I have simple proof that Ohio State is better than the best team in the country: Duke was only able to beat Michigan once. Ohio State has spanked them on their bare bottoms twice this year. (Pay no mind to the fact that Duke just lost, mkay?)
Ohio State’s defense stymied Michigan for the entire twenty minutes of the first half, forcing them into bad shots and holding them scoreless behind the three-point line, something Michigan lives by. They clawed back into the game at points of the second half, but every run Michigan made, Ohio state had an answer. The frustration was visibly noticeable.
On the Ohio State side, everyone played a solid game, with Evan Turner and his 22 leading the way. Mullens and Simmons poured in a dozen a piece as well, and Lauderdale was a defensive manimal, absolutely stuffing Harris on a wide open dunk. That was a text-book “Not in Mr. Lauderdale’s Neighborhood” rejection. And of course there’s P.J. Hill. Oh how we love your energy, P.J. Your shot makes us cringe, your dribbling in traffic forces us to cover our eyes with our hands, but we still love you and your dreds.
Of course, there was the unfortunate delay of the game at the end of the game, after Michigan’s round mound of hustle, Zack Novak, elbowed Ohio State’s energy source, P.J. Hill. I’m willing to give Novak a pass on this one. It was because of his obvious frustration with how bad of a basketball player he is. When people talk about your “hustle” and your willingness to “dive after loose balls,” that’s polite-speak for “you stink.”
So another solid Big Ten win for Ohio State, with Purdue coming to town next week, should be building a solid resume for an invite to the tourney.