Updates from the Big Ten Tournament: Ohio State helps its bubble status by holding off Indiana for 79-75 victory

Does this mean the Buckeyes are in?

The second-round Big Ten Tournament game between No. 8 seed Ohio State and No. 9 seed Indiana carried questions about both teams’ NCAA Tournament prospects. The Buckeyes’ 79-75 victory Thursday at the United Center might be enough for the selection committee to open the door for them.

Before the game, Ohio State was listed as a last-four-in team on ESPN.com’s bracketology report, and the Hoosiers were considered among the first four teams out. Indiana likely played itself out of the NCAA Tournament.

But not without a fight.

Romeo Langford made back-to-back buckets to trim a 20-point Ohio State lead to just 72-69 with less than a minute remaining. Keyshawn Woods scored on a layup with 34 seconds to play and then drew a charge on the other end to give the Buckeyes some breathing room to end the game.

But Indiana hit back with Devonte Green’s deep 3-pointer to close within 77-75 with three seconds left. C.J. Jackson made two free throws for the Buckeyes to seal the victory.

Star of the game

Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson returned from a three-game suspension – his team lost all three games without him – and showed what the Buckeyes had been missing. Wesson dominated with 17 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Turning point

Ohio State withstood a 13-0 Hoosiers run late in the second half that cut its lead to 63-56. Indiana didn’t go away and made another charge, but a Jackson 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining ended the run and put the Buckeyes back on track.

Up next

Ohio State will play No. 1 seed Michigan State in aquarterfinal Friday at the United Center.

Day 2 of the Big Ten Tournament

The day at the United Center starts with a battle of bubble teams.

No. 8 seed Ohio State (18-13) and No. 9 seed Indiana (17-14) arguably have more on the line than any other teams playing in the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago.

Both teams looked like NCAA Tournament teams earlier in the season, each landing in the Top 25 and earning a strong NET rating. But each has had some damaging cold stretches.

A first-game loss in Chicago could keep either team out of the big dance.

Indiana is the hotter team entering the tournament with four straight victories, including wins against Wisconsin and Michigan State. But how will the Hoosiers handle the pressure?

The last time these teams met on Feb. 2, the Buckeyes pulled out a narrow 55-52 victory.

The rest of today’s games at the United Center are:

No. 5 seed Maryland against No. 13 seed Nebraska, No. 10 seed Penn State vs. No. 7 seed Minnesota, and No. 11 seed Illinois facing No. 6 seed Iowa.

The Illini advanced by beating Northwestern 74-69 in overtime Wednesday night behind 26 points from freshman big man Giorgi Bezhanishvili.

The Hawkeyes throttled Illinois 95-71 against the Hawkeyes on Jan. 20. Iowa shot 71 percent on 3-pointers in that victory with Joe Wieskamp making all six 3-point attempts for 24 points. The Hawkeyes ended the Illini’s season …read more

Source:: Daily times


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