Ohio State’s second goal was to win the Big Ten tournament title. Today, they accomplished this goal. After a sluggish start, the Buckeyes rallied with a strong second half to beat Penn State 71-60.
Ohio State did a better job with their shot selection in the second half. They were more patient and took what Penn State gave them. As a result, the Buckeyes were able to build a large lead and hold on to it for the win.
Penn State played hard. They made some perimeter shots to keep the game within reach but were unable to stop the Buckeyes on defense. Still, they have to be proud of what they accomplished. No one expected them to advance this far in the tournament. Their performance this weekend is a testament to their coaching and leadership.
Similarly, this weekend showed why Ohio State is one of the top teams in the country. When games became close, they found ways to win. This is a well-coached team with excellent leadership. They enter the NCAA tournament riding a huge wave of momentum.
The Buckeyes earn the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament.
Because of Ohio State’s season, the committee selected the Buckeyes as the top overall seed.
For those who are unfamiliar with the process the NCAA tournament committee ranks each of the four top seeds. Then they set up the bracket where the top overall seed (Ohio State) would play the fourth overall number one seed (Duke) in the Final Four. Meanwhile, on the other side Kansas (2) would meet Pittsburgh (3).
Ohio State is in the East region where they will play their second and third round games in Cleveland and potential sweet sixteen and elite eight games in Newark.
The Buckeyes play their first game on Friday. They face the winner of Texas San Antonio vs. Alabama State. The tip off time is up in the air as they will follow the George Mason vs. Villanova game, which begins at 2:10. My best guess for tip is around the 4:40-5:00 window. The game will air on TNT.
Ohio State’s road to the Final Four will not be easy. Also in the East region are West Virginia, Kentucky, Washington, Syracuse, Xavier and North Carolina. This could set up many high profile showdowns for the Buckeyes.
Seven Big Ten teams receive NCAA tournament bids.
Penn State earned a bid by winning three straight Big Ten tournament games before losing to Ohio State in the finals. They earned the tenth seed in the west and will play Temple on Thursday.
Michigan makes a return to the big dance. Following a strong run at the end of the season, the Wolverines earned the eighth seed in the West. They will play Tennessee on Friday.
Illinois’ body of work earned them the ninth seed in the Southwest region. On Friday, they play UNLV.
Purdue joins Illinois in the Southwest region. The Boilermakers earned the third seed and will play Saint Peter’s on Friday.
Wisconsin earned the fourth seed in the Southeast region. The Badgers will face Belmont on Thursday.
Michigan State also earned a birth in the Southeast region. They are the tenth seed and will play UCLA on Thursday.
CBSSports.com bracket Examiner’s college basketball tournament coverage
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