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Ohio State takes Big Ten title from Wisconsin 50-43, both teams in NCAA West Region

by
Wisconsin Badgers basketball.
Wisconsin Badgers basketball.

Chicago, IL (TSN) - Deshaun Thomas tallied a game-high 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead No. 10 Ohio State to its fifth Big Ten Tournament title with a 50-43 triumph over 22nd-ranked Wisconsin on Sunday at United Center.

Aaron Craft contributed nine points and six boards for the Buckeyes (26-7), who held the Badgers without a field goal over the final seven minutes as they closed the contest on an 11-2 outburst.

Ohio State has won eight straight games since a 71-49 setback in Wisconsin on Feb. 17 and will likely earn a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Traevon Jackson led Wisconsin (23-11) with 10 points, while Sam Dekker donated eight points off the bench for the Badgers, who must wait until the brackets are released later on Sunday to see where they will be seeded in the NCAA Tournament.

Wisconsin carried a slim 24-23 edge into the second half and the teams traded buckets for much of the final frame, with neither team taking a lead greater than two over the first 15-plus minutes.

Dekker's jumper with 7:03 remaining broke a 39-39 tie, but the Badgers failed to register a field goal the rest of the way, allowing the Buckeyes to seize control.

Two free throws from Thomas tied the game before LaQuinton Ross followed a Craft layup with a tough bucket inside to give Ohio State a 45-41 lead with 4:31 left.

After a Jackson miss and a Dekker turnover, Ross finished another layup in close before Jackson knocked down two free throws to bring Wisconsin within four with 2:27 remaining.

The Badgers would get no closer, though, as Ben Brust and Mike Bruesewitz each missed a triple on Wisconsin's next two touches before Thomas connected on 3- of-4 from the charity stripe over the final 44 seconds to seal the outcome.

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 13-6 lead just over seven minutes in, but the Badgers answered with a 14-0 run that Frank Kaminsky capped with a 3-pointer to give his team a 20-13 cushion.

Wisconsin's lead was nine, 24-15, with 3:20 to play before Thomas tallied six points in an 8-0 half-closing surge that brought the Buckeyes within 24-23 at the break.

Game Notes

Ohio State has taken three of the last four Big Ten Tournament titles ... Wisconsin was making its fifth Big Ten championship game appearance, while Ohio State was appearing in its ninth title game ... The only other meeting between these teams in the Big Ten Tournament championship game occurred in 2007, with OSU prevailing in a 66-49 final ... Both teams shot nearly 38 percent, despite going a combined 4-for-34 from 3-point range.

NCAA SELECTIONS:

Wisconsin will play Ole Miss Friday in the West Regional

Ohio State will play Iona Friday in the West Regional

 

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