Two Decades in Review: Looking Back at the Last 20 Years of the Ohio State vs. Michigan Basketball Rivalry

By David Regimbal on March 2, 2020 at 4:20 pm
Kaleb Wesson vs. Michigan

Ohio State has dominated rival Michigan on the football field over the last 20 years, and the basketball team has quietly asserted control over the Wolverines on the basketball court as well.

The last two decades have been strong for the Ohio State basketball program. During that span, Thad Matta and Chris Holtman elevated the Buckeyes into routine Big Ten title contenders while making several deep runs in the NCAA tournament after Jim O'Brien's ugly departure.

A level of success against Michigan has come with that. It's not equal to the domination the football team established over the Wolverines (or close to it), but there's a notable gap between the basketball teams when you look at the results over the last 20 years.

Ohio State vs. Michigan: Basketball Results
Year Ohio State Michigan Result
2020 77 64 Win
2020 61 58 Win
2019 49 65 Loss
2018 62 74 Loss
2018 71 62 Win
2017 70 66 Win
2016 76 66 Win
2015 57 64 Loss
2015 71 52 Win
2014 72 69 Loss
2014 70 60 Loss
2013 56 53 Win
2013 74 76 Loss
2012 77 55 Win
2012 51 56 Loss
2012 64 49 Win
2011 68 61 Win
2011 62 53 Win
2011 68 64 Win
2010 69 68 Win
2010 66 55 Win
2010 64 73 Loss
2009 72 54 Win
2009 65 58 Win
2008 70 80 Loss
2008 65 55 Win
2007 72 62 Win
2007 65 61 Win
2007 76 63 Win
2006 64 54 Win
2006 94 85 Win
2005 72 46 Win
2004 64 75 Loss
2003 54 70 Loss
2003 50 61 Loss
2002 75 68 Win
2002 84 75 Win
2002 69 47 Win
2001 78 61 Win
Total OSU: 27 Wins UM: 12 Wins  

The Buckeyes have won 27 of the last 39 contests with the Wolverines since 2001, highlighted by absurd buzzer-beating wins in the conference tournament and some devastating last-second losses. Michigan has crawled back to nearly even playing field with Ohio State since 2012, winning seven of the last 15 matchups.

Here's a look back at the most notable games.

The Best Win: Evan Turner's Half-Court Heave Breaks Michigan's Heart

There have definitely been bigger games with much more at stake, but Ohio State's stunning 69-68 win over Michigan in the 2010 Big Ten Tournament stands out the most.

Evan Turner's Buckeyes entered postseason play with an outside shot at a coveted 1-seed spot in the NCAA Tournament, but they struggled against a Wolverines team that had greatly underperformed that year.

But in the first half, the Buckeyes looked and executed like the better team while building a 35-25 halftime lead. That advantage evaporated quickly, and what should've been an easy win became a near disaster.

Ohio State led by 13 midway through the second half when Michigan started to chip away. Manny Harris caught fire and led his Michigan squad all the way back, connecting on a two-point jumper to put the Wolverines up 68-66 with only 2.2 seconds remaining.

That was enough time for Turner to rip Michigan's heart out.

That this moment came just four months after Michigan football's only win over Ohio State in...

// checks notes... //

The last 16 years makes it a little bit sweeter.

Other Notable Wins:

  • January, 2013, when Deshaun Thomas and Aaron Craft handed No. 2 Michigan (16-0) it's first loss of the season, 56-53.
  • Chris Holtman's first win over Michigan in 2017 when the Buckeyes overcame a 15-point deficit to win.
  • That Matta's 72-46 blitzing of Michigan in his first game against the Wolverines in 2004.

The Worst Loss: No-Call Against Aaron Craft Gives Michigan Overtime Win

No. 3 Michigan was putting together an impressive season that would end in an 82-76 loss to Louisville in the NCAA title game in 2013. The Wolverines hosted the Buckeyes in February looking to avenge the first loss it had suffered all season a few weeks prior.

It went back and forth in Ann Arbor, with Thomas and Craft trading blows with Michigan stars Tre Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. The Wolverines built and eight-point first half lead before the Buckeyes clawed their way to within one at the break. Ohio State led by just as many in the second half before Michigan went on a run.

The two teams needed extra time after finishing regulation tied at 72. There were only a combined six points scored in the overtime session, but a late no-call on a layup attempt from Craft spoiled Ohio State's chances of forcing things into double overtime.

That no-call prevented a potential season-sweep of Michigan and sprung the Wolverines into a deep NCAA tournament run.

Other Notable Losses:

  • In 2015, when a .500 Michigan squad handed No. 24 Ohio State an embarrassing 64-57 loss when this 15-year old child disguised as a college student athlete posted a game-high 16 points.
  • Losing 72-69 to top-seeded Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament in 2014.
  • Falling 80-70 to a 7-17 Wolverines squad in 2008. 
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