INDIANAPOLIS - Ohio State did what few people thought it could do. The Bucks took a short bench into the Big Ten Tournament and had to play three-plus games in a weekend and after a slow start blew up on a 23-5 run in the second half to blow the doors off of the bubble riding Gophers 90-61.
Now the Buckeyes will await the short period that leads up to the NCAA selection show to learn their fate and travel plans coming up for the impending NCAA Tournament. Most pundits put them on the No. 2 line and possibly going to Milwaukee (Wis.) for opening action.
Evan Turner was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the tournament and had a great game on Sunday with 31 points, 12 boards and six assists. David Lighty joined him on the team and had 20 points and seven boards, Jon Diebler had 19 points and William Buford had 13 points and was also named to the all-tourney team..
Both teams opened up very sluggish and it was painfully obvious that the Buckeyes were coming off of 90 minutes in the past two days while the Gophers were showing fatigue from a fourth game in as many days. The Buckeyes' first five possessions were empty and the team did not score until the 16:25 mark when Dallas Lauderdale his a hook shot that was more than likely not on game film anywhere.
The Buckeyes would end up opening a seven point lead in the closing moments of the half when Diebler drained his first three pointer of the game and it appeared the Buckeyes would take a six point lead into the locker room until Devoe Joseph his a three pointer at the buzzer to close the gap to three points, 33-30.
The second half saw the teams trade runs as the Buckeyes got off quickly with an 8-0 run that was answered by a 10-1 Minnesota run. But then Ohio State used its run to erase all doubt and the team just was able to pour it on.
Ohio State's biggest lead was 31 points and the blowout allowed Matta to pull his starters with 1:25 to go and while it doesn't mean much in the matter of rest it was a chance for the pro-Ohio State crowd to salute their Big Ten regular season and tournament champions.