Spartans, Buckeyes tip at 4:10 pm ET Saturday in CBS
With eight assists Friday, Aaron Craft reached 500 for his career.

March 16, 2013

No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (24-7) vs No. 3 Michigan State (25-7)

Date:March 16, 2013
Site:United Center (22,000)
Game Time:4:10 p.m. ET
Talent:Jim Nantz (play-by-play)
Clark Kellogg (expert analysis)
Radio:OSU-IMG Sports Network (56 stations)
Local Radio:WBNS FM-97.1 AM-1460
Radio Talent:Paul Keels (play-by-play)
Ron Stokes (expert analysis)
Ohio State Notes  | Michigan State Notes
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 | Press Conference w/ Craft and Thomas
Tournament Central

The No. 2-seed Buckeyes are 20-9 all-time in Big Ten Tournament play since the event began in 1998. Ohio State was the No. 3 seed in 2012 and has won 16 of its last 20 league tournament games, including nine of the last 10. By seed, Ohio State is 11-2 as No. 1, 1-0 as the No. 2, 2-1 as No. 3, 2-2 as No. 5, 1-1 as No. 6, 3-1 as No. 8, 0-1 as No. 9 and 0-1 as No. 11. Ohio State has entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed five times (2000, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011). Thad Matta is 17-5 in league tournament play with three titles (2007, 2010, 2011) and five title game appearances (2006, 2009).  

Noting the Nebraska Game
•    The Buckeyes have won the last eight meetings against the Cornhuskers.
•    Overall, Ohio State holds a 9-2 record in the series. The teams are tied 1-1 on neutral courts.
•    As a ranked team, the Buckeyes are 6-0 in the Nebraska series.
•    Ohio State is 20-9 all-time in the Big Ten tournament. The Buckeyes have won seven of their last eight quarterfinal games and 16 of their last 20 games in the tourney overall.
•    Since the Big Ten tournament began in 1998, Ohio State has defeated eight league opponents three times in the same season: 2005 PSU, 2006 PSU, 2007 Michigan, 2007 Purdue, 2010 Illinois, 2011 Michigan, 2011 PSU, 2013 Nebraska.
•    Three Buckeyes scored in double figures: junior forward Deshaun Thomas (19), sophomore forward Sam Thompson (19) and sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross (19).
•    Ohio State shot 59.1 percent (26-of-44) for the game, 77.3 percent (17-of-22) in the second half, season-best percentages for a game and half this season. The 59.1 percent shooting performance is also an Ohio State Big Ten tournament record.
•    The last time Ohio State shot better than 70 percent for a half was against Illinois Feb. 21, 2012. The Buckeyes connected on 17 of 24 field goals  (.708) in the second half of an 83-67 win in Columbus.
•    Nebraska shot 41.2 percent for the game (21-of-51). The Buckeyes have held opposing teams under 50 percent shooting in 28 of 31 games.
•    Ohio State owned a 21-7 edge in bench points. The Buckeyes own a 572-373 edge over opposing benches in points scored this season.
•    The Buckeyes scored 21 points off of 15 NU turnovers.
•    Nebraska was held to 23 first-half points. Ohio State has held opponents to 25 points of fewer in a half a total of 22 times this season.
•    As a ranked team (AP), No. 14 Ohio State is 449-123 all-time.
•    Ohio State is 753-673 all-time in Big Ten play.
•    The Buckeyes opened the second half with a 26-5 run covering 7:59 of play.
•    Trailing 15-6 with 13:03 remaining in the first half, Ohio State went on a 50-15 run covering 26:19 of play.
Thad Matta
•    Matta is 245-72 during his career at Ohio State and 346-103 overall as a head coach.
•    In his 13 years as a head coach, Matta is 131-52 vs. current Big Ten opponents, including a record of 127-50 at Ohio State.
•    Matta owns the best Big Ten tournament winning percentage (.773) and the second-most tournament wins (17) of any conference coach in history.
•    Matta has compiled a record of 48-12 as a head coach in March, the fourth-best record by percentage (80 percent) among active coaches.
•    Matta has never failed to reach the 20-win plateau in 13 years as a head coach. The Buckeyes are 24-7 to date in 2012-13 after the victory Friday.
•    Against unranked opponents, Matta owns a 202-22 record as Ohio State head coach.
•    Matta is 5-0 against Nebraska.
Deshaun Thomas
•    With 19 points, Thomas moved to No. 18 on the all-time scoring list at Ohio State (1,508 total points). He needs 10 points to pass Evan Turner for 17th.
•    Has scored in double figures in all 31 games this season.
• Reached 600 points for the second consecutive season (611) after scoring 619 as a sophomore. Total this season rates No. 19 in Ohio State history behind Herb Williams' 617 in 1978-79.
Aaron Craft
•    Craft contributed eight assists vs. the Cornhuskers, bringing his career total at Ohio State to 500. He remains third on the all-time list at OSU and needs 17 assists to pass Kelvin Ransey for second all-time.
• With seven points vs. the Cornhuskers, Craft has 899 for his career.
•    With two steals against Nebraska, Craft remains seventh all-time in Big Ten history with 233. He needs 27 steals to pass Brian Cardinal of Purdue (1997-2000) for sixth.
•    Craft has totaled five or more assists in 16 games this season.
•    In 31 games played this season, Craft has recorded a steal in all but one game.
Sam Thompson
•    Scored a career-high 19 points.
•    Made a career-best eight field goals and shot 88.9 percent for the game (8-of-9).
•    Connected on a career-best three 3-point field goals.
LaQuinton Ross
•    Scored in double figures for the 10th time this season.
•    Tied a career best with three 3-point field goals.

The Michigan State Series
Michigan State leads the all-time series 61-53. The series is tied on neutral floors, 2-all. The Spartans downed the Buckeyes 59-56 Jan. 19, in East Lansing. Ohio State won in Columbus this year 68-60 Feb. 24. Ohio State is 21-11 vs. Michigan State when ranked nationally in the Associated Press Top 25. The Spartans are 18-8 vs. Ohio State when ranked. When both teams are ranked, MSU has the edge, 7-6. Deshaun Thomas (11.2 ppg.) and Aaron Craft (11.2 ppg.) lead the Buckeyes in the MSU series. Thomas, Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. all average just over four rebounds a game vs. MSU. In the two games this season, Thomas averaged 21 points on 14-36 shooting from the field, 8-18 from 3-point range and 6-6 from the free throw line. Craft averaged 13.0 points, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals.

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 48-12, the fourth best record by percentage (.800) among active coaches. The record is the best among Big Ten coaches as well.

Best March Record by D-I Head Coaches -
Since 2004-05 (Min. 20 Gms/as of 3/15/13)
1. Shaka Smart, VCU21-4.840
2. John Calipari, Memphis/Kentucky65-13.833
3. Roy Williams, North Carolina55-13.809
4. Thad Matta, Ohio State48-12.800
5. Brad Stevens, Butler23-6.793
March-April Games:
1. John Calipari67-15.817
2. Shaka Smart21-5.808
3. Roy Williams60-15.800
4. Thad Matta50-13.794
5. Bill Self, Kansas42-13.764
Source: Stats, Inc.

Aaron Craft: Reached 800 points for his career with 11 at Michigan (899) ... scored a career-high 21 points in the win over No. 4 Michigan State Feb. 24 in Columbus ... reached 400 career assists with eight vs. UNC Asheville ... his 500 career total rates No. 3 all-time at Ohio State, passing Curtis Wilson (475, 1984, 86-89) with six helpers vs. Michigan State Feb. 24, Kelvin Ransey (1977-80) is No. 2 with 516 ... reached 100 helpers for the third-consecutive season with three vs. Indiana Feb. 10 ... William Buford (2009-12) was the last to do so over the final three seasons of his career ... with eight assists vs. Nebraska, Craft has 16 games this season with five or more, including 10 of the last 15 outings ... at least one steal in 26-consecutive games ... 15 games this season with 10 or more points, including double digits in nine of the last 15 games ... is shooting 80 percent from the foul line (67-84) this season, up from 71 percent as a junior ... a career 74 percent foul shooter (223-301) ... has more career steals (233) than turnovers (228) ... owns Ohio State career record for steals (233) after recording four thefts vs. Iowa Jan. 22 ... just the second Buckeye in history (Jay Burson-204) to record 200 career thefts ... currently No. 7 all-time in Big Ten history with 233 career steals ... played in 100th career game Feb. 14 vs. Northwestern. Evan Ravenel: Scores at a 52 percent clip in two seasons as a Buckeye (110-211) and 51 percent this year (64-126) ... set a career high with 10 rebounds vs. Chicago State ... played in his 100th career game at Michigan Feb. 5 ... has played in 70 games at Ohio State after transferring from Boston College, where he played in 39 contests ... scored 10 points vs. No. 4 Michigan State Feb. 24 in Columbus ... knocked down 6-7 foul shots vs. the Spartans ... tallied eight points and grabbed six rebounds in road win at No. 2 Indiana March 5.  LaQuinton Ross: Makes 77 percent of his foul shots (33-43) this season ... knocked down 3 of 4 3-pointers in the win vs. Nebraska Friday. Shannon Scott: Scored career-high 15 points vs. Kansas to go with six rebounds, which tied a career best ... has 119 assists this season after handing out 60 as a freshman ... just 41 turnovers have been charged to him this year ... handed out eight assists to go with four steals in road win at Northwestern Feb. 28 ... eight points, three assists and four steals in road win at No. 2 Indiana March 5. Lenzelle Smith Jr.: Connected on 6 of 11 3-pointers vs. Northwestern Feb. 28, a career-best for long-range makes in a game ... tallied a season-high 24 points vs. the Wildcats in Evanston Feb. 28 ... grabbed 10 rebounds at Purdue Jan. 8 and repeated that effort vs. Michigan Jan. 13, the first time in his career with back-to-back double digit rebound games (3 career) ... reached the 500 career-point plateau with 21 at Nebraska Feb. 2 (594). Deshaun Thomas: Reached 500 career rebounds with seven vs. Michigan State Feb. 24, added eight boards at No. 2 Indiana March 5 and nine more in the win vs. Nebraska Friday (532) ... 218 of his career 532 boards have come on the offensive end ... moved into the No. 20 spot in career scoring with 18 at No. 2 Indiana March 5 (currently No. 18-1,508) ... 20 or more points in eight Big Ten games this season ... shooting 85 percent at the line this year (115-136) ... is shooting 50-57 from the line in the last nine games (.877) and 68-75 (.907) over the last 16 games ... has made 50 3-pointers in back-to-back (50/62) seasons, William Buford (2009-12) was the last to do so during his junior (61) and senior seasons (62). Amir Williams: Scored a career-high 10 points vs. Northwestern Feb. 14 ... scored nine points with four blocks and four rebounds in a career-high 36 minutes at Michigan Feb. 5 ... of his 119 rebounds this year, nearly half (53) have been on the offensive end ... 81 of his career 183 boards have been a teammate's missed shot ... has made 60 percent of his field goals this year (37-62) and is shooting 58 percent for his career (56-98).

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