Saturday, March 14, 2009

Buckeyes 82 Spartans 70

It's always hard to tell how much teams care about the conference tournaments compared to the regular season and the NCAA tournament. For Ohio State this was a great win, especially when you consider that all year long they were a potential top 25 team that just couldn't win the big games. For Michigan State, this is a so-so loss for a team that probably wasn't going to get a #1 seed anyway. All things being equal, MSU still has the best shot of going deep into the tournament of any team in the Big Ten.

In terms of game strategy and tactics, OSU did a much better job of anticipating and responding to the second half rush then they did in previous meetings. They also did a slightly better job of rebounding than in previous games though there were still a few possessions where MSU had 2 or 3 shots at the basket (and that's what allowed them to cut the lead to 10 late in the game).

The main thing was outside shooting. OSU hit some threes, and MSU uncharacteristically went stone cold. Meanwhile OSU did a better job managing their fouls and getting MSU's big man Suton in foul trouble.

Tomorrow Ohio State will play the winner of the Purdue/Illinois game for the championship. It probably won't have a huge impact on their seeding, but it would be a nice feather in their cap.