Observations: Buckeyes Battered And Bruised

In a game that followed a similar script of many of Ohio State's losses this season, the Buckeyes fell 76-67 in a physical contest with Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament.

Well, that looked familiar.

For what felt like the 100th time this season, Ohio State fell behind big, 17 in this case, before fighting back and ultimately coming up short.

The Buckeyes 76-67 loss to Michigan State that ended their run in the Big Ten tournament was a retread of a tired script that played out over and over again this season. This time it came in a one-and-done format.

Here is what I took away from what felt like a game I had seen before.

  • Physical Play: It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that a game between the Spartans and Buckeyes was extremely physical. The teams combined for 38 total fouls and there seemed be plenty on both sides that went uncalled. In the post-game locker room Marc Loving was icing his shoulder and Amir Williams had cuts on the bridge of his noise.

    “The physicality of the game from the beginning to the end, it was outside, in the paint, everywhere,” loving said. “The refs let a lot of stuff go and it was a very physical game.”

  • Sparty has Russell’s number: For the second time in as many games against the Spartans, D’Angelo Russell struggled. He managed a team-high 19 points, but took 16 shots to get there. He was ineffective before the half, shooting just 3 of 8 and seemed to be rushing his shot.

    “They do a great job of playing team defense and I wasn’t making shots at the beginning of the game,” Russell said. “I feel like whenever we played them if I was making shots it probably would have been a different game. It’s just a different game. It’s contagious. If anyone is making shots everybody starts making them.”

  • Mad Thad:

  • Not Lacking Effort: While the Buckeyes struggled against the Spartans, it wasn’t with the same lack of effort that they displayed down the stretch against Wisconsin. Ohio State certainly didn’t execute, but I felt that the intensity was consistently there down the stretch, evidenced by a five-second violation the Buckeyes forced around the five minute mark of the second half.

  • NCAA Tourney Look Ahead: As far as big-picture seeding goes, the Buckeyes are likely destined for an 8- or a 9-seed, probably the worst possible outcome from their trip to Chicago. A win against Michigan State and a victory over Maryland likely would have pushed them to a 7-seed, while a loss to Minnesota may have made them a 10. Either likely would have been preferable than playing in the 8-9 game and facing a No. 1 seed in the second game, assuming they could get there. But as we’ve learned with this Buckeye team, assuming anything is a fool’s errand.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories