Buckeyes Host Illinois in Regular Season Finale
Senior Evan Ravenel

March 8, 2013

Date: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Site: Value City Arena (19,049)
Game Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN
Talent: Bob Wischusen (play-by-play)
Dan Dakich (expert analysis)
Online Stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 91/XM 91
Local Radio: WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent: Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Ohio State Notes  | Illinois Notes  | Big Ten Stats 
Ohio State Men's Basketball
Men's Basketball Jeff Boals Greg Paulus Dan Wallenberg Alissa Clendenen
@OhioStateHoops @JeffBoals @Greg_Paulus @OSUADAthComm @AlissaC_OSU
Press Conference w/ Coach Matta and Ravenel
Order Tickets Online

Ravenel, Cacchio, Student Managers Celebrate Ohio State Careers Sunday
Several members of the Ohio State basketball program will be honored during pregame ceremonies for the contribution to the Buckeyes over their careers.

  • Debby Cacchio, the men's basketball secretary, will retire in April after 23 years with the program, in addition to seven years spent working in other university departments. 
  • Evan Ravenel, Ohio State's lone senior student-athlete, graduated last December. He will be playing in his 69th game as a Buckeye vs. Illinois. Over his career, Ohio State has won 53 games, captured a Big Ten regular-season title and played in the Final Four. Ravenel has averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds at Ohio State after transferring to the Buckeyes after two years at Boston College. 
  • Managers Patrick Ford, Weston Strayer, Mike Oeters, Evan Kurt and Luke Terwilliger also will be working their final home game as Buckeyes. 

B1G Road Wins Lead to Titles
Thad Matta teams have won five or more road games in the Big Ten six times in his nine years at Ohio State, including the five road wins this season (Purdue, Penn State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Indiana). In the five previous seasons with five or more road wins (2006-5, 2007-7, 2010-6, 2011-7, 2012-6) in league play, Ohio State has won or shared the Big Ten regular-season title. Ohio State has won five or more on the road in each of the last four years.

Matta's Senior Day Record
Thad Matta has finished off the home season with a win in seven of eight previous seasons in Columbus. Three times the Buckeyes have defeated ranked teams, two of those were No. 1 at the time. This is the third time Ohio State has ended the home campaign against Illinois with Matta as the Buckeyes' head coach.

Thomas a Finalist for Robertson Trophy
The United States Basketball Writers Association announced the 14 finalists for 2013 Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year March 4. Ohio State junior Deshaun Thomas made the 14-member list as the leading scorer in the Big Ten with 19.8 points per game. He has reached 20 or more points in eight conference games this season, including a 22-point effort most recently vs. Northwestern Feb. 14. The winner of the Robertson Trophy will be announced April 5.

Matta Among Best in March
Thad Matta has put together one of the best records nationally when it counts the most - during the months of March and April. Entering March for the ninth time as head coach of the Buckeyes, Matta has compiled a record of 46-12 in March, the fourth best record by percentage among active coaches. The record is the best among Big Ten coaches as well. (full chart available in notes PDF)

Thomas Named To Naismith Awards Midseason 30 list
Deshaun Thomas was named to the Midseason Top 30 list for the Naismith Awards Men's College Player of the year Feb. 26. The preseason Top 50 watch lists for both the 2013 Wooden Award and the 2013 Naismith Player of the Year included  Thomas and Aaron  Craft, both juniors on the Ohio State men's basketball team. Thomas also was named to the Midseason Wooden Watch List, containing the Top 25 student athletes at the midway point of the 2012-13 season. The 36th annual Wooden Award ceremony will take place at the men's Final Four Weekend (April 6-8) in Atlanta. Ohio State has been well represented among finalists for the Wooden Award over the last several years. Greg Oden was a finalist in 2007. Evan Turner was the 2010 Wooden Award winner and Jared Sullinger was a finalist in both 2011 and 2012. The Naismith Men's College Player of the Year Award will be handed out April 7 in Atlanta as well.

Matta Continues to Build Impressive Ohio State Resume
Thad Matta has accomplished a remarkable list of accomplishments in nine years as head coach of the Buckeyes and the 2012-13 season is no different. Matta's teams have never failed to win 20 games, a record streak (nine seasons) in Ohio State history. In fact, Matta has never failed to reach the 20-win plateau in 13 years as a head coach. The Buckeyes are 22-7 to date in 2012-13 after the 67-58 road win over No. 2 Indiana last Tuesday. Ohio State has reached 30 or more wins three times, all with Matta at the helm. Back-to-back seasons with 30 wins in 2010-11 (34) and 2011-12 (31) only trail the 35 wins recorded in 2006-07, the Ohio State record for single-season victories.

In addition, Matta has won five Big Ten titles, including the last three (2010-12), three Big Ten postseason tournament crowns, in six title game opportunities, six NCAA tournament appearances, including three-consecutive runs to the "Sweet 16," a pair of Final Four trips (2007, 2011) and a title game appearance in 2007. Throw in a National Invitation Tournament title in 2009 and Matta has guided the Buckeyes to postseason play in seven-consecutive attempts and in ever year in which Ohio State was eligible.

Craft Earns First Team ACademic All-American Honor for Second Time
Aaron Craft was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Team for the second time Feb. 21, becoming Ohio State's first two-time first team honoree. This season, Craft was named Capital One Academic All-America of the Year in Division I men's basketball. A nutrition (pre-med) major, Craft has an overall grade-point average of 3.92 while leading Ohio State to a 22-7 overall record. In three seasons at Ohio State, Craft has set the career record for steals (228) and has led the Buckeyes to 87 victories, a pair of Big Ten titles, two appearances in the NCAA tournament "Sweet 16," and a Final Four appearance. He also is No. 3 in career assists at Ohio State with 486.

Buckeyes Record 10th League Win
Thad Matta and the Buckeyes have won at least 10 Big Ten Conference regular-season games in each of the last eight seasons, a record streak at Ohio State. The Buckeyes host Illinois with a 12-5 record in league play during the 2013 conference season. Ohio State has won at least 10 league games 31 times. Matta tied legendary Ohio State coach Fred Taylor, who coached eight teams to 10 or more league victories, with the win over Michigan State Feb. 24. Matta's nine 20-win seasons overall is an Ohio State record. Taylor led the Buckeyes to six 20+ win campaigns.  

Thomas Added to 1,000/500 Club
A total of 25 Ohio State players have scored 1,000 or more points to go with 500 career rebounds. Deshaun Thomas (1,470 career points/519 rebounds) is the latest to join the club after a seven-rebound effort vs. No. 4 Michigan State Feb. 24. Before Thomas, Jared Sullinger was the last to reach the milestone with 1,282 career points and 717 career rebounds. Thad Matta has coached six of the players on the all-time list. William Buford (1,990/666), Terence Dials (1,566/876), Evan Turner (1,517/683), David Lighty (1,458/577), Sullinger and now Thomas have been added to the list during Matta's tenure.

Thomas Reaches 500 Points a 2nd Time
Thirty Ohio State players have reached the 500-point mark in a single season at least once. Deshaun Thomas became the 14th player to do so multiple times with 18 points at Wisconsin Feb. 17. Thomas scored 619 points as a sophomore last year, the 17th best single-season scoring effort in Ohio State history. Thomas leads the Big Ten in scoring with 19.8 points per game for a total of 573 points this season. William Buford (2009-12), one of three Buckeyes to score 500+ three times, and Jared Sullinger (2011-12), who did it twice, were the last to record multiple 500-point seasons at Ohio State.

The Illinois Series
Illinois leads the overall series with the Buckeyes 101-65. Ohio State has the edge in Columbus, 41-40.  The Buckeyes, when ranked nationally in the Associated Press poll, own a 22-11 record vs. the Illini. Ohio State has won six of the last eight meetings with Illinois, including the last three in Columbus. Thad Matta is 6-1 at Value City Arena vs. Illinois, including the 65-64 upset win vs. the undefeated No. 1 Illini March 6, 2005 on Senior Day at Ohio State. In the last 14 games in which Ohio State was ranked, the Buckeyes are 12-2 vs. Illinois. Deshaun Thomas leads the Buckeyes with 16 points per game in the Illinois series. He has made 58 percent of his shots (28-48) and 85 percent of his foul shots (17-20). Aaron Craft contributes 10.2 points on 20 of 40 shooting (.500). Lenzelle Smith Jr. and Amir Williams lead the Buckeyes with 4.0 rebounds a game in the series.   

A Look at the Illini
Illinois closes out the Big Ten regular season for the Buckeyes. The Illini enter the game with a 21-10 overall record and an 8-9 record in the Big Ten. Illinois has won six of the last eight games but have losses in two of the last three. The Illini are led by Brandon Paul`s 16.2 points per game and the 12.8 points from D.J. Richardson. The team rebounds by committee with four players averaging just over four boards a game.

For more on the Buckeyes click on the Ohio State Notes link above.