The Ohio State Buckeyes have made it to the Finals of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament Championship by beating the Michigan Wolverines in the semi-finals 68-61. The Buckeyes improved to 10-2 in Big Ten Tournament play as the #1 seed and will look to win their 2nd Straight Big Ten Tournament title tomorrow against the Penn St. Nittany Lions.
Jon Diebler scored 16 points hwile Jared Sullinger added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Buckeyes(31-2) who made it back to the title game for the 5th time in 6 years.
Darius Morris had 16 points and Tim Hardaway, Jr. added 15 for the fourth- seeded Wolverines (20-13).
"I thought we really battled the entire game today," said Michigan head coach John Beilein.
Trailing 65-48 with just under four minutes remaining, the Wolverines went on a 13-0 run to make things interesting down the stretch. Zack Novak and Evan Smotrycz nailed consecutive three-pointers, the latter coming with 21.4 seconds left, to trim Michigan's deficit to 65-61.
Smotrycz missed from beyond the arc after Diebler sank 1-of-2 free throws. Ohio State's David Lighty secured the defensive rebound and sealed the win at the foul line.
The Buckeyes led 31-27 at the break and extended their advantage to 11 early in the second half.
Michigan closed within two at 47-45, but Ohio State responded with a 16-0 burst that gave it a seemingly comfortable 18-point cushion.
"Our defense, again, I thought was pretty good, but when you make mistakes against a team like Michigan, they make you pay, and they got us a couple times in that regard," said Ohio State head coach Thad Matta. "But once again, I thought this was just a great team win for our program."
William Buford supplied 14 points for the Buckeyes, who shot 46 percent after shooting just 32 percent Friday against Northwestern...Michigan made 37 percent of its shots...