The Ohio State Buckeyes have won the Big Ten Conference regular season title. This statement is true for 2 different teams, the OSU men's basketball team, and the OSU women's basketball team. The women played their last regular season game today at Michigan, and defeated the Wolverines 72-58 to secure the outright Big Ten title, finishing the regular season 26-2 (15-1).
Now on to the men. The #1 (coaches poll) Buckeyes played host to the #1 (AP Poll) Wisconsin Badgers. The circumstances were simple: a win today would clinch the Big Ten regular season title despite the fact that there is one more game to go at Michigan....or a loss today would create a situation in which OSU could still share the title by beating Michigan, or possibly still win it outright if they beat UM and Wisconsin loses to MSU. They chose the former, and beat the Badgers 49-48 in a thriller at the Schottenstein Center to win their second outright Big Ten title in as many years. The game was close the whole way, with the largest lead by either team being only 6 points. The Badgers controlled the game in the early minutes, but the Bucks came back and held a 25-22 lead at halftime. In the second half things got really tight. With about a minute left UW took a one point lead, and the Bucks failed to score on their next possession. OSU began fouling in order to send UW to the line for one-and-one, and by the time they got to the bonus there was only 20 seconds left. When the Wisconsin shooter missed the front end of the one-and-one, the Bucks recovered the rebound and called timeout with 16 seconds left. The ensuing Buckeye possession ended with Mike Conley driving the lane and putting up a shot that bounced around the rim and then fell in with 3.9 seconds to go. Wisconsin would have one more chance, but to the dismay of the Badger faithful, UW's last second shot would fall harmlessly to the floor after being cleanly blocked by Ron Lewis. The win improved the Buckeyes record to 26-3 (14-1). Ivan Harris lead the Bucks in scoring with 13 points and Conley and Oden each had 11.
It was an awesome game, and the crowd was louder than any I've ever been a part of in an arena. The one thing that made me mad was the officials, they were terrible. The called almost none of the seemingly obvious fouls but instead called a multitude of ticky tack off-the-ball fouls. After one call where Oden was caught "traveling", despite the fact he was practically being raped from behind, the crowd went ballistic and started throwing their rally towels toward the court. Only a few made it to the hard wood, but many could be seen flying into the lower deck after being thrown from the upper deck.
After the game I stayed around for the championship trophy presentation and net cutting ceremony. Ohio State is now the first school in NCAA history to win outright conference championships in football, men's basketball and women's basketball in the same sports year. It was truly a great day to be a Buckeye.