Big Ten semifinals: Ohio State upsets Michigan State; Purdue wins
Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 14, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS ó No sweep for No. 7 Michigan State. Probably no No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, either.
Ohio State used every bit of its depth and versatility, not to mention some nifty 3-point shooting, in overpowering the Spartans 82-70 in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament Saturday. It was the second-most points the Spartans (26-6) had allowed this season.
Evan Turner had all 18 of his points in the second half, along with 10 rebounds and five assists. Jon Diebler had 17 on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range, William Buford had 14 and B.J. Mullens added 12.
Kalin Lucas had 17 for the Spartans, who were hoping that adding the tournament title to their regular-season crown might convince the NCAA selection committee to make them a No. 1 seed, especially after Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Oklahoma lost.
But it’s tough to win when shooting just 38 percent, including 3-of-21 from 3-point range. The Buckeyes, meanwhile, were 9-of-16 from long range.
So instead of playing for another title, and a No. 1 seed, the Spartans will head home while Ohio State plays either No. 24 Purdue or Illinois on Sunday for a shot at its second tournament crown in three years.
No. 24 Purdue 66, Illinois 56
INDIANAPOLIS ó Robbie Hummel looks healthy, and Purdue is playing like the team that was picked to win the Big Ten title.
Hummel finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds Saturday, and JaJuan Johnson had 20 points and three blocks to lead the Boilermakers past Illinois 66-56 Saturday and into the Big Ten tournament championship game.
The victory ends third-seeded Purdue’s three-game losing streak to the Illini (24-9) and sets up a rematch with fifth-seeded Ohio State. The Boilermakers and Buckeyes split the first two games this season, each winning at home.
It’s the first time since 1998 that Purdue (24-9) will play for the tournament championship.
Second-seeded Illinois was again without senior guard Chester Frazier, who missed his second straight game after having surgery on his right hand Thursday.