If you weren’t watching today’s OSU/Michigan B1G Ten semifinal game, you probably wouldn’t believe it when I tell you the first half of the game was a little scary. Or that Ohio State *almost* blew it in the final minutes after the entire Michigan roster chugged five-hour energies. Ok, That last part’s a lie, but they did come to life following a fifteen point defecit to get within four.
Regardless, of how they got there, No. 1 Ohio State (31-2) put the Wolverines (20-13) away for the third time this season. The Buckeyes advanced to the B1G Ten Championship game and basically secured the overall number one seed in the NCAA tournament.
Jon Diebler scored 16 points for the Buckeyes while Sullinger had 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way for Ohio State. Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 16 and 15 points, respectively, to dominate for Michigan.
The first few minutes were all Diebler, all day as the senior nailed two baskets right out of the gate. As the half went on, it seemed like he was the only one making shots. Sullinger was double and triple teamed on almost every play and Buford’s shots were worse than mine in a game of HORSE. Evan Smotrycz played strong for the Wolverines-until he made a huge air ball. The Buckeyes were getting into foul trouble early, so when Jordan Sibert came in the game, no one really expected him to get a steal and a dunk almost immediately after stepping onto the court. The freshman has seen very little playing time, but looks like he could fill some of the big shoes of the departing seniors.
With a 31-27 halftime score, Michigan was not going to give up easy, or at least it looked that way.
The Buckeyes were still getting into foul trouble, as Lighty committed his third at the start of the second half. Matta continued to rely on the bench- a smart move considering all of the criticisms over the lack of depth. DeShaun Thomas started making shots, and Sullinger’s strength became too much for Michigan, as they missed eight shots in a row, all while practically giving the ball away to Ohio State. The Buckeyes led 65-48 with 1:40 to play, but Michigan wasn’t done, as the Wolverines scored 13 points in an entire minute. Fortunately for Ohio State, it was too little too late.
With the win, the Buckeyes go on to face Penn State, yes, Penn State tomorrow at 3:30. This B1G Ten tournament has been nothing short of bizarre, so I wouldn’t expect a “normal” PSU/OSU outcome. Yes, it will probably result in a Buckeye win, but hopefully, for our sake, it won’t be as excruciating to watch as the Penn State/Wisconsin quarterfinal torture-fest.