With the recent wins over Michigan St. and Penn St., Evan Turner and the Buckeyes got to take home the Big Ten conference title and a number one seed in the Big Ten tourney. Winner of the Player of the Year award, Evan Turner and his Bucks met up with their long-hated rivals, Michigan, in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Hosted in Indianapolis, the Big Ten tourney can be a make or break deal for some teams hoping to make it to the NCAA tournament. The Bucks, because of their conference title win, are garneted a spot in March madness, but exactly what seed they will receive is unknown until Selection Sunday. Before playing the Wolverines, Ohio State held a number seven ranking in the country.
Entering the game number eight (Big Ten tourney ranking) Michigan, led by Manny Harris, was considered a bubble team, meaning a win over Ohio State was essential for their entrance to the NCAA tournament.
From tip off the Bucks seemed very lethargic and carless with the ball on offence. Their defense also struggled to stop Manny Harris from knocking down deep threes all night. Evan Turner also didn’t seem to be playing his best basketball. The constant double team and missed shots frustrated him and eventually got to his head. William Buford and David Lighty were Ohio State’s most productive players during the first half until Evan was able to find his groove in the second half.
During the second half the Bucks seemed to have put the game away but Harris was able to get open and bring the Wolverines back in the game. Before I knew it Michigan was back in the game and had an opportunity to take the lead. With 9.7 seconds left in a game tied a 66 Michigan would get the ball at midcourt. Inbounded to Harris, he would drive to the top of the key, pull up for a shot……..and knock it down with 2.2 seconds to go. 66-68.
Was this it for the Bucks? Out in the first round to a much hated rival? Matta called a timeout for one last play. David Lighty, the inbound man, standing under his own basket passes it quickly up to Evan Turner who turns around to gain as much ground as possible before having to heave up a last desperation shot. Near midcourt Turner jump stops and lets go a 37 foot shot. Time expires as the ball slowly makes its way towards the hoop. Turner standing with his arm still in the air in anticipation of the shot falling becomes overwhelmed with excitement with the shot actually falls for the win!!!
Ohio State wins 69-68 over the Michigan Wolverines and advances to the next game against Illinois.