Ohio State wins 5th Big Ten title
Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – The Ohio State Buckeyes used their stout defense to beat the Wisconsin Badgers 50-43 Sunday for their Big Ten conference-best fifth tournament title, their third in the last four years.
Deshaun Thomas scored 17 points shooting 6 for 19 from the field, but made some big free throws down the stretch for Ohio State (26-7). Aaron Craft added nine points and six rebounds.
Thomas also grabbed seven rebounds as the Buckeyes enjoyed a 39-28 advantage on the glass.
Wisconsin and Ohio State were close for most of the second half, but the Buckeyes seized on a cold spell by the Badgers to move in front down the stretch.
After Sam Dekker scored on a reverse layup with 7:01 remaining, Wisconsin went scoreless for the next 4 1/2 minutes while LaQuinton Ross Ross stepped up for Ohio State. He had a strong offensive rebound and putback, then converted a layup to make it 47-41 with 2:39 to go.
Traevon Jackson made two free throws to stop the scoring drought for the Badgers, who forced a shot clock violation on the other end. But Ben Brust missed a long 3-pointer and Thomas went 3 for 4 at the line in the final minute.
Dekker’s basket was Wisconsin’s last field goal of the game.
Jackson scored 10 points for the Badgers (23-11), who shot 38.3 percent from the field. None of his teammates reached double figures, with Dekker next up at eight points.
With the win, the Buckeyes were rewarded with a No. 2 seed in the West Region for the NCAA tournament and a second-round game in Dayton, Ohio, against Iona. Wisconsin is in the same region, with the fifth-seeded Badgers to play Ole Miss in their first game in Kansas City, Mo.