After beating 12th-ranked Purdue, 87-64, at home, you would have thought the Buckeyes would have done the exact same thing to Northwestern on the road, especially since John Shurna was out with a concussion.
Northwestern didn't let it happen. They were in the game almost every step of the way. It was tied with 3.5 seconds left, when Northwestern drew a foul on Jared Sullinger. He missed his first free throw, and made the second, with 3.5 seconds left, Northwestern went down the court, put it up, and missed. OSU survived by the slimmest of margins.
Jared Sullinger lead the Buckeyes with 21 points and eight rebounds. Aaron Craft and William Buford followed suit with with a combined 24 points.
Northwestern's scoring was pretty spread around. Michael Thompson lead with 16 points. A long with Mike Capocci who had 11 points. Those were the only two Wildcats to score in double figures. The others all had high single digit scoring. They kept their bench players involved.
Overall, Northwestern shut down some of Ohio State's scorers, scorers they need to win. If other Big Ten teams can do the same, Ohio State doesn't look so tough.
Purdue was flat out scared of Ohio State, and played like it. Northwestern never looked scared, they took charge and kept themselves in it.
Next up, Northwestern plays Illinois next on the fifth. They are 3-7 and way out of Big Ten title talks, and NCAA talks.
To me, this was Northwestern's last stand to try for an NCAA Tournament bid. Now their only hope is to win the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.
Ohio State plays Michigan on the third in a rivalry game. It is at home, so Michigan probably doesn't have a chance, but Michigan did keep it close last time the two met. Ohio State leads the Big Ten.