Photo: Associated Press
After all the Buckeyes had been through in the last two days, including a buzzer-beater from 40 feet by Evan Turner to beat Michigan and a gusty, surviving performance against Illinois that took 2 overtimes, they seem determined and focused to finish the job against the sixth-seed Minnesota, who had taken down Michigan State and Purdue on back-to-back days. Evan Turner was once again brilliant, but it was David Lighty and Jon Diebler that helped the Bucks run away with a big lead in the second half, outscore the Gophers 57-31, and clinch the Big Ten conference tournament championship, their third since the Big Ten started the conference tourney in 1998. It set up the Buckeyes for a number 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Slow start for both: This game resembled the Big Ten style early as both teams kept the score low. Minnesota had a five and a half minute scoring drought after their first basket of the game, while the Bucks hit just 1 of their first 8 shots. The turnovers were occurring at a record pace for both teams at the outset, with each team having six in the first ten minutes. The Buckeyes had each of their starters pick up a foul in the first ten minutes, and Dallas Lauderdale picked up foul number two at the 7:03 mark, causing him to sit the rest of the half.