, from downtown 33 to 29%, and won blocks 8-1.  OSU won bounds 33-32, assists 17-13, steals 9-7, turnovers 10 to 13 and personal fouls 19 to 21.  Both teams shot 71% from the foul line.
     Buford led the Buckeyes with 25 points including 19 in the 2nd half on 8 of 14 from the field, 7 of 11 from the line with 3 bounds and 3 assists.  Sullinger added 14 on 5 of 17 from the field and 4 of 4 from the line with 10 boards, 4 assists and only 1 turnover in 33 minutes.  Thomas added 12 on 5 of 13 with 4 bounds and 2 assists in 39 minutes.  Craft scored 9 points on 2 of 5 from the field and 5 of 7 from the line, 7 boards, 6 assists and 4 steals with only one turnover in 40 minutes.  Smth scored 5 points and Ravenel scored all 7 of the bench points.  
      Draymond Green led Michigan with 19 points on 6 of 18 from the line, 6 of 8 from the line, 12 boards, 3 assists and 4 turnovers in 36 minutes.  Craft held Keith Appling to 11 points on 4 of 11 with 4 boards, 3 assists and 3 turnovers in 36 minutes.  
      This was Michigan State's first loss at home this season repaying the Spartans for breaking OSU 39 game home winning streak a few weeks ago.  
 
           
REGULAR SEASON AWARDS

     Four Ohio State starters were voted to one of the three all-Big Ten teams. Coaches and media voted sophomore Jared Sullinger to the first team for the second year in a row. William Buford and Deshaun Thomas made the coaches’ second team. Thomas and Craft made the media’s third team.

     Michigan State senior Draymond Green was the only unanimous selection to the first team and was voted Big Ten Player of the Year by coaches and media. Sullinger, a first-team All-American last season as a freshman, had been voted Player of the Year in the preseason.

     Craft, The Buckeyes’ sophomore point guard was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Big Ten last night after results of voting by league coaches were totaled. They also named Craft to the all-defensive team for the second year in a row.

     The only other Ohio State players to win the award since its inception in 1984 are shot-blocking centers Ken Johnson (2000 and ’01) and Greg Oden (2007).

      “I think he’s the best defender in college basketball,” Ohio State coach Thad Matta said of Craft.



REGULAR SEASON BIG TEN STATS
       Five Big Ten teams finished in the AP top 15.  No other league had more than 4 teams in the top 25 teams.  The Big Ten was also the only league to have seven teams  in the top 50 RPI ratings.  The Rating % Index (RPI )  is a ranking based on record, strength of schedule and AP and coaches poll.  Michigan State was ranked 5, OSU 8, Michigan 11, Indiana 12, Wisconsin 23, Purdue 42, Northwestern 47th, Illinois 84th, Minnesota 89th, and Iowa 129th.  
      All stats are for all 31 games played.   OSU was 2nd in scoring offense in the Big Ten to Indiana at 74.6 points a game.  OSU was also 2nd in scoring defense to Wisconsin allowing 58.7 points a game.  OSU led in scoring margin at 16.1 points a game.  OSU was 2nd in field goal % at 48.1%.  OSU was 2nd to Michigan State at 36.7 rebounds a game.  OSU led in rebounding defense at 29.3 points a game.  OSU was third in assists, steals, offensive rebounds and turnover margin.
      Sullinger was third in scoring at 16.9 points a game, Buford and Thomas were 10th at 15.1 points a game,  Sullinger was 2nd in rebounds at 9.3 a game.  Sullinger was 7th in shooting % at 53.5%, Thomas was 8th at 52.6.  Craft was 3rd in assists at 4.5 per game, Buford was 3rd in foul shooting % at 83.5,  Sullinger was 15th at 74,9%.  Craft was 1st in steals at 2.4 a game, Sullinger was 12th at 1.3.  Craft was 4th in assist/turnover margin at 2.2 a game.  Sullinger was 1st in offensive bounds at 3.0 per game, Thomas was 4th at 2.3 a game.  Sullinger was 2nd in defensive rebounds per game at 6.3, Buford was 8th at 4.0.  No OSU players made top ten in minutes played. 

     Nationally, OSU was 3rd in both scoring margin and defensive effiiency.  
 





2 - BIG TEN TOURNAMENT 2011-12 SEASON:

GAME 32 - MAR 9 -   #7 Ohio State (25-6, 13-5) vs Purdue (21-11, 10-8)

  sULLY
Sullinger was unstoppable making 12 of  17 on way to 30 points
a season high

Smith
Smith battles for rebound
Ohio State           40           48           88
Michigan State    36           35           71
 
                            BUCKEYES RIDE SULLINGER'S 30 TO 88-71 WIN OVER PURDUE
        Purdue played Ohio State tough for most of the game and trailed 65-61 with 6:21 left in the game.  In the next 2:42, OSU scored 14 straight points while making all 6 shots in one of the best blitzes of the season.  Purdue hit 12 of 26 three's (46%) to stay in the game until the final 6 minutes, but only shot 36% on two pointers.
      The Bucks shot 61% from the field to 50% for Purdue, made 71% from the line to 60% for Purdue won rebounds 35-23, won assists 16-14 and won blocks 6-1.  Purdue shot better from downtown 46 to 25%, won steals 4-1, turnovers 5 to 7 and personal fouls 12 to 15.
       Sullinger led the Buckeyes with a season high 30 points on 12 of 17 from the field and 5 of 5 from the line, and added 12 boards, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 3 turnovers in 36 minutes.  Thomas added 22 points on 9 of 13 from the floor with 7 bounds and only 1 turnover in 38 minutes.  Buford scored 11 on 4 of 10 included 3 of 3 during the decisive 14-0 run with 6 boards and 5 assists in 38 minutes.  Smith scored 11 on 5 of 9 and Craft scored 10 of 5 of 8 with 6 boards, 7 assists, 2 blocks and only 1 turnover in 38 minutes.  The bench added 4 points and 3 boards in 24 minutes.  All five starters scored in double figures as OSU outscored Purdue 48-18 in the paint..
        D. J. Byrd came off the bench for Purdue and scored 20 points on 4 of 10 from downtown.  Robbie Hummel, Purdue's first team All Big Ten star,  was held to 6 points on 2 of 8 from the field with 10 boards, 0 assists and 0 turnovers in 32 minutes.  Lewis Jackson caused havoc in the first half, but finished the game with 10 points on 4 of 13 from the field and 10 assists.   That may be the most assists by one player in any Buckeye game this sesason.
         The win was a record 7th straight Big Ten Tournament win for OSU.  They have won the last two Big Ten Tournaments and have reached the finals in 5 of the last 6 seasons.  
          OSU plays Michigan in the semi finals tomorrow.  Michigan State and Wisconsin will play in the other semi-final.  OSU is currently ranked 7th in the AP and coaches poll, but if they win the Big Ten tournament they should move up to 4th spot.  Both the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams (Syracuse & Kansas) lost today in their conference tournaments.  

       
 

         
GAME 33 - MAR 10 -   #7 Ohio State (26-6, 13-5) vs #10 Michigan (24-8, 13-5)

Sully
Sullinger scored 24 on 9 of 14 after 30 on 12 of 17 the prior game


Ohio State          34           43           77
Michigan            21           34           55
 
                                         BUCKEYES CRUSH TEAM UP NORTH 77-55
        Ohio State looked awesome in beating Michigan 77-55 in the semi finals to reach the finals for the 6th time in the last 7 seasons. Sullinger started fast as he hit his first 4 shots in the first 4 minutes to lead the Bucks to a 16-3 lead.  The Bucks were in control the rest of the game leading by 13 at the half, by 20  4 minutes into the 2nd half and by 28 with 52 seconds remaining.   This is the 3rd straight year OSU has eliminated Michigan from the Big Ten tournament.  Next up is Michigan State in the finals.   In my opinion this will be for the Big Ten tournament title and a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.    Something is wrong with the seedings if the conference and tournament champs of easily the best  league in the NCAA is not seeded #1 with no other  team in the top 8 winning both titles unless North Carolina or Missouri can win their tournament.
       The offense was awesome today, but defense was key.   Craft is showing any doubters left why he won the Big Ten defensive player of the year.  He held Michigan's best player this year, Trey Burke who scored 30 points in prior game, to 5 points on 1 of 11 from the floor with 8 turnovers.  Sullinger also played great defense.  The Bucks took 3 charges, held the Wolverines to 31% from the field and 16% from downtown.      
       The Bucks won most of the stats.  They outshot Michigan from the field 49 to 31%, 36 to 16% from downtown, won assists 14-7, blocks 7-2, steals 11-6, and turnovers 11 to 18.   Michigan outshot OSU from  the line 77 to 71%, won bounds 35-34 and fouls 14 to 17.
       Tim Hardaway led Michigan with 13 points but was only 3 of 10 from the field.
      Sullinger scored 24 on 9 of 14 from the field, 6 of 6 from the line 6 boards and 2 blocks in only 27 minutes.  Thomas added 22 points on 10 of 15 from the field with 6 bounds and 2 steals.  Buford was held to 10 points on 4 of 12 from the field with 4 boards and 2 assists in 36 minutes.   Craft added 6 points on 2 of 6 from the floor, 3 boards 4 assists and 3 steals in 31 minutes.  Ravenel came off the bench to score 6 points on 3 of 6 from the field and 4 boards in 16 minutes.  The rest of the bench scored 6 points on 3 of 8 from the field with 5 boards, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 30 minutes.  
     Ohio State reaches the finals for a record 4th straight year.
                                                     


 

GAME 34 - MAR 11 -   #7 Ohio State (27-6, 13-5) vs #8 Michigan State (26-7, 13-5)

Thomas
SGreen, Big Ten Player of the Year and Thomas

Ohio State           32           32           64
Michigan State    34           34           68
 
                            MICHIGAN STATE BEATS OHIO STATE IN FINALS 68-64
        Michigan State defeated Ohio State in a hard fought finals 68-64.  Ironically the Spartans won both halves 34-32.  Ohio State was hurt by Sulliger sitting out 10 minutes in the 1st half with 2 fouls.  And Craft picked up his 4th foul with 8 minutes remaining and had to sit out a couple of minutes.  OSU had all five starters in double figures while the Spartans had 3 players in double figures.  For the third time this season, the Bucks contained Green as he was 4 for 15 from the field, but had the key bucket, a three pointer with 1:35 left to give the Spartans a 5 point lead.  The Spartans also contained Sullinger who could only make 7 of 19 shots and missed two foul shots including the front end of a one and one with 25 seconds remaining and down 5 after making 18 in a row in the past 4 games before the misses.   He also missed a couple of close shots in the last minute.
     Craft as expected stopped Appling as he had 4 points on 2 of 8, probably his low point game of the year.  Yesterday, he held Burke to 5 points his lowest total of the year and his most turnovers of the year (8).  Would have bet the farm that OSU would win containing the Spartans two top players (Green & Appling).  But Brandon Wood who beame a starter when the Spartans lost a starter a week ago, ripped OSU for 21 points sinking 4 of 8 from downtown.  Craft was the only starter to shoot over 40% for OSU making 5 of 9 shots.
       The Bucks had one great stretch to take a 7 point lead with 14 minutes remaining as Sullinge scored 7 points in first 6 minutes of 2nd half.  But the Spartans responded with 10 straight including two 3's by Wood.  The Spartan spurt was the key of the game.  
      At one time in the 2nd half both teams made 18 of 35 shots, but when the dust settled the Spartans out shot OSU from the field 48 to 40%, 43 to 24% from downtown, won assists 16-6, blocks 5-4, turnover 6 to 10 and personal fouls 14 to 17.  Ohio State only
won foul shooting 67 to 50% and rebounds 35 to 27.  The teams tied in steals at 3.
       Sullinger led the Bucks with 18 points on 7 of 19 from the field with 9 boards and only 1 turnover in 29 minutes of action.  Buford added 11 on 4 of 12 from the field and 3 of 5 from the line with 4 board and no assists vs 2 turnovers in 40 minutes.  Thomas also tallied 11 on 4 of 12 from the field and added 6 bounds 2 assists and only 1 turnover in 40 minutes.  Craft scored 10 on 5 of 9 with 8 bounds, 4 assists and 3 steals with 2 turnovers in 36 minutes.  Smith added 10 on 3 of 8 from the fiedl with 5 boards.  Scott made both shots in 9 minutes of action.  The rest of the bench was 0 for 1 with 3 boards in 15 minutes.
       Green was voted MVP of the tourney.  Sullinger was also on All-Tournament team along with Thomas, Wood and Hollins of Minnesota.  Now how can you leave Craft off of the team?  He held 2nd team All Big Ten and co-Freshman of the year, Trey Burke, to a season low 5 points and season high 8 turnovers then held 3rd team all Big Ten guard Appling to 4 points on 2 of 8.  On offense he was 12 for 23 for 25 points, 15 assists and 7 steals vs 5 turnovers.  He was probably the MVP rather than Green.  Green was on the bench during the key 10-0 Spartan spurt.  But you normally pick a player from the winning team.
       Michigan State was in their first finals since they won in 2000.  OSU record 8 game winning streak in the 15 year history of the Big Ten tourney was snapped.  The previous record was 7 by Iowa in 2000-1.
       
Michigan State received a #1 seed in the West regional in the NCAA tourney.  OSU is seeded 2nd in the East Regional.  Big Ten has 6 teams in the tourney.    
3- NCAA TOURNAMENT 2011-12 SEASON

NCAA Tournament odds place Ohio State second

By OSKAR GARCIA Associated Press March 12, 2012 1:40PM

     LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas casinos like top seed Kentucky better than all the other teams in the NCAA tournament, but think Ohio State is better than any of the other No. 1s.

     Oddsmaker Mike Colbert of Cantor Gaming said Monday that Kentucky is a 5-2 favorite to win the championship, despite losing the Southeastern Conference championship to Vanderbilt on Sunday.  Colbert, Cantor’s risk management director, says Kentucky has been the best team most of the year and will likely benefit from the loss.  Colbert says Ohio State at 6-1 is the second favorite. He says oddsmakers believe the Buckeyes would beat any team besides Kentucky on a neutral floor.

     Gambling expert RJ Bell of Pregame.com says Vegas odds are a good predictor for the tournament because they’re backed by millions of dollars.

    Michigan State is at 8-to-1 odds to win the NCAA tournament championship, according to several sports books, behind only Kentucky (2.5-1), Ohio State (5-1) and North Carolina (6-1).
     The Spartans are 20-point favorites against LIU Brooklyn in their first-round game this Friday.
     Michigan is at 50-1 for the tournament and is a 6-point favorite over Ohio in its first game.
      Ohio State was #1 seed and favorite to win the tournament in 2011.  In 2012 they were a 2nd seed but the 2nd favorite per Las Vegas Odds.  Pretty hard to improve on #1 one year than #2 the next year going into the NCAA tournament

LAST AP POLL PRIOR TO TOURNAMENT

1 Kentucky (61) 32-2 1,621
2 Syracuse (1) 31-2 1,545
3 Missouri (2) 30-4 1,459
4 North Carolina (1) 29-5 1,403
5 Michigan State 27-7 1,386
6 Kansas 27-6 1,330
7 Ohio State 27-7 1,229
8 Duke 27-6 1,158
9 Baylor 27-7 1,064
10 Florida State 24-9 972
11 Marquette 25-7 912
12 Murray State 30-1 871
13 Michigan 24-9 808
14 Wisconsin 24-9 766
15 Georgetown 23-8 726
16 Indiana 25-8 576
17 Louisville 26-9 558
18 Wichita State 27-5 517
19 Creighton 28-5 373
20 Vanderbilt 24-10 334
21 New Mexico 27-6 318
22 San Diego State 26-7 223
23 UNLV 26-8 201
24 Saint Mary's 27-5 187
25 Florida 23-10 146
  • Others receiving votes: Temple 103, Cincinnati 89, Notre Dame 85, Memphis 59, Gonzaga 47, Iowa State 13, Virginia Commonwealth 12, Drexel 11, Virginia 9, Long Beach State 5, Harvard 4, Kansas State 3, St. Bonaventure 1

GAME 35 - MAR 11 -   #7 Ohio State (27-7, 13-5) vs Loyola, Md (24-8, 13-5)

Ohio State                    42        36      78

Loyola, Md                   31        28       59


                         THOMAS 31 CARRIES OSU IN OPENER VS LOYOLA, MD 78-59
        OSU methodically increased the lead in the first half, leading by as much as 15 before settling for an 11 point half time lead.  The Bucks scored the first 6 points in the 2nd half to take a 17 point lead and Loyola didn't get closer than 15 until late when they were 11 down but OSU scored the last 8 points of the game including two 3's by Buford to provide a 19 win, 1.5 points more than the odds.
         
The Bucks didn't look sharp committing 18 turnovers including 5 by Craft and 3 by Buford and Smith.  They shot around 31% in the first half but connected 61% in the second half.  Loved Buford, Thomas and Craft going 14 for 14 from the foul line.
      OSU out shot Loyola 45 to 35%, 36 to 29% from downtown and 81 to 77% from the line and won bounds 45-23, assists 10-9 and fouls 19-23.  Loyola won turnovers 12-18 and the teams tied in steals with 6 and blocks with 8.
      Thomas was a one man scoring machine pouring in 31 points on 13 of 22 from the floor, 4 o 4 from the line and a game high 12 boards in 35 minutes.  Buford had 17 on 5 of 11, 3 of 7 from downtown, 4 of 4 from the line, 3 bounds and 2 assists.  Sullinger added 12 but only sunk 4 of 14 shots including 2 of his last 11 shots, 10 boards, 2 assists and a season high 5 blocks in 32 minutes.    Craft added 8 points on 1 of 2 and 6 of 6 from the line with 5 bounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and those 5 turnovers in 33 minutes.  Smith and the subs combined for 10 points on 3 of 8 from the field, 4 of 8 from the line, 15 bounds (8 by Smith), and 7 turnovers in 71 minutes.
      The Buckeye defense held the guards for Loyola to 27 points on 9 of 30 from the floor with 7 turnovers.

GAME 36 - MAR 17 -   #7 Ohio State (28-7, 13-5) vs #30 Gonzaga (26-6, 13-3)

cRAFT
Craft clamps down on Pangos.
sULLINGER    tHOMAS
Sullinger celebrates basket - scored 18 points        Thomas scores 18 for a tournament high 49 points
                                                                                     in first two games

Ohio State                    39         33       73

Gonzaga                       37        29        66


                    CRAFT SPARKS BUCKEYES OVER GONZAGA 73-66 AND A PLACE IN SWEET 16

      Buckeye fans are used to stifling defense from Aaron Craft but today they received a bonus as Craft

showed his seldom used offense with 17 points on 7 of 9 from the field and a season high 10 assists.

Craft and Sullinger started out the first 8 minutes going 5 for 5 for 13 points, but Sullinger sat out the last 9 minutes of the first half with 2 fouls and it was Craft at both ends of the court then 12 straight points by Thomas (3 assists by Craft) from the 5 minute mark to 1 minute left in the first half to rally OSU from a 7 point deficit to a two point half time lead.   After Thomas’ streak, Craft scored 10 straight Buckeye points ending at the 16 minute mark of the second half.  Thomas broke the streak with a 3 (assist by Craft) giving Craft and Thomas 25 straight Buckeye points in a span of 9 minutes while holding Gonzaga to 12 points.

      The OSU defense held Gonzaga to 39% from the field enabling the Bucks to prevail in the second half.  The Zags tied the game at 61 with 4:05 left, but then Sullinger made his only two field goals of the 2nd half and a Thomas foul shot gave the Bucks a 66-61 point lead.  Sullinger then made two clutch foul shots with 59 seconds left to give the Bucks a 68-61 point lead.  Gonzaga made two foul shots and a prayer 3 pointer in the last 35 seconds, but Buford and Smith combined to make 5 of 6 foul shots down the stretch and the 7.5 point favored Buckeyes had a 73-66 victory much to the chagrin of Charles Barkley who picked the Zags.

         In today’s game OSU out steshot Gonzaga from the field 47 to 39% and from the foul line 78 to 74% while winning steals 6-3, blocks 4 to 1 and personal fouls 17 to 19.  The Zags out shot the Bucks 35 to 28% from downtown and won rebounds 31 to 26, assists 14 to 13 and turnovers 9 to 11.

      Thomas led the Buckeyes in scoring with 18 points in 39 minutes on 7 of 15 from the field, 3 of 7 from 3 point range with 7 boards and two blocks.  Sullinger also scored 18 in 26 minutes on 5 of 9 from

the field, 2 of 2 from downtown with 4 boards.  Craft scored 17 in 40 minutes of action on 7 of 9 from the field with 10 assists and 3 steals.  Buford scored 13 points in 40 minutes on 4 of 13 from the field and 2 of 7 from downtown with 5 boards.  Smith added 7 points on 2 of 6 from the floor with 5 bounds.  For the 3rd time in the last 10 games the bench was scoreless in 27 minutes of action taking only 1 shot.

      Craft’s defense, great for two seasons now, has really been stifling.  Today he took on Kevin Pangos who averages 13.5 point a game.  Pangos was able to score 10 points but he was only 3 of 14 from the field.  In the last 4 games Craft has clamped down on 7 straight point guards including the 2nd (TWICE) and 3rd team all Big Ten guards as follows:

 

CRAFT VS OPPOSING POINT GUARD – AVERAGES OVER LAST 7 GAMES:








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRAFT

Oppon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MIN                       36.7                        31.6

FGM                      3.9                          2.7         

FGA                       6.6                          9.4

FG%                       58.7%                    28.8%                                   

3 PT FGM             .9                            .6

3 PT FGA              2.4                          3.7                         

3 PT %                   35.3%                    15.4%

ASSISTS                5.3                          4.6

STEALS                  3.0                          1.1

TURNOVERS       2.4                          2.1

POINTS                 10.6                        7.3

     Opponent point guards are taking 2.8 more shots a game and scoring 3.3 points less a game.  Craft has held last 7 point guards to 28.8% from the field (while shooting 58.7% himself) and 15.4% from downtown.  Craft leads in assists 5.3 to 4.6, steals 3.0 to 1.1,  but is committing 2.4 turnovers to 2.1 a game for his opponent.

      This corner has been calling Craft the best defensive guard in the NCAA for two years.  Nice to see broadcasters now getting on board and saying the same thing.  He made the Big Ten all defensive team last season and this year when he was also name Big Ten defensive player of the year, an honor usually won by a shot blocking center. 

      In the last two season, behind Craft and Sullinger OSU was #1 in the nation in the polls and #1 seed overall before losing in the sweet 16 game to Kentucky on a field goal with 5 seconds remaining.  This season they were a #2 seed by the NCAA committee but the 2nd favored behind Kentucky by the Odds Makers in Vegas.  Should be favored by about 5 points in the next two games if they win and than by 2 points in the semi-finals.

       The Big Ten have four teams in the sweet 16 and are 9-2.  The Big Ten has been acknowledged all season as the best conference from top to bottom and seem to be proving it in the tournament.  Ironically, the only Big Ten team that lost their first game was Michigan and they lost to Ohio University.  Do you think the Wolverines with still refer to the Buckeyes as Ohio?   Incidentally the 4 teams in the tournament from Ohio are now 8-0!!  OSU 2-0. Ohio 2-0, Xavier 2-0 and Cincinnati 2-0.  First time 4 teams from the same state ever made the sweet 16.  Ohio has the same number of teams in the sweet 16 as all of the schools west of Bloomington, Indiana and two more teams then all of the schools west of Madison, Wisconsin!

        The teams from California, Oregon and Washington continued their regular season struggles in the tourney.  Amazingly only one of 8 PAC 12 teams in the three states made the NCAA tournament.  That was California they lost a play in game to make the top 64 teams!!   Of other teams from the 3 states, I only recall Gonzaga winning a game while LB State. Saint Mary’s and San Diego State lost their first game.    Final record of teams from the 3 west coast states 1-5.
         Thomas has scored 39 points in the two tournament games which is the most of any player.

GAME 36 - MAR 17 -   #7 Ohio State (29-7, 13-5) vs #27 Cincinnati  (26-10, 12-6)

Ohio State                     37        44       81
Cincinnati                     25        41        66


                    OHIO STATE WINS 1ST AND 3RD HALF TO ADVANCE TO FINAL 8 OUTSCORING CINCINNATI 81-66
        It was a strange game which had three distinct portions.  In the first half Thomas scored 20 and Sullinger added 10 and 9 boards for a 37-25 lead.  In the first 9:30 of the 2nd half Cincy blitzed the Bucks 24-8.  Then in the last 10:30 OSU won 36-17.  Guess two out of three will work.  OSU has now won all six halves in their first three games.  

      OSU was down a point when Craft took over the game in a 10-0 blitz by OSU.  He was scoreless and 0-5 but kept shooting.  I thought he looked good shooting as he was tapped 3 times (in and out) and had a layup blocked from behind.  But in the 10-0 blitz he was 2 of 2 for 5 points and his two assists accounted for the other 5 points.  But his defense during the 10-0 run was even more amazing as he had two steals and caused another turnover!   His and the teams defense was so stiflying in this 10-0 run that the Bearcats were only able to get up two shots.  
       OSU won all team stats with the exception of blocks, a rare feat.  OSU outshout Cincy 48 to 40%, 47 to 39% from downtown and 70 to 62% from the line and won boards 33-26, assists 14-8, steals 13-4, turnovers 11-18 and personal fouls 11 to 21.  The Bearcats won blocks 5-1.
        Thomas came into the game as the tournaments leading scorer and probably extended his lead as he poured in 26 on w10 of 17 from the floor including 3 of 5 from downtown with 7 boards (6 in 2nd half) in 39 minutes.  Sullinger scored 23 on 7 of 13 from the field and 9 of 10 from the line with 11 boards and 3 assists in 37 minutes.  Somehow he didn't have a rebound the first 16 minutes of the 2nd half.  Smith scored 15 points on 6 of 7 from the floor including 3 of 4 from long range with 5 bounds in 35 minutes.  Craft finished with 11 (all in the last 11 minutes) on 2 of 7 from the field and 6 of 10 from the line,4 boards, 5 assists and 6 steals along with 4 turnovers in 39 minutes.    Buford was 1-8 with 5 bounds and 3 steals for 4 points in 30 minutes. The bench managed 2 points in 20 minutes along with 3 assists.  
       Next up is #1 seed Syracuse with winner advancing to the final 4.   Syracuse beat Wisconsin 64-63 in probably the best played game of the tournament.   Both teams deserved to win.  Syracuse was 0-6 vs Big Ten teams in their history prior to tonight.  Jordan Taylor missed a 3 point shot  with 2 seconds left.  The Big Ten went 1-2 tonight as # 1 seed Michigan State was easily handled by Louisville 57-44.  Big Ten is now 10-4.  An Ohio school was finally defeated and it took another Ohio team to do it!   Ohio is now 9-1.    


4- 2011-12 OHIO STATE INDIVIDUAL PLAYER AND TEAM STATS FOR EACH GAME



5 - BIG TEN TOURNAMENT 2010-11 SEASON:
GAME 32- MAR 11 #1 Ohio State (29-2, 16-2) vs Northwestern (18-13, 7-11) - OSU wins in OT 67-61.

CraftDriving
Craft Driving for 2 of 17 points.  Craft was a one
man team for first 35 minutes of game.  Awesome.

                              WISCONSIN AND PENN STATE PLAY ONE FOR THE AGES
      Penn State jumped out to an 18-2 lead over 3rd seed Wisconsin in the first 10 minutes, but only won 36-33 in the 2nd lowest scoring game in the last 15 years of NCAA tournament history.  The previous low in Big Ten tournament game was Wisconsin 51 Michigan 34 in 2008, 16 more points than today's game!

     The 36 points scored by Penn State are the 2nd-fewest scored by a winning team in a conference tournament game over the last 15 seasons. The fewest is 35 points, when George Mason defeated UNC-Wilmington 35-33 in the 2001 CAA Championship game.

     Penn State has done this before. Feb. 18, 2009 at Illinois, Penn State won 38-33. Today, against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Quarterfinals, the Nittany Lions won 36-33. Penn State had ZERO players in double figures They played just 7 guys. The 2 bench players combined to play 10 minutes and didn't score Talor Battle played all 40 minutes, shot 3-18 but led the Nittany Lions with 9 points.  Penn State showed great balance as all  starters played 35-40 minutes and scored 6-9 points and the bench scored 0 points.  And they thought Matta played his starters too much!
     Meanwhile Wisconsin's Leuer and Taylor scored 26 and the rest of the team scored 7 points.  Wisconsin had two starters that played 48 minutes and were scoreless with 3 rebounds and 1 assist but 0 turnovers.  Wisconsin only committed 5 turnovers and 12 fouls, but shot 29% from the field including 2 of 21 from downtown!
      And we thought OSU shot poorly today.


                        FRESHMAN CARRY OSU TO OVERTIME WIN     
     OSU scored the last nine points of the first half (7 by Craft) to lead Northwestern at the half 28-23.  Prior to that no one had led by more than 3 points.  Craft led OSU with 9 points on 4 of 8 shooting.  Sullinger was only 2 of 9 from the field, but had 11 bounds.  Diebler was 0 for 3 from downtown and OSU was 1 for 7.  OSU had 0 turnovers and Northwestern only had 3.
     In the teams only regular season game OSU won by a single point.  Each team had 49 possessions in that game as Northwestern slowed the game down.  It was the fewest possessions of any of the 4500 games in college basketball this season.
      Sullinger missed a 13 foot jump shot at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime.  In overtime OSU kept giving the ball to Sullinger and he kept getting fouled.  Sullinger never made a field goal in the last 38 minutes of the game but made 16 of 18 foul shots and grabbed 18 bounds to lead the Buckeyes.   The MVP for the Buckeyes for most of the game was Aaron Craft as he was the only Buckeye that made half of his shots!  He was 6 of 11 from the floor and 4 of 5 from the foul line to score a season high 17 points.  He also had 7 bounds and 2 assists and held Northwestern star Thompson to 15 points on 5 of 12 from the floor after he scored a Big Ten tournament record 35 yesterday.   I am still upset that Craft did not make any of the first 3 Big Ten teams.  He was Honorable Mention by the Media and didn't even get that by the coaches.  Unbelievable.  I still maintain he is OSU 2nd best player.  The other 4 starters were all on the first 3 All Big Ten teams.
      Diebler didn't make a three pointer until overtime but it was a big one as it gave OSU a 6 point lead with 2:22 remaining.  He scored 13 points on 4 of 10 from the field but only 1 of 5 from downtown but had 3 bounds and 0 turnover for the 3rd straight game.  Lighty had 8 points on 3 of 8 from the floor and 6 boards and 3 blocked shots.  Buford  scored 7 points on 3 of 14 from the field with 5 bounds.  For some reason Matta had Buford shoot two technical fouls in OT and he missed both.
      Diebler and Sullinger played all 45 minutes.  Once again the iron man myth was blown away.  The two iron men scored all 15 points in OT while making all 12 foul shots including 10 by Sullinger.
      Northwestern won most of stat battles.  The wildcats out shot OSU 37 to 32% from the field, 33 to 20% from downtown and 89 to 81% from the line.  NW also was assists 7-3 and turnovers 5-6.  OSU won board battle 41-24 and committed 16 fouls to 23 for NW.
      Sullinger's 18 boards was one off of  tourney record held by Greg Oden.  OSU's 32% tied their worst % of the year.  Sullinger's 16 made free throws was a Big Ten tournament record.
      OSU has been seeded #1 in four of last 6 Big Ten tournaments winning 2 of previous 3.
Last year tournament games are below.  It took a 37 buzzer beater to win game 1 last year and overtime to win game 2 before blowing out Minnesota in game 3.
GAME 33- MAR 11 #1 Ohio State (30-2, 16-2) vs Michigan (20-12, 9-9) - OSU wins  68-61

LightyBound Sieber11Min
Lighty grabs missed foul shot and scores       Siebert played first meaningful minutes of the
                                                                           season and had a steal and dunk in 11 minutes
                   OSU IN FINALS AFTER 68-61 LEAD OVER MICHIGAN
      OSU struggled to a four point half time lead as both Lighty and Craft sat out much of the first half with 2 fouls.  The 2nd half was a series of streaks.  OSU opened up an 11 point lead only to see 11 point underdog Michigan rally to with 2 points.  Then OSU scored 16 straight points to grab an 18 point lead.  Michigan than rallied to with 4 points with 20 second remaining before the Buckeyes finally put away the game by a 68-61 margin.  The Buckeyes led 65-48 with 1:47 left.  Michigan scored 13 straight points in the next 86 seconds to pull within 4 points.
     OSU won most of the stat battles.  They outshot Michigan 46 to 37% from the field, 36 to 31% from downtown, won 34-27 on bounds, blocked shots 6-2 and committed 13 fouls to 20 for Michigan.  Michigan outshot OSU from the foul line 80 to 57%.  Both teams had 9 turnovers.
     Diebler was high scorer for the 3rd time in 4 games with 16 points on 6 of 12 from the floor but only 3-8 from downtown.  He also had 5 boards and 3 assists but also 5 turnovers after having 0 in the prior 3 games.  Sullinger scored 14 on 5 of 13 from the floor and 4 of 10 from the foul line.  He also had 13 boards.  Buford also scored 14 on 6 of 14 from the floor with 4 boards.  Thomas had 9 points on 4 of 6 from the field and 4 boards.  Craft scored 9 on 2 of 3 from the floor but only 4 of  7 from the line with 3 assists and no turnovers.  Diebler and Buford both played all 40 minutes while Sullinger was in for 36 minutes.
      Diebler streak of 4 games without a turnover ended in this game.  Longest Buckeye streaks without a turnover prior to Diebler was 3, once each by Sullinger and Lighty.
      The 29 three's shot by Michigan was 2nd most by an OSU opponent.  Northwestern shot 30 in conference game.  Third most attempts was 25.
      Four of the last 5 Buckeye opponents have scored exactly 61 points.
      OSU opponents have less than 10 turnovers each of last 3 games after doing so only 3 times in first 30 games.  OSU has committed less than  10 turnovers 14 times including 11 of last 16 games.
      OSU is now 17-16 vs the Odds this season.
      OSU will play in the finals for the 3rd straight season, only the second time that has been done.
      
      
  
GAME 34- MAR 12 #1 Ohio State (31-2, 16-2) vs Penn State (19-13, 9-9) - OSU wins 71-60

HULK

JARED 'HULK' SULLINGER LEADS BUCKEYES TO BIG TEN TOURNEY TITLE

           JARED SULLINGER ALL AMERICAN AND FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
     Jared Sullinger of Ohio State was named freshman of the year today by the US Basketball Writers
Association, one day after being the only freshman to make the organization's five-man All American first team.
     The USBWA also chose a Freshman All American team for the first time this season.  Joining
Sullinger on that team are Harrison Barnes of North Carolina, Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight of
Kentucky, and Tristan Thompson of Texas.
 
     
              OSU WINS BIG TEN TOURNAMENT 2ND STRAIGHT YEAR
    OSU led Penn State by 6 points at half, increased the lead to 18 points and Penn State could get no closer than 8 points the rest of the game.  OSU becomes the first team to win back to back Big Ten Tournaments since Michigan State in 1999-2000.   Michigan State won the NCAA in 2000.
     OSU won most of the stat battles vs the 10.5 point under dog Nittany Lions.  OSU outshot Penn State 51 to 39%, 44 to 39% from downtown, won bounds 25-24, assists 14-8, blocks 8-2, committed 7 turnovers to 8 for Penn State and committed 9 personal fouls to 17 for  Penn State.   Penn State outshot OSU from the foul line 100% to 60%.  OSU shot 64% from the floor in the 2nd half.
     Buford led the scoring with 18 points on 7 of 14 with 4 boards but 3 turnovers.  Sullinger scored 25 points on 5 of 11 from the floor and 5 of 10 from the foul line with 11 boards, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 0 turnovers.  Diebler was by far the most efficient player scoring 15 points on 5 of 8 from the field including 3 of 5 from downtown and grabbed 6 boards.  Craft had another solid game scoring 9 points on 4 of 6 from the floor and handed out 3 assists.  He did a great job on defending Battle most of the game.  Battle made two three pointers before Craft entered game than made 3 of 12 shots when OSU put the game away.  Battle made 4 of 5 shots down the stretch when OSU let him drive to the bucket rather than foul him, most of those when other defenders switched off on him.  Lighty scored 8 points on 2 of 6 from the field with 5 assists.  Lauderdale scored 6 points on 3 of 4 from the floor and 3 blocks.  It was the second consecutive game he has given OSU a spark while relieving Sullinger.
     After 4 of the last 5 opponents scored 61 points, OSU held Penn State to 60 points.
    
OSU is #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament.  Seven Big Ten teams made the NCAA Tournament.   Five wins in OSU's current 7 game winning streak were against teams in the Tournament.  All 7 games were won by at least 6 points.  OSU have won last 7 games by an average of 15.7 points.

                              BIG TEN TOURNAMENT NOTABLES
     In the Big Ten tournament Sullinger played three games in three days, averaged 40.5 minutes, absorbed countless body blows and became the first player in tournament history to post three straight double doubles in points and rebounds.
     Point guard Aaron Craft had two turnovers in 99 minutes on the floor and helped rescue the Buckeyes against Northwestern with 17 points and a career high 7 rebounds.
     Sullinger, the second freshman to be voted the tournament's most outstanding player (Greg Oden was first in 2007).   Sullinger set a tournament record with 38 free throw attempts.  His 25 makes was the second most to the 29 made by Ohio State's Brent Darby in 2003.
      Sullinger's 42 rebounds in three tournament games ranked 3rd in tournament history.   Reggie Evans of Iowa
has the top two with 51 in 2001 and 44 in 202, but both were in four games as was Darby's made free throws.
    

6- NCAA TOURNAMENT 2010-11 SEASON
  NCAA TOURNAMENT STATS AND OTHER STATS
       The Buckeye consistency is rooted in a balanced, efficient offense that produce the second highest scoring
average of 74.5 points a  game in  Big  Ten play in the past 20 years.  The only team that averaged more was
Illinois (75.9) in 2005, when it reached the NCAA title game.
     The Buckeyes top four scorers averaged between 12 and 18 points in conference games, and the Buckeyes shot 50 % from the field.  That has been done in the Big Ten only three times in the past 18 years. 
       The Buckeyes averaged the second-fewest fouls per game (14.4) in Division 1 in the regular season.
        The Buckeyes played 11 teams that are in the NCAA tournament this year.  They are: 2nd seeded Florida (OSU won 93-75), 10th seeded Florida State (OSU won 58-44), 13th seeded Morehead State (OSU won 64-55), 13th seeded Oakland (OSU won 92-63), North Carolina Asheville (play in team) (OSU won 96-49),
3rd seeded Purdue (OSU won 87-64, lost 76-63), 4th seeded Wisconsin (OSU lost 71-67, won 93-65), 8th seeded Michigan Won 68-64, 62-53 and 68-61),  9th seeded Illinois (OSU won 73-68 and 89-70), 10th seeded Penn State (OSU won 69-66, 82-61 and 71-60) and 10th seeded Michigan State (OSU won 71-61).  The Buckeyes record vs the 11 tournament teams was 16-2.  They out-
scored the opponents in the 18 games78-62!  OSU record vs non NCAA tournament teams was 16-0 and OSU outscored them by an average of 79-57.  Thirteen of Buckeyes last 18 games were played against teams in the NCAA tourney and 2 of remaining 5 were vs NIT invitee Northwestern.


GAME 35- MAR 12 #1 Ohio State (32-2, 16-2) vs  U. Texas at San Antonio (20-13) - OSU wins 75-46

DealWithIt Scoring
Light in front of crowd at Wisconsin game     Sullinger goes up for score

Steal Scores
Buford on way for 2 of 18 points                Thomas scores 13 in 20 minutes
                BUCKEYES ROLL INTO FIELD OF 32 WITH OPENING ROUND 75-46 WIN
      University Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), a 23 point underdog stayed with OSU early leading 9-5 but OSU outscored them 32-12 the remainder of the half to lead 37-21.  OSU shot lights out sinking 15 of 23 (65%) including 6 of 10 from three point area.  Buford scored 10 of the Buckeyes first 12 points and finished the half with 15 points on 6 of 10, 4 boards and 3 assists.  Sullinger had 9 points on 4 of 5 and 6 boards.  Diebler had 9 on 3 of 5 from downtown and 4 assists.  OSU had 15 baskets on 14 assists and won the rebound battle 14-6.
     OSU coasted in the second half leading by as much as 38 points (70-32) before settling for a 75-46 win in the first round of the NCAA tourney.  OSU outshot UTSA 56 to 34%, 50 to 24 % on 3's, out assisted UTSA by an amazing 26-6 margin, and won boards 33 to 24.  UTSA made 6 of 7 four shot and OSU made 5 of 8.
     Buford led the scoring with 18 points on 7 of 12 from the floor including 3 of 5 from downtown, 6 boards and 5 assists.  Diebler scored 14 points on 4 of 8 from long range, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.  Thomas came off the bench to score 13 points on 5 of 7, 8 boards and 3 assists.  Sullinger scored 11 points on 5 of 6, 9  boards and 3 steals.  Lighty scored 8 on 3 of 5 and 5 assists.  Craft didn't score but dished out 7 assists but had 4 turnovers.
      Diebler made a 3 pointer for the 51st straight game.
     
A heavily scarlet-and-gray-clad crowd of 20,164 was a record for a college basketball game in the state of Ohio.

       Five of the seven Big Ten teams making the NCAA tournament won their first round game to advance to the final 32.  The two teams losing (Penn State and Michigan State) both lost by a point.  All of the winning teams won by at least 11 points and all five were ahead by at least 19  points in their first tournament game.  Seven of 11 Big East team advanced to round of 32. 
      OSU played 11 of the 64 teams in the tournament  and 7 of them advanced to  the round of 32 and five of 7 won by  11 or  more points.  OSU  was  10-2 vs the 7 teams remaining.
GAME 36- MAR 20 #1 Ohio State (33-2, 16-2) vs George Mason (27-6)

OSU-GM

Sullinger Craft
       Sullinger Dunks - 18 points in 22 minutes              Lighty, 7 for 7 on 3's, high five's with Craft who had 15 assists

Another3
Diebler cans 4 more 3's to extend steak to 52 games with a 3.
In last 7 games Diebler has sunk 32 of 54 3 pointers (59%).

                                OSU CRUSHES GEORGE MASON 98-66
      George Mason, a 13 point underdog, jumped to an 11-2 lead before the Buckeye unleashed their fury.  OSU out scored George Mason 50-15 the remainder of the half, led by as much as 38 in the second half before settling for a 98-66 victory.  OSU was deadly from long range making 16 of 26 (61.5%) from three point land including 7 of 7 by David Lighty.  In the last 7 games OSU has made 70 of 134 (52%) shots from downtown.
      OSU outshot George Mason 61 to 43% from the field, 61.5 to 44% from 3 point line, won assists 23-13, boards 31-28, turnovers 9-17 and fouls committed 11 to 17.  The Bucks were outshot from the foul line 86% (6 of 7)  to 56% (10 of 18).
       The Bucks were led by Lighty with 25 points on 9 of 10 from the field including 7 of 7 from downtown with 4 boards and 3 assists, but was 0-2 from the foul line.  In the previous seven games Lighty was 6 of 14 from downtown!   Sullinger added 18 points on 7 of 10 from the floor with 8 bounds.  Buford also scored 18 points on 7 of 14 including 4 of 7 from downtown and 5 boards and 2 steals.  Diebler scored 13 on 4 of 8 from downtown with no turnovers.  Thomas added 7 points in 13 minutes on 3 of 7 from the floor.  Craft only shot 3 times making 2 for 6 points but had an amazing 15 assists.
       Most experts have been saying there are no great teams in college basketball.  I have been saying that Ohio State is a great team for weeks, and once again today the Bucks continued to prove my point.   Rick Pitino, Louisville Coach, joined me today saying Ohio State is a great team. 
       Crafts 15 assists was 3rd most in  tournament play in the last three years as Mitch Johnson of Stanford and Earl Watson of UCLA had 16 assists.
       The  OSU  victory was the most lopsided victory in school history
        Lighty set a tournament record for most makes without a miss from 3 point land going 7 for 7.
        The 26 assists in the first game set a tournament record and tied a season high against Tennessee Martin.  They added 23 assists today, 3rd most of any game this season. 
         OSU is now in the sweet 16 and play Kentucky in their next game.  They are 5-0 vs Kentucky in prior tournament games.  They both played the same 4 opponents this season.  Kentucky beat Indiana at home 81-62 (OSU beat on the road 81-62 and 82-61 a home), South Carolina 67-58 on the road and 90-59 at home (OSU beat SC 79-57 at home), lost to Florida on the road 70-68, beat Florida at home 76-68 and beat Florida in their tournament at a neutral site 70-54 (OSU won at Florida 83-65).  OSU was 4-0 on similar opponents with Kentucky 6-1.  OSU played Florida better than Kentucky but they were about the same on the other 3 opponents.

     George Mason coach Jim Larranaga said William Buford - 7 of 14 from the field and 4 of 7 on three-pointers for 18 points - and Lighty, who finished with 25 points, were priorities No. 3 and 4 for his defenders.

"First it was (Jared) Sullinger. We began with how are we going to defend in the post," Larranaga said. "The second was (Jon) Diebler because of his ability to stretch the defense with his three-point shooting ability. And then it was let's pray that Buford and Lighty don't go off. You don't think that will happen, but you do hope that at least one or two of them will have an off-night shooting. But instead they were on fire."

     The result was a performance that left a lot of observers agape. Ohio State, the top overall seed in the tournament, led 52-26 at halftime and kept pouring it on; at one point, before the bench was emptied, the Buckeyes led 87-49.

     It was a great day to be an Ohio State player or fan. But it was an incredible day for a Cleveland native who not only had the game of his life in front of the hometown folks but also graduated from college in a special morning ceremony staged for him and three teammates  at Quicken Loans Arena. 

     "Coach would always tell us that once you get that diploma, there's no greater feeling than to have it in your hand," Lighty said. "You listen to him and it's like OK, but when it actually happens you find out he was right.

"Going through the whole five years of me being here and actually graduating is something that no one can ever take away from me."

     And the prolonged exit with his family? Well, that was special, too.

"It was kind of emotional," Lighty said. "My mom had a couple of tears. It was a special moment. I just pretty much got to hold them and tell them how thankful of them I am."

                                             CRAFT AMAZES
   Two George Mason players were trying to trap Ohio State's Aaron Craft near mid-court.

Most players, certainly most freshman, would have been content to find an exit. Craft has long proved he's not a typical player, let alone freshman.

     I n the midst of this peril, he detected Jared Sullinger near the basket. Like a lacrosse player, he whipped a pass through the defense to Sullinger for a layup.  Slag comment: Greatest pass I ever saw.

     On the bench, Buckeyes junior William Buford couldn't believe it.

    "Oh, my God," he said. "I asked him, 'How did you get that in there?' That was crazy. I ain't never seen a pass like that."

     Ohio State has never had a performance like Craft's yesterday, at least in terms of assists. His 15 in the Buckeyes' 98-66 victory set a school record and was the fourth-most in NCAA Tournament history.  It was the most assists by a Big Ten Freshman in any game (regular season and tournament). 

      The pass to Sullinger wasn't the only highlight worthy assist. In the second half, he lost the handle on a ball and dived to retrieve it. He outfought a George Mason player and flipped it to Jon Diebler to avoid a traveling call as he rolled on the ground. Diebler hit a three-pointer and was fouled.  Slag comment:  maybe 2nd best pass I ever saw!

"      That was unbelievable," Diebler said.

       Blending a freshman point guard on a veteran team can be a problem, but that hasn't been an issue with Craft.

"I think it's just because of his personality," Diebler said. "He's willing to be led. He's very smart and mature for his age. He knew what his role was going to be when he got here, and he accepted that.

      "All he wants to do is win. When you have guys like that, it makes it easy."

Days gets first point Senior walk-on Eddie Days scored his first point when he made a free throw with 1:17 left.

     "It was almost like a monkey off my back," he said. "Everybody's been talking about it. It's good to get it."

Days had missed all seven of his career field-goal attempts. This was his first trip to the line.

      Days was a walk-on as a freshman, then took time off because of a heart condition. After two years practicing with the OSU women's team, he returned to the men's team this year.


     Diebler hit a 3 pointer in the last 2 seconds of the first half for the fourth time in about the last 8 games.  He also had his 2nd 4 point play in last 7 games.

    
Aaron Craft had a school-record 15 assists, and the Buckeyes set or matched school records for an NCAA Tournament game with 16 three-point field goals, 26 attempts, a .615 three-point percentage and 98 points scored.  The 98 points tied the 1960 record vs Western Kentucky.

     Lighty's seven threes in as many attempts was the third-best performance behind the arc in NCAA Tournament history. Craft's 15 assists were the fourth-most in a tournament game. 

Numbers for dummies

5: Football games that OSU might want to start Craft at quarterback to begin next football season. The freshman showed in power passes to Sullinger and Dallas Lauderdale that he has the arm for the job.

4: Players (Lighty, Lauderdale, Diebler and Nikola Kecman) who missed OSU's graduation yesterday but received their diplomas during a mock ceremony on the Quicken Loans Arena floor in the morning.

23: Assists credited to Craft in two tournament games, nearly half of OSU's 49 total.

GAME 37- MAR 20 #1 Ohio State (34-2, 16-2) vs #11 Kentucky (28-8, 10-6) - Kentucky wins 62-60









Harrellson
Harrellson fights for ball with Sullinger










                                 WOMEN FALL TO TENNESSEE 87-75 IN SWEET 16 GAME
      OSU (24-10 and 4th seed) lost to #1 seeded Tennessee (34-2) in a sweet 16 game as both men and women lost in the same round.  Both teams were last team in Big Ten remaining when they suffered their loss.  Lavendar finished her year with 19 points and 10 boards on 9 of 17 from the floor.   waPrahaliss high scorer with 22 points on 9 of 18 from the floor and 7 assists.  But the two players combined for 9 turnovers.
       Tennessee outrebounded OSU 46-29 and won turnover battle 9 to 13.
       OSU made 16 of 24  (67%) of their shots in the first half and led 42-40 at the half..
        Lavender recorded her 77th double-double and scored in double figures in all 136 games she played in during her four year career that saw her win Big Ten player of the year 4 times, the only player in history to win player of the year in a major conference all 4 years.
    
Lavender finished her career at Ohio State as the only four-time Big Ten player of the year. She earned her bachelor's degree in sport and leisure studies on March 20 and is the program's all-time leading scorer (2,818) and the Big Ten's all-time leading rebounder (1,432).
     Lavender's new life started yesterday in Bristol, Conn., when the Los Angeles Sparks selected her with the fifth pick of the draft
.


4Slagles
3-25-11   Jim W, Jim A, Brutus, John and Nelson Slagle at Jim A's for OSU 62-60 loss to Kentucky

                                                                       WACKY 2011 NCAA TOURNAMENT
      The 2011 NCAA Tournament final 4 teams had the 2nd highest seed ever (adding 4 seeds together - 3,4,10, 11 or 28)
      
The 2011 NCAA Tournament final 4 teams combined record was a winning record was 76%.  The worst winning record was 71% and the third  wworstas 81%!!
        Final 4 teams are all  east of the Mississippi River.  Teams are Kentucky, Connecticut, VMU (Virginia)  and Butler (Indiana).  Sixteen of the top 25 teams in final AP  poll  were east of the Mississippi.
         Final 4 teams were ranked  9 ,Connecticut  11th  Kentucky,  33 Butler and unranked  VMU (no votes).
         VMU already has made most  amazing run in NCAA tourney.  Most thought they shouldn't have been in tournament as they were 4th place team in a mid major conference with a 12-6 record and 23-11 overall.  They may have been the 68th team in a 68 team field.  They had to win a play-in game over USC (Southern California) to make the final 64  and have now won 5 straight games as underdogs vs teams in 5 different major conferences and four have been double digit wins!
          VMU wins were over 11th seed and unranked USC 59-46,  #6 seed and 26th ranked Georgetown 74-56, #3 seed and 13th ranked Purdue 94-76, #10th seed and unranked Florida State 72-71 in OT,  #1 seed and 2nd ranked Kansas 71-61.

                                                                  FINAL POlLS

    AP - PRIOR TO NCAA TNY               ESPN/USA
                                                                                                          RECORD
1-  Ohio State (51)                           
1-  Connecticut (30)                    30-9
2-  Kansas (14)                                 2- Butler                                      27-9
3-  Duke                                            3- Kentucky                                29.8
4-  Pittsburgh                                    4-  Kansas                                   35-3
5-  Notre Dame                                5-  Ohio State (1)                         34-3
6-  San Diego State                          6-  Virginia Commonwealth (VCU)  28-11
7-  North Carolina                            7- Duke                                       32-5       
8-  Texas                                           8-  North Carolina                      29-8 
9-  Connecticut                                 9-  Arizona                                   30-8
10- Brigham Young                         10-  Florida                                   29-8    
11- Kentucky                                   11-  San Diego State                   34-3

-
     As noted above the final AP poll was tallied after the regular season and before the NCAA tourney started.  The ESPN/USA poll was taken after the NCAA tournament.
      The ESPN/USA seems to rank primarily how teams did in the NCAA tournament.  As far as I know they were rating the teams on who was best.  Only one writer picked OSU first and took a lot of heat in the press.  As far as I am concerned the 30 voting Connecticut as the best team should be taking the heat and will take the heat from me! 
       The best team is the team who is the best team based on the season of work.  How can you rate a team with 9 losses ahead of  a team with 3 losses with both teams playing in the best two conferences.  The AP voted OSU first and Connecticut 9th.  Granted Connecticut won the NCAA over Butler in the worst final game shooting exhibition in NCAA finals history.  But a win is a win.  Yes  Connecticut won their conference tournament by winning 5 games in 5 days, very impressive but they were 9th in their conference, 9th!!!!   OSU won their conference tournament and finished first in their conference by 2 games.  There only two regular season  losses were to two teams who were unbeaten at home this season and ranked from 5th to 20th almost all season.   OSU's loss in the NCAA was to Kentucky on  a tough shot  with 5 seconds remaining  then OSU missed a good look at a 3 pointer by a 44% shooter.   You  probably could say  that one shot that didn't go in cost  OSU 4 places in the final ESPN/USA poll.  Makes no sense to this writer.
        Most of the season the experts were saying there were no great teams this year.  After the first two rounds of the NCAA several were saying there was one great team including Rick Pitino (coach of Louisville) and Jim Rome.  One missed shot and they are all of a sudden 5th best teams instead of class of  basketball.  Makes no sense to me.
         Butler being voted 2nd is even worse.   They tied for first with Cleveland State with a 13-5 record in conference.  There losses included Milwaukee (2), Valparaiso and Wright State.  Kentucky, 3rd, had 8 losses and finished 3 games behind Florida, a team OSU beat at Florida by 20 points.  Kansas at least only had 3 losses and they and OSU should have been the top two rated teams.  VCU 6th is another joke.  They were 4th place in a mid level conference with 6 losses, two games out of 3rd place!   Enough said.
       Another way to look at it is if two teams played tomorrow who would the experts favor?  I maintain OSU would be favored vs any team ahead of them and by 10 or so vs Butler and VCU.  If that is the case they are the better team.  OSU would be about a 3 point favorite over Connecticut and Kansas and 5 over Kentucky (were 6 point favorite in tourney match up) on a neutral court in my opinion. 
Case closed. 
                                                    OSU UPSET BY KENTUCKY 62-60
          Six point underdog Kentucky used a beautiful 15 foot pull up jumper off a drive by freshman Brandon Knight to down the Buckeyes to reach the final 8 teams in the 2011 NCAA tournament.  Kentucky used a great defensive effort and poor shooting by OSU to pull the upset of the #1 seed in the tournament.  OSU led by 7 early in the game, but for the last 30 minutes of the game neither team led by more than 4 points and in last 17 minutes the largest lead was 3 points  in a tense 2nd half.  OSU called a timeout with 31 seconds remaining in the game and down by 3.  They ran a play for Diebler , but he had trouble getting  a sthroughcreen but they still got the ball to him.  He made a couple of moves before sinking a 24 footer to tie the game with 21 seconds remaining.  Kentucky put the ball in the hands of their clutch player all year, Knight, and he ran the clock to 8 seconds before driving by Craft and pulling up for the decisive 15 footer with 5.4 seconds remaining, his 2nd game winner of the tourney.  OSU rushed the ball down court and Buford was able to get a good look at a 3 pointer but it was just short for his 14th miss in 16 tries.  Knight was only 2 for 9 and forced into 6 turnovers by Craft before becoming the hero for Kentucky.
       Kentucky held the Bucks to 32.8% shooting, their 3rd worst game of the year.  The Buckeyes also made only 6 of 16 three pointers, 4 of 7 by Diebler and 2 of 9 for the remaining cast.  The Wildcats also blocked a season high 11 shots to 1 for OSU.  Kentucky outshot OSU 46 to 33% and were 6 of 17 from
3 point land while winning assists 11-7 and rebounds 31-30 and made 12 of 14 free throws to 16 of 22 for OSU.  OSU only made 7 of their last 12 charity tosses.   OSU won turnovers 7 to 11 and fouls 13 to 17
Liggins came off the bench to hit 5 of 8 shots for Kentucky and grabbed 6 boards.  The Bucks bench were 0-6 for 2 points as 4 starters scored 58 of the 60 points.
     Sullinger had the best line for the Bucks with 21 points and 16 boards on 7 of 14 from the field and 7 of 9 from the floor in 39 minutes.  But he only had 0 assists and 4 turnovers.  His counter part, Harrellson  scored 17 points and grabbed 10 boards.  Sully out rebounded Harrellson in the 2nd half 10-2 and outscored him 11-5 in the 2nd half.  Diebler was the only other Buckeye to shoot well making 5 of  10 including 4 of 7 from downtown on the way to 16 points in 40 minutes.  But he only had one board, no assists and no turnovers.  Lighty was 5 for 12 for 12 points and 4 assists in 40 minutes.  Buford was a woeful 2-16 for 9 points but did make all 4 foul shots in 37 minutes.  Craft was 0 for 5 but did have 6 bounds and 4 steals but only 2 points and 2 assists in 36 minutes.  Thomas was 0-1 in 3 minutes of action and Lauderdale never shot in 5 minutes of action.
       Sullinger became the only Buckeye with at least 15 bounds and 20 points in the last 15 years of tourney play for the Buckeyes.
       Diebler made an amazing 114 of 227 three pointers (50.2%) for the season and also made 31 of 59 two pointers (52.5%) and 81 % of his foul shots in his final season.  Last season he shot 44% overall, 42% from 3 point range, but made 87% of his foul shots. He averaged 12.6 points a game down from 13.0 last year and boards were down  each of his final two seasons.  He had a career low in turnovers of 35 less than 1 a game while having his best assist total of 88, an excellent 2.5 assists to turnover ratio.  His points per shot increased each year from 1.05 to .33 to 1.42 to a phenomenal 1.64 this season.  In comparison Sullinger was an excellent 1.55 due to drawing fouls, Lauderdale 1.54, Craft 1.41, Lighty 1.35 and Buford 1.20.
                                          FROM THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

     This season is over because, for the second year in a row in the Sweet 16, Ohio State (34-3) ran into a Southeastern Conference team (Tennessee last year) whose athleticism it not only could not match but had not faced in the plodding, physical Big Ten Conference.

     "That's the best team we played this year," coach Thad Matta said.

     Buckeyes, the top seed in the East, were among the most athletic teams in the Big Ten but had not faced a team with fourth-seeded Kentucky's athleticism since playing Florida State on Nov. 30.

     The Seminoles blocked 10 shots, and the Buckeyes shot 32.2 percent from the field in that game. Ohio State won because it attempted 12 more shots from the field, made nine more free throws, and Florida State shot only 35.4 percent.

     Kentucky blocked 11 shots, shot 45.8 percent and held Ohio State to 32.8 percent because of its size and athleticism. Five players blocked shots.
     Ohio State's 60 points were a season low.  The game was 30-30 each half before Knight's game winner.



                                           NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS
        Diebler finished with a made three pointer in 53 straight games. 
        OSU won 34-3 games this season, 2nd to 35-4 in 2007   
        OSU won first 24 games, 2nd best start in school history to the 1960-61 teams 27-0 start.
        OSU won 24 straight games, 2nd longest streak to 1960-1 when Buckeyes on 32 straight.
        OSU was #1 in polls 7 weeks including final week and were #1 seed in the tourney.
        OSU was a all time Buckeye best of 20-0 on their home floor
        Combined football record of 46-4 was third best all time
        OSU won Big Ten regular season title for 4th time in 7 years (I think)
        OSU won Big Ten tournament for 2nd straight year and 3rd time in 4 years.  Each of last 2
              years one of the victories was in overtime.
        Sullinger was named Freshman of the year in division 1 and was on 5 player All American team.
 
 MORE DISPATCH:  

     You know the game stats by now. Let's recap the season.

     Sullinger's 21 points and 16 rebounds were his 18th double-double, tying Herb Williams' school record for a freshman. Sullinger averaged 17.2 points and 10.2 rebounds; he's the first Ohio State player to average a double-double since Brad Sellers (19.8/12.6) in 1985-86 and the first freshman since Herb Williams (16.7/11.4) in 1977-78.

     Senior Jon Diebler made a school-record 50.2 percent of his three-point attempts, eighth-best in Big Ten history, and finished with a conference-record 374 career threes.      
     Buford's 44.2 was the second-best three-point percentage in school history.

     Senior David Lighty played in a school-record 157 games, won a record 129 and joined Jim Jackson and Evan Turner as the only Buckeyes with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. He finishes second in school history in steals with 191.

      Craft's 177 assists and 73 steals were the second-most by an Ohio State freshman, behind Mike Conley Jr. (238/87).

      The offense ranks as the most efficient in NCAA Division I and was the best in Matta's seven seasons. The Buckeyes' 42.3 three-point percentage and 587 assists are school records. The defense allowed 59.7 points per game, lowest in the Matta era.

   







    
 

7- 2010-11 OHIO STATE INDIVIDUAL PLAYER AND TEAM STATS FOR EACH GAME



INDEX OF CONTENTS:
A- Pictures from 1960 and 2011 teams
B- OSU 2011-12 schedule and preseason polls
C- OSU 2011-12 roster and forecast

1- Game by Game write ups of 2011-12 season - 31 games
2-- Big Ten Tournament - 2012
3-  NCAA Tournment 1 2012
4- Team and player stats for each game for 2011-12
5-  2011 Big Ten Tournament
6- 2011 OSU NCAA Tournament games
7-  Final OSU stats for 2010-11 season
8-  Final Game of 2009-2010
9-  2010 Big Ten Tournament
10-  209-2010 Season OSU NCAA Tournament games
11-  1960 NCAA win over California and lots of info about players and season
12-  Jerry Lucas profile
13-  Pictures from 50 year anniversary celebration of 1960 NCAA championship on 1-31-2010
14-  Profiles on some of Lucas 1960 teammates including John Havelick and Larry Siegfried
15-  Jarad Sullinger & top OSU teammates in last two years
 high school stats
16-  OSU Basketball team and individual records from 1925-2007




8- FINAL GAME 2009-10 SEASON
GAME 31 March 2, 2010  - Illinois (18-11, 10-6) 57 at Ohio State (23-7, 13-4) 73
FINAL GAME 2009-10 REGULAR SEASON


                FINAL BIG  TEN  STANDINGS
         

TEAM                         W-L            OVERALL W-L

Purdue                         14-4                    26-4

Michigan State            14-4                    24- 7

Ohio State                   14-4                    24- 7

Wisconsin                   13-5                    23- 7

Illinois                        10- 8                  18-13           

 Minnesota                    9-9                   18-12 

Northwestern               7-11                  19-12

 Michigan                     7-11                 14-16

Iowa                             4-14                 10-21

Indiana                         4-14                 10-20

Penn State                    3-15                 11-19    


Turner was joined on the All-Big Ten first team by Lucas, E'Twaun  and Robbie Hummel of Purdue and high-school teammate Demetri McCarney of Illinois. Turner and McCarney played for Westchester St. Joseph in a suburb of Chicago.

The media but not the coaches voted unanimously for Turner as player of the year. Turner said he did not know who snubbed him, "but that doesn't matter, to tell you the truth."

 

William Buford and David Lighty of Ohio State were voted to the third team, Jon Diebler received honorable mention, and Dallas Lauderdale was named to the All-Defensive team.

 

Turner is the fifth Buckeye to earn the conference's player of the year award, following Dennis Hopson (1987), Jim Jackson ('91 and '92), Scoonie Penn ('99) and Terence Dials (2006).


Turner led the Big Ten in scoring (20.1 points per game), rebounding (8.3) and steals (2.0) and finished second to McCamey in assists (5.9) in conference play. He is the only player to finish in the top two in scoring, rebounds and assists since assists became an official statistic in 1983.

Ohio State coach Thad Matta was voted coach of the year by the media. Matt Painter of Purdue received the nod from his fellow coaches. Ohio State and Purdue shared the regular-season title with Michigan State. Matta also won the award in 2006 and 2007. He has been voted coach of the year five times in 10 years as a coach in three conferences

                                                        OSU DEFEATS ILLINOIS IN REGULAR SEASON FINAL
      Turner had an unusual sub par game, but Jon Diebler came to the rescue in the first half by sinking 5 of 8  3-pointers to help OSU lead 37-33 at the half.  All the starters contributed in the 2nd half and the Bucks pulled away for a 73-57 win over visiting Illinois.  Matta even pulled the starters with a minute to go.  It broke a streak of 199 consecutive minutes for Diebler! 
      The win clinched a share of the Big Ten championship for OSU, the 3rd in the last 5 years for the Buckeyes.  It also will make OSU the #1 seed in the Big Ten tournament.
      Diebler finished with 21 points on 7 of 14 from the field, all 3 pointers and grabbed 3 boards. 
In the last 6 games Diebler is 22 of 58 (38%) on 3 pointers and 4 of 4 on two pointers!  It was nice to see Diebler on target tonight.
       Turner tallied 16 points on 7 of 16 including 2 of 2 from downtown, 12 boards and 5 assists.  Buford tallied 17 points on 4 of 12 and 9 of 11 from foul line, 7 boards, 6 assists and 4 steals.   Lighty chipped in with 15 points on 4 of 7, 6 of 8 from the foul line , 5 rebounds and  assists. 
        After going scoreless in 3 of last 4 games the reserves contributed 2 points tonight.  The Iron 4 scored 69 of the 73 points.
        Turner now seems to be a lock for Player of the Year.

        WOMEN MOVES TO FINALS WITH 82-73 WIN OVER WISCONSIN.
     The OSU women defeated Wisconsin 82-73 in the Semi-finals of the Big Ten Tourney in Indianapolis.  Wisconsin led by 43-39 at half and by as much as 8 points in the 2nd half but OSU were clutch going down the stretch behind their two All Big Ten Players.  Three time Big Ten player of the year, 6'4" Junior Jantel Lavender scored 27 (19 in 2nd half) points, 13 of 16 from the foul line, and grabbed 9 bounds.  5'7" Sophomore Samantha Prahalis who scored 29 including a tournament record 11 of 11 foul shots, grabbed 6 bounds and handed off 4 assists.  Lavender & Prahalis scored 37 of the Buckeye 43 points in the 2nd half!!  OSU also made 34 of 38 foul shots.  They should teach the men how to shoot foul shots.
      The OSU women have won 6 straight Big Ten regular season but only 2 of the last 5 tourneys.

 OSU RALLIES FROM 16 DOWN TO DEFEAT IOWA 66-64 AND WIN BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
       OSU found themselves down by 16 points to #3 seeded Iowa in the second half of the women finals.  But Lavender poured in 23 second half points including the winning 2 foul shots with 1.9 seconds remaining.  Lavender scored 35 points on 14 of 25 from the field and 7 of 7 from the line and grabbed 10 rebounds.   Lavender now has 2000 career points and 100 straight games with at least 10 points.  She leads the Big Ten in scoring and rebounds and is 2nd in shooting percentage.
      Prahalis was held to 6 points, all in the last 10 minutes, but did have 7 assists and 3 steals.  She is one of two women in the country averaging at least 16 points and 8 assists a game.
      The 30 wins for the Buckeyes ties their best total ever.
      Nice to see many of the men's team including Evan Turner cheering on the Lady Buckeyes.
   9- BIG TEN TOURNAMENT 2009-10:
GAME 32 - Michigan (7-11, 15-16) 68 vs Ohio State 69 (14-4, 24-7)

Turner37Footer
Turner sinks 37 footer at buzzer for OSU 69-68 win






      Michigan played great basketball early to take a 19-10 lead.  The Bucks who hadn't played in 9 days then found their offense.  Turner hit Diebler going to the bucket for a lay up then Diebler hit a 3 pointer to make it 19-15.  A bit later Diebler drove to the bucket and was fouled while making a left handed layup  to give OSU the lead.  Late in the 1st half Turner, Lighty and Buford made 3 point baskets to extend OSU run to 25-6 and a 35-25 half time lead.  OSU had all four scorers with at least 5 points while Sims of Michigan was the only player to score more than 4 sinking 5 of 7 for 12 points.  Turner leads OSU with 9 points on 4 of 6 and 5 assists.   Diebler was 2 of 3 on 2 pointers after not shooting any 2 pointers in prior two games.
       Michigan continued to play hard th 2nd half and came within 4 before OSU extended the lead to 13 points.  Michigan than came within 6 with 9 minutes remaining before Buford made the old fashioned 3 point play.  Michigan closes to 58-54 with 5 minutes remaining.  Harris sinks long 3 to pull Michigan to 59-57 with 4 minutes remaining.  Harris sinks another 3 to make it OSU 62 Michigan 61 with 1:35 remaining.  Turner draws foul and makes both foul shots.  Another 3 by Michigan to tie game 64-64.  Turner misses and Harris sinks drive for 66-64 Michigan lead with 25 seconds left.   Lighty drives and ties game with 13 seconds left.   Harris makes contested 10 footer for a stunning Michigan lead with 2.2 seconds remaining.  OSU takes ball out at end line and throws ball into Turner who takes two dribbles covering 40 feet and sinks 37 footer for unbelievable 69-68 win.
       Turner finished with 18 points on 6 of 15 from the floor but 3 of 3 from long distance, 8 assists and 4 bounds.  Lighty was 7 of 11 for 15 points and 5 bounds.  Buford scored 15 on 6 of 13 and 6 bounds.  Diebler was 4 of 8 for 11 points.  OSU shot 52% from the field.  OSU now 23-0 when ahead with 5 minutes remaining.
      Turner finished the 2nd half 2-9 both 3 pointers. In last two games Turner is 10 for 28 on 2 pointers and 5 for 5 on 3 pointers.
     The Iron 4 all played 40 minutes and scored 59 of the 69 points.  In the last 5 games the Buckeye reserves have scored 14 points, all by Madsen!
      Michigan was 1 of 10 from downtown before making 7 of their final 11 down the stretch.  OSU was 7 for 12 for the game (58%).
     

GAME 33 - Illinois (10-8, 19-13) 81 vs Ohio State 88 (14-4, 25-7) - 2 Overtimes



TOURNAMENT RESULTS: Thursday:  Michigan 59 Iowa 52, Northwestern 73 Indiana 58 and Minnesota 76 Penn State 65      

Friday: OSU 69 Michigan 68, Illinois 58 Wisconsin 54, Purdue 69 Northwestern 61 & Minnesota 72 Michigan State 67 OT.      Semi Finals:  Ohio State 87 Illinois 81 2 OT's and Minnesota 69 Purdue 42.


For the first time in Big Ten tournament history all four quarter final games were decided by less than 10 points.  Three of four games went down to the wire.  OSU beat Illinois in two overtimes in the semi-finals and 6th seed Minnesota defeated 2nd seeded Purdue 69-42 after jumping to a 34-9 lead!

In the finals Minnesota which has defeated 9th, 3rd and 2nd seed teams will try to knock off #1 seeded Ohio State.
This will be Minnesota's 4th game in 3 days but their players only play 30 minutes a game.  Ohio State will be playing their 3rd game in 3 days but three starters have already logged 89-90 minutes in first two games. 
      Another great game.  OSU started fast, gaining an 8-2 lead.  But Illinois got it together and OSU couldn't hit shots and kept turning it over.  Illinois led by 9 in the first half and and led 36-30 at half time.  The first part of the 2nd half was the same and Illinois led 50-39.  Bucks had a 6 minute scoring drought in the 1st half and a 5 minute drought in the 2nd half.  Then Turner sinks a 3, a full court press bothers Illinois and the Buckeyes score 20 straight points.  Diebler had 8 of the points sinking two 3's.  Then Illinois rebounds and scores the next 6 points and Turner gets his 4th foul and 8th turnover with 5 minutes remaining.   Illinois continues run to 14-3 and a 64-62 lead with a minute remaining.  Lighty than makes a tough lay up but misses foul shot.  McCamey is fouled and makes both foul shots with 35 seconds left.  Turner makes tough lay up with 15 seconds left to tie game.  Overtime!
      McCamey sinks 3 for 4 point lead with 2:30 remaining.  Turner makes two foul shots.  Illinois gets rebound basket.  Turner sinks 2 more foul shots to make it 75-73 with a minute remaining.  Turner drives for 2 to tie with 22 seconds remaining.  Illinois fails to get shot off in final seconds of regulation or overtime.  Overtime 2.
      Turner has played last 10 minutes with 4 fouls and scored 10 points.  Diebler makes 3.  Turner driving lay up for 5 point lead with 3:30 left.  Illinois makes layup.  Turner makes another difficult layup and Illinois responds with a 3.   82-80 OSU with 2:40 left.   Buford a nice driving layup.  Illinois misses.  Turnover gets triple double with 10th turnover to go with 10 bounds and 31 points and 6 assists.  With a minute left Turner fouls out.  Lighty makes a driving layup for 5 point lead with 34 seconds left.  Lighty steals ball and makes layup.   OSU wins 88-81.
      Lighty and Buford play 50 minutes and Turner 49.  Diebler sat out 10 minutes in first half thus only played 4 minutes, thus he has averaged 40 minutes for the last 7 games.  Turner, Buford and Lighty probably averaged over 40 minutes in last 7 games. 
      Turner makes tying 2 pointer in regulation, last 7 points in 1st Overtime and 4 points in 2nd OT before fouling out.
      Turner's 31 points was on 10-18 from field and 10 of 12 from line.  Buford had 22 points on 9 of 20 from floor but only 1 of 5 from line along with 10 bounds.  Diebler scored 14 on 4 of 10, 5 assists and 4 steals.   Lighty added 12 on 5 of 12, 4 assists and 3 steals.  OSU shot 48% from the field thanks to making their last 5 driving lay ups in the 2nd overtime.
       Turner became first player in major conference tournament history to get at least 30 points, 10 bounds and 5 assists in one game.
 
GAME 34 - Minnesota (9-9, 21-12) 61 vs Ohio State 90  (14-4, 26-7)

OSU men are seeded 2nd in the NCAA tournament, but since they are the 4th #2 seed they are in the same bracket as the #1 seed in the tourney, Kansas.  In the final AP poll Kansas was 1st and OSU 6th.

Ironically, the OSU women are also the 4th #2 seed thus in the same bracket as Connecticut who hasn't lost a game in the last two years.  In the final AP poll Connecticut was 1st and OSU 8th.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE STAT COMPARISON

                                                    Evan       John     Sherron     Jerome     Damion        Jon
                                                   Turner     Wall      Collins      Dyson       James        Scheyer

School                                      Ohio St     Kent.      Kansas     Conn.        Texas          Duke         
Record                                        27-7        32-2          32-2       17-15          24-9             29-5
Final AP Rank                               6             2                1           UR             UR                3
Position                                        PG          PG            PG           G                 F                 G
Height                                          6'6"       6'4"          5'11"      6'4"            6'7"            6'5"
Games                                          28           30             34           33                33               34
Minutes per game                     35.4        34.7               ?         33.7                ?              36.6
Points per game                         20.3        16.8            15.6       17.3             18.0            18.6

Rebounds per game                    9.2           4.0              2.0        4.4             10.4              3.6              
Assists per game                         5.8           6.2              4.4        4.3                 .9              5.0
Steals per game                           1.8           1.8              1.1        1.3              1.6               1.6
Blocked shots per game              1.0            .5                 .1        .6                1.2                 .2
Field Goal %                              54.0         45.8            43.0      39.6             50.9             40.1
Three Point %                            37.0         33.0            38.0      29.2             40.2             38.5
Foul Shooting %                         74.1        78.2             85.1      71.2              66.7            87.5
Turnovers                                    4.2            4.0               ?           ?                  ?                   ?

Turner missed 4.5% of two games as he played 7 minutes due to broken back in one game and 20 minutes in first game back thus missing about 50 minutes thus you could argue that all stats per game should be  increased 4.5%.

In the 8 stat categories (Minutes per game thru Foul Shooting %) Turner is ahead in at least 6 of 9 categories comparing to each other other 5 candidates.  Of the 6 candidates, Turner is 1st in points per game, steals, and FG%.  He is 2nd in rebounds, assists, and blocked shots.  In the other two categories (3 point shooting % and foul shooting %) he ranks 4th.  According to the stats Turner should win Player of the Year by a landslide.

            
?       It was a defensive effort in the first half as OSU led Minnesota 33-30.  The Buckeye iron 4 all have 6-10 points.  Diebler has 10 points on 3 of 6 shooting and Turner has 9 points on 4 of 8 shooting plus 8 bounds and 3 assists.  OSU biggest lead was 7 points.
      Buckeyes explode for 8 points, 5 by Turner to open 2nd half and lead by 11.  OSU now shooting 53% for the game and have made last 7 shots.  Illinois then scores 7 straight points.  Now OSU runs off 7 straight including two electrifying drives by Lighty in 15 seconds.  OSU ahead 53-42 with 9:30 left.  Lighty scores 5 more and now has 9 points in 3 minutes then Diebler hits two 3's for a 62-45 lead with 7 minutes remaining.  Turner supporting cast now pulling weight!   The Iron 4 all with 10+ points and 3 with 15+ points and all shooting at least 50% from field and all have played entire game.  Once again when the Iron 4 are supposed to tire they appear the fresher team.  Buckeyes have now hit last 8 shots and are ahead 65-45 after a 24-8 run.  32-15 in 2nd half thus far.   OSU extends streak to 12 straight made shots - haven't missed in 8 minutes!   Turner now 29, Lighty 20 and Diebler 16 with 4 minutes left.  The Iron 4 comes out with 1:25 remaining and have scored 83 of 85 points.  Bucks win 90-61.
        Turner (22) and Lighty (14) outscored Minnesota in 2nd half 36-31!  For the game Turner scored 31 on 12 of 18 from the field, 12 bounds, 6 assists and 2 blocks.  Lighty scored 20 on 8 of 14 with 8 bounds and 5 assists.  Diebler scored 19 points on 6 of 12.  Buford scored 13 points on 5 of 8 and 4 assists.
      OSU shot 58% from the field and 12 of 21 (57%) from downtown despite playing 4 players for the first 39 minutes.   
     No player in major league tournament play has ever scored 30 points, 10 bounds and 5 assists in a game and Turner has done it in each of last 2 games!

     OSU can now get to Semi-finals without meeting a top ten team after #1 seed Kansas lost today.  One game at a time.
10- NCAA TOURNAMENT 2009-10 SEASON:
GAME 35 - Santa Barbara (#15 seed, 20-9)  vs Ohio State (#2 seed, 27-7 & 6th in AP poll)


      OSU started with a bang running to a 13-3 lead, but Santa Barbara scored the next 9 then the Buckeyes went on a 13-0 run and led at half 30-17.  The Buckeyes only shot 42% from the field but held Santa Barbara to 24%.  Diebler was the difference in the first half as he scored 14 points including 4 of 6 from downtown.  Turner was held to 5 points and 6 bounds on 1 of 6 from field and was only starter with 0 turnovers.   Buford had 6 points on 3 of 7 from the field with 4 bounds.  Lauderdale never attempted a shot but grabbed 4 bounds and blocked 5 shots.
      Santa Barbara never came closer than 8 points in the 2nd half as OSU won 68-51.  Diebler finished with 23 points on 7 of 11 from downtown.  Buford had 16 on 6 of 12 and 8 boards.  Turner was 2 for 12 from the field with 9 points, 10 bounds and 5 assists.  My guess is Turner had the flu as most of the team had the flu earlier in the week including his roommate Diebler who missed practice on Tuesday.  As of Wednesday Turner had escaped the flu bug.  Lightly was 3 of 11 for 9 points, 5 bounds and 7 assists.  Lauderdale was a load in the center as he made both shots, grabbed 12 boards and blocked 8 shots.
     OSU only shot 40% from the field but were 10 of 21 (48%) and made 16 of 18 foul shots (89%).  The Iron 4 only played the first 37 minutes tonight. 
GAME 36 - Georgia Tech (#15 seed, 23-12) 66 vs Ohio State (#2 seed, 28-7 & 6th in AP poll)  75

Since Evan Turner came back from two broken vertebra and played 20 minutes in the first game back, the IRON 4 have played 96% of the minutes available and shot 44% from 3-Point land (46% on the last 7 games).  3-point shooting % by player and average minutes per game in last 11 games are:

PLAYER                               3-POINT %                 AVG MINUTES

Evan Turner                              48%                                   40.1
Jon Diebler                                42%                                   39.6
David Lighty                              42%                                   39.5
William Buford                           50%                                   38.3

Cornell led the nation by shooting 43.4% on 3 pointers during the regular season.  Second best was 41.9%.  As noted above all 4 Buckeyes shot 42% or better!  For the entire regular season OSU shot 38.2%, 28th best out of 347 teams.