Ohio State men's basketball demands to be taken seriously.
The Buckeyes earned their first signature win of the Chris Holtmann, legitimizing themselves as a Big Ten and NCAA Tournament contender, by upending Michigan State, the No. 1-ranked team in college basketball, in a 80-64 win at Value City Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Keita Bates-Diop led the Buckeyes with a career-high 32 points, while C.J. Jackson (14), Jae'Sean Tate (13) and Kam Williams (10) also scored in double digits.
|NO. 1 MICHIGAN STATE||29||35||64|
Sunday's win was Ohio State's first win over a No. 1-ranked team since the Buckeyes' 49-48 win over Wisconsin on Feb. 25, 2007. It was Ohio State's eighth win over a No. 1 team as an unranked team, the most among all teams in the AP poll era.
Ohio State is now 13-4 on the season, a perfect 4-0 in conference play and likely headed toward its first top-25 ranking of the season when this week's AP poll is released on Monday.
Ohio State appeared to be overmatched in the first few minutes of Sunday's game, as the Spartans started the game on an 11-4 run, but Ohio State went on an 11-0 run from there, bringing the crowd inside Value City Arena to an uproar as the Buckeyes took a 15-11 lead – with Bates-Diop scoring nine of the home team's first 15 – into the second TV timeout.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||MICHIGAN STATE|
|31-59 (52.5%)||FGM-FGA (PCT.)||23-59 (39.0%)|
|7-15 (46.7%)||3PM-3PA (PCT.)||7-25 (28.0%)|
|11-17 (64.7%)||FTM-FTA (PCT.)||11-13 (84.6%)|
After Michigan State retook the lead on a 6-0 run, the Spartans and Buckeyes went back-and-forth for most of the first half after that, as the two teams were tied 20-20 at the third media timeout and 27-27 at the fourth media timeout. That all changed in the final two minutes of the first half, however, when Ohio State went on a 12-0 run – capped by Andrew Dakich banking in a 3-pointer, from well beyond the arc, at the buzzer – to take a 41-29 lead over Michigan State into halftime.
Williams kept the Buckeyes' momentum going by throwing down a one-handed dunk just 11 seconds into the second half. Williams made a 3-pointer on the Buckeyes' next possession, after which a Michigan State foul immediately gave Ohio State the ball back. Bates-Diop took advantage, driving to the basket for another two points and scoring another point on a free throw, giving Ohio State six points in one possession and extending the Buckeyes' lead to 49-31.
Ohio State kept on rolling from there, taking a 59-38 lead into the first media timeout of the second half after a Jackson three. Before the Buckeyes' second media timeout of the second half, Jackson put an ankle-breaking move on Michigan State guard Lourawls 'Tum Tum' Nairn Jr., shaking him to the ground before hitting a jumper to put Ohio State up 65-42.
After a Tate basket gave Ohio State a 25-point lead, Michigan State went on a 13-2 run, cutting the Buckeyes' lead to 14. From there, however, Ohio State regained control of the game, extending the lead back to 75-57 before the four-minute mark and ultimately cruising to a 16-point victory.
Ohio State will look to keep its winning ways going when it hosts Maryland at Value City Arena at 7 p.m. Thursday.