Ohio State Outlasts Michigan State in Thrilling Big Ten Showdown
The No. 2 seeded Ohio State Buckeyes survived a thrilling, back-and-forth matchup with the No. 3 seeded Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten tournament’s semifinal game by the score of 61-58.
Aaron Craft dominated the contest on both ends of the floor and led the Buckeyes with 20 points, nine assists, four steals and three rebounds. Michigan State’s two big men had their way in the post for much of the game, but Ohio State’s perimeter defense and timely shooting paved the way to victory.
Tom Izzo’s team will now have to wait for tomorrow’s selection show to see what seed they have in the NCAA tournament. It was a solid season for the Spartans, and you would have to think they will get a No. 2 or 3 seed in the bracket.
As for the Buckeyes, they continue their quest for a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and move to the Big Ten championship game for the seventh time in the past eight years. Next up is Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin Badgers, who gave Ohio State its last loss back in February.
Ohio State 61, Michigan State 58 FINAL
Ohio State, behind an excellent game from Aaron Craft and solid perimeter defense, survived a back-and-forth contest with Michigan State. Next up is the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten championship game.
Ohio State 61, Michigan State 56 (9 seconds remaining)
Buckeyes get a stop, and Deshaun Thomas hits one free throw. The nine seconds left have to feel like eternity for Ohio State fans.
Ohio State 60, Michigan State 56 (18 seconds remaining)
Deshaun Thomas with a huge shot. Gets a shooter's roll off the rim. Not over yet, but the Buckeyes really needed that.
Ohio State 58, Michigan State 56 (32 seconds remaining)
Biggest possession of the game coming up for the Buckeyes. Have to think it's going to Craft or possibly Thomas.
Buckeyes now 5-10 from FT line. Not good.— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) March 16, 2013
And it is a flagrant one. Huge free throws for Craft coming up.
And TV Teddy Valentine gets his moment in the sun with a replay review. Possible flagrant on Nix.
ONE POINT GAME......breathe— GreenandWhite.com (@LSJGreenWhite) March 16, 2013
And Scott misses the front end and Nix gets an and-one. If the Buckeyes lose this one, the last 60 seconds will be a big reason why.
Ohio State 57, Michigan State 53 (2:10 second half)
Shannon Scott with a huge steal. Two big free throws coming up.
Ohio State 57, Michigan State 53 (2:50 second half)
Every possession Michigan State is getting multiple shots. This will come back to haunt the Buckeyes if they don't tighten up the rebounding.
Ohio State 57, Michigan State 50 (4:14 second half)
Turning into a free-throw shooting contest.
Refs calling everything this half after calling nothing in the first half. No consistency. Same physical game.— Graham Couch (@Graham_Couch) March 16, 2013
Ohio State 55, Michigan State 49 (4:58 second half)
Deshaun Thomas has gotten bailed out on a couple calls. Spartans still not in the penalty.
Michigan State came back from a bigger deficit yesterday. Far from over.
Ohio State 55, Michigan State 47 (7:13 second half)
And right on cue Craft gets another steal and a mid-range jump shot. Playing as well as he ever has in his collegiate career right now.
Would be surprising if the next Michigan State possession goes anywhere but Nix or Payne after that timeout.
Rosy cheeks and killing them softly.— Eleven Warriors (@11W) March 16, 2013
Ohio State 53, Michigan State 47 (8:01 second half)
Aaron Craft is playing like a rosy-cheeked man right now. Carrying the Buckeyes on both ends of the floor.
Huge turnover by Shannon Scott in transition there.
This from Dave Biddle of Bucknuts.com:
MSU has no answer for Craft taking the ball to the rack. He needs to do that, you guys.— Dave Biddle (@davebiddle) March 16, 2013
Ohio State 48, Michigan State 45 (11:30 second half)
The streaky Buckeyes have hit their last six shots after an extended drought earlier.
The free-throw abilities of Michigan State's big guys will really come in handy in the NCAA tournament.
Ohio State 45, Michigan State 42 (11:59 second half)
Just when Ravenel makes a nice offensive play, he commits a boneheaded foul on Payne on a three-point shot. Spartans to the line for three after the break.
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