Buford Leads Bucks to 3rd Straight Conference Crown

By Chris Lauderback on March 4, 2012 at 6:29p

William Buford, ladies and gentlemen. 

Continuing a roller coaster year, Buford capped his final regular season game in a Buckeye uniform in style with 25 points (8/14 FG, 7/11 FT) including the game winning bucket with .8 seconds left giving Ohio State a come from behind 72-70 win over Michigan State in East Lansing and a 3rd straight conference title. 

Taking a hand-off from Aaron Craft on the right wing with about :04 to play, Buford dribbled to the top of the circle and unleashed a 19 foot fadeaway jumper that was as wet as your loins after the ball tickled nothing but twine, giving the senior from Toledo his 18th and 19th points of the 2nd half. 

Buford's game winning rain maker was set up by a terrific defensive stand from Evan Ravenel as he forced Draymond Green to launch a tough 17 foot turnaround jumper with :24 to play and the game tied at 70. Ravenel was an absolute beast after Jared Sullinger picked up his 4th foul with 8:32 to play. 

The seldom used transfer from Boston College entered for Sully and immediately went to work converting an and-1 that gave Green his 4th foul at 7:10 while tying the game at 58. Afer an MSU free throw gave Sparty a one point lead, Ravenel hit a layup off a great look from Craft and hit a pair of free throws after Derrick Nix hit two of his own to keep the Buckeyes in front at 62-61 with 4:22 to play. 

The lead was short lived after two FT's from Adreian Payne but Ravenel found Thomas off a dribble drive putting the Bucks in front once more at 64-63 with 3:40 left in regulation.


A Keith Appling free throw would tie the score once more then Green went to work scoring six straight MSU points but those were offset by a putback from Sully, a clutch 17 footer from Thomas and a short baseline jumper from Craft making tying it at 70-70 with :43 on the clock.

Craft's handiwork set up Ravenel's sturdy stand on Green paving the way for Buford to put a smile on the face of all the haters, at least until next Friday when the Buckeyes begin play in the B1G tourney. 

Seriously. That jumper was ice $^%@&#% cold. So splashy. 

Sullinger added 14 points (5/17 FG) and 10 boards with Thomas chipping in 12 (5/12) and four. 

In 40 grueling minutes, Craft did a little bit of everything with nine points, seven boards, six assists and four steals against just one turnover. In a game as hotly contested as this one, I definitely tip my cap to Craft for an outstanding effort that also saw him hold Appling to 11 points on 4/11 shooting.

It didn't look like it would come down to a last second game winner after Sparty went on a 17-2 bender to take a 24-9 lead with 10:47 left in the 1st half thanks to a combo of cold Buckeye shooting and fast break inducing turnovers. 

Ohio State missed nine of their first 11 shots and turned it over five times while MSU was busy putting all five starters in the scoring column via 9/13 from the floor. Finally settling in, OSU was helped by a ton of fouls on Sparty. The Buckeyes used an 8-0 run with four points coming from the stripe to trail just 32-27 with 1:55 left in the half. 

Sparty responded with back to back three point plays but Buford answered with a 17 foot jumper to make it 38-29 at the break. 

William Buford: The 1%The 1%

Hitting just 25% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes (7/28), OSU kept within striking distance by way of 14/18 from the stripe and 12 points off 10 MSU turnovers. Sully was awful missing 8/10 shots but went 4/4 from the line for eight points while Craft added seven and WB six. 

The 2nd half comeback saw the Buckeyes shoot 59% (17/24) with only four turnovers while holding Sparty to 32% on 9/28 from the field. 

Green led Sparty with 19 points and 10 boards giving him his 17th dub-dub of the season against Sully's 13th. 

Though the win gave the Buckeyes (25-6) a shared title (13-5) , it did nothing to improve their seeding in the conference tourney. In the #3 slot, they'll play the winner of the Purdue/Nebraska tilt on Friday around 9pm. Holla if you'll be in attendance - we'll be courtside. 

I'm in a hurry to hit the Black Keys but again, props to WB for stepping up large and also to Ravenel for his spectacular stint with the game in the balance.

It's a good day to be a Buckeye. 


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Ohio1St81's picture

This game reminded me of our game at Purdue two years ago... remember, we were down big at halftime and Robbie Hummel made about 10 3's before the half? We looked done but found enough to storm back and win the game. Before that win, we were 11-5, and after, we lost just two more regular season games. I hope this win gives us the same confidence and momentum that game did. I would have loved to be in that locker room after the game!

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buckeyenut10's picture

I would like to say to all the Buford haters: HAPPY NOW?


Yes, he's had an up and down season. But hasn't the rest of the team as well? I've never understood why people made him shoulder most of the blame. He's a GREAT person and has dealt with more criticism this year than most of you have had to deal with in your life.


Go Bucks!

slidingscrapes's picture

who isn't happy now?

i'm still not pleased with buford's performance on the season. more than anything else it's buford's inconsistancies that have led to the inconsistancies of the team. considering his role as one of our featured players and the only starter above sophomore rank, it's not unfair to expect him to step up, be a leader and take charge of the team, and part of that is shouldering the blame when your own poor performance leads to a loss.

also, last time i checked, being a good person is completely irrelevent to whether he deserves criticism as a member of our basketball team.

Show them Ohio's here!

DAVE's picture

Don't know if I was a hater, but I sure as hell criticized WB when he averaged about four points a game when we needed him. The criticism was that he blew up against the B1G basement dwellers but choked against better teams.

So yes, I feel good that WB rocked , and I hope he keeps it up. And let's not leave Revenal out of the love fest.


BuckeyeJim's picture

I wasn't a Buford hater as much as I was wanting Thad to change things up. Izzo benched one of his seniors until he got his game back. I am really happy for WB and the Buckeyes. This is a good springboard going into the BiG championship.

ajs.singleton's picture

Great game. Hopefully that momentum carries through the Big Ten tourney and the NCAA tourney. If Buford is hitting shots like he was in the second half, we are a tough team to beat. If he is not, we easily lose second round.

Steve Earle Bruce Springsteen's picture

Posting again from last thread. This is for Buford:


The North remembers.

highwire's picture

Quite the tale of two games...the team that Sparty played in Cbus would have no chance to go anywhere in the NCAA tourney...the one that showed up tonight could play with anyone. If Buford stays hot, watch out. They played with a lot of heart tonight.

andyb's picture

Question: Why if we have the best overall record..and are tied for best record in the conference...are we only the 3 seed??  


we also split season series with Both of the other 2 Co-Champs...what am I missing?

Ohio1St81's picture

Each team was 2-2 against the two other first place teams, so it then goes by our record with the 4th place team, Wisconsin. MSU was 2-0 against Wisconsin, and Michigan was 1-0. At first I was a little annoyed at that logic since our overall record is better than MSU and UM, but I suppose it makes sense that only Big Ten games are used to determine the conference tie-breaker. I have to agree with the seeding. 

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andyb's picture

Thanks for the clarification OHIO1st81 and Squirel Master...That makes sense then.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Imagine that.  Michigan benefitting by not playing Wisconsin one time.  Where have we heard that before? 

Class of 2010.

Squirrel Master's picture

overall record is not the second tie breaker. It really doesn't have anything to do with conferece play. It starts with head to head and then goes down the list of ranked teams until there is a difference, like Michigan has the #2 seed because they had a worst record against Indiana than MSU.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Buckeye Chuck's picture

How many ways was this win great?

* We won.

*We won on the road.

* We beat a top 10 team, and those don't lose at home all too often.

*We beat the hottest team in the conference, one with plenty to play for, and a team that traditionally peaks late.

* We won another Big 10 regular season title, which is more meaningful to me than getting hot for one weekend, even if the automatic bid is connected with the tournament.

* We came from way behind.

* We won a close game, and that's two in a row after we had trouble in that area all season (even if I'm a little reluctant to give full credit for the NW game because it was our blown lead that made it close to begin with).

* William Buford had a big day in a big game, and made a ridiculously difficult shot to nail down the win.

Winning a game like this makes me feel much better about our chances in March Madness. I would think one win in Indy would make us a #2 seed for certain, and there's no way now we could fall below a #3. They would probably still need some breaks once they got there, but I have a feeling Kentucky might be a little unready for the big dance given their lack of consistent competition in the SEC (as the John Wall-led team proved to be). No one who comes out of the Big Ten will have that problem.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

Poison nuts's picture

Great Post Chuck...I'm looking at things about the same way.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Colin's picture

I wouldn't say that they are the hottest team to be honest...they were coming off a big loss to Indiana. If anything they should have been extremely pissed off, so either way its still a good win.

buckeyefanatic's picture

* we ended their home winning streak

* we pee pee'd all over their senior night

I'm way down on the team when it comes to their changes in the tourney but I love'em and I'm happy for WillieB and the gang for pulling it out tonight.

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

Sgt. Elias's picture

"...unleased a 19 foot fadeaway jumper that was as wet as your loins after the ball tickled nothing but twine" *does a spit-take on monitor* hahahahaha

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

buckeye76BHop's picture

I hope this will be a spring board for the team and they can do something magical in the next two tourneys.  I also like the fact that Chris wrote about when Buff's bucket was made there was .8 seconds left...you all like that .2 put back on?  And how Izzo tried for a T.O. with .7...???  Gotta love Big Ten officiating this year.  GO BUCKS!  

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

aforsbach's picture

I agree, that was complete horse shit. I don't know how that happens. I'd love to see what the Big 10's evaluation for the referees is like this year. More than a few times it seemed they wanted to be the deciding factor this year instead of letting things play out on the court.

Sgt. Elias's picture

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

Squirrel Master's picture

I wouldn't mind showing her my lucky charms!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

zbd's picture

Giving credit where it is due. Buford and Ravenel came through when needed.  Now on to the Big Ten tournament and bracketology next Sunday. Seedings don't matter much. Just win baby.

tampa buckeye's picture

It is going to be so nice to play a team outside the big ten without these refs.  

Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Squirrel Master's picture

Great win. Its been tough to watch this team lately but that was a quality win and great play all around. I like the subbing and how the bench picked up some of the slack. I think Matta actually went deeper into his bench than Izzo.

Ravenel played great. I am coming away very impressed with his game and would like to see more even though I have been an advocate for Amir Williams. I would like to see both get some minutes and help Sully in the post.

I think this game could have been a beatdown if Craft had the same confidence in his shot that he had on Wednesday. If he could only lock in.

I have been critical of Buford many times this year. I still think for good reason. He is the lone senior and was looked at as the leader of this team this year. He was supposed to pick up the slack left by Diebler and Lighty. He hasn't always been what we expected this year but has shown flashes that we know how good he can be. this was a big night for him and hopefully will bode well for the rest of the season.

Go Bucks! Lets get a #2 seed and get ready for a good run deep into the tourney!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Seth4Bucks's picture

I wouldn't mind seeing Ravenel/Williams on the floor with Sully more. I'm not saying they should start, but I think it'd be a nice change of pace from time to time. Especially when the other team's got some size on the floor.

AC1972's picture

Everyone is hot on Amir because he has the height and the cred's, but I really think Evan is the way to go.

We really haven't seen what Evan can really do , because he's been asked to play D and grab rebounds.  He has a much more extensive offensive skill-set of which we have just only seen a glimpse.

I'm from the 813 and am familiar with the Ravenel's - Evan could be doing a lot more out there, but he is being a team player and playing in the system (play D and grab rebounds).  Come tourney time, Evan could be the secret weapon:  when Jared goes out, the defenses will not be keying in on him and I believe he could really put up some points inside...and he plays great D and can grab rebounds.

There is a reason Thad has consistently brought Evan in from the bench - he's been the most consistent bench player, he's showing up in practice obviously.

In the tourney(s), Jared is going to need rest and I think that Evan has proved he can come in and get the job done both offensively and defensively.

buckeyefan927's picture

Get ready for the winner of Purdue/Nebraska in the first round.

Conroy's picture

Hopefully Buford can channel his inner Kemba Walker for the rest of the year.

Bucksfan's picture

It's Madness, baby!!!  What a finish!  SPARTY OFF.

Statutoryglory's picture

Terrible shot.  Terrible final play.  We were just super lucky it went in.  How does a 87% FT shooter miss 4.

Squirrel Master's picture

Seriously? You really went there after a win like that? unless you are some type of MSU fan then I would expect you to say that.

BTW, what is with Statutoryglory as the username? I don't think I would use the word Statutory in anything related to myself.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

The Vest-er's picture

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

FortMeyer's picture

Congrats Willy on a great game! You deserve it. Thanks for four years of great work and effort and being a class act as a person and OSU Buckeye! Now keep it up as we pursue a B1G tourney championship and National championship.

Orlando Buckeye's picture

My feelings on a basketball game usually match the expression on William Bufford's face.

Matt's picture

Sparty losing Dawsen was a huge blow for them. He is a next level talent and had the size and speed to shut WB down, which he did before getting injured. Hopefully the knee injury isnt too serious, but its not looking good right now.

JakeBuckeye's picture

So we got the 3 seed? Yes! Selfishly that is good news, because if we were the two seed I would of had to miss Friday's game.

FLBuckeye's picture

I'm not able to post the picture that I'd like

VestedInterest's picture

While on the subject of passing out laurels for credit where it's due, have to throw in Sam Thompson, he provided solid minutes and fed Rav a couple bunnies.

DrBuckeyePete's picture

I noticed on twitter that the team was celebrating with the B1G trophy. This is probably a stupid question but does UM and MSU get that trophy too? Curious how it works with the tie. 

Ohio State Alum '10 
Go Bucks! 

tennbuckeye19's picture

All I have to say is SUCK IT SPARTY!!!


khdenn's picture

I wish all the critics that rip Matta apart for no ingame adjustments give him some credit for this game.  I'm not holding my breath though...

khdenn's picture

All those who claimed Matta out-coached by Izzo in Columbus, need to praise Matta for out-coaching Izzo today in East Lansing.....Hell of a job Coach!!!


Oakland Buckeye's picture

AGREED!!! This team was falling apart - Thad kept them loose, kept them together, made some right calls (Thompson is a brick layer - but his perimeter defense sut down Wood who was killing us) - & then Ravenel, which he didn't have a lot of choice - but he styaed with him longer than most on the game thread wanted him to...HATS OFF TO THAD!

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Nicely done guys!!! Now use this to ignite the Buckeye fire and go kick some ass and don't stop until we've finished the NCAA final!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

buckeyerishi02's picture

GO BUCKS!!!! I had my worries and fears about the game but its great to be a Buckeye. Young Men wearing Scarlet and Gray playing their hearts out and winning in the end. THANK YOU THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY MENS BASKETBALL TEAM, You never waivered in your goals!!! GO BUCKEYES!!!!

Matt's picture

Apparently Draymind Green should have fouled out with 7 minutes left in the game, but scorekeeper (MSU employee) didnt mark his tech foul against his total. Anyone know if thats correct?

Keith's picture

I don't think it's correct.  Green was called for a techical after bitching at the official because he thought he was fouled.  ESPN has it listed as two fouls on the play-by-play which is incorrect.

Green had 3 common fouls and 1 technical = 4 fouls. 

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Not sure I've ever been happier for a Buckeye player as I am for WB right now.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Damn right man. Feeling great for him tonite. He deserves it!

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

all i have to say is one thing: hate you, brandon paul

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

JakeBuckeye's picture

"It was silent the whole time (Buford's shot) was in the air," said Michigan guard Trey Burke, who is from Columbus, Ohio. "Once it went in, everybody just flooded the hallway, jumping up and down."

I hate that they won a share of the Big Ten, but I love that they HAD to cheer for us and rely on us to carry them to a share of the title.

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Again: Big bad Billy is sweet William now!!

thatlillefty's picture

Willy Bu! What a great game.

pcon258's picture

from :14-:16 in that video, i see a GIF in the making. but yea, that game was confidence-boosting for the fans, and hopefully for the team as well.

also, hope you enjoyed the black keys, i heard it was quite a concert

WildMan Leather and Lace's picture

I have said all year that this team goes as Buford goes and that Bu could not deliver in the big game.  Well WB just put this team on his back, ran around in circles, and then DRILLED the game winning jumper.  I am now gladly eating crow.  There is still a lot of ball to be played on the road to New Orleans but i'll throw it out there:  I think this team just came together.  I believe this team suffered from an identity crisis all season with the loss of all the leadership from last season and often times did not know where to turn.  It was Bu's job to pick up the slack and lead them but most of the time he seemed confused and uncertain how to go about it.  Tonight with the B1G title on the line he finally delivered.  It is uncertain if will be able to sustain the confidence and leadership he displayed tonight but there is reason to be hopeful.

Brutus's picture

Someone please give me a heads up when they replay this game on TV. I have it in my head that I jinx the team if i watch live so I dvr'd and just finished watching. I also have it in my head that when things get bad, I should watch in fast-forward (I have some serious superstition issues). Anyway, I watched the game in fast forward, didn't flinch when Buford hit the winning shot, then kept going in fast forward until the idiot refs sorted out that mess. Much to my dismay, the recording ran out before the last play (nearly shit myself wondering how it ended before I came here) and accidentally deleted. I need to watch those last five mintues again. Unflippin believable.

By the way, for those of you that age dramatically during Ohio State football and basketball games like me, this method is very effective in slowing the process. Did the same for the Wisconsin football game. I also happen to believe this is the difference in the Buckeyes winning. Seriously. I will not watch another live game this season.

Edit: For any other morons out there like me, I found the game on the BTN2GO, available on both laptop and iPad.  The BTN is really coming around.  They just need to get some better on air personnel and it will be a very solid sports network.

Is it Saturday Yet's picture

How do you avoid searching for the score or someone telling you?

VestedInterest's picture

Walk around with your pants around your ankles and your hat on crooked humming a Cyndi Lauper tune.

Jack Fu's picture


Any win in East Lansing is huge and is to be celebrated. Ravenel stepped up big-time when Sullinger picked up his 4th foul. (SIDENOTE: on consecutive possessions around the 5:00 mark, Ravenel's defender left his feet when Ravenel shot-faked from the foul line extended, and OSU scored on both possessions, as Ravenel got around the guy and scored himself on one and assisted Thomas on the second. That's either terrible scouting/coaching by MSJ's staff or consecutive brainfarts by the individual defender. I lean toward the latter.) The team cut back the turnovers big-time: after turning it over six times in the first ten minutes of the game, they only turned it over four times in the last 30. This was a great example of doing the effort-related things to win a ballgame, as MSU shot better, but OSU got to the line more, turned it over less, and owned their own defensive glass  (OSU rebounded 82% of MSU's missed shots).

THE BAD (or bad-ish):

For the second time in as many games against MSU, Sullinger was effectively negated offensively. He posted an eFG of 29% while using 30% of OSU's possessions. Unlike last game, that was the extent of his negative effect, as he only turned the ball over once (as opposed to 10 in the previous MSU game). The first ten minutes of the game was an absolute horror-show, especially the turnovers. Sam Thompson was awful: 12 minutes, 0 points, 0 assists, 1 rebound, 2 fouls, and 3 turnovers. Yeesh.

THE ????:

I could not be happier for Buford, but from a predictive standpoint, did we really learn anything? I've been saying all year that this team will go as far as Buford's jumpshooting takes them. In this game, I didn't feel like Buford was getting better shots than normal - he hit two three-pointers with his defender right in his grill, and MSU couldn't have defended that last-second jumper any better than they did. He took the same long, fairly contested jumpers he always does, it's just: they went in. I'm left with the exact same feeling I've had going back to last year: against good teams, when Buford's J is falling, we're in great shape. When it's not, we could be in trouble.

RedStorm45's picture

I've been hard on Buford most of the year...but he stepped up in his last regular season collegiate game.  Give him props.  Hit some daggers in the 2nd half.  Missed the beginning so I saw his line in the 1st half was 1-4, a couple turnovers, and I think 2-3 from the FT line.  Obviously, the win is huge, the comeback from 15 down on the road at the #5 team in the country's place where they haven't lost all season.  But let's not completely forget the 1st half...25% shooting, turnovers everywhere, pretty bad defense.  I thought it was going to be worse than when Sparty came to Columbus.  The Dawsen injury was huge...he the ability to shut WB down.  Changed the game.  Not sure we win if he doesn't go out.  Either way...onto Purdue (unless Nebraska pulls out a stunner)

Nuts4Bucks's picture

I was very happy for Buford. After OSU had Senior Night (William Buford Night) ruined by Wisconsin, OSU came back and ruined 2 senior nights in 1 week. That win gives OSU atleast a #2 seed with an outside shot at #1 seed. If we can get that kind of play out of Buford night in, night out then the Bucks have a good shot at a final 4. But I still feel Matta should have instituted a better rotation back in November, so much talent on our bench. Syracuse/Kentucky have a great rotation, too deep for anyone to compete with. OSU could have had something similar with A. Williams/ Weatherspoon/ Scott/ L. Ross/ Thompson. Thats a pretty good 2nd string and I didnt even mention Ravenel or Sibert. Saying all that Im just a fan with an opinion and I dont see what goes on in practice and Im still a huge fan of Thad Matta. B1G Champs...AGAIN! Going for a 3 peat at the B1G tourney!!!

RedStorm45's picture

It guaranteed a 3, with an outside shot at a 2.  No way we get to the 1 line...Cuse, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, UNC, Mizzou all ahead of us.

Nuts4Bucks's picture

Hey RedStorm looks like I was right. Ohio State did have a shot at a #1 seed, if they would of beat MSU we would of got it. Unlike what you said, that there's "no way." ^